Pettitte to team: Don't be afraid to fail

Last week, Andy Pettitte used the word "exciting" to describe the tightening AL East divisional race, in which his team squandered a 10-game lead over the Baltimore Orioles to fall into a first-place tie.

Today, he was asked if he still considered it exciting that the Yankees were continuing to struggle with just 21 games left in the season.

"I mean, yeah, it is exciting," he said. "Obviously, we had a big lead and that lead is gone but this is what it’s all about. If you don’t embrace this and you don’t enjoy this, if you’re scared of this situation, you’re not going to be very successful. So it’s exciting and it’s fun. Do you want to fail? No. But you can’t be scared of failure, that’s for sure."

Easy for Pettitte to say. His record in postseason games, the most pressure-laden situation baseball can offer, is 19-10 with a 3.83 ERA.

But Pettitte, who hopes to return to the Yankees' rotation sometime next week, expressed optimism that his teammates will pull out of their current slide and win the AL East.

"I think we got a lot of experience in here, a lot of guys who have done it, and usually if you’re healthy and guys are feeling good, that usually wins out, I think," Pettitte said. "I think we’re a very competent group. I know we’re all pulling for one another. I just think we got a good group of men in here and I think we’re going to be able to pull this thing together and win this thing. We got too much talent not to."