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June 11, 2010

Andy Pettitte Makes Yankees History

Seven years ago, the Houston Astros made history, sending a record six pitchers to the mound to no-hit the New York Yankees. And of the 266 that have been thrown since 1875, it still stands as the last combined (there have been nine total) no-no.

But my how things have changed since June 11, 2003.

Since that 8-0 drubbing, the Yankees have rattled off four straight wins versus the 'stros, winning by a combined score of 29-10.

When Andy Pettitte took the hill Friday night against the aforementioned Astros, he was looking to cross a few items off his list.

Right out the gate, it was going to be his first start against the only other team he played for. If you recall, Pettitte followed his buddy (and fellow Texan) Roger Clemens to Houston for three seasons starting in 2004 and ending in 2006.

Since it was going to be Pettitte's first start against his former club (coincidentally one of two teams he's never faced...the other being the Yankees), he was looking to add another name to the long list of teams he's beaten. In case you were wondering, the Chicago Cubs are the only team the 37 year-old has faced that he hasn't beaten.

And lastly, coming in at 199-110 in pinstripes, the lefty was angling to become just the third pitcher to reach 200 wins in Yankees pinstripes, with Hall of Famers Whitey Ford (236) and Red Ruffing (231) being the other two.

Suffice it to say, Pettitte nailed down number 200 Friday night with a 4-3 win or else this whole diatribe would be moot. But historically, what does 200 wins for one team mean for a player?

There are now five teams that have had three or more pitchers tabulate 200 or more victories with them. Both the Braves and Giants franchises have had five, Detroit has had four and the Indians are tied with the Yankees at three apiece. Interestingly enough, that accounts for close to two-thirds of the pitchers that have reached the milestone with one teams.

Of the now 31 pitchers who have accomplished the feat in one uniform, all but six (Hooks Dauss, George Mullin, Mickey Lolich, Mel Harder, Charlie Root and Wilbur Cooper) have made it to the Hall of Fame with another two (Tom Glavine and John Smoltz) not yet eligible.

So what does that mean for Pettitte?

Does 200 wins for the Bronx Bombers grant him a one-way ticket to Cooperstown like it did Ford and Ruffing or does it just ensure that his number 46 will safely be tucked away in Monument Park alongside other Yankees legends?

It's tough to say right now, but you can bet that my stance hasn't changed since I
first posted it back in December.

Andy Pettitte re-signs with Yankees

BallHype: hype it up!

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