Heart of a Champion

October
18, 2010 – In the top of the seventh, Alex Rodriguez nearly made the third out
on a soft grounder to his right, but Jeff Francoeur beat the throw by a hair.
The next batter, Bengie Molina, hit a hard shot down the third-base line. A-Rod
dove for the ball, snagged it and made a long throw to Mark Teixeira for the
final out.

A-Rod’s
stand-out play came on Andy Pettitte’s last pitch. Pettitte went seven innings, allowing 2 runs on 5 hits. While Pettitte left the game
trailing, 2-0, it wasn’t for a lack of effort. By giving the Yankees six
consecutive scoreless innings after falling behind 2-0 to one of the game’s
best pitchers, Pettitte showed as much will as he did in some of his great
postseason wins.

Put
yourself in Pettitte’s shoes after the first inning. You’re losing, 2-0,
against a pitcher that is locked in and barely giving up any hits. Think about
how easy it would be after the first inning to become demoralized. But Pettitte
became almost unhittable, retiring 20 out of the next 23 batters and only
giving up three singles (one of which didn’t even leave the infield).

Pettitte
is a professional in every sense of the word. He’s one of the greatest
competitors in Yankees history – and that is not an overstatement. He proved
both of those statements tonight.

–Alfred
Santasiere III

20101018_PETTITTE_ALCS_GAME3_AG_817.jpg

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