Win or lose, Hughes will start Game Four

ALDS Pitching Preview: Miguel Gonzalez
ALDS Game Three Thread: Orioles @ Yankees

During his pregame press conference, Joe Girardi said that Phil Hughes will start Game Four of the ALDS tomorrow regardless of what happens in Game Three tonight. That means the Yankees will not use CC Sabathia on three days’ rest if they are facing elimination. I don’t really see the point in announcing it; it would have been nice to have the option of starting Sabathia tomorrow without making it look like a panic move.

ALDS Pitching Preview: Miguel Gonzalez
ALDS Game Three Thread: Orioles @ Yankees
  • Chip Off the Ol’Knoblauch

    Well folks, there you have it.

  • FIPster Doofus

    Then they better win tonight.

    • Mike


  • Eddard

    No no no no no. You always go with your best, even on short rest. Think the Nationals wouldn’t want to have Strasburg right about now? They screwed up. You don’t get many chances like this. Tonight really does become a must win.

    • Sayid

      This has nothing to do with Strasburg at all. Not even a little bit. Struggling to even find a parallel to help you out.

      • JMK

        No sense in responding.

    • TomH

      Because tonight is a “must win,” and because they’re facing the kind of pitcher who gives them fits, the odds against the Yankees increase.

    • Rivera Venue Blues

      Would you rather have Sabathia on 3 days rest + Hughes? Or would you rather have Hughes + Sabathia on 4 days rest. If we lose today, we’re gonna need both wins anyway.

  • timhands

    I don’t get it. I just don’t. Yeah, you don’t want Hughes to be put in a bubble, but should the Yanks lose tonight, but win with a short-start CC in game 4, I would actually have more confidence in Phil for game 5: and the team in general. I just don’t see them losing a game 5 at home to the O’s.

    • Sayid

      You have more confidence in Hughes for Game 5 than for Game 4? Come on now. Where’s the logic there?

      • Mike

        Maybe the pitching matchups?

        Game 5 for the O’s is probably Saunders or Hammel again, whereas Game 4 is Tillman

        Would you rather see Hughes/Tillman or CC (even only on 3 days rest)/Tillman in an elimination game?

        • Ed

          I don’t care who the opposing pitcher is. We’re not facing Cy Young contenders here. The difference in Baltimore pitchers here is trivial.

          You need to win 2 games, so you have to go with the move that gives you the best chance of winning two games.

    • Slugger27

      then why do you see them losing a game 4?

  • Raul Ibanez AKA Tom Marvolo Riddle

    ” it would have been nice to have the option of starting Sabathia tomorrow without making it look like a panic move.”

    Translated: It would have been nice to be able to spend the entire day doing articles on whether going to CC on short rest would be considered a panic move. We could’ve also done a pole on who you guys would rather have start. Damn you Girardi!!!

    Seriously though, I’m not sure where I sit with this. I mean it makes the ultimate sense to go to CC on short rest in game 4 (if we lose game 3) in regards to nothing but game 4. If you consider that maybe CC wins that game than you either have Phil go in an elimination game anyway or Pettitte on short rest. I doubt that Girardi would start Pettitte on short rest, so then the only option is Hughes on the extra day’s rest. I guess I’d rather CC in a potential game 5 on regular rest…idk there are too many ways to look at this, I’m happy that I don’t have to make this decision.

  • stuart a

    like the move. win tonight and it is a non issue..

    hughes can beat the O’s if the offense shows up for the Yanks..

    arod still hitting 3rd, cannot upset the diva loser..

    move him down in the order, does that need presidantial approval.

    girardi is a moron. they also should sit nicky if he comes up small again tonight and if the O’s start a righty for game 4 put Ibanez in the OF…

    • Robinson Tilapia

      I hope you weren’t listening to Kay about an hour ago when his entire defense of batting Alex third was “his fragile ego.” I nearly swerved off the road, and I don’t even care all that much.

      • Mike

        Today a caller called to Boomer and Carton and was like ” I heard a guy on the radio show saying batting A-Rod 3rd is an absolute must and moving him is one of the worst things for them to do”. I knew instantly he was talking about Francesca.

        And then Carton was like “Whatever radio guy said that, probably has said the dumbest thing I’ve heard the last 72 hours”

  • Max

    I think it makes sense. Just give Hughes a short leash. The bullpen has had it pretty light the first two games, so if you need 4, even 5, innings, you can get them between Phelps, Logan, Robertson, and Soriano.

    Then the next night, CC takes the mound and, theoretically, takes it deep.

  • tipsie

    If the Yanks lose tonight, don’t think of tomorrow as 6 inning 4 ER Phil. Think of Phil on a short leash from inning one. Everyone available except CC. Need Robertson to get out of an ugly jam in the 5th? Do it. Need Joba in the 3rd? Do it.

    • Slugger27

      well, yes. i think that goes without saying though. the problem is that a couple early runs might be all it takes. think game 5 last year. the bullpen was lights out. it didnt matter.

  • tipsie

    Look at what Bochy’s doing now with his pen. Kontos, Mijares already, and it’s only the 4th. No tomorrow.

  • Mickey Mantle’s Outstanding Experience

    If they lose tonight, then they need to win both games. Why do you have a better chance to go 2-0 with CC on short rest and Hughes than CC on regular rest and Hughes? I was just having this discussion with some people when the A’s went down 0-2. When you need to win all of your remaining games, you shouldn’t increase your chances of winning the next game if doing so will decrease your chances of winning all the games.

    • Mike

      lol I already had this argument numerous times today with others, but for those who did not see me add additional information to why I think starting Phil is better in Game 5, is because of who the Orioles are starting as well

      Tillman is starting game 4. Tillman is the O’s best pitcher. That leaves Hammel or Saunders to start Game 5, 2 average or slightly above average pitchers which is what Hughes basically is.

      CC vs. Tillman. Advantage CC
      Hughes vs. Hammel/Saunders – Push

      Hughes vs. Tillman – Advantage Tillman

      And if the Yankees lose tonight and then obviously if Hughes loses to Tillman tomorrow, no game 5.

      I mean it’s obvious games are not won on paper, but among the Yankees 4 starters, Hughes is the worst, and among the O’s starters, Tillman is arguably the best. Is Hughes beating Tillman impossible? Of course not (hey maybe it’s been done before, but don’t want to look it up), but the chances of that happening are not good for the Yankees.

  • Robinson Tilapia

    Not what I would have done, but Hughes is a starting pitcher in this rotation and, therefore, he is expected to go out there and perform.

    Win tonight, then worry about winning tomorrow.

    I’m sure Girardi catches hell here, and that the word “binder” will be thrown about, but I see this is him putting more trust in his guys than we necessarily would.

  • ropeadope

    Not a Girardi apologist, but this is the correct move in my mind.

  • djyank

    LCS would be…

    • Mike

      This is under the assumption that the Yankees win in 5 I assume. If they win in 4, obviously it’s CC – Pettitte – Kuroda once again.

  • ADG

    Arod batting 3rd, Hughes pitching a potential do or die game 4, I really can’t help but think that Girardi puts his relationships with his players, and caring about how much they trust him and what not over putting the Yankees in the best position to win. SMMFH.

    • TomH

      This is one of the problems of having a manager who is too “generationally” close to many of his players. It’s the kind of problem–sentimentality–that rarely came up with Stengel. Maybe a bit with Dimag, in 1951, but retirement solved that.

      Of course, there is the other side of the coin, where the manager is generationally out of touch with his team. I wonder if something like that may have come up with Valentine and the Sawx this year.

    • Rivera Venue Blues


      • ADG

        SMMFH at what I perceive to be puzzling if not out right poor managerial decisions, do you have a problem with that? or am I not allowed to express my own opinion as a fan on this site?

  • DERP

    If they decided that they won’t pitch Pettitte on three days rest, then this is the correct move.

  • JobaWockeeZ

    I know I said CC is “only” best pitcher since Mussina and not someone in the 70s like Guidry but fucking start CC Sabathia as much as you can.

  • tipsie

    I didn’t have any problems with the way Girardi used the pen in last year’s ALDS Game 5, with the possible exception of CC (who coughed up a very damaging run). The problem was, and might be (for the next few days), the offense. If they don’t start hitting, any good pitching will be for naught. Guys have to produce. I’m expecting a good start from Kuroda tonight, on par with what Andy did. The question is whether we’ll make Gonzalez look like a 28 year old journeyman, or like Jim Palmer.

  • dalelama

    I like going with Hughes then CC. It is irrelevant if the Choke Brothers don’t snap out of it.

  • Matt DiBari

    We had better win tonight then.

  • djyank

    hey dalelama i literally just say the dalai lama speak like 3 hours ago at my school (william and mary). he’s funny as shit

  • Laz

    It makes sense. If they win tonight they could still have a possibility of being able to save CC for game 1 of the ALCS. If they lose then it still means that you have to win games 4 and 5 to advance. Starting CC on normal rest gives them best chance to win game 5, and hughes has as good a chance as any to win game 4.

  • A-Rod Apologist

    I guess you all forgot about CC’s elbow right??