According to Dave Eiland, who was interviewed on Ryan Ruocco’s 1050 ESPN radio show yesterday, CC Sabathia, AJ Burnett and Andy Pettitte all went into the manager’s office recently and told Joe they want the ball on short rest. Eiland said that they would consider that, along with how they look in their side sessions before making a final determination. If they show any signs of fatigue, they’ll keep them on their regular 5 days schedule. But if they look good, they’ll consider starting them.
CC Sabathia’s numbers on short rest are unreal (3-1, 1.01 ERA 0.825 WHIP) AJ Burnett’s are better than his regular season numbers (4-0, 3.25 ERA and 1.074 WHIP) and Andy Pettitte’s are about the same as his normal rest numbers (4-6, 4.15 ERA, 1.43 WHIP). Eiland also said that AJ’s Home-Road splits would not deter them from starting him in Philly, which I must admit surprised me.
This changes things a bit for me. I thought Gaudin would go Game 5, since Girardi would shy away from making his 37 year old veteran lefty starter (who just got over a bad shoulder) go on short rest. But if he’s lobbying to pitch Game 6 and looks good, you go for it. Given AJ+CC’s previous success and Andy’s willingness to go, I’d take advantage of the fact that Manuel is only pitching Cliff Lee twice and get my three top guys pitching as much as possible. No reason to hand the Phillies an all-but-guaranteed win by pitching Chad Gaudin against Cliff Lee. AJ on short rest gives us a much better shot to win Game 5. While I dont think AJ will be as sharp on the road, I also think the Yanks will fare better facing Lee for a 2nd time in a week. That match up would be a toss up to me. With last night’s win, the Yanks are up 2-1 with CC Sabathia facing Joe Blanton tonight, which is a match up that heavily favors the Yanks. A win would put the Yanks in a commanding 3-1 series lead and AJ could take them home in a hard fought Game 5.
This is all contingent on rain outs. If any of the games in Philly gets canceled, that pushes everyone up a day and they would therefore lose the off day, and of course a day of rest along with it. Game 5 getting canceled wouldn’t affect things, since that’s AJs last start of the season anyway. But if Game 4 was to get canceled, CC would go on normal rest on Monday and be unavailable for Game 7 on Thursday, since he’d only have 2 days rest. Then we’d have a huge problem. According to Accuweather, the forecast in Philly looks much better for Sunday and Monday. Let’s hope so.
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