First Pitch: Andy Pettitte, Round 2

Joe Girardi and Larry Rothschild think Andy Pettitte will be better. In fact, they make tonight against the Reds sound sort of easy.

In Game No. 2 of Pettitte's comeback, he won't have to deal with the incessant attention his return brought.

"Whenever you come back to a place where you are so well-received, it is somewhat of an event and there is a lot of anticipation," Girardi said. "We got through that, I think it will be easier for him."

Pettitte was hit hard in this first start against the normally punchless Mariners. After 3 2/3 innings of hitless baseball, Pettitte gave up seven hits, two homers and four runs over his final 2 2/3 innings.

"The stuff was good," Rothschild said. "He didn't have as good a cutter as I think he will have as we go forward, but he made a couple of pitches, mistakes that they didn't miss, but other than that he pitched well."

Pettitte had his velocity, even dialing it up to 90. Now, it is just refining his game so he can go through orders a couple of times. At least, that's Rothschild's story.

"I think it is just getting back in the flow of the game and just making the pitches he knows he can make," Rothschild said. "The first time out, that is pretty much a different situation. This is now just getting back in the routine of what he does."

UP NOW: My column asking: Why exactly should we think the Yankees are really good? And what should they do with Mark Teixeira? Kieran Darcy says the Mets are better than the Yankees.

ON DECK: Katie Sharp has the always fun YankeeMetrics coming your way this morning at 10:30. Your pitching matchups for the series with the Reds: Friday, Pettitte (0-1, 5.68) vs. Bronson Arroyo (2-1, 3.25); Saturday, Ivan Nova (4-1, 5.44) vs. Homer Bailey (1-3, 4.35); Sunday, CC Sabathia (5-1, 3.77) vs. Johnny Cueto (4-1, 1.89)

IN THE HOLE: The very cool Wallace Matthews will be your pilot on Friday night in the Bronx.

QUESTION OF THE DAY: What do you think Pettitte will deliver?