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Postseason won't weigh on Andy Pettitte's decision about 2013

Andy Pettitte delivers a pitch in a game

Andy Pettitte delivers a pitch in a game against the Minnesota Twins. (Sept. 24, 2012) Credit: Getty Images

BALTIMORE -- Andy Pettitte will weigh several factors when he decides whether he wants to pitch next season.

How the Yankees fare this month won't be one of them.

"I don't think so," said Pettitte, the Yankees' scheduled ALDS Game 2 starter. "I just think it's going to be a situation where you just need to go home, see if I want to do this again."

As was the case in previous years, the biggest consideration will be the impact on his family.

"It's great when the family is here, in the summer and my family is here and they're running around, but it's not great whenever they're in Texas and I'm in New York, and it's a long way back there," Pettitte said. "You know, it's just going to be really a matter of if I feel like it's something that I want to do again."

Pettitte sounded similar themes as 2010 wound down -- and 2009 and 2008 as well -- so drawing any conclusions based on the above comments would be ill-advised.

Besides, the 40-year-old lefthander said, what he'll be doing Monday night is exactly why he returned after one year of retirement.

"I know one thing: I know the competition and the desire to compete is still there, and I don't feel like I kind of got that itch out from the 70 innings or so that I threw this year," said Pettitte, who is baseball's all-time leader in postseason victories and is 19-9 with a 3.83 ERA in 42 postseason starts. "I was expecting to do a little bit more work than that. But we'll see. We'll see how this goes, and then I'll factor everything probably in."

The first of those 42 postseason starts came in Game 2 of the 1995 ALDS against the Mariners when Pettitte was a 23-year-old rookie. He allowed four runs and nine hits in seven innings in the Yankees' 7-5, 15-inning win.

His manager then was Buck Showalter, who said Sunday he's not surprised that Pettitte still is pitching and still is successful, even after his year of retirement.

"It doesn't surprise me at all with Andy," the Orioles' manager said. "It doesn't. The heart that he has -- you know, the heart and the makeup and the want-to and all that stuff is great."

Showalter stated the obvious as to what has made Pettitte so good in the postseason. "This time of year, talent plays," he said. "He is talented, and that's why he's still capable of giving his team a chance to win. I felt at that time [1995] that Andy hadn't had that much experience under his belt, but that wasn't some astute evaluation to start him. Those things are easy."

Pettitte, typically his own worst critic, is more likely to bring up his playoff failures than successes. "I feel like I've had some good games, but then I feel like I've had some bad games," he said. "I think if you look at my numbers in the postseason, if you have enough opportunities, I think you are what you are. I feel like that my numbers in the postseason are pretty similar to what they are in my career. I'm a benefit of a lot of great teams with a lot of great players around here."

Pettitte, 245-142 with a 3.86 ERA in his career, did allow that his overall experience might be a benefit. Then again, it might not be.

"It can't hurt, that's for sure," he said. "I know I feel good about going into a game and knowing that whatever happens out there is really not going to surprise me. So I mean, that's a good feeling. But as far as everyone talking about a kind of advantage or whatever, I'm not real sure.

"You know, hopefully it is an advantage to us. Hopefully their inexperience is an advantage to us. But you know, I don't see that happening. I see them as a very good team. I see them -- that we're going to have to play real well to beat these guys."

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