Man I am glad I am not Joe Girardi today.
It looks like we’re going to have thundershowers in New York today and the chances of the game being played are thinner than that airbrushed picture of Filippa Hamilton.
So if the series is to resume on Sunday, what the hell should Girardi do?
Should he go for the jugular and start C. C. Sabathia on 3 days rest?
Should he start Andy Pettitte on his regular rest and have Sabathia ready to go in either Game 7 of the ALCS or Game 1 of the World Series?
Jeez when I write them both out like that, they both make a lot of sense.
The Angels’ confidence is running high right now going into New York. They have a new lease on life… and the two guys who are credited with lightening up the Yankee clubhouse (Nick Swisher and A. J. Burnett) are wearing goat horns.
But the Angels haven’t figured out Sabathia… who is 2-0 with a 1.12 ERA in the ALCS and has an awesome WHIP and strikeout to walk ratio… and is a stud.
It would all but certainly put an end to the series.
It would pull the rug out of any momentum and erase any relevance of the two Angels losses.
Remember how the A’s and the Mariners extended their 2000 series against the Yankees with big wins? Remember how the Indians pushed the Yankees in 1998? Or the Red Sox played the Yankees tough in 1999?
OF COURSE YOU DON’T! The Yankees went on to win the World Series those years… and the Angels grittiness would be thrown into the pile of forgotten playoff series.
Sabathia would be the exclamation point. Plus he is capable of throwing 8 or 9 innings, thus making sure the suddenly ineffective Phil Hughes and Joba Chamberlain don’t have to come into a big game.
But then again…
Wouldn’t that be a desperation move?
The YANKEES are in the lead, not the Angels. The Yankees are throwing Andy Pettitte and save for a Vlad Guerrero homer in Game 3, he pitched well.
And what if… and bear with me on this… the Angels BEAT Sabathia in Game 6? It’s possible. Sabathia lost 8 times this season.
He was dreadful in the post season prior to this year.
There could be a pitchers duel… or a battle of the bullpens.
So let’s say the Angels win a Game 6 started by Sabathia. They would have insane confidence going into Game 7… the Yankees would be pressing and the Game 7 pitching match up of John Lackey vs. Andy Pettitte would favor Los Angeles… or California… or Anaheim… or Los Angeles of Anaheim.
And isn’t this over managing exactly what has Girardi in the crosshairs of the fan base’s ire?
And if Sabathia DOES win Game 6 on Sunday, he would not be ready to throw in the World Series until Game 2… and he’d only have 2 starts. Which means the Yankees would be forced to start either Chad Guadin or the artist formerly known as Joba Chamberlain.
Can you imagine how Girardi would be crucified if Chad Gaudin is forced to pitch a critical Game 4 of the World Series?
But then again… how will he be slaughtered if he DOESN’T start Sabathia and he’s blamed for letting the Angels stay alive…
What I am saying is, I’m glad I’m not him.
But his job is to make decisions… and as George W. Bush said “My job is a job to make decisions. I'm a decision.. if the job description were, what do you do.. it's decision maker.”
Use those pearls of wisdom when you make your decision Joe.