By the Numbers: Andy Pettitte

Assessing the career of one of the Yankees' all-time great pitchers
09/25/2013 11:08 AM ET
By Lou DiPietro

Andy Pettitte salutes the crowd after his final career start at Yankee Stadium.(AP)
Last March, we here at brought you a By The Numbers feature on Andy Pettitte, celebrating his career to that point shortly after the lefty announced his intention to un-retire and return for the 2012 season.

Roughly 18 months later, we've come full circle, as Pettitte announced last Friday that he will once again call it quits at the end of this season, and if the Yankees fail to make the playoffs, that will make Friday's start in Houston his true finale.

It will be five years until we'll know how the voters feel about Pettitte's worthiness as a Hall of Famer, but to us, we think he's had a pretty darn good career - and we (once again) celebrate that span with an update of our work from last March in this sort-of new edition of By The Numbers.

406: The number of days Andy Pettitte was retired the first time. He originally hung up the cleats on Feb. 4, 2011, and signed his return contract with the Yankees on March 16, 2002.

25: Other than Pettitte, there are 25 pitchers in Major League history that finished their careers 100 or more games above .500. Pettitte, at 255-153, is 102 up entering his final start, and he's in some great company; 18 of the other 25 are in the Hall of Fame, and six of the remaining seven have yet to become eligible.

3: Third is where Pettitte ranks in terms of career wins as a Yankee. Entering his final start, 218 of his 255 wins have come in pinstripes, putting him behind only Hall of Famers Whitey Ford (236) and Red Ruffing (231).

72: According to the Elias Sports Bureau, Mariano Rivera has saved 72 of Andy Pettitte's career wins. That is the most wins/saves of any duo in Major League history, 15 ahead of Bob Welch and Dennis Eckersley of the Athletics. In third place on that list are Mo and Mike Mussina, with 49.

1: Elias also tells us that in Major League Baseball history, there is only one pitcher in Major League history to post a record of .500 or better while making at least 15 starts in each of the first 16 seasons of his career. That man is Andy Pettitte.

10: One final note from Elias: With his 10 wins (and hopefully counting) in 2013, Pettitte has earned at least 10 victories in 14 different seasons for the Yankees, surpassing Ford (13) to set a new franchise record.

19: Andy Pettitte has won 19 postseason games in his career, tops among all pitchers in MLB history. He is also first in postseason starts (44) and innings pitched (276.2), and has more postseason wins than eight MLB franchises.

4-2: Final score of the game in which Andy Pettitte hit his only career home run. On August 11, 2006, Pettitte - then a member of the Astros - truly "helped himself" by hitting a solo shot off Dodgers starter (and future Yankees teammate) Chan Ho Park. Andy's fourth inning blast tied the game at two, and the Astros went on to win by the above final.

577: Andy Pettitte was selected by the Yankees in the 22nd round of the 1990 MLB Draft, one that went a record 101 rounds, with the 577th overall pick. Five of the 26 first-round selections that year would go on to play for the Yankees - including Mike Mussina (No. 20, Baltimore) and Tony Clark (No. 2, Detroit) - and fellow "Core Four" member Jorge Posada was the Bombers' 24th round selection.

52: That is the number of CC Sabathia, who could, as of next season, inherit what may or may not be Pettitte's mantle as MLB's active leader in wins. Currently, Jamie Moyer - who has not technically retired, but was not on a roster in 2013 - is the leader with 269 wins, with Pettitte second. Andy is retiring, and if Moyer does call it quits, then Sabathia and Atlanta's Tim Hudson, with 205 wins each, would take over as the active leaders.

18: If he wins his final start, Pettitte will be the only pitcher to pitch at least 18 Major League seasons without ever finishing with a losing season; as it is, he's the only man to pitch at least 17 years and do it, so even if that streak ends, it was still a heck of a run.

2: And finally, there are at least two categories Pettitte will lead the Yankees in upon his retirement; as long as he makes his final start, he will tie Ford for the most in franchise history with 438, and already, his 2,015 strikeouts are tops all-time in Yankees lore.

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