City Sports Report

Girardi Needs to Start Sabathia in Game Four by Derrel “Jazz” Johnson

I began writing this article at around 11pm Friday evening, but a historic New York Yankee comeback in game one of the American League Championship Series caused me to scrap it. After the Texas Rangers won game two to tie the series at one game apiece, I have the same advice for Yankee Manager Joe Girardi: start CC Sabathia in game four of the ALCS.

I would make this decision whether the Yankees are up 2-1 or down 2-1, though the urgency would apply if they are down 2-1. Why? Sabathia has looked average at best in his first two post season starts, though he has yet to lose a game. Sabathia has routinely been off his A-game when pitching with more than four days rest, but has also consistently pitched well on three days rest, not only for the Yankees, where two of his five playoff starts were on three days rest last season, where he posted a 3-1 record with an ERA under 2.00, but also two seasons ago for the Milwaukee Brewers, when he pitched on short rest in September to lead them to the playoffs. Also, you have the AJ Burnett factor. He hasn’t pitched since Saturday, October 2, 2010, so he would have not pitched to live hitters in 16 days, and you are going to start a pitcher who went 10-15 with a 5.26 ERA in game four of the ALCS that is critical to your season? Not a wise move. Burnett could come out and pitch a three-hit shutout in game four. He also could give up a three-run homer after walking the first batter he faces and hitting the second batter. I think most Yankee fans and baseball fans alike would unfortunately think scenario two would be more likely than scenario one.

To me, the choice is an easy one to make. Start Sabathia in game four. The very existence of the Yankee season could depend on this crucial move.

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  1. Pingback: Girardi Mismanaged American League Championship Series by Derrel “Jazz” Johnson | Razz & Jazz Sports Blog

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