Yes it was a meaningless regular season game in the standings, but in reality it was far from it. The 161st game of the baseball season was actually pretty important and memorable.
Well for starters, a large part of me was rooting against the Astros tonight. While I almost feel embarrassed to admit that, I feel to some degree it is warranted. There was something poetic about the way Andy Pettitte‘s career ended tonight in Houston.
It was not just that Pettitte pitched for five World Series champions, while making the World Series eight times, and has 256 career wins. Nor that he pitched 18 seasons (including three with the Astros) without a losing record. In fact, the southpaw needed a win tonight to ensure that he finished his last season with an 11-11 record.
The fact that Pettitte grew up in nearby Deer Park certainly helps along with the fact the lefty played a large role with with the 2005 Astros on their NLCS winning team. But beyond that, this really signifies the end of an era and also brought back memories of the Astros World Series team.
Pettitte picked a pretty good way to close out his career as he completed his first game since 2006. Only a few hours after it was confirmed that Mariano Rivera was not available tonight, Pettitte took the game into his own hands.
In his final start, the 41-year old needed 116 pitches to get through the full nine innings. He allowed just one run on five hits and two walks, while striking out five Astros.
There simply was just no way he was coming out of the game tonight, and this was the perfect way for Pettitte to earn his 256th and final career victory.