I skipped this one, and it looks like I didn’t miss all that much, as the Rays bludgeoned the Yanks 15-8 behind a beastly performance from rookie phenom Matt Moore, who struck out 11 Yankees and allowed zero runs over five innings, picking up the win in his first career Major League start. Ordinarily the Yankees getting completely and utterly shutdown by a rookie they’ve never seen before would drive me up a wall, except for the fact that (a) the Yankees clearly (and correctly) didn’t care whether they won this game, as evidenced by the many regulars who received a night off, and (b) Moore is arguably the top pitching prospect in the galaxy, and his dominating performance wasn’t exactly a surprise, regardless of the constitution of the Yankee lineup.
Bartolo Colon was only able to go three innings and ultimately gave up seven runs (five earned), and some seem to be questioning his postseason rotation candidacy. I realize he hasn’t been great in September (6.64 ERA) but his peripherals remain sound (4.10 FIP, 3.60 xFIP on the month). He very well may be nearing the end of his tank of gas, but the Yankees aren’t exactly bursting with reliable options to pitch Games 3 and 4 — Freddy Garcia‘s been even worse in September (10.95 ERA/9.51 FIP) and xFIP doesn’t think he’s going to be getting much better (5.31) — and to me Colon still represents the team’s best option for third starter in the playoff rotation, especially after taking his entire body of work into account. I think you slate Colon for Game 3, and if he bombs have Phil Hughes — who actually hasn’t been terrible this month (2.25 ERA/4.02 FIP) — caddy Colon, assuming Hughes’ balky back heals up in time for the postseason. I’m pretty sure no one is interested in watching A.J. Burnett throw a pitch in the playoffs, and so I’m not really sure what other options the Yankees would have were they to yank Colon from the postseason rotation.
The only other interesting aspects pertaining this game were the MLB debuts of both Andrew Brackman and Dellin Betances. Brackman ended up tossing an inning and a third of shutout ball; while Betances must’ve been seriously juiced up for his appearance, as he walked four batters and hit a guy in only two-thirds of an inning.
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