ATLANTA -- Yankees veteran pitcher Andy Pettitte threw a bullpen session on Wednesday, hours before the finale of a three-game Interleague series against the Braves at Turner Field, and he said there were no lingering effects from his bruised left hand. Though there was still some discoloration, Pettitte said he's a go for his next start, on Saturday against the Nationals against right-hander Jordan Zimmermann at Nationals Park. "It feels fine -- there were no problems out there today," Pettitte said. "I'm good to go. I've never pitched in that ballpark, and I'm looking forward to it."
During the sixth inning of Sunday's 5-4 victory over the Mets at Yankee Stadium, Pettitte instinctively reacted to Scott Hairston's grounder up the middle by stabbing at it with his throwing hand. He fielded the ball cleanly and threw to first base for an out. Pettitte finished the inning, but then came out of the game. He underwent X-rays, which were negative, and left the ballpark with his hand wrapped in a bandage. The swelling and bandage are long gone. Pettitte is on track to make his seventh start since returning from a hiatus that lasted more than a year with a loss to the Mariners on May 13. Pettitte has won three of his last five starts and has uncharacteristically struck out 40 batters in 41 2/3 innings. For his career, Pettitte has about two strikeouts for every three innings pitched. "People ask me about all the strikeouts, and I can't explain it," said Pettitte, who whiffed a season-high 10 Rays on June 5 and another eight Mets on Sunday. "I feel like I'm throwing the ball well, and it feels good coming out of my hand. I'm just going to roll with it." Pettitte said he had a telephone conversation on Tuesday night with another veteran pitcher who is working his way toward a return to the Majors: close friend Roy Oswalt. Oswalt was teammates with Pettitte on the Astros from 2004-06, and both pitched for the '05 team that was swept by the White Sox in the World Series. Oswalt, recovering from a back injury, signed on May 29 with the Rangers and is close to joining the club, which has recently suffered injuries to starting pitchers Neftali Feliz and Alexi Ogando. Because of his own injuries and personal issues, Oswalt had an abbreviated 2011 season with the Phillies. "He sounded good and says he's healthy," Pettitte said of Oswalt. "I really believe he'll do very well. He's ready to go."