Jared Pettitte was just finishing up his post-outing routine when Florida Complex League Marlins manager Luis Dorante Sr. told him the news: Pettitte and three other pitchers had combined on a seven-inning no-hitter of the Astros Blue team in a 4-0 victory on Saturday.
Pettitte, who was making a rehab appearance, had tossed a perfect fourth and fifth with a strikeout. It was enough to put him in line to earn his first professional win.
"I don't think anybody really realized it," Pettitte told MLB.com. "I definitely didn't. That's how everybody found out. I don't think anybody actually knew because I don't think they have the hit column up on their scoreboard [at the West Palm Beach, Fla., complex]."
Son of Yankees legend Andy, Pettitte has been working his way back from shoulder trouble that has hampered him during his first full pro season. He pitched through it for two months at Single-A Jupiter, where it affected his command and velo to the result of an 18.00 ERA in eight games. Pettitte has been rehabbing for the past 15 weeks, but the end might be in sight: He hopes to rejoin an affiliate this week.
The 24-year-old Pettitte is finding his groove as a full-time reliever for the first time, a role he undertook once signing as an undrafted free agent in July 2021. Rather than a starter's routine every five days, something he did at the University of Houston and Dallas Baptist, he must be ready to pitch on a daily basis.
As a result, advice from his father is resonating now more than ever. The young southpaw often forgets that his dad is a great resource of knowledge as a five-time World Series champion, 256 game winner and runner-up for the 1996 AL Cy Young.
"It's a weird year for sure," Pettitte said. "I heard my dad talk about it all the time: 'It's a long year.' In one ear, out the other. 'I'm young, I'll be fine.' It's a lot of learning experiences. But I guess in that sense, it's been a good year to be able to figure out what I need to do and what I need to do to stay healthy and have a good routine throughout the whole year. I'm finally getting that down, and things are starting to turn around."