While the rainout of Game 1 is certainly frustrating to us as fans, it’s got to be even more frustrating for Joe Girardi, as the loss of Sunday’s off day creates a host of problems for the Yankees’ manager to navigate now, and has turned this ALDS on its head.
The first problem, obviously, is what to do with C.C. Sabathia. The big guy is saying he’ll lobby for the ball on Sunday, which would in theory allow him to pitch again in Game 5 on short rest, but my guess is the Yankees’ won’t push their ace that hard, and we won’t see C.C. until Monday night, which would then be the only game of the series he can start. Secondly, playing four days in a row will force the Yankees to use four starting pitchers instead of three, and my guess is that means A.J. Burnett will start Game 4 if necessary. Both teams are being given the chance to reset their rosters, so the Yankees could add Bartolo Colon if they want, but for some reason I’m pretty sure it will be Burnett Girardi asks to take the hill if they do play a Game 4, though I would expect them to add another pitcher to the bullpen.
But the big problem for the Yankees is that playing four days in a row will significantly limit Girardi’s ability to aggressively deploy his bullpen. Under the traditional ALDS format that includes no more than two straight days of play, Girardi could have pushed Mariano Rivera, David Robertson, and Rafael Soriano in the late innings, safe in the knowledge that he wouldn’t have to ask them to pitch any more than two days in a row. Now, without an off day for at least four days, Girardi will have to be more judicious and take care to not overwork any of those guys. That totally negates a big advantage the Yankees had coming into the series, and puts a lot more pressure on Ivan Nova, Freddy Garcia, and whomever the fourth starter they (potentially) ask to take the hill might be.
So, that happened. Wednesday night brought us maybe the best night of baseball ever. Friday night brought us a 9-0 blowout and a Verlander/Sabathia matchup that got rained out after two innings. Such is baseball.
The Yankees and Tigers pick up in the bottom of the second tomorrow night at 8:37 PM (when it’s also supposed to rain, surprisingly enough), and Game 3 will be Sunday at 3:07. Stay tuned.
UPDATE, 10:27 PM: The game has been officially postponed. They’re going to pick it up in the bottom of the second tomorrow; Game Two will now be on Sunday at 3:07. This sucks. A lot. Just like at Opening Day, we’ve got CC Sabathia and the Yankees hosting Justin Verlander and the Tigers. I can’t [...]
Welcome to the fifth and final installment of TYA’s 2011 ALDS Series Preview (at least, final before the ALDS actually starts), in which we’ll be taking a look at a few specific factors that could influence how the series plays out. If you haven’t already done so, please see TYA’s previous playoff preview posts: Part [...]
New York Yankees
1. Derek Jeter SS
2. Curtis Granderson CF
3. Robinson Cano 2B
4. Alex Rodriguez 3B
5. Mark Teixeira 1B
6. Nick Swisher RF
7. Jorge Posada DH
8. Russell Martin C
9. Brett Gardner LF
CC Sabathia P
1. Austin Jackson CF
2. Magglio Ordonez RF
3. Delmon Young LF
4. Miguel Cabrera 1B
5. Victor Martinez DH
6. Alex Avila C
7. Ryan Raburn 2B
8. Jhonny Peralta SS
9. Brandon Inge 3B
Justin Verlander P
Feel free to use this as an open thread until the Yankee game starts, and then as your open game thread. First pitch is at 8:37 PM in the Bronx. Go Yankees!
For previous TYA 2011 ALDS Preview pieces, please see the following: Part 1: The 2011 Yankee Offense, Top to Bottom Part 2: Head-to-Head Overall Team Numbers Part 3: ALDS Game 1 Starters: CC Sabathia v. Justin Verlander We touched on the Tigers’ offense yesterday and noted how Miguel Cabrera could singlehandedly wreck the Yankees’ postseason [...]
In case you have not been following the debacle in Scranton, PNC Field will be closed next season as it will undergo a $40 million renovation. There have been some problems with PNC in the past, so it is good the Yankees are getting this done. The downside, however, is that the Yankees Triple-A affiliate will be without a home stadium next season. There have been multiple discussions about possible places for them to play, a missed deadline and then some outrage as the Mets blocked them from being able to pay in Newark. Now, according to the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre Yankees Blog, the Yankees have announced that they will be splitting their home games across six different fields. The breakdown is this: 37 games in Rochester, ten in Syracuse, seven in Batavia, six in Buffalo, and twelve to be split between Pawtucket and Lehigh Valley. So watch out for the Scranton/WB Yankees – they could be coming to play a home game at a field near you!
Earlier this season, I ran a post explaining that the playoff teams that go the farthest in October are the ones that do the best in the second half of the season, not the ones with the best records. From the 2010 Giants to the 2007 Rockies, teams that succeeded down the stretch carried that [...]