Sports Outside the Beltway

Pettitte wins number 200, pulls Yankees to 1.5 games behind Boston

by Ty Kepner -

When it all began for Andy Pettitte and the Yankees, in April 1995, his wife and their infant son were living with relatives. Pettitte had earned $2,100 a month in the minors the year before, and he was eager to buy a home for his young family by making a name in baseball.

The years since have been very good to Pettitte. He has earned more than $75 million, and while there are bigger names in baseball, there are few more prolific winners.

Pettitte earned his 200th career victory at Yankee Stadium last night by beating the Baltimore Orioles, 2-1. Since the start of Pettitte’s career, only Greg Maddux (215) and Randy Johnson (203) have won more often.

Joba Chamberlain struck out Melvin Mora with a slider to end the eighth, and Mariano Rivera held on in a 34-pitch ninth, overcoming a one-out bloop double by Nick Markakis and two-out walks by Aubrey Huff and Ramón Hernández. Rivera earned his 30th save when Scott Moore struck out looking.

By holding the Orioles to a run and seven hits in seven and two-thirds innings, Pettitte helped the Yankees in two races. They are only a game and a half behind first-place Boston in the American League East and lead Detroit by five and a half games for the wild card.

The playoffs seem like a lock now, but winning the division (and hopefully getting homefield advantage) would be very, very nice.

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