For the Yankees, it’s about the rotation … and Freddy Garcia
While I, too, was glued to the TV last night flipping between the Yankees/Rays game and the Red Sox/Orioles game (sorry about that epic fail Nation), I did have another pressing thought in my mind: What was New York’s rotation going to look like for the first round of the postseason against Detroit? Joe Girardi had already announced that CC Sabathia was, of course, getting the start in the first game of the ALDS, and that rookie Ivan Nova was also part of the rotation.
Well, the rotation is not going to be much bigger than CC and Nova. Girardi announced that Freddy Garcia will be pitching game three with Sabathia slated for game four and Nova for game five, both on short rest. A.J. Burnett will join Phil Hughes (who hasn’t pitched much down the stretch because of a herniated disc) in the bullpen. It’s always good to have a guy who issues a ton of walks in your bullpen. (In fairness, Burnett did retire the one batter he faced in his relief appearance last night.)
Sabathia and Nova have been the Yankees’ most consistent starters, but it will be interesting to see how the kid handles the pressure of his first postseason. He certainly deserves the spot as he was the Yankees second best starter. Plus, the way it’s lining up, his starts will both be in Yankee Stadium where he has performed well.
I know it makes some Yankee fans nervous, but I like the choice of Garcia. He’s not a fireballer by any means (his fastball doesn’t even reach 90 mph) yet he brings a different look on the mound that could throw off the timing of the Tigers’ hitters. It’s just vital that he hits his spots, otherwise it could get ugly fast.
Sabathia will have the unenviable task of facing Cy Young Award lock and potential AL MVP Justin Verlander in both his starts. But the lefty ace, who has a very good season with 19 wins and 3.00 ERA, is the guy you want on the mound to face Detroit’s 24-game winner.
All in all, I like the look of the Yankees ALDS rotation. … Get back to me next week to see if I still feel the same way.