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A catcher's take on Andy Pettitte

New York Yankees pitcher Andy Pettitte delivers in

New York Yankees pitcher Andy Pettitte delivers in the first inning of a Double-A baseball game with the Trenton Thunder against the Erie Seawolves in Trenton, N.J. (April 25, 2012) Photo Credit: AP

TRENTON, N.J. - In total, there were about 8,200 people at Waterfront Park on Wednesday, there to watch Andy Pettitte’s every move, but none had the vantage point of 24-year-old Jeff Farnham, who could hardly believe where he was squatting.

Farnham’s sixth game as Trenton’s catcher was one he won’t forget anytime soon.

“I couldn’t agree more,” Farnham said. “It was almost surreal looking up and…”

Seeing No. 46 staring down over the top of his glove was where Farnham was going with that quote, but he couldn't finish it. His voice trailed off.

Pettitte stood right in front of him in the Trenton clubhouse. Their tiny lockers were next to each other.

When Major League stars make rehab trips -- or, in Pettitte’s case, a rebuilding start -- in the minors, it’s not only the fans that get giddy about seeing them. It’s often equally exciting for those temporary teammates, too.

Farnham, who grew up in Las Vegas, said he was an Angels fan growing up but of course couldn’t avoid seeing the Yankees and Pettitte as they paved their path of dominance. The opportunity to catch Pettitte was one he couldn’t even envision coming up.

“You work your whole life toward this,” Farnham said.

Farnham said he tried to treat it like any other start, sitting down with Pettitte before the game to go over their plan and matchups. Yes, Pettitte was listening to the scouting reports of Double-A hitters.

And, yes, Farnham called the pitches. For the most part, the pair looked in synch. Only twice did Farnham go out to the mound for a discussion.

And while Pettitte’s outing wasn’t flawless -- he allowed four runs (three earned) on seven hits in five-plus innings -- Farnham didn’t have much to critique him on after the game.

Farnham might change one thing if Pettitte makes another start for the Thunder: pack some Pepto Bismol.

“I thought the butterflies were going to go away early,” Farnham said, “but they stuck with me.”

Watch highlights from Pettitte's start in Trenton below.


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