Here’s What to Do in the 8th Inning

I think the most crucial issue generated from Game 6 is Joe Girardi’s lack of trust for Phil Hughes. Mariano Rivera, not Hughes, pitched the eighth inning of Game 6 to secure the pennant. Will it be handled the same in the World Series? That’s a tough call.

When to use Hughes
in tight situations:

- In Games 1, 3, 4 and 6 because those are the four games without off-days the following day.

- When facing the bottom half of the lineup. Rivera gave up a run to the meat of the Angels’ lineup. What do you think the Halos or Phillies would do to Hughes?

- When he shows he has worked out this mechanics problem Dave Eiland is speaking of.

- After Joba Chamberlain pitches. Ideally, Joba will finish the seventh for the starter, and Hughes will either help finish the job in the seventh or keep a tight game close in the eighth.

- If there is a blowout game, give Hughes some work in the late innings. I know the mental aspect is different, but it gives him a chance to test out his mechanics on live hitters. I especially like this idea in Games 2 and 5 since he would have an off-day to rest and be used in Games 3 and/or 6.

When to use Mo for the eighth and ninth:
- In every elimination game. It makes sense no matter who’s winning the series, because the Yankees can’t hold anything back while leading or trailing late in a game.

- In Games 2, 5 and 7. Two and five have off-days following so he’ll have time to rest, and Game 7 is both team’s last chance.

- In any save situation. Duhh.

When does David Robertson come in?
- Simply this. If Hughes gets lit up in his first appearance, I say shut him down the rest of the way unless needed late in extra innings. In the playoffs, you have to go with the hot hand because there is no spare time to work out the kinks. Robertson has been the most consistent and has had the most impressive stuff recently, in my opinion.

This article is also featured on lenNY’s Yankees.

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