Yankees turn to The Chief on Tuesday


(Jim McIsaac/Getty)

The Yankees used last Thursday’s off-day to juggle their rotation a bit, lining up their top four starters for the first four games of this all-important ten-game stretch. Things haven’t worked out as planned — they’re 1-3 in those four games — and today they hand the ball to Freddy Garcia, who they pushed back to accommodate everyone else in their rotation. It’s certainly not what the Yankees envisioned when they rearranged the pitching schedule, but that’s how things played out.

“They skipped me because they wanted to skip me … They made their decision, nothing I can do about it,” said Garcia yesterday, somewhat begrudgingly. Freddy was terrible earlier this season, earning him a demotion to the bullpen for the first time in his career. Injuries forced him back into the rotation in early-July and he’s since pitched well enough, a 4.16 ERA (4.17 FIP) in eleven starts. The last two starts have not gone so well though, as Garcia has failed to complete five innings both times while allowing seven total runs on 17 baserunners.

The Yankees desperately need their veteran junkballer to turn in a quality outing tonight, and that includes bulk innings since the middle relief is hide the children bad these days. The good news is that the Rays tend to struggle against soft-tossers as Rays blogger extraordinaire Jason Collette noted this morning, the guys who change speeds to the extreme and do most of their work off the plate. In his only start against Tampa this year (his first start following Andy Pettitte‘s injury), Garcia held the Rays to two runs (on two solo homers) in 5.1 innings while on a 70-pitch limit (he threw 74). In his only start against Tampa last season, he struck out seven in 6.2 scoreless innings.

“It’s another game. We know we have a one-game lead. I’ve just got to pitch good. I don’t have any pressure, nothing,” added Freddy yesterday, the typical kind of veteran-speak. There is pressure on the team though, pressure in the form of the surging Orioles and the club’s 24-25 record since the All-Star break. They need to start rattling off some wins (plural) in the worst way, and that could start tonight with a strong outing from Garcia, the guy the Yankees went out of their way to avoid these last few days.

Categories : Pitching


  1. Walt says:

    I know he can’t help it but I’m pretty sure Freddy is going to make me sweat every inning.

  2. Stevis says:

    Hope I don’t have to turn the game off after 3 innings!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  3. Bartolo's Colon says:

    i have a feeling that freddy is going to deliver a pitching performance that turns the season around

  4. CUYanks says:

    Do we know if Grandy/Cano will be in the lineup tonight?

  5. jesse says:

    Have a good feeling that Freddy will pitch well tonight, not just pitch well through four and fizzle out in the fifth. I think the extra rest will help him, though the stats this season, albeit in a small sample, suggest that he’s not effective with extra rest. But, as Jason Collette pointed out, the Rays struggle against pitchers of Freddy’s caliber. If they can get six outta Freddy while allowing two runs, that would be fantastic.

    Freddy for 6, Wade/Logan for the seventh, D-Rob for the eighth, Sori for the ninth . . . #untuck

    (Of course this is assuming that the offense shows up, which these days is certainly no guarantee, especially if Cano is not in the lineup.)

  6. River Ave Bipolar Disorder says:

    You can’t predict baseball, but you’re still likely to try on RAB.

    • I am the one who knocks says:

      If people would say “I hope” instead of “I think” before their guesses/hopes, it’d be much more palatable.

      Now, when they’re guessing on their fears (or hopes if they’re rooting against the Yankees), we call them trolls.

  7. IPK for Tim Reddings (formerly Brian S.) says:


  8. Better off Eddard says:

    Phil Hughes failed us Sunday. It’s time for Freddy to show why he should be that #4 starter in the playoffs, if we make it there and that’s a big if. Nova crashed and burned, Hughes crashed and burned, so it’s Freddy’s shot to show what he can do in a big game. It’s a must win.

    • Kosmo says:

      I got news for you Bro, Freddy will more than likely not be the # 4th starter if NY makes the playoffs. Larry told me never to say never.

      • Better off Eddard says:

        If he puts up a W tonight he should be in the running. Phil had his shot Sunday and blew it. Joe didn’t help him but he blew it. Nova’s done so it’s up to Freddy now.

    • hmelawyer says:

      I fear that Freddy may be it for more reasons than that Hughes crashed and burned in Sunday’s start. The last couple starts it looks like Hughes may be hitting some dead arm/fatigue issues. On Sunday, his fastball was topping out at 92, sitting around 90-91, with some at 89. I haven’t seen Hughes’ fastball down into the 80s since last year when he was hurt.

      Hughes is sitting at 161.2 innings, less than 15 off his career high (from 2010) and more than double last years injury reduced number. Let’s be honest, Phil wore out in 2010, leading to injury in 2011. While I hoped he would have more left in the tank, the velocity the last couple of starts (wasn’t just Sunday) has been down and he is showing signs of fatigue.

      Maybe if he is given a couple extra days of rest he can turn it around. But with a tightening race they might not be able to do that and I fear that he will either totally break down or just have his effectiveness break down. With all other injuries not a good prospect.

  9. Marcy says:

    Well Granderson’s back (and I’m not sure that’s good for him) but Robbie’s out.
    If all else fails – it’s America’s Game @ 9:00 on NFL network

  10. Marcy says:

    Oh, sill me – it’s the DNC – let’s hope for the best -

  11. Marcy says:

    That was silly

  12. rick says:

    Still no nunez. How is nix better than nunez. Joe inherited torres love if old ass bench players.

  13. Robinson Tilapia says:

    Would love to see lots of veteran presents from Freddy tonight.

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