Yesterday Joe Girardi added some clarity to the rotation he plans to use for the upcoming ALDS. It was reported on in numerous places later in the afternoon, but the Yankee manager broke the news on his weekly segment with WFAN’s Mike Francesa. Here’s the breakdown:
Game 1-CC Sabathia
Game 2-Ivan Nova
Game 4-CC Sabathia (3 days rest)
Game 5-Ivan Nova (full rest)
It’s amazing that we’ve reached game 156 of the regular season and we still have no clear choice for a Game 3 start, but here we are. When the Yanks broke camp in April, it appeared they had two number 2′s in Burnett and Hughes, with nobody quite knowing what to expect from the likes of Nova, Garcia and Colon. But the long regular season has sorted out the Nova’s from the Burnett’s and the Yanks now find themselves in a troublesome quandary. Game 3 of a 5 game set is often pivotal (unless you win the first two) putting the winner in the driver’s seat needing just one win with two to play. The Yanks should have home field,
Of course, who the Yanks will be facing will have a big impact on who gets the call. As things stand today, the Tigers and Rangers have both clinched their divisions and are tied with 91-66 records. Here’s the four candidates career marks facing each club:
vs Texas-3.66 ERA in 11 starts
vs Detroit-6.33 ERA in 8 starts
vs Texas 0.00 ERA in 2 starts
vs Detroit 4.54 ERA in 8 starts
vs Texas 3.77 ERA in 24 starts
vs Detroit 5.25 ERA in 24 starts
vs Texas 4.10 ERA 21 starts
vs Detroit 3.88 ERA in 32 starts
Make of this what you will, since some of these records are pretty flawed from the outset. Hughes has just 2 starts facing Texas, many of Garcia’s starts were from when he was much younger and threw much harder. Of course opposing record won’t be the only factor, how someone is throwing the ball right now will have a big impact as well. Bartolo Colon’s average velocity has been declining lately, so as many expected it appears he is wearing out down the stretch. Phil Hughes is coming off a back injury, so his next start on Monday facing Tampa could go a long way in determining how much consideration he will receive.
If I had to guess who will be the Yankee #3, I would choose Freddy Garcia. He’s a veteran who won’t be flustered by playoff pressure, and while he hasn’t been throwing the ball well his past 3 starts (10.95 ERA September) he’s been one of the Yanks most reliable starters this year. He pitched a gem facing Texas back in April (6 IP 2 H 0 ER) so it may be a good match up for the crafty veteran facing the Texas lineup.
What do you think? Who would you like to see get the Game 3 start?
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