Sep
28

The shortsightedness of starting Sabathia

By

(AP Photo/Kathy Willens)

Joe Girardi announced after last night’s game that CC Sabathia will in fact make tonight’s start on his normal turn rather than be pushed back to Friday, which would have set him up perfectly to start Game One of the ALDS on normal rest. Instead, the Yanks are prioritizing their magic number of one over setting up the playoff rotation. There’s almost no other way to view this move as anything but panic and shockingly bad decision making.

Like I said, the magic number is one. All the Yankees have to do to finally clinch that damn playoff spot is win one of their last five regular season games or have the Red Sox lose one their six remaining games. There’s no need to pray for a miracle here, no need to go out and make such shortsighted decisions. I know that everyone on the team has maintained that they still have their eyes on the division and home field advantage, but get real. The Rays hold a virtual one-and-a-half game lead (because of the tie breaker) and time has simply run out on that front. This recent 6-14 stretch has ruined any AL East crown aspirations.

So what happens now is that Sabathia starts tonight’s game, then has a full eight days off before starting Game One of the ALDS next Wednesday. They could do something ridiculous like have him throw 40-50 pitches on Sunday as a tune-up, but who knows if or how that will work. That’s why starting him tonight is so asinine. Instead of starting him Friday and getting the eight day’s rest out of the way early they’re doing it backwards and rolling the dice that the long layoff won’t effect their ace too much. That seems like a mighty big risk to take given the importance of next Wednesday’s start.

There’s no question that Sabathia could use a little extra rest before the playoffs, everyone can, it’s just a matter of when he gets it. He’s two outs away from last year’s total of 230 regular season innings with one start left. Because of their enormous division lead, the Yanks were able to give all of their starters extra days off last September, with CC’s last four starts coming on no fewer than five day’s rest. There has been no such luxury this year, with just one of his last four starts coming on more than the usual four day’s rest. After 266.1 combined innings (regular season and playoffs) last year, the Yanks have been unable to give their ace a little bit of a breather down the stretch. There’s nothing they can do about it now, they just have to hope for the best next Wednesday.

The alternative to Sabathia tonight would be Javy Vazquez, who hasn’t had a good start in what feels like months. Even if he were to lose they’d still be able to fall back on Andy Pettitte tomorrow to clinch that playoff spot, or Phil Hughes over the weekend. Like I said, all it takes is one win or one Red Sox loss the rest of the way to lock up that playoff berth. If the worst case plays out the and the two teams need to play a Game 163 to determine the Wild Card, well then the Yankees have far, far bigger problems that setting up their playoff rotation.

Who knows, maybe Sabathia went to Girardi and rest of the decision makers and demanded the ball for tonight’s game. He’s proven to be a rather dogged competitor that always puts the team first, but that’s a situation where the parents have to take the lollipop away from the kid. They have to do what’s best for the team rather than meet CC’s wants, and in this case the most important thing for the Yankees is to get their playoff rotation in order. Starting him tonight does the exact opposite.

The Yanks have been playing like garbage for close to three weeks now and like a .500 team for two months, and it’s turned up the heat in the kitchen a little bit. They still have a 99.8% chance of making the playoffs, and get that final 0.2% seems to have consumed the decision making. Girardi’s managerial style has flip flopped between resting players for the long haul and slamming his foot on the pedal to win this month, but this is a scenario where he and everyone else involved needs to lay back and look at the big picture. The lack of … I almost want to call it planning and foresight, is stunning.

A lot of things have gone wrong over the last few weeks, particularly with the starting pitching. Vazquez lost his job to a rookie that struggles to complete five innings, A.J. Burnett has been historically bad, and Andy Pettitte’s return from a groin injury has been half good, half awful. They have one sure thing in the starting rotation right now, and that’s CC Sabathia, but they sure are doing one hell of job in trying to screw that up too.

Categories : Rants
  • http://www.secondavenuesagas.com Benjamin Kabak

    As a long-winded addendum to Mike’s post because I too am annoyed at this move, I present Jon Morosi’s argument:

    I am fully aware that Vazquez has had a lousy second tenure with the Yankees. (“Timid” might be the better adjective.) He plunked three Rays in a row during his last outing. So, yeah, his reputation for coming up small is intact.

    But look at it this way: His second-half inconsistencies don’t look so awful in comparison to Burnett’s. In fact, Vazquez has the lower ERA (albeit barely) over the past two months. At this point, he is no more combustible than the Pie Man.

    Plus, he’s ready. Physically, that is. Vazquez told me Monday night that he had thrown a bullpen session two days prior — in other words, as if he had started instead of relieved while throwing 60 pitches last Thursday.

    I asked Vazquez if he is stretched out enough to start. He said yes. After all, he lasted three innings (two earned runs) in that appearance. If Burnett had pitched that “well” on Monday, the Yankees might have clinched.

    Also, let’s not overestimate the task at hand. The Yankees don’t need a vintage Sabathia start on Tuesday. They would take five or six decent innings opposite Toronto rookie Kyle Drabek, who has yet to win a game in the major leagues. And they need those innings from someone who is not preoccupied with getting ready for a postseason start. Vazquez qualifies.

    If he flops, oh well. Andy Pettitte would be ready to start on Wednesday, followed by Sabathia and Phil Hughes during the first two games in Boston. I have a hard time thinking the Yankees, with the most potent offense in the American League, would go 0-for-3 there.

    Most importantly, Girardi would have his pitchers lined up for the playoffs. Sabathia would go on regular rest in Game 1, and Girardi could give Pettitte and Hughes extra time to prepare for Games 2 and 3, in some order.

    The Yankees could make it through a five-game ALDS with just three starting pitchers — as long as Sabathia pitches on short rest once. But the plan will spin off its axis if Sabathia takes the mound on Tuesday. He will have too much rest before the playoffs begin, which can be worse than not enough.

    By starting Vazquez on Tuesday, Girardi would show the proper amount of faith in his players: I know you’re good enough to win at least one of these last five games, so I’m going to plan for the ultimate goal that all of us want to achieve.

    That last line is the kicker to me. Starting Sabathia reeks of desperation and the Yankees just aren’t in a spot where they should be acting desperate.

    • Jobu

      I agree. Starting Hughes on Sunday seemed like a bit of a panic move but at least there was some sound logic behind it. This just seems like a poor decision that will have negative ramifications in the next couple of weeks.

    • brian

      The fact that Vasquez and Burnett haven’t had back to back quality starts since May is enough reason to not start either of those guys for the rest of the season or post season. Starting CC tonight on his normal turn is in a word normal. There is no panic in this move as it should be done. The Yanks haven’t assured themselves a playoff spot and if AJ goes out last night and dominates he would make this argument moot. CC has to start because the Yanks need to get the playoff spot secured.

      Whether they win the division or not shouldn’t be a concern as they need to ensure they are playing better baseball before they worry about being the division leader or having home field advantage in the AL playoffs. CC on 8 days rest should be fine and giving him 30 -50 pitches on his normal turn wouldn’t hurt him either since the game on Sunday literally won’t matter if he wins tonight.

      • http://www.secondavenuesagas.com Benjamin Kabak

        There is no panic in this move as it should be done. The Yanks haven’t assured themselves a playoff spot.

        In “OH MY GOD THEY COULD COLLAPSE” land, that’s true. But the Yanks have a 5.5-game lead on a playoff spot with 5 games left for them to play and six for their opponent. As I said, one win or one loss, and it’s over. Ruining the postseason rotation for that one win is short-sighted.

        • brian

          So is CC not starting game 1 of the ALDS if the Yanks don’t collapse? Cause giving him 8 days rest kind of ensures he will start game 1 which is exactly where he should be starting. Bottom line is you clinch the postseason berth immediately and you don’t wait till you need to win. Start him tonight and you have the postseason locked and then you can sort out the no. 2 and 3 starters.

        • Chris

          As I said, one win or one loss, and it’s over. Ruining the postseason rotation for that one win is short-sighted.

          The only way the post season rotation would be ruined is if the Yankees lose the next 4 games and the Red Sox win the next 5, thus meaning that CC would pitch on Sunday to assure a playoff win. Then CC would be lined up for games 2 (on 3 DR) and 5 of the ALDS. And that’s the worst case scenario. More likely, the Yankees clinch a playoff spot and CC starts tonight and then in game 1.

        • Sara

          When CC was with the Brewers he pitched on 3 days rest the whole end of the season. This one start is not nearly as big of a deal as you are trying to make it out to be. The Rays started David Price last night. And you don’t hear Rays fans bickering and moaning about it. CC is one of the most for sure thing for the Yankees. He’s the least of everyones problems.

    • Sal

      CC will go tonight and my guess he will throw a a inning or two either on his normal works day fri or sunday . sunday would be his normal work day if he’s starting Wedesday. I rather have the extra rest before going into the playoffs then a week before if rested tonight.

      you have to work backwards if CC is to pitch Wedesday what’s his normal work day I believe its Sundauy or monday, either way he gets his bullpem work in then and going into wedesday all will be normal

      besides you win tonight and you can give guts 2 and 3 days rest. CC isn’t the whole team

      • CBean

        CC’s our best starter and he has actually said that he’d prefer to start the post-season on normal rest and feels more comfortable pitching with normal rest. There is no need to pitch him tonight and risk him feeling more uncomfortable with all the rest he’s gotten for the first start when we are one game from clinching the post-season. Especially considering Andy’s pitching tomorrow and we can clinch in a loss if the Red Sox also lose.

        • brian

          I don’t think it is wise to wait for the Red Sox to lose. It is much easier to secure a playoff spot by winning your games instead of hoping the other teams loses theirs.

          • http://www.paychex.com chris c.

            Oh, c’mon. Be realistic here. If they lose every game and Boston wins every game entering Friday, then you’ve got Sabathia anyway. And if it really came to that kind of desperation, this team will be playing golf by the middle of October anyway.

    • http://www.paychex.com chris c.

      This is all highly comical.
      Girardi walked around for the last month acting like the Yankees were getting primed for the WS. Now he’s tight as a drum, and as a result of this he’s disrupting the schedule of his ace.
      Add that to the fact that he still hasn’t figured out his bullpen, is married to Mitre so a roster spot was wasted all season, has left starters in too long or not long enough all season, has yet to solidify a consistent lineup, and has sent mixed signals as to his expectations to the players this past month, and you’ve got a team that isn’t even sure of it’s own identity heading into the postseason.

      This guy is a real piece of work. Take the Cubs job, you clown.

    • Dream of Electric Sheep

      I know you’re good enough to win at least one of these last five games, so I’m going to plan for the ultimate goal that all of us want to achieve.
      ——————–
      What if Joe thinks the ‘ultimate goal’ is served by clinching ASAP which CC gives them the best chance to do so tonight. From that perspective , It reeks of wisdom and correct prioritization IMO.

      • http://www.paychex.com chris c.

        What if Joe thinks the ‘ultimate goal’ is served by clinching ASAP which CC gives them the best chance to do so tonight.

        The “ultimate goal” is clinching ASAP?????
        Why? The “ultimate goal” should be to win the WS. The current goal should be to align your pitchers correctly for the playoffs. And if Girardi wasn’t farting around over the past month resting this guy, resting that guy, pitching this rookie, misusing this bullpen guy, etc, he’d have already clinched, and would have that rotation all ready to go for next week.

        The truth of the matter is, the man got cocky and figured it was all in the bag, so he managed like the Yankees had already clinched. These games shouldn’t matter, but thanks to this genius, they now do!

        • http://theblogthatruthbuilt.com Craig

          Chris, you seem to know a lot about Joe Girardi’s mindset over the past few weeks. You do realize you’re contradicting yourself, right? You claim that Girardi “got” cocky” and “figured it was all in the bag”. What would it be called if he started aligning a playoff rotation for the playoffs that have not even been clinched yet?

          Yes, the magic number is one. One stupid game that the Yankees need to win or that the Red Sox need to lose. Win the G** damn game, clinch the playoff berth and THEN worry about aligning the rotation.

    • Ro

      I haven’t read much below and as much as I agree this is a horrific idea, looks like the Rays are throwing Price tonight too. I don’t know what to think for the moment…

  • http://twitter.com/j_yankees j_Yankees

    i think proponents of the Yankees going with a 3 man rotation in the ALDS should look at this move as a positive.

    Had the Yankees rested CC now and let him go into the postseason on normal rest AND decided to go to CC in game 4 on 3 days rest, he would be looking at pitching 3 games in the span of 9 days.

    Now if he starts tonight and you go to a 3 man rotation. You’ll start him tonight, give him rest before game 1 and go back to him for game 4 on 3 days rest. You’re looking at 3 games in the span of 13 days.

    • Hughesus Christo

      I feel like this is probably what they’re planning. Not that I agree.

      ALSO,

      Another nail in Girardi’s coffin, with me. There are many.

      • Jobu

        At this point, how are you sure that Girardi made this decision. I don’t think it is too much of a stretch to wonder if the front office pressured this. Why? To clinch, to address some negative PR, to boost playoff ticket sales that open tomorrow morning. Could be a lot of reasons.

        • Hughesus Christo

          if Girardi didn’t agree with this, it wouldn’t happen. Simple as that.

          • Pete

            yeah…no.

            • Hughesus Christo

              Yeah… yeah.

              • Pete

                Girardi is not his own boss, my friend. If Cashman tells him to do something, he does it. Period. No ifs, ands, or buts.

          • Cbean

            I highly doubt Girardi gets complete authority on all decisions. For example, I’m pretty sure he has to keep AJ in his starting rotation because at 16.5MM dollars a year, I don’t think Girardi could get away with platooning him without front office support.

    • Moshe Mandel

      I think this is an excellent point, and if this was why why they made the move, I think it would show good foresight and planning. Of course, we have no way of knowing that unless Joe tells us that, and I doubt he does that until he sees AJ pitch one more time. He isnt going to announce that AJ isnt getting an ALDS start just yet.

    • brian

      I agree with that logic. It is much better to have him rested before we need to go to him on short rest. 3 games in 13 days is a lot better than 3 games in 9 days.

  • Betsy

    I have no problem with this move; just get CC some work in Boston

    • DallasGreen

      I agree. The last guy I’d worry about on long rest is Sabathia.

  • Jobu

    Why pitch him tonight instead of Friday. The team only needs to win one game why doe sit have to be this one. I guess if the losing streak continues they will pitch him tonight then again against Boston, but that could throw him off to start game one of the playoffs. This just seems poorly planned. My other big take away is that the Yankees need to stop announcing what they are doing with their rotation. If they are going to change it this much(this move and Hughes on Sunday), just announce the starter the day of the game going forward.

  • Frank

    Between the origianl post and Ben’s response, there’s nothing more to say other than next topic.

  • larryf

    Cecil pitching tomorrow (14-7) and 3 games in Fenway that could mean something for the Sox could and would be tough for us and the way we are playing.

    Win and get this over with and then figure out what to do with CC and the 8 days off.

    No contract for Joe G. if we have the epic meltdown and don’t make the playoffs=panic mode

    • http://www.secondavenuesagas.com Benjamin Kabak

      The Yanks have 5 games left, and the Red Sox six. All that needs to happen is for the Yanks to win one or the Sox to lose one. The chances of that happening are literally above 99 percent. There’s no need for the Yanks to screw up playoff plans to clinch tonight, and the point would become doubly moot if the Red Sox lose to the White Sox this evening.

      • larryf

        No screwup in 6 solid innings for CC and giving us a shot in the arm like Phil did (even though we almost lost that one). I do not want to trust the Chisox and I do not want to go to Fenway having to win when the Red Sox are not eliminated.

        We are not that good (right now), and the red sox are not that bad that they couldn’t sweep us at Fenway.

        Pleeze! CC is a man-he can handle things tonight and be fine in 8 days with whatever it would take.

      • http://www.yankeenumbers.com Mr. Sparkle

        The Yanks have plenty of other problems heading into the postseason than how much rest C.C. gets, so I don’t see the problem. Besides, if Sabathia’s proven one thing the last few years, it’s that he can handle a heavy workload.

        It’s funny that everyone was throwing a fit when Nova and Moseley were scheduled to start this weekend when they hadn’t yet clinched. Now, they still haven’t mathematically clinched but who cares who starts? I also think the fact that Tampa lost the last two games MAYBE renewed hope with Girardi that the division is still possible. If so, it makes sense that he’d want his ace for two more games (even if the second is limited) rather than one.

        One more theory. After C.C.’s last outing, maybe Girardi wants to give him two more games to get the “bad taste” out of his mouth or make sure there’s not something else wrong, like a mechanics issue. It’s just a theory, but not a wild one.

        He’ll pitch today and throw a few innings this weekend. That should be enough. If they don’t start hitting, it won’t matter much how well rested C.C. is anyway. If they already clinched, do you think he was going to throw more than maybe 5 innings tonight or in Boston? No. It would be spring training mode. Hit the pitch count and leave no matter what.

        • http://www.paychex.com chris c.

          “The Yanks have plenty of other problems heading into the postseason than how much rest C.C. gets…..”

          Uh, no. THAT IS their biggest concern. With all that’s gone wrong, the last thing you want to do is screw with what’s been right.

          “Besides, if Sabathia’s proven one thing the last few years, it’s that he can handle a heavy workload.”

          “It’s funny that everyone was throwing a fit when Nova and Moseley were scheduled to start this weekend when they hadn’t yet clinched.”

          Who was throwing such a fit? Who?

          What on Earth does that have to do with the Yankees stupidely giving him an 8 day rest?

          “If so, it makes sense that he’d want his ace for two more games (even if the second is limited) rather than one.”

          Huh?? Are you implying that he’s gonna throw Sabathia on SUNDAY as well? That is batshit insane.

          One more theory. After C.C.’s last outing, maybe Girardi wants to give him two more games to get the “bad taste” out of his mouth or make sure there’s not something else wrong, like a mechanics issue.

          He needs two games to get the bad taste out of his mouth?? What is he, a rookie?

          “He’ll pitch today and throw a few innings this weekend.”

          So now you want to give him too LITTLE rest before his postseason start? Listen…….he shouldn’t be pitching oday, he should be pitching Friday. And that’s all there is to it. The weekend is part of his rest before the playoff start, so why bother with that shit?

      • Greg G.

        Ben, I don’t really care about this issue one way or another, but I have to nitpick here. While the odds of them not clinching are very small, for 3 of these remaining games, the Yankees winning and the Red Sox losing are not independent events.

        • http://www.secondavenuesagas.com Benjamin Kabak

          Which means it’s even easier to win to clinch this weekend because the Yanks control their own fate.

          • Evil Hubie

            Seriously, Benjamin?

            • http://www.secondavenuesagas.com Benjamin Kabak

              Of course not. That’s a logically ridiculous statement considering the Yankees need to win just one game.

              • andrew

                It is not “easier to clinch this weekend because the Yanks control their own fate.” It is tougher to clinch this weekend because if they had to clinch this weekend they would be facing off against a streaking Boston team, while the Yankees would be a reeling, collapsing team.

                This all should be made moot tonight, but if it gets to this weekend and they still haven’t clinched, by no means is it easier.

                • Pete

                  …it was a joke…

                  • andrew

                    I took his first comment as serious and his second as sarcastic…

                    • Pete

                      I think his first one was also sarcastic, but in the flurry of excessive yankee-related commenting, some subtextual indication was lost

  • Tank Foster

    I’d rather he pitch tonight. They have been playing terribly, and we don’t need to head into the weekend with Boston still alive. He can handle the 8 day layoff.

    • http://www.paychex.com chris c.

      I’m sure he can handle a big greasy pork sandwich served in a dirty ashtray as well. That doesn’t mean the end result will be good, however.

      • Klemy

        It also doesn’t mean it’ll be bad. Everyone is up in arms because he is pitching assuming that it will only end badly. Step back from the ledge. They’ve made their decision and we can second guess it if it bites them in the ass. Assuming the worst, because of the move, is a bit over the top in my opinion.

        • http://www.paychex.com chris c.

          “It also doesn’t mean it’ll be bad.”

          Disrupting your ace’s routine heading into the postseason is about the dumbest thing you can possibly do. Whether it succeeds or fails, the mere thought of chancing it is stupid altogether. It’s not like they’re tied with Boston for the last playoff spot, for cryin out loud. Talk about shitting the bed with panic!

          “Assuming the worst, because of the move, is a bit over the top in my opinion.”

          The move itself is over the top. If a man has performed fantastically all season on 4 days rest, you’re going to then give him double that heading into the playoffs?
          I’m not assuming Sabathia will pitch lousy in game 1. I’m just wondering why they’re taking a chance by disrupting the routine of BY FAR their most consistent pitcher.

  • Jorge

    Yeah…..I actually don’t see the huge deal here. Why not have him throw an inning in relief on Friday?

    I’d call it desperation if he were coming in on three or four days rest, but it’s his regular turn and the team has not technically clinched the playoff spot yet.

    I don’t think there’s much to see here.

  • Dumbfounded

    Sorry Mike, I disagree. I have been reading for weeks how the Yanks couldnt possibly play as bad as the 6-14 you mentioned or the .500 level over the past 2 months………but they HAVE. If it comes down to the final 3 games at Fenway with the Sux needing a sweep to force a tiebreaker I’m sure some would say it could never happen, but looked what happened just last weekend at Yankee stadium with the Yanks barely able to win one game in extra innings.

    The real mistake was made a month ago when this team started putting rest ahead of everything else!

    • http://mystiqueandaura.com Steve H

      If it comes down to the final 3 games at Fenway with the Sux needing a sweep to force a tiebreaker

      If it comes down to that then the Yankees have no business in the playoffs anyway.

      • larryf

        that’s the way we have been playing this month. just turn it on in the playoffs like in 2000? Easier said then done.

        • http://mystiqueandaura.com Steve H

          I don’t care about 2000. I care about 2010. If they feel so horrible about the rest of their team that they don’t think they can win 1 game out of 5 not started by CC (nevermind that the Sox can’t lose once), then they don’t belong in the playoffs.

          • Graig not Craig

            Let’s get in the playoffs. Then we can determine whether or not we belong there. I’m all for CC pitching tonight. He needs to get in a winning frame of mind, and so does the rest of the team.

            • http://www.paychex.com chris c.

              I almost hope they lose tonight, just so the move really does look as dumb as it actually is.

              • Cbean

                That’s seriously fucked up. No matter what, as a Yankee fan, I still want them to succeed. I can’t get joy in their failure.

    • http://www.paychex.com chris c.

      “The real mistake was made a month ago when this team started putting rest ahead of everything else!”

      Here’s the ebb and flow of Girardi’s message to his team from about mid-August to date:

      Gotta rest guys/GOTTA WIN!/Gotta rest guys/GOTTA WIN/Gotta rest guys/GOTTA WIN/Gotta rest guys/GOTTA WIN/Gotta rest guys/OH MY FREAKEN GOD – WE GOTTA WIN!

      • Poopy Pants

        For $200 million they should be able to do both.

        • http://www.paychex.com chris c.

          You do one, THEN the other. You win lots of games, clinch, then set up the rotation for the playoffs.

          You don’t start resting guys when you’ve got two other teams within shouting distance at the end of August.

  • Gmat2

    This move definitely screams of panic on the surface. But, at the same time, it would be good for this team to just get this over with. Win tonight, and Swisher can sit on the bench for a few days and rest that knee. Girardi can finally do what he’s been wanting to do; rest his guys. I think everyone here would have preferred that the Yankees/Girardi took this stance two weeks ago (I’m looking at you, Chad Gaudin, over and over, in a close game). Tonight’s SP may not be an issue if that had happened.

    I was originally upset when CC was announced as the starter tonight. But, the reality Joe wants to rest his guys and the best way for that to happen is to go for the kill. If there’s anyone who can handle the long lay-off, it’s CC.

    • http://www.paychex.com chris c.

      This move definitely screams of panic on the surface. But, at the same time, it would be good for this team to just get this over with.

      NO, IT WOULDN’T! If they clinch tonight, then Girardi will just rest everyone and put them right back to sleep heading into the playoffs.

      The best think to happen right now to this Yankee team is that someone challenges them over the next few days, and they can head into the playofs with some momentum on their side having battled out the spot.

  • CS Yankee

    I might of split the difference…

    If we won tonight, he goes on Friday, if we lose tonight I would use CC on Wednesday (tomorrow).

    Wednesday or Friday would give him extra rest on both ends. We should of let superNova or Javy go tonight.

    • Jose Canseco the Truth

      How many innings do you think Javy gives them and how many runs does he give up? After watching him pitch last time up, it makes me cringe when you bring his name up.Please no Javy unless garbage time.

      • http://www.paychex.com chris c.

        “Please no Javy unless garbage time.”

        Ahhh. Seems like just yesterday the Yankees were raving about how he’s a great “innings eater”. Now the Yankee fans want the team to take away his fork.

        • lenn

          I don’t just want to take his fork away, I want to stick it in him!

  • vin

    Girardi has left me scratching my head numerous times this month. But I can’t put too much blame on him. As mentioned above, once August started, they became a .500 team. Due mostly to short starting pitching and downright bad luck in 1 and 2 run games.

    They’ve played a relative ton of close games this month, and many of the moves Girardi has made seemed to backfire – despite their soundness. The guy can’t catch a break.

    I absolutely don’t blame him for starting CC tonight. This is a very winnable game. Wrap the postseason spot up, and give CC extra rest for games 1 and 4, with Andy going 2 and 5, and Hughes going in 3.

    I’m really surprised about the backlash. CC is professional enough to know how to prepare for a start with a long layoff. And if they lose the next 2 games, then he can start in Boston to wrap it up if needed.

    • vin

      Also, should the absolutely unlikely scenario play out with the Yanks missing the playoffs, then Giardi would be run out of town for holding CC back, and therefore only making 1 start this final week.

      I think Girardi wanted to rest the guys responsibly this month, but some combination of the players’ performance and lady luck interevened.

      It’s easy for us to say that if they don’t clinch a playoff spot then they don’t deserve to be there anyway, but Joe has to do all he can to ensure the spot gets clinched. It’s not like he’s starting CC on 3 days rest. He’s just choosing to give him extra rest before game 1, instead of having a tuneup on extended rest.

      I don’t get the ruckus.

    • http://www.paychex.com chris c.

      “They’ve played a relative ton of close games this month, and many of the moves Girardi has made seemed to backfire – despite their soundness. The guy can’t catch a break.”

      That’s what happens when you overmanage a 200 million dollar team.

      “As mentioned above, once August started, they became a .500 team. Due mostly to short starting pitching and downright bad luck in 1 and 2 run games.”

      Luck has nothing to do with it. Playing and managing like shit does.

      • vin

        “That’s what happens when you overmanage a 200 million dollar team.”

        Most of those decisions were indeed logical and will work out more times than not. A team’s record in 1 and 2 run games usually ends up being around .500. This team was just regressing to the mean. It was bound to happen. The timing stinks though.

        • http://www.paychex.com chris c.

          “Most of those decisions were indeed logical and will work out more times than not.”

          No, that’s the problem. Most of his moves lack logic and clear thinking.

          Who can forget when he had a sore AROD on first with two outs and didn’t pinch run for him, then sent Nunez to play third the next inning. When asked why he didn’t just have Nunez pinch run for AROD if he was going to play third anyway, Girardi replied, “I didn’t want to lose AROD’s bat if his spot came up in the order again that inning.”
          Said this with a straight face.

    • Klemy

      I’m with Vin on this. The big man can handle this and everyone being so upset over it baffles me. Everyone is too worried about CC’s rest who is not CC. Judge Joe if the move backfires, but this backlash is premature.

      • http://www.paychex.com chris c.

        Forget it. I’m way to tired of watching Girardi’s moves backfire to be all ready to judge him on this one.

  • Jose Canseco the Truth

    I usually agree with you guys. But this time i think you are counting some unhatched chickens. When Mosley was scratched in place of Phil on Sunday, you said “Joe must have remembered they havn’t clinched anything”. Well, they still havnt clinched anything. I would not want to see the Yankees get into Boston for the weekend being swept by the Blue Jays. While the odds are 99.8% to make the playoffs, its 50/50 who wins the next 2 games. Starting Javy tonight is throwing away the game, Cecil tomorrow will stiffle the bats as he has done this year. You always seem to have conservative views, but you must really believe what you wrote today. I say, win tonight with CC and figure out the rest.

    • http://mystiqueandaura.com Steve H

      Starting Javy tonight is throwing away the game

      They are 13-12 in Javy’s starts this year, including 2-0 in Javy’s starts vs. Toronto.

      • Jose Canseco the Truth

        Lets start him in the playoffs then. Have you been watching lately?

        • http://mystiqueandaura.com Steve H

          Lets start him in the playoffs then.

          What Playoffs? The Yankees are in the playoffs?

          • Jose Canseco the Truth

            nice!

      • first time long time

        also, remember that alot of those 12 losses would have been wins if he got some run support. when he was pitching well, he was giving up 1, 2, maybe 3 runs max only to have the offense get shut out of joba blow it. guy’s having a rough 2 months, but he is a good pitcher, believe it or not

        • Jose Canseco the Truth

          The guy is abysmal right now. Please…

      • http://www.paychex.com chris c.

        “Starting Javy tonight is throwing away the game”

        Well, you can’t throw Sabathia and Hughes every game, champ. Under which rock would you like to hide Burnett and Vazquez?

        • Jose Canseco the Truth

          Has anyone been watching the gaems lately? Was the last game you watched in July, when Javy was awesome? How pathetic has he been since his dead arm? You want the guy with the dead arm out there? CC, Andy, Phil, AJ or Nova. where is this javy love coming from? July? Who cares what his record was like when he had little run support. Look at what he has done in last month or so, champ.

  • Anthony Murillo

    I wanted to win the division :(

  • theyankeewarrior

    To me, the idea here is to lock up the playoff spot before we head to Boston. Sure, it may mean that CC has to pitch on extra rest, but it will also mean that Swisher, Alex, Tex, Gardner, Posada and the bullpen will get extra rest too.

    Sure, the chances of missing the playoffs are slim to none, but the chances that the Yankees head into Boston to play meaningful baseball are not that bad (if Javy went tonight).

    The way this team has played over the past month+, I wouldn’t trust them to win one of those games in Boston if it came down to it. I don’t think Joe does either.

    • vin

      “Sure, it may mean that CC has to pitch on extra rest, but it will also mean that Swisher, Alex, Tex, Gardner, Posada and the bullpen will get extra rest too. ”

      Bingo.

      “The way this team has played over the past month+, I wouldn’t trust them to win one of those games in Boston if it came down to it. I don’t think Joe does either.”

      Unfortunately, I agree. These decisions are much easier when you either have a big lead that lets you coast, like last year, or if you’re going down to the wire. Girardi is walking a tightrope, and seemingly no one is helping him out.

      • http://www.paychex.com chris c.

        “Girardi is walking a tightrope, and seemingly no one is helping him out.”

        Oh, please. Girardi’s the one who set the tone for coasting.

  • http://mystiqueandaura.com Steve H

    CC only has one start left. By using him tonight you are not giving him extra rest now and giving him too much rest before the playoffs. If starting CC is such a guaranteed win (thus clinching the playoffs), why pitch him tonight? Use him when it best benefits both the regular season and playoff rotations.

    • Jose Canseco the Truth

      What Playoffs? The Yankees are in the playoffs?

      • http://mystiqueandaura.com Steve H

        With 99.8% certainty they are. And again, if CC is a guaranteed win, why start him tonight?

        • Jose Canseco the Truth

          So we can put the wild card in the bag and go from there. Why is it so wrong to get in asap?

    • theyankeewarrior

      Technically, he could have 2 starts if he starts tonight and on the last game of the season vs. the Sox.

      That’s the game that would decide the Wild Card if the Yankees lost the next 4 and the Sox won their next 5.

    • theyankeewarrior

      Because nothing is guaranteed vs. the Sox in Fenway. And I’m being serious. If the Yankees go there HAVING to get a W, nerves could set in. plus, their field has a giant wall in left that routine pop-flies tend to soar over. I want nothing to do with that series.

  • longtimefan

    The month of September reeks of bad decisions by yankee management(Cashman, Girardi etc) This team which should have waltzed into the postseason is hoping for just 1 win in the next five games to even make the playoffs–backdoor version. Much of the player confidence comes from leadership and Girardi has shown none–just double talk and waffling. Girardi almost single handedly ruined this team in the month of Sept with some help from Burnett who should have been sent to the pin weeks ago and maybe we wouldn’t be scraping to win 1 game now.

    • http://www.paychex.com chris c.

      This is all Karma for that big ugly plaque of Steinbrenner.
      Babe Ruth had an ego too, and he also knows how to throw down a mighty fine curse!

      • Jobu

        By “curse” I am assuming you mean “hotdog and beer”

        • http://www.paychex.com chris c.

          Nice. Still can’t get over it though. His kids actually think he invented the Yankees.

  • http://mystiqueandaura.com Steve H

    And since this is a panic move, what happens if they lose tonight? You’ve already established that you have no faith in any starter other than CC, so do you just pack it up and go home?

    • Dream of Electric Sheep

      I think Pettitte pitches tomorrow if CC lose tonight.

      • http://mystiqueandaura.com Steve H

        By starting CC tonight against all better judgement they are saying they have no faith in Pettitte tomorrow to get the job done.

        • Dream of Electric Sheep

          I think it says to me they want to get it done tonight. Matter of perspectives , Sir.

          • http://www.paychex.com chris c.

            Who cares if they get it done tonight or tomorrow? Do you want Girardi to have more time to put everyone back to sleep before the playoffs?

            • Dream of Electric Sheep

              I do.

  • Dream of Electric Sheep

    So what happens now is that Sabathia starts tonight’s game, then has a full eight days off before starting Game One of the ALDS next Wednesday.
    ———————-

    I see no problem CC is starting tonight. If the main negative is having CC on 8 days rest I will take that as a positive.

    The quick the Yanks clinch a spot the better position they are in resting Swisher and a few others.

    CC for the win tonight. After reading some of the comments above , I am convince Joe Girardi simply can’t win with some of our couch warriors here.

    • Not Tank the Frank

      State your argument. What has Joe Girardi done down the stretch with this team to warrant any praise? All us “couch warriors” can site plenty of specific examples to the contrary. The Yankees have been no better than a .500 baseball team that mirrors Girardi’s flip-flop style of managing. And now they are backing into the playoffs and scrambling to find any consistency in both their pitching and offense. It is Joe Girardi’s JOB – what he is PAID TO DO – to ensure that a team with the talent and payroll of the New York Yankees is well-rested, playing well, and lined up so as to be put in the best position to win. He has failed. Plain. And. Simple.

      This doesn’t even take into account the myriad of questionable (at best) in game decisions he has made that were tolerable when the team was winning but have finally come to a head during this recent stretch of bad play.

      • Dream of Electric Sheep

        I am talking about CC starting tonight.

        The team subpar performances has everything more to do with starting pitching collapses and ineffective offenses more than Joe’s ‘questionable ‘ moves.

        If they Win tonight and CC gives them the best chance to do so, this team would essentially achieve it’s regular season goal of being in the playoff and be well rested.

      • Moshe Mandel

        “He has failed. Plain. And. Simple.”

        Im going to disagree with that. The Yankees have a fairly old team, yet they are healthy and fairly effective going into October. Are they winning games? No, but that has a lot to do with resting older guys and relievers and using detritus like Moseley, Mitre and Gaudin.

        Think about it. Going into the playoffs, the Yankees have 3 trustworthy starters, 5 very good relievers, and a lineup filled with guys who have taken the few off days they have gotten and are looking just fine. Teixeira is picking it up, as is A-Rod, and Posada is still standing and effective at the end of a long season. Yes, these weeks have been tough, but at the end of the day they’ll have their roster set up just fine for October. Unless you expected Girardi to fix Burnett himself, Im not sure what the problem is.

      • Tank Foster

        He did state an argument. What exactly has Girardi done that is unequivocally responsible for their dismal performance? Do poor managerial moves matter more than players performing terribly?

        The either/or here is CC on regular rest versus CC on 8 days rest. I don’t think that’s a serious issue, since he can throw a bullpen session if he needs to. Obviously they want to nail this thing down as soon as possible and not put themselves in a position of having must win games at Fenway.

        It’s more a product of the Yankees lackluster offense and weak starting pitching than it is a “desperation” move or other managerial weakness on Girardi’s part.

        And for all we know, Cashman may be in on the decision.

        • http://www.paychex.com chris c.

          “He did state an argument. What exactly has Girardi done that is unequivocally responsible for their dismal performance? Do poor managerial moves matter more than players performing terribly?”

          They both matter. He’s always made poor managerial moves. But now they’re being exposed more BECAUSE the team is performing terribly. I mean geez, do you watch any of these damn games? Some times he makes moves just to get some exercise! It used to drive me nuts last year when he’d make a stupid pitching move that would cost the Yankees the lead, then they’d win in extra innings so all was well and good.

      • Graig not Craig

        It is Joe Girardi’s JOB – what he is PAID TO DO – to ensure that a team with the talent and payroll of the New York Yankees is well-rested, playing well, and lined up so as to be put in the best position to win. He has failed. Plain. And. Simple.

        Playing well? Joe gets paid to make sure the players play well? What kind of fairy dust would such a job description require? These players make a bazillion dollars collectively to play well. Let’s put some of the responsibility for playing well on the players. Is it Joe’s fault that Jeter’s full season batting average is at a career low? Is it Joe’s fault that AJ Burnett’s ERA is the highest of his career? Is Javy Joe’s fault? Is Pettitte’s age and injury Joe’s fault? Joe is not God – and he is not responsible for players playing well. Frankly, Frank, Joe Girardi managed the Yankees to win the World Series last year – and is one of 8 out of 30 managers who has that possibility again this season. So, tone down the rhetoric a few decibels.

        • http://www.paychex.com chris c.

          “Is it Joe’s fault that Jeter’s full season batting average is at a career low?”

          Okay……so it’s NOT Girardi’s fault that his leadoff hitter has a .326 obp? I disagree with you.

          “Frankly, Frank, Joe Girardi managed the Yankees to win the World Series last year”

          Stop it!! Last year’s team was on auto pilot! They were so overloaded with talent, nobody could derail them. He even tried to screw it up by throwing ALL his starters on 3 days rest in the WS (this resulted in a combined ERA over 10.00), but they still hit the crap out of the Phillies.

          “and is one of 8 out of 30 managers who has that possibility again this season.”

          There isn’t a man alive who can possibly manage a 200 million dollar team out of a chance to win a championship.

          • http://www.twitter.com/jordan_smed JGS

            Yankees team ERA in the 2009 WS: 4.53

            • http://www.twitter.com/jordan_smed JGS

              4.58 rather. Still not 10+

            • http://www.paychex.com chris c.

              I meant combined ERA for the three starters throwing on 3 days rest. Not the entire team ERA for the series.

          • Pete

            I think Girardi just understands the fact that batting order doesn’t actually matter all that much and there’s almost nothing whatsoever to be gained from moving Jeter out of the leadoff spot in the best – still – lineup in the league.

            The team hasn’t had trouble getting runners on base. All they have had trouble with is starting pitching in the 2nd half, and hitting with RISP – a stat that, in small sample sizes, is correlated most closely with pure, unadulterated randomness – in the last month.

            Neither of those problems are the fault of Girardi. I’m not saying he’s been perfect – there was no need to keep CC in for 8 innings that game back in Tampa, and there was no excuse for bunting Granderson that same game (with Colin Curtis on deck, no less). He has made other questionable moves over the course of the season, of course, but apart from his annoying (but largely insignificant) love affair with bunting, every single one of them has had a reasonable explanation (whether or not it was one you personally agreed with) behind it.

            In fact, I’ll guarantee that last part. Bring up ANY managerial DECISION (that is, not player performance) that he has made, and I’ll explain the reasoning behind it.

            • http://www.paychex.com chris c.

              “I think Girardi just understands the fact that batting order doesn’t actually matter all that much and there’s almost nothing whatsoever to be gained from moving Jeter out of the leadoff spot in the best – still – lineup in the league.”

              What is this shit you’re typing?

              • Pete

                If at the start of the season Jeter and Gardner had been swapped in the batting order, and every player had maintained the same overall #s, the Yanks could have been expected to score just a hair under 4 (!!!) more runs over the course of the ENTIRE SEASON. That’s less than half a win, which isn’t really worth worrying about on a team this talented, especially considering the year Jeter had last year (the more this year’s sample self-substantiated, the less significant a lineup switch would have been, and that’s coming from a starting point of 3.88 runs over 162 games):

                http://www.baseballmusings.com.....38;Model=0

            • http://www.paychex.com chris c.

              “In fact, I’ll guarantee that last part. Bring up ANY managerial DECISION (that is, not player performance) that he has made, and I’ll explain the reasoning behind it.”

              Okay, you’re on……….here you go……this game occured a month ago:

              Yanks were down 6-2 in the 8th inning……1st and 2nd, one out. AROD, fresh off the injury, comes up to hit for Pena. He grounds into a fielders choice. So now he’s on first with two outs, and Girardi DOES NOT pinch run for him. Jeter then grounds out to end the inning. Edwin Nunez then goes out to play third base.

              Question: If Nunez was going to play 3rd base that inning as Girardi said he was, why not have Nunez pinch run for a very sore AROD in the 8th?

              There you go, champ. Explain the reasoning behind that.

              • Pete

                Maybe Nunez wasn’t ready/stretched out? Maybe A-Rod was left in on the off chance of a big inning, hoping he gets another AB, but then after the inning A-Rod said he wasn’t able to field and/or didn’t feel great running out the grounder? Or the grounder that Jetes hit?

                There’s a small chance that A-Rod gets another AB in that situation. There’s probably an equally small chance that Nunez pinch-running for him actually causes the yankees to score another (let alone 4 more) run(s).

                I’m sure this all seems like wild speculation to you, but do you actually, honestly believe that Girardi just up and forgot about Nunez until after the inning?

                • http://www.paychex.com chris c.

                  “Maybe Nunez wasn’t ready/stretched out? Maybe A-Rod was left in on the off chance of a big inning, hoping he gets another AB, but then after the inning A-Rod said he wasn’t able to field and/or didn’t feel great running out the grounder? Or the grounder that Jetes hit?”

                  Girardi’s answer after the game was that he didn’t want to lose AROD’s bat in case his spot came up again that inning. BUT THERE WERE ALREADY TWO OUTS!! That would mean the next 8 guys would have to reach base for AROD to get up again. And if that happened, the Yankees would have at least a 10-6 lead, and his bat wouldn’t really be that needed, would it? So he risked re-injuring his best player for no reason.

                  “There’s a small chance that A-Rod gets another AB in that situation.”

                  Right……risk injury so the guy can bat again with a 4 run lead. Brilliant.

                  “I’m sure this all seems like wild speculation to you, but do you actually, honestly believe that Girardi just up and forgot about Nunez until after the inning?”

                  No, I honestly believe that Girardi believes in everything he said. That’s why he’s a goofy manager.

    • http://www.paychex.com chris c.

      “CC for the win tonight. After reading some of the comments above , I am convince Joe Girardi simply can’t win with some of our couch warriors here.”

      Oh, please. There are MANY people who can manage a damn baseball game better than Girardi. It’s not that difficult. He just makes it look that way.

      • Dream of Electric Sheep

        There are many people who can do a better job than a lot people who are currently holding those jobs.

        Which is , still irrelevant to my points above.

        • Pete

          that. I think baseball managers are insanely overpaid and overrated, and can typically hurt a team more than they can help one. That being said, in the scope of OTHER MLB MANAGERS, Girardi is not a bad one. That he gets rest for his players is a good quality in a manager. That he gets regular work for the entire bullpen – also an excellent quality. Duplicable, sure. But Joe Torre managed the team for 12 years, got to the playoffs 12 times in a row, made 6 world series and won 4, without even having THOSE qualities.

          The point? Complaining about the manager is as idiotic as praising a manager. The team wins or loses almost exclusively of its own accord.

          • http://www.paychex.com chris c.

            that. I think baseball managers are insanely overpaid and overrated, and can typically hurt a team more than they can help one. That being said, in the scope of OTHER MLB MANAGERS, Girardi is not a bad one.

            Hard to tell. He’s certainly got a head start with all the star power in that locker room. I mean honestly, how can you fairly compare him to Gardenhire?

            • Pete

              He’s also got the Red Sox and Rays in the same division. But I’ll concede your point – nobody watches enough teams play to fairly judge managers against one another. I can say, however, with absolute certainty, that he is better than Torre.

              • http://www.paychex.com chris c.

                “He’s also got the Red Sox and Rays in the same division.”

                They’re still the Yankees, and Boston still has about 70% the size of their payroll, and TB has about 30% the size.

                “I can say, however, with absolute certainty, that he is better than Torre.”

                How can you say that with absolute certainty? That’s ridicoulous.

  • Not Tank the Frank

    CC Sabathia is a Cy Young winner, a horse, a true number one, a competitor, and all that cliche shit. I realize pitchers are creatures of habit, but this man is no Mike Mussina. I’ve seen no evidence that he needs to be catered to or that he gets completely thrown off if his schedule is changed even slightly. He’ll go out and take the ball anytime he’s asked and give you 100 percent, whether it’s on three days, five days or eight days rest. If a player of his talent level can’t take a little extra rest before the playoffs and use it to his advantage, then I don’t know what to say.

    Also, I’m sure the Yankees’ number one priority will be to work with him and make sure he stays sharp for Game 1. They’ve excelled at preparing this team for the playoffs thus far.

    That very last part was sarcasm. But, in all seriousness, I can’t get too worked up over this decision.

  • http://twitter.com/kschmidt2 Kiersten

    What I don’t get is that either way Nova/Moseley/Vazquez is going to have to pitch one of these games, so what’s the point in having CC go tonight? I’d rather have him pitch in Fenway anyway. So now you have CC on regular rest, but someone else is going to have to start over the weekend.

    • Jose Canseco the Truth

      So clinch on the weekend then? Lets wait until Sunday instead.

      • Hughesus Christo

        Let’s go for a one game playoff!

      • http://twitter.com/kschmidt2 Kiersten

        If CC is the only pitcher who can get us a win, what’s the point in making the playoffs anyway? We’re not gonna go very far.

        • Jose Canseco the Truth

          But at least lets get in.

          • http://mystiqueandaura.com Steve H

            So then let CC win another game.

    • vin

      Because if need be, Mo forbid, he can start again in Fenway on Sunday (the final day of the reg. season).

  • Jose Canseco the Truth

    I think the Yankees should start resting players for the 2011 playoffs.

  • BG90027

    It seems highly likely that the Redsox will lose one and/or the Yankees will win one regardless of who pitches. Still, everyone would rightly be screaming for Giradi’s head if he gave all the regulars off before they clinch AND pitched Vasquez instead of CC. It is far more important to clinch asap and get the banged up regulars some rest than worry about CC going on regular rotation. They’ll figure out how to keep him fresh. You guys are completely over reacting here.

    • Hughesus Christo

      He played Swisher on one leg and Gardner with one hand. I don’t want to hear this “resting” shit now a month later.

      • vin

        He did only after the wheels started coming off. They were going through the toughest part of their schedule (in Sep. no less) and were on the wrong side of numerous close games. Their substitutes weren’t getting the job done.

        I think Girardi played it right when it came to periodically resting guys in late August/September, but the team just stopped winning more games than they lost.

        Girardi tried to help/reward his players but they didn’t hold up their end of the bargain.

  • UncleArgyle

    I agree that CC should be pushed back to Friday, but I don’t like the idea of having a built in excuse if he pitches like crap in Game 1. He’s a 20 game winner with a massive contract, I don’t care if he has a month off before the playoffs, he needs to pitch like an Ace, no excuses.

    • http://mystiqueandaura.com Steve H

      He’s a 20 game winner with a massive contract, I don’t care if he has a month off before the playoffs, he needs to pitch like an Ace, no excuses.

      Regardless of how much he makes he’s a human being who is susceptible to struggles just like anyone else. Taking him out of his rhythm certainly can effect him, regardless of his status as a highly paid Ace.

      • UncleArgyle

        I agree with the rhythm argument, and the routine argument, and all that. But at the end of the day, your throwing a baseball 60 feet 6 inches like you’ve done your whole life. I know its a different sport, but I saw Michael Jordan drop 55 points in a playoff game when he had explosive Diarrhea, CC needs to pitch well in the playoffs even if he’s had an extra 48 hours of rest.

        • Pete

          that is a massive strawman dude. We’re discussing the ways that the Yankees’ decision-makers can facilitate that end, not the way the players can.

  • http://tommyfusco.efx2blogs.com/ I Collect Brett Gardner Cards

    how bout this?
    the yankees score 5 in the first then pull CC before he throws a pitch and start Javy
    :)

    • http://www.twitter.com/tomzig Tom Zig

      Yanks will need to have another one of those 11 run innings before that happens. 5 runs is not Javy proof.

  • Dream of Electric Sheep

    Sounds wonderful, except we prolly need to score 15 in that case. The Javy Zone is the danger zone.

    • http://tommyfusco.efx2blogs.com/ I Collect Brett Gardner Cards

      lol true

  • stuart

    disagree totally. clinch the playoffs and then you can rest guys.

    pitching vazquez is like pitching AJ you cannot do it. win tonight and pitch CC once more for 2 innings before game 1…………

  • KayGee

    The only overreaction going on is the one to the decision to start Sabbathia tonight. The 8 days rest is not that big of a deal, especially at this time of year.

    2009 Game 1 ALDS: October 7th – CC Sabbathia: 6.2 IP, 2 runs
    2009 Game 1 ALCS: October 16th – CC Sabbathia : 8 IP, 1 Run

    Is it ideal that CC is going to be on irregular rest? Maybe not. But he has done it in the past and has proven he can start on all types of rest. Aren’t we all concerned about resting the regulars down the stretch? The sooner they clinch, the sooner the older / beat up guys can get days off. This is all much to do about nothing.

    • http://mystiqueandaura.com Steve H

      In his career he has been at his worst with extra rest though.

      3 days-1.01 ERA
      4 days-3.62 ERA
      5 days-3.44 ERA
      6+days-4.02 ERA

      • KayGee

        Not exactly sure where to get that data so I want to say this is speculation on my part, but I’d have to imagine the sample size here is small. And using this argument, he should be starting on 3 days rest more often.

        Again, I don’t think this is ideal, but to view this as COMPLETE PANIC ZOMGGGG 2004 ALL OVER AGAIN is just pushing it.

        • http://mystiqueandaura.com Steve H

          You were using a 1 start sample size.

          • KayGee

            I’m using his whole career as a sample size. The 1 start was to highlight the overrearction to the decision considering he has performed admirably with the same task less than a year ago

      • 28 this year

        i like that 1.01 number.

      • Thomas

        The 6+ days rest is thrown off by the fact 10 of the 39 6+ days rests come on his first start of the season and Sabathia is a slow starter.

      • Jose Canseco the Truth

        So, according to your numbers CC should start on 3 days everytime. Should he?

        • http://mystiqueandaura.com Steve H

          No he shouldn’t. #1 he wouldn’t likely be able to sustain it, but #2 you would need the rest of your starters to be on a completely different schedule. No idea why you would say that, I simply pointed out that over CC’s career he has struggled with more rest, ignoring a 1 game sample size in favor of a 39 game sample size.

          • Jose Canseco the Truth

            “In his career he has been at his worst with extra rest though.”
            If he has been worst with extra days off, than your argument is that he is best with least days off.
            All of your analysis are based on numbers. I like it and appreciate it, but if you live by the numbers, you die by the numbers.
            I usually agre with you though.

    • http://tommyfusco.efx2blogs.com/ I Collect Brett Gardner Cards

      exactly
      guys, its CC.
      friggin CC.

      you do this with guys like pettitto whos nursing his wounds and Hughes whos on an inning cap.
      but its CC.
      the warrior.
      he’ll get done what needs to be done, when it needs to be done
      then he will rest
      just like last year

      • http://tommyfusco.efx2blogs.com/ I Collect Brett Gardner Cards

        pettitto?
        wtf was that
        pettitte.

        come to think of it, i like ‘pettitto’

        • Thomas

          Andy should call his son “pettitto.”

        • http://youcantpredictbaseball.wordpress.com/ bexarama

          As a lover of most things Pettitte I think “Pettitto” is adorable :>

      • Jerome S

        Crazy man believes
        line breaks make for better points
        it just looks stupid.

        Haiku’d.

        • Klemy

          You are brilliant sir.

  • http://twitter.com/iiKeane JobaWockeeZ

    I honestly don’t see a huge problem with this.

  • first time long time

    i personally see no point in this move. the yankees are facing a pitcher they’ve never seen before and that usually always means they’re gona lose. with the combination of that and they’re slumping offense, i dont think they are going to win this game. if they’re most likely going to lose the game, why burn out your best pitcher?

    • larryf

      because Cecil tomorrow is 14-7 and throws junk and we have had trouble with him…because I am not confident in winning at Fenway if the games are meaningful to the Red Sox. best chance to clinch is CC tonight.

      clinch first, rest/tinker second…

      • first time long time

        yeah but i personally have more faith in them winning in fenway on friday with cc pitching against whomever bostons pitching, idk, than today with cc pitching against a starter theyve never seen before

        • Graig not Craig

          They’ve never seen me before. Does that mean I could beat the Yankees tonight?

          • first time long time

            i know you’re joking, but honestly, have you seen the yankees against a pitcher theyve never faced before? its the same story: no hit through 5, finally get him out of the game in the 8th due to pitch count, but by that time the offense is already so asleep they just dont make a solid comeback.

            • Sir Not-Appearing-In-This-Blog

              Your simplification is no better than his. But his was funny, your’s reeks of superstition.

            • http://mystiqueandaura.com Steve H

              The one problem with this is facts don’t back it up.

              • first time long time

                what facts do you need? because there are no stats online to back this back that are available? just tell me honestly, based on what you have seen this year, do the yankees hit pitchers well that they have never seen before?

                • http://www.twitter.com/jordan_smed JGS

                  David Huff, Trevor Cahill…I’m sure there are others.

          • Sir Not-Appearing-In-This-Blog

            +1 for the comment.

            +9 for the handle.

  • Evil Hubie

    We don’t really want to go into Fenway in a must-win situation, do we? With Vazquez and Pettitte going tonight and tomorrow, it’s within the realm of probability that we *could* lose two games. And the White Sox waved the white flag several weeks ago.

    If CC wins tonight, Girardi can spend the whole week getting everyone rest and setting up the rest of his rotation. There’s plenty of time this weekend to get CC a couple of innings and keep him sharp and rested for the playoffs.

    In the unlikely situation that CC loses and the Yankees go into Fenway needing a win, it’d be nice to have CC in their back pocket for Sunday.

    Back in the day, teams used to play hard until they clinched, and THEN they started resting players and lining up their rotations. It’s not panic when you’re pitching your starters on normal rest on their regular turns, particularly more than a week before the playoffs start.

    Can we cut Girardi a break? He’s the reigning championship manager. He’s managed through the suckage of Vazquez, Burnett, and Joba, key injuries to Pettitte, Granderson, Posada, ARod, Swisher, Johnson, Marte, Aceves, et al, the calcification of The Captain, the losses of Damon and Matsui, and myriad other issues. He has the team on the verge of the playoffs, and he’ll likely have everyone on the roster healthy and rested.

    Need we complain? Why so serious?

    • Graig not Craig

      This.

      Priority #1 – Get your playoff ticket ASAP.
      Priority #2 – Rest, rotation, etc…

      Get those priorities out of order, and you end up with a well-rested team and a lined-up rotation that has NO games to play.

      • Pete

        Priority #1 – check. You might think that the team won’t go if they don’t start CC tonight, but you’d be wrong.

        • Graig not Craig

          But CC started – and the Yankees are in – so all this is worthless jibber jabber. Check mate.

  • 28 this year

    Plus, there’s a lot of rain today so it really doesn’t make sense throwing Sabathia out there when his start could be shortened and then screw over his schedule even more.

    • KayGee

      Not sure if serious…they are playing in a dome

      • http://twitter.com/cephster Ross in Jersey

        Maybe the rain just makes CC sad, the poor big bear :(

    • Chris

      Toronto has a retractable roof, so rain is a non-issue.

      • 28 this year

        my bad. Brain fart. For some reason I thought they were at Yankee Stadium. Completely clueless when I commented. Disregard what I said.

        • 28 this year

          this is what happens when college apps on ur mind. Also, had a long day today and still have a lot to go. Again, my bad.

    • http://www.twitter.com/jordan_smed JGS

      To paraphrase the officer responding to a Congressman’s claim that Guam might tip over and capsize if more troops were added to it:

      “that’s not high on our list of concerns”

  • Yank the Frank

    We can’t count on the White Sox they have already booked their fall vacations and Ozzie is all giddy about coming back next year as manager. Tomorrow, Cecil goes for the Blue Jays who we have a hard time against. We just barely managed to not get swept by Boston at home. I would hate for the Sox to still be alive when we go to Fenway this weekend. 2004 was not that long ago. Get it done tonight. If CC is our best option for tonight, go for it. Worrying that he is going to be “too rested” seems senseless.

  • tommydee2000

    What if CC didn’t want all that rest between starts after the Tampa fiasco?

  • gargoyle

    Do you really want to have to win a game in Boston?

  • ZZ

    It is pretty unlikely the Yankees are compromising the player that is the most integral to their playoff success over a 0.2% chance of missing the playoffs.

    They just are not doing what you want them to do. This sounds like less of an overreaction by the Yankees and more of a you problem.

  • first time long time

    Prediction: yanks clinch a playoff spot with Pettitte on the mound. Tomorrow. just like last year

  • Graig not Craig

    There’s almost no other way to view this move as anything but panic and shockingly bad decision making.

    I disagree. I see this move as urgency rather than panic. There is a difference.

    “Shockingly bad decision making” is a matter of opinion. We can go back and look at this after game one of the ALDS – and then decide how shockingly bad it was.

    • Sir Not-Appearing-In-This-Blog

      Totally agree with the first half of this.

      However, if Sabathia has a poor outing in game 1 it doesn’t necessarily mean it was due to long rest, although people would use it to come down on Girardi. Seems he gave up 6 runs on normal rest just a few short days ago.

      • Graig not Craig

        True. I respectfully retract the second half.

      • Klemy

        Agreeing here.

      • Hughesus Christo

        I’ve enjoyed the idea that Girardi is beyond criticism and deserves to be manager for life because we can never prove that his decision lost a game.

  • http://www.metroflats.com Zanath

    I understand the concern here, but I really don’t have a problem with this. I’d rather not have to rely on the White Sox beating the Red Sox for one game (I think they will manage to beat them once or twice, but I don’t think it’s wise to rely on that). CC gives us a good chance to win today. Vazquez or whomever does not. There is absolutely no guarantee we win tomorrow, even with Petitte going. Remember, we are facing Brett Cecil tomorrow and he has been hell on us. And with the way things have been going, I don’t expect anything less than a great game from him.

    So while the worst possible scenario is highly unlikely, do you really want to risk not winning a single game in Toronto and having to win a game in Fenway? I certainly don’t. Let’s end this now.

    • rek4gehrig

      Yup. I want to enjoy my weekend. Enuff of the nail-biters (at least until the playoffs)

      • http://ballcraft.blogspot.com Zanath

        Exactly. I’m being selfish here, but I really don’t want to have to care about the games this weekend. I was planning a nice relaxing weekend, and that won’t be possible if we still have to clinch.

  • Ellis

    I agree that starting CC tonight is rash.

    I don’t agree that “time is up” for winning the division, it’s still very possible.

  • Yank the Frank

    “A” lineup tonight

    Derek Jeter SS
    Nick Swisher RF
    Mark Teixeira 1B
    Alex Rodriguez 3B
    Robinson Cano 2B
    Jorge Posada C
    Lance Berkman DH
    Curtis Granderson CF
    Brett Gardner LF

    Pitching: CC Sabathia (20-7, 3.26)

    • Graig not Craig

      Shouldn’t we be resting these guys? This A lineup demonstrates panic! How about this…

      Nunez 3B
      Pena SS
      Golson CF
      Moeller 1B
      Miranda 2B
      Kearns DH
      Curtis RF
      Russo LF
      Cervelli C

      And on the hump: Brackman (0-0; 0.00)

      • Pete

        Of course you’d want to have the guy with a 0.00 ERA start, you panicky panicker

        • Graig not Craig

          True. We should get Chan Ho Park back to pitch this game just to prve we are not panickers.

          • http://riveravenueblues marty l

            CHP? no. I hear Kevin Brown is available and could be signed to pitch friday in Boston if necessary.

      • vin

        What would be the best lineup configuration with those players (regardless of opposing pitchers’ handedness)?

        My guess:

        Golson CF
        Nunez 3B
        Kearns DH
        Miranda 2B
        Curtis RF
        Cervelli C
        Russo LF
        Moeller 1B
        Pena SS

        Pena still hits 9th. LOL

        • Pete

          I would do:

          Nunez
          Kearns
          Russo
          Miranda
          Moeller
          Curtis
          Moeller
          Cervelli
          Pena

          • Accent Shallow

            I’d pay to see Miranda play second, considering he’s lefthanded (and a poor 1B, to boot)

          • Graig not Craig

            I love that Moeller bats twice.

      • Jerome S

        All of those and Cisco’s STILL last.
        sadness.

    • larryf

      If Drabek is a righty, this is not the A lineup.

      • Yank the Frank

        This is the “A” lineup against righties (which Drabek is). The only righties are Jeter and ARod.

  • OldYanksFan

    Longoria has a minor injury and looks to be out for the Baltimore series… and who knows about KC. If CC Wins tonight and TB loses, we are only (a real) 1/2 game behind. Is it possible this is a last ditch effort to see if it’s worth going for the decision?

    Also, I highly doubt this is singularly Girardi’s decision. My guess is Cashman met with Joe, and Eiland, and maybe the rest of the staff to discuss the various scenerios.

    When a decision of this import is made, I have to think it’s coming down from Cashman.

    • Graig not Craig

      Either that or they consulted the largest plaque in Memorial Park.

      • larryf

        Which ends in these words:

        “the greatest form of charity is anonymity”

        /ironic

        • Alex

          Why is that ironic?

          • Graig not Craig

            HUGE plaque + Quote praising anonymity = irony. Get it now? Or is the irony lost on you?

  • rek4gehrig

    Remember the Tigers last year. They only had to win one game and they failed to do so.

    I say go for the jugular tonight and knock Boston out. Heck..if they want, I’ll pitch all three games in Boston. Just get a win tonight.

    • mc

      Totally agree with you there.

  • Jon

    If you think about it, the Rays are doing the exact same thing with Price tonight, and they are in a much, much better position than the yanks.

    • vin

      Yeah, but the Rays don’t have any fans. Just ask Evan Longoria.

  • Mike HC

    I would not have had a problem no matter what the Yanks decided to do with CC. He should be set up just fine for the post season no matter what.

    Small nitpick – – The Rays hold a virtual one game lead, not one and half game lead. The tiebreaker only gives them an extra half win.

  • Poopy Pants

    I think bellyaching over someone starting on normal rest = panicking.

  • Chris

    Are the Rays panicking by starting David Price tonight?

  • Pete

    I do think that there is a lot of unnecessary hyperventilating going on here. He’s getting his rest, either way, he’ll have time to get some work in on Sunday either way. The only difference is the amount of rest between actual starts. I’d personally prefer to have CC start Friday because I know from personal experience how tough it is to pitch on long rest.

    That being said, it could just as well be possible that, in closing out his fourth consecutive big innings season, starting 3-6 games in the postseason on regular or short rest in a row is hard enough, and extending that streak backwards would only make it tougher. Getting the rest out of the way early may help CC a bit in Game 1 of the ALDS, but if we’re thinking about the whole postseason (which seems to be taboo, but for a team that has A) handled the Twins well, and B) always claimed its ONLY goal to be winning the WS, it’s not that crazy), the positive ramifications of that rest may be felt to greater extent the closer it occurs to the actual postseason.

    Personally, I think that a somewhat rusty CC, Pettitte, and Hughes can ALL beat the Twins. With that in mind, Game 1 of the ALDS is actually not (gasp) my #1 priority.

  • larryf

    Maybe Gomer Lackey will throw a clinker tonight…

  • Henry

    So you actually think the Yankees don’t have a chance at winning the division? Yankees are half a game back with 5 games remaining. So what’s the problem? For all we know they might win 3 and the Rays might have a losing streak of their own. You don’t play a 157 to conform yourself to second place when first and home field advantage is basically on your finger tips.

    • Sara

      Totally agree. And not to mention Evan Longoria is out injured. The Rays are not the same team without him. And outside of David Price their rotation is in about the same state as the Yankees. Everyone is so hung up on the Yankees struggles. What about the Rays struggles? The Yankees are only 1/2 game back. So that must mean that the Rays have struggled just as bad.

  • Ro

    Rays throwing Price too. WTF?

  • A.D.

    Honestly I have no problem with this move, yes the Yanks should make the playoffs even if Sabathia doesn’t start again during this season, however I can respect the leadership of the organization for going out and saying we’re not going to act as if we have a playoff spot locked up, that isn’t actually locked up. Would have been nicer if the team had just managed to do it already and stopped playing like crap.

  • Tom Merritt

    With each passing day I think less and less of Girardi. I was pleased when they named him manager. But, it seems like he has continued to shrink under the scrutiny of a super high profile job like managing the Yankees. I just prefer a manager with some guts and one who is willing to show some emotion and get pissed off when the circumstances call for it. Girardi seems afraid to do anything that might invoke criticism. I just don’t think anyone can do this job running scared. I wish they had someone more like Billy Martin instead. It’s a good thing George is not still alive and in his right mind. He might have already fired Girardi. Problem is who would be a good replacement??

  • mc

    I disagree. The odds are in their favor to get that one win, but they still have to work for it. So they are just being prudent in going with CC to get that win and not counting their eggs before they’ve hatched.

  • Steve G

    There is a chance that after CC’s last start (in which he was awful) he asked Girardi to get him back on the mound. I am sure he had a pretty sour taste in his mouth and wanted to wash it out before the postseason in a game that meant something.

  • http://baseball.dailyskew.com Damian

    I love it when Yankees fans say second guessing is all part of the fun yet it seems that most of you are frustrated over CC Sabathia getting 8 days rest (or perhaps gets to pitch 5-6 innings next start).

    CC can handle 8 days rest if it comes to it.

    This is truly a non-story, I’m sorry.

    As long as AJ Is #2 or #3, everything may be a moot point anyway.

    Really trying to wrap my head around an organization being okay with a 15 game loser, 5 ERA dude being in the starting rotation in the post-season.