Able is another.
"Oh yeah," Andy Pettitte said with a definitive nod when FanHouse asked if he'd be able to pitch Game 6 of the World Series on short rest. "Whenever they tell me to pitch."
But how will it go?
CC Sabathia was fine on three days' rest in Game 4. A.J. Burnett -- less durable than Sabathia but younger than Pettitte -- was awful in Game 5.
Game 5: Phillies 8, Yankees 6 | Box Score | Series Home
And while manager Joe Girardi stopped short of committing to Pettitte, he has no real choice, and Pettitte said, "I'm plenty up for it."
Pettitte, who started and won Saturday while throwing 104 pitches, said he threw Monday and felt fine.
So what to expect from him on Wednesday?
Pettitte is 37 with a history of elbow problems -- and he skipped a start in September with "shoulder fatigue."
Of course, he is the all-time leader in postseason wins, and he has made five playoff starts on three days' rest, going 3-1 with a 2.80 ERA in them.
In his 12 regular-season starts on short rest (not counting those following a relief outing), Pettitte is 2-6 with a 4.70 ERA. The most recent of those games was Sept. 30, 2006, for Houston.
But perhaps the most germane fact is this: Pettitte has not come back to start three days after throwing 100 or more pitches since July 19, 2001.
When he was 29 years old.
And in that game, at Detroit, he allowed seven runs on 10 hits in four innings.
Girardi said he would check with Pettitte during Tuesday's workout at Yankee Stadium before committing to him in Game 6.
"Physically I've got to see how he is," Girardi said. "He threw a side [session] today and felt good. But I'll check with him tomorrow."
Girardi said his decision would be based solely on Pettitte's state and would not factor in Burnett's struggles Monday.
"If Andy physically feels good, he's going to go on Wednesday," Girardi said. "This is something that we talked about all throughout. We check with our guys.
|Pedro Martinez vs. Andy Pettitte head-to-head (all regular season, all Red Sox vs. Yankees, have never faced each other in postseason):|
|5/31/98 (@NY)||W, 5.2 IP, 4 R||L, 2.2 IP, 6 H, 8 R|
|9/10/99 (@NY)||W, 9 IP, 1 ER, 17 K||L, 6 IP, 2 R|
|6/10/00 (@Bos)||L, 8 IP, 3 R, 9 SO||W, 7.2 IP, 6 H, 0 R|
|9/9/00 (@Bos)||L, 7 IP, 3 R, 9 SO||W, 8 IP, 1 R|
|8/30/03 (@Bos)||L, 4 IP, 9 H, 5 R||W, 7 IP, 4 R, 7 SO|
|9/5/03 (@NY)||W, 6 IP, 1 R, 9 SO||L, 2.1 IP, 9 H, 8 R|
|TOTALS||3-3, 3.86 ERA||3-3, 5.88 ERA|
Burnett said he felt good, but this is what he did Monday: two-plus innings, six runs, four hits, four walks and a hit batter.
After beginning the third inning by going walk-walk-single-single he spent the rest of the inning in the dugout hanging his head.
"I let 25 guys down," he said later, "and I let the city down."
Burnett threw 28 strikes and 25 balls and started nine of 15 batters with a strike -- a far cry from his Game 2 outing, when the Phillies were looking for fastballs, and got them, but didn't attack because Burnett was putting them on the corners at 95 mph.
Not so in Game 5.
"I didn't throw strikes," he said.
Girardi said he didn't think there was "any correlation" between Burnett's short rest and his outing, the shortest by a World Series starter since Roger Clemens in 2005.
"He just lacked command tonight," Girardi said, "similar to what he did in [Game 5 of the ALCS in] Anaheim. But he was able to recover better there. Tonight he just wasn't able to get it going."
Said Burnett: "No, I felt good. I felt strong. It was a matter of locating pitches, and I didn't do that."
Asked if the short rest might have affected his command, Burnett said, "I don't think so. ... I felt great in the [bullpen]. I was throwing strikes in the 'pen. I just didn't get it done in the game.
"I just couldn't get the ball where I wanted to. Everything was up. I had no hook [curve] tonight."
Who really knows when short rest is a factor? All we can really tell is Sabathia seems built to do it when necessary, because of his frame. Whether short rest caused Burnett to implode is impossible to tell.
So we have no idea what to expect from Pettitte.
And it will almost certainly be Pettitte, because Plan B is Chad Gaudin -- who has thrown one competitive inning and 13 pitches in the past month.
So the Yankees will try to become the first team since the 1991 Twins to win the World Series with a three-man postseason rotation.
The Yankees are in this situation because, even with a $200 million payroll, they don't have a reliable fourth starter.
Chien-Ming Wang got hurt, Phil Hughes was too valuable in the bullpen (until the postseason) to move back to a starting role and the self-imposed innings limit on Joba Chamberlain screwed him up in so many ways -- pitch selection, aggressiveness and length of outings late in the season -- that he wasn't a starting option in the playoffs.
Thus Pettitte will become the third straight Yankees starter going on three days' rest.
And the Yankees need a long outing from him, since their relievers other than Mariano Rivera have allowed 34 hits and walked 11 in 28 1/3 innings.
If Pettitte isn't up to the task Wednesday, then there will be a Game 7.
With Sabathia starting.
On short rest, of course.