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.
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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.