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Yankees game postponed; Andy Pettitte anxious to get back on mound Wednesday afternoon

Andy Pettitte sits in the dugout against the

Andy Pettitte sits in the dugout against the Baltimore Orioles in a game at Yankee Stadium. (Aug. 31, 2012) Credit: Getty Images

Andy Pettitte is living proof that the waiting is the hardest part.

With the forecast calling for heavy rain and high winds, the Yankees postponed Tuesday night's game against the Blue Jays a little after 4 p.m.

That move delayed Pettitte's first start in nearly three months to Wednesday afternoon at 1:05, when the teams will play the first game of a day-night, separate-admission doubleheader. The second game is scheduled for 7:10.

Pettitte, who has been out since June 27 with a fractured left fibula suffered when he was hit with a ball off the bat of Cleveland's Casey Kotchman, chose to pitch the first game. David Phelps will start the nightcap.

"I love day games," Pettitte said. "I'm an early bird."

He's also really antsy about getting back on the mound. Pettitte hasn't thrown to a live hitter since he was injured; he made his last simulated game start a week ago. He's also been talking about this return for what seems to him to be a longer time than it took Hannibal to cross the Alps.

"I ain't going to lie to you," Pettitte said. "I'm tired of talking about it. I just want to go out there and pitch, and hopefully give this team a chance to win that ballgame, and move forward from there.''

The rainout did have a negative impact on the Yankees: Pettitte probably will get to make only three starts instead of four before the end of the regular season. Since he's up to only about 75 pitches, it will interesting to see if the 40-year-old can be sharp enough to help the Yankees get into the playoffs and pitch for them if they make it.

"I mean, if I needed to make another start, I could," Pettitte said. "It's not like I couldn't pitch on another day or whatever. I would have loved to throw today and have no rain and be able to make four starts hopefully before we go to a postseason game, but we can't do nothing about it, so you've just got to go with the hand you're dealt."

Manager Joe Girardi is also not thrilled about having to play two games in one day. The Yankees went into Tuesday with a half-game lead over the Orioles in the AL East. Baltimore played a late game at Seattle.

"It's a long day for the guys and you're not going to play some of the guys two games,'' Girardi said. "You probably physically can't do that. We're in a stretch where they're going to go 15 days in a row, so you have to be smart about that. A lot of guys are going to play.''

Girardi didn't say if Derek Jeter will be one of those guys who plays only one game. Jeter has been limited to designated-hitter duties since Thursday because of a bone bruise in his left ankle. Girardi said he didn't consider whether Jeter could return to shortstop for Tuesday night's game because he never expected it to be played because of the forecast and didn't make out a lineup.

"My guess is he'll tell me he feels great and he'll want to play both," Girardi said. "But I'll have to see."


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