September 16, 2010

Sherman: Sabathia, Pettitte, tag-team for playoffs

Joel Sherman suggested in his column this morning the Yankees should “ride CC Sabathia, hope Andy Pettitte gets healthy and then turn every other game into a tag-team of pitchers.”

I absolutely agree.

No starter on the Yankees is pitching great right now. Sabathia and Pettitte are clearly the most reliable on the staff, even though Pettitte hasn’t pitched since July. The rest of the staff is too inconsistent to favor one over the other, so why not use tag-teams?

Originally, I didn’t think Ivan Nova would make the postseason roster, but now I do since Damaso Marte is out for the year. This likely leaves the Yankees with four unused starters for Games 3 and 4 (A.J. Burnett, Phil Hughes, Javier Vazquez & Nova).

I say Joe Girardi should pair Burnett and Hughes for Game 3, and if the Yankees are ahead in the series go with Vazquez and Nova for Game 4. If they’re behind, bring back Sabathia on short rest. Ideally, they’ve already won and Sabathia can start Game 1 of the ALCS, but let’s not get ahead of ourselves.

The one thing I don’t want to see Joe Girardi do is use one of the Yankees starters late in a game (unless it’s in extras). Why? Because the Yankees’ bullpen is the best in the American League, and lately, the best in baseball.

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