Originally posted on Pro Sports Daily  |  Last updated 5/19/12

Now does everyone see why the New York Yankees believed Andy Pettitte would provide a major upgrade to their

starting rotation?

In just his second start following a 19-month layoff, the unretired lefty tossed eight scoreless innings

Friday night in a 4-0 interleague victory over Cincinnati, halting their three-game skid. It was Pettitte's

first regular-season win since July 8, 2010, but the 241st of his major-league career, tied for 52nd on the

all-time list.

"I really feel like I was able to do whatever I wanted out there tonight," said Pettitte, who struck out

nine. "I felt good, there's no doubt about it. Everything was working."

The 39-year-old Pettitte's turn-back-the-clock performance was confirmation for the Yankees that the

possible future Hall of Famer should slide into the front end of their rotation, perhaps behind ace CC

Sabathia, if he can remain healthy over the remainder of the season. Pettitte pitched encouragingly well --

but was tagged for a pair of two-run homers and admittedly was "a little tight" -- in his first start back

last Sunday against Seattle.

"I'm looking forward to him getting on a routine that he's used to and not having to answer so many

questions," manager Joe Girardi said. "It's just a normal season for him now. Every fifth day he's going to

go out and take the baseball."

The remainder of the Yankees rotation includes Ivan Nova -- a 16-game winner as a rookie last season --

and two pitchers who have been inconsistent to start the season -- veteran Hiroki Kuroda and former All-Star

Phil Hughes.

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