Per LoHud, the official rotation for the ALCS:
“The Yankees just announced their rotation for the American League Championship, and it has Phil Hughes and Andy Pettitte swapping places.
Game 1 – LHP CC Sabathia
Game 2 – RHP Phil Hughes
Game 3 – LHP Andy Pettitte
Game 4 – RHP A.J. Burnett
The roster will be the exact same as in the division series.
Why swap Hughes and Pettitte? The Yankees haven’t talked publicly about the decision, but it does give them a chance to split their lefties and it lets Hughes make both of his starts on the road, where he’s been much better than at Yankee Stadium. Hughes had a 3.47 ERA on the road and a 4.66 at home.
Joe Girardi said before the ALDS that he was using Pettitte ahead of Hughes so that the Twins left-heavy lineup would have to face four left-handed starters (if the series went five games). That’s no longer an issue against the Rangers.
“There’s a lot of factors that go into making a rotation,” Girardi said this afternoon. “Do you decide to go left-right-left-right? Do you stack your lefties together? These are a lot of things and factors that we have to discuss in making that rotation. Home and away, a lot of different things.”
So let’s get first things first. If the Yankees go into game four down 0-3, or 1-2, you can count on Sabathia starting in Burnett’s place. But past that, let’s take a look at what Girardi suggested was behind the change. Namely, that the Twins were vulnerable to left handed pitching. This, of course, was true (as we said at the time). The Twins split went from .276/.343/.432 against righties, to .268/.336/.400 against lefties. But it turns out it’s somewhat true of the Rangers as well, who batted .280/.343/.429 against righties, and .266/.326/.391 against lefties. In other words, the Rangers were worse against lefthanders than the Twins were in 2010.
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