Sabathia came to New York as a playoff flop, struggling with both the Indians and Brewers in their recent postseason appearances, but has turned his October career around with the Yankees and has established himself as a big game pitcher.
His gritty game one performance was a little scary at times, but he was able to escape several jams and hold down the Twins offense while Curtis Granderson and Mark Teixeira rallied the Yankees offense for the come from behind win 6-4.
Sabathia is the unquestioned ace of the staff and will get the ball on three day’s rest if need be at some point, just like he did during last year’s World Series run, and he may be called upon to do the same this year.
Pettitte’s postseason career speaks for itself, 19 wins and five World Series rings. However, his health was a big question mark for the Yankees as they began their 28th title quest this October.
Well, once again ageless Andy answered the call and fired seven innings of two run ball on Thursday, good enough for the Yankees potent offense and emerging postseason hero Granderson along with Lance Berkman. The Bombers went on to win 5-2, thus taking a commanding two game lead in this best of five series against the Twins.
Although we will have to wait and see how Hughes does, it is safe to say that Joe Girardi is seriously considering whether or not to go with a three man rotation throughout the entire postseason, and I believe the answer is yes.
A.J. Burnett doesn’t know where he is right now both physically and mentally, and after a season riddled with inconsistency (along with cut hands and a mysterious black eye) the best place for him is on the bench right now.
Javier Vazquez has also been inconsistent and far too prone to the homerun ball to pitch at Yankee Stadium, or anywhere else for that matter, plus he has lost the “zip” on his fastball, so I don’t think he is a viable option for starting.
You could make cases for others, but would any other pitcher be better starting than Sabathia, Pettitte, or Hughes? Even if they are on three day’s rest, they give the Yankees the best chance to win every night.
With Pettitte seemingly healthy and in his classic postseason form and Sabathia earning every penny of his contract, along with a young arm in Hughes, the Yankees have to go with a three man playoff rotation once again this year.