Before last night’s start, Vidal Nuno hadn’t won a game at Yankee Stadium this season. Luckily for the Yankees, Nuno pitched 5.2 scoreless innings and was backed up by three home runs to give the Yankees a 6-0 victory over the Boston Red Sox.
During Joe Girardi‘s press conference, Girardi kept using this word when he had to describe Nuno: “confident”. Girardi was confident in his decision to not skip the rotation, he was confident in his decision to let Nuno face the Red Sox, he was confident in his decision to let Nuno prove himself. Nuno surely made Girardi’s decision look like a smart one, but despite Nuno’s outing, the Yankees still need another starting pitcher if they want to have any chance of making it to the playoffs.
CC Sabathia is about 30 days away and who knows how long Michael Pineda is from returning, but while Nuno’s start was a good one, this was still just one start. Maybe this is the start that gets Nuno to turn it around or maybe Nuno falls back into his habits against the Tampa Bay Rays. Not to mention, the Boston Red Sox are not a good team–at all. The Red Sox let Jacoby Ellsbury go because they thought they had the answer to him in their organization but without Ellsbury, the Red Sox are headed towards a downhill spiral.
Girardi can’t run the risk of taxing out Masahiro Tanaka just because Tanaka has been their best pitcher. Other than Tanaka, there’s too much uncertainty about the status of the starting rotation. One of Nuno, David Phelps and Chase Whitley will help win you a spot in the postseason but having all three of them night make the Yankees fall just a tad short.
So now it’s up to Brian Cashman to make a deal and get in contact with multiple teams. There are plenty of pitchers reportedly on the market, but most teams might not be willing to part with their pieces since they too are in a playoff race. The next question would be if the Yankees have enough pieces to get a starter–a question I answered in a post yesterday. For now, Joe Girardi is going to have to run Nuno out there every fifth day with hopes he can hold the fort down until the Yankees can make a trade.