Yesterday I wrote that Javier Vazquez could turn around the fans that weren’t on his side yet by a pair of strong performances this week. He needed a win last night to soften the home fans leading up to his next home start this Saturday, but instead he’s only given the boo-birds more ammunition and probably even recruited more fans to their side.
So get ready because his next start in Yankee Stadium, this Saturday, is going to be ugly. Vazquez will probably turn his season around eventually, but so far we’ve seen nothing to suggest that it will happen this weekend. If he steps out on that mound without his very best stuff he’s going to get attacked by the home fans.
Luckily for the Yankees though, they have a good enough team to give Vazquez the time to work through his struggles. This is in large part to Phil Hughes who has joined the rotation and looks like he might have the potential to be the no. 2 behind CC Sabathia.
The top three starters have also bought Vazquez some time. Part of the reason why he was brought in was for insurance in case the heavy workload Sabathia, AJ Burnett, and Andy Pettitte experienced last season came back to haunt them. So far though the top three have not experienced any drawbacks from their World Series march and it gives Vazquez time.
The problem is that Vazquez seems to be letting the pressure get to him and even though it is not coming from the Yankees, thanks to their strong rotation, that pressure is real. Like I said above, this Saturday is not going to be fun for Javy. Pitching in that environment is going to be very stressful and may just prolong his struggles.
The answer might be to juggle the rotation to try to get Vazquez more starts on the road until he straightens himself out. Manager Joe Girardi might not be considering this right now, but another bad Bronx start might just change that.