First Pitch: Andy must get even better

BALTIMORE -- Since returning from his strained trapezius in early June, Andy Pettitte is 2-3 with a 4.83 ERA in five starts.

Pettitte needs to do more if the Yankees are going to do anything in the second half of the season. A Yankees revival will be led by their pitching. Overall, Pettitte, making $12 million, is 5-6 with a 4.22 ERA start so far.

"He had the real good first month," manager Joe Girardi said. "Then he kind of went through some starts where he didn't feel like he had all his weapons. I think he has had them all now. One inning, here or there, has cost him."

In his last start against Texas, Pettitte threw two scoreless innings before a four-spot in the third got him in the 8-5 Yankees loss.

Pettitte, 41, began 3-0 with a 2.01 ERA in his first three starts. Since then, he is 2-6 with a 5.06 ERA.

UP NOW: I ask the question: Will the next 81 even be as good as the first 81?

ON DECK: Mark Simon and Katie Sharp have some great stuff on Pettitte about to pass Whitey Ford as the all-time Yankees strikeout leader. Here is some trivia that they will answer when it is posted prior to lunch: Who has Pettitte struck out the most in his career?

IN THE HOLE: Monday, Andy Pettitte (5-6, 4.22) vs. Scott Diamond (5-7, 5.40). Tuesday, Phil Hughes (3-7, 4.82) vs. Samuel Deduno (4-2, 3.32). Wednesday, CC Sabathia (8-6, 4.15) vs. P.J. Walters (2-4, 6.03). Thursday, David Phelps (5-5, 4.95) vs. Kyle Gibson (3.00).

The great Wallace Matthews will have you covered from the Twin Cities.

QUESTIONS OF THE DAY: What have you thought of Pettitte this season?