Yanks help Pettitte celebrate 40th birthday

Yanks help Pettitte celebrate 40th birthday

WASHINGTON -- The Yankees had some cupcakes in the visiting clubhouse at Nationals Park that could double as a birthday treat for Andy Pettitte. The bigger problem might have been rounding up 40 small candles for the celebration.

"I went out for stretch and Raul [Ibanez] said, 'How's it feel? I had a little anxiety for a couple of days,'" Pettitte said. "It's not really much different. I feel like I did yesterday, so that's a good thing."

Since Jamie Moyer is toiling in Triple-A for the Orioles, Pettitte temporarily owns the title of baseball's oldest starting pitcher. He is joined by Ibanez, who turned 40 on June 2, and 42-year-old Mariano Rivera in the Bombers' plus-40 club.

"We've got two 40-year-old guys in there now, and one on the DL," manager Joe Girardi said. "It's really pretty amazing. Time goes fast. It's hard to believe he's 40 years old. As long as he's around, I still feel young."

Pettitte said that he "definitely feels old around here" and that he is "the butt of a lot of jokes right now." But his focus is on pitching Saturday, when he'll have to contend with a Nationals lineup that should include 19-year-old phenom Bryce Harper.

"Especially when I've got a kid that in three or four months is going to be 18, that's definitely strange," Pettitte said. "You've got to go to the scouting reports and try to figure out how to get the kid out. I'll be out there grinding."