It should be an emotional day in the Bronx on Sunday, as Andy Pettitte takes the ball for what could be the final time at Yankee Stadium in the conclusion of a three-game set against the San Francisco Giants.
In addition to it being Pettitte's final Bronx appearance, the Yankees also plan on honoring the great Mariano Rivera, who, of course, is also stepping away from the game at the end of this season.
"It's like brothers," Rivera said of him and Pettitte going out together. "We came up with this organization at the same time. We've been through good times and bad times, but at the same time, we have enjoyed what we do. Now we're going out together, too."
Pettitte announced on Friday that this will be his final year. After Sunday's start, he's expected to make one more appearance in his hometown of Houston against the only other team he has played for, the Astros.
Of course, Pettitte previously announced his retirement in 2011, but returned to the Yankees in 2012. This time, though, there likely won't be a comeback.
"I'm announcing my retirement prior to the conclusion of our season because I want all of our fans to know now -- while I'm still wearing this uniform -- how grateful I am for their support throughout my career," Pettitte said in a statement released through the Yankees. "I want to have the opportunity to tip my cap to them during these remaining days and thank them for making my time here with the Yankees so special.
"I've reached the point where I know that I've left everything I have out there on that field. The time is right. I've exhausted myself, mentally and physically, and that's exactly how I want to leave this game."
Pettitte is 10-10 with a 3.93 ERA in 28 starts this year.
A five-time World Series champion (1996, 1998, 1999, 2000, 2009), three-time All-Star (1996, 2001, 2010) and 2001 ALCS MVP, Pettitte's 218 wins with the Yankees rank third in club history, behind only Whitey Ford (236) and Red Ruffing (231), and he has recorded more strikeouts than any pitcher in Yankees history.
"One of the things I struggled with in making this announcement now was doing anything to take away from Mariano's day on Sunday," Pettitte said. "It is his day. He means so much to me, and has meant so much to my career that I would just hate to somehow take the attention away from him."
New York has won the first two games of this set and on Saturday rolled, 6-0, behind a six-hit shutout from Ivan Nova. Alfonso Soriano and Eduardo Nunez homered in the win for the Yanks, who are three games back of the second wild card spot in the AL.
"Every time you go out there, you hope to have a good game," said Nova, who logged his third career complete game. "If you have a complete game, it's a great feeling, especially for the time that we are in."
Ryan Vogelsong (3-6) allowed five runs on five hits over five innings for the Giants, who went 0-for-5 with runners in scoring position and stranded seven.
Yusmeiro Petit takes the ball for the Giants on Sunday trying to keep his perfect record intact. Petit won again on Tuesday in New York, as he held the Mets to a four runs and seven hits in six innings to run his record to 4-0 to go along with a 3.08 ERA.
The Giants haven't faced the Yankees since taking two of three from them back in 2007. San Fran, though, lost two of three in its only other trip to the Bronx.