Pettitte looks to continue his success against the Phillies on Thursday night, when the Yankees try to take the three-game interleague series at home.
Pettitte (8-1, 2.46 ERA) joined Whitey Ford (236) and Red Ruffing (231) as the only pitchers to win 200 games as a Yankee. The left-hander, who turned 38 Tuesday, allowed three runs in 7 1-3 innings of a 4-3 win over Houston on Friday.
“I just feel very fortunate, very blessed to have been able to play in this organization,” said Pettitte, who has spent nine of his 13 seasons with New York.
He’ll now face Philadelphia for the first time since winning Game 6 of the World Series on Nov. 4, when the Yankees (41-24) clinched their 27th title.
Pettitte beat the Phillies (33-30) twice in the Series despite a 5.40 ERA. He’s 4-0 with a 3.11 ERA in his last six starts against them, including the postseason.
He’s entering this meeting in superb fashion, going 3-0 with a 2.10 ERA in four outings.
It was a rare offensive outburst for Philadelphia, which has won just nine of 26 games. The Phillies have a .216 batting average in that span and scored six or more runs three times.
“We start scoring runs that’s how we win games,” manager Charlie Manuel said.
Ryan Howard(notes) is trying to get going again after connecting for a solo homer Wednesday. The first baseman is 2 for 14 over the last four games after posting a .343 average with two homers and 10 RBIs in the previous nine.
Howard, though, has a .196 batting average with four homers and 11 RBIs in 13 meetings with the Yankees, including the World Series. He’s also 2 for 15 against Pettitte.
Philadelphia will give the ball to Kyle Kendrick(notes) (3-2, 4.80), who gets his first start against the Yankees after being pushed back a day due to matchups. The right-hander also pitched in relief during Friday’s 12-2 loss at Boston, yielding two hits in two scoreless innings.
He wasn’t nearly that effective in his last start June 8, surrendering six runs and six hits - two homers - in five innings while not getting a decision in a 10-8 win over Florida.
Kendrick is 1-3 with a 6.41 ERA in his last five interleague games - three starts.
New York’s Alex Rodriguez(notes) might be used as a designated hitter for a second straight game after going 1 for 3 with an RBI double Wednesday. The third baseman had missed the previous four games with a groin injury.
“I don’t want to predict but it will be very soon,” said Rodriguez, who is 1 for 17 in five interleague games at Yankee Stadium. “I’d like to work out a little more.”