HOUSTON — Andy Pettitte is just like any other baseball dad who happens to have played 17 MLB seasons for the New York Yankees and Houston Astros and won five World Series titles.
“He sends me a text before every game that says, ‘Good luck buddy, to God be the glory.’ ” Josh Pettitte said. “He’s just a bystander now.”
Well, sort of. The younger Pettitte, who plays for Deer Park High School near Houston, threw a no-hitter on Friday against the Boerne (Texas) Champion Greyhounds. He struck out 10 and walked one, and then admitted it is pretty helpful to have one of the best pitchers of a generation as your father.
“We’ll talk about pitch sequences and what he would have done,” Josh said. “It’s pretty good to talk to him about this stuff, because he knows what he’s talking about. He’s one of the most mentally tough players there is out there. We talk about the mental parts of the game.”
That training and genetic makeup may have helped Josh on Friday. Entering the fifth inning, he still had a perfect game going — and his teammates had noticed. On top of that subtle pressure, Josh also had to hit, something he thought might have helped him on the mound.
“It helped me to stay relaxed,” he said.
Although this was Josh’s first no-hitter, it wasn’t some kind of fluke. He had a no-hitter going through five innings in a game last year, but he didn’t get to go for the complete game because his team was winning 24-0. The 6-foot-1 right-hander had a 0.89 ERA as a junior last season, and he has signed a letter of intent to play at Baylor next year. He says he throws his fastball in the upper 80s to low 90s and throws it with two or four seams. He also has a cut fastball, a curveball and a change-up and feels he can throw them all for strikes.
As for following in his father’s footsteps, Josh says he hardly can help it.
“We are identical,” he said. “Everyone tells us that. We make the exact same faces, everything.”