Andy Pettitte had two goals Tuesday: To get his World Series ring during the on-field ceremony and to pitch well against the Angels.
He did both.
Pettitte, who won the clinching game in all three postseason rounds last year, was the first player announced during the ceremony. He ran to the tables in front of the pitcher's mound, took the ring from manager Joe Girardi, hugged Hall of Famers Yogi Berra and Whitey Ford, and ran back into the dugout.
"It was halfhearted," he said. "You just run out there. But I wanted to go out there and get it."
Then Pettitte went out to the bullpen and warmed up for his start while his teammates came out, one by one, and received their rings. He couldn't help sneaking peeks, especially when the Yankees mobbed World Series MVP Hideki Matsui.
Said Pettitte: "As much as I tried not to pay attention to what was going on and thinking about the game when I started my warm-ups, just to see Matsui get his ring and then the guys . . . I'm out there warming up, I'm like, 'Man, I'd like to be in that huddle giving him a hug.' "
Pettitte had no such friendly feelings during the game, though. He got Matsui out three times en route to throwing six shutout innings in the Yankees' 7-5 win over the Angels.
Pettitte (2-0, 0.75 ERA) allowed five hits and three walks. He had his strikeout pitch working early, fanning six - his total for the day - in the first four innings as the Yankees built a 3-0 lead.
He worked out of a pair of jams in his final two innings. The Angels had runners on second and third with one out in the fifth when Pettitte got Bobby Abreu to pop to third and Torii Hunter to bounce to short.
In the sixth, Pettitte induced an inning-ending 6-4-3 double play from Howie Kendrick with two runners on base.
And all that after Pettitte was worried that the ring ceremony would throw off his pre-start preparation. "I'm such a creature of habit," he said. "Anything that's kind of out of the ordinary kind of breaks my routine up . . . Just thankful I was able to give us a good start."
Pettitte improved to 4-0, 2.25 in four Yankees home openers. He also beat the Royals in the snow in 1996 and the Devil Rays (2002) and Twins (2003). Only Ford, with five, has won more Yankees home openers.
This was the first time Pettitte pitched on a ring ceremony day, however.
"This game, with the ring ceremony, I almost felt more pressure than a World Series game," he said. "Unless it's a Game 6 or a Game 7, you know you have another game, but this was just a special day for our organization, for our fans, and for our team, and you want to win it."