Overstating the Importance of a 4th Starter

Since AJ Burnett’s awful performance in last night’s game against the Blue Jays, the pundits have ramped up the “Yankees have no pitching” storyline. Of course, these articles tend to ignore the similar lack of depth in all of the AL contenders’ rotations, and make it seem like the Yankees have major pitching issues. As I showed yesterday, this is simply not the case. More on point, it seems that many writers and fans are overstating the importance of the 4th starter in the postseason.

[image title="Screen shot 2010-09-28 at 4.13.18 PM" size="full" id="21719" align="center" linkto="full" ]
[image title="Screen shot 2010-09-28 at 4.13.48 PM" size="full" id="21720" align="center" linkto="full" ]
[image title="Screen shot 2010-09-28 at 4.13.57 PM" size="full" id="21721" align="center" linkto="full" ]

As you can see, the Yankees could use their 4th starter just twice over the entire postseason (Game 4 or 5 in ALCS and World Series), while only using a pitcher on 3 days rest one time (CC Sabathia in Game 4 of the ALDS). So we are talking about two games for AJ Burnett, likely matched up against Wade Davis, Jeff Niemmann, or Tommie Hunter in the first one and a Joe Blanton type in the second. While I clearly do not trust Burnett, the opposing pitchers are not exactly world beaters and the Yankees have the advantage in terms of offense.

Do I wish that Burnett was pitching well and that the Yankees had 4 solid starters? Certainly. But the struggles of their 4th best pitcher is not the death knell for the Yankee season that some are making it out to be.

0 thoughts on “Overstating the Importance of a 4th Starter

  1. Clint

    Not gonna lie, this actually makes me feel a little better about our post season chances. Trying not to lose the faith, but they’ve just been playing so slack lately.

    • T.O. Chris H

      Over the course of the last month it’s like they have been the exact opposite of last years team… when we have needed to find wins in close spots at the end of games we just haven’t done it more often than we’ve blown it and that is not how last years team played at all.

  2. bornwithpinstripes

    congratulations yankee fanatics.. CC, Andy, Hughes, Nova..pen..mo, wood, robertson,logan,joba,AJ, ring.. arod ,jeter, cano, tex,posada, cervelli, gardner, granderson, swisher,thames, pena, golson,miranda, nunez.. thats my first round

    • bornwithpinstripes

      forgot berkman..delete nunez

  3. the other Steve S.

    So use AJ twice, keep the binoculars on him and yank his ass at the first sign of trouble. Stick Nova in for three innings and Javy for two, then its business as usual.

  4. Carcillo

    The revised matchups came out today for the AL. Twins open up the American League playoffs. I’d love to the see MLB do it right and make that that the first game of the playoffs.The Phillies won in ’08 and played the first playoff game of ’09, same should happen here.