Tuesday, October 13, 2009

3-man rotation the way to go for Yankees

Joe Girardi acknowledged the obvious today when he said the Yankees are considering going with a 3-man rotation of CC Sabathia, AJ Burnett and Andy Pettitte for the American League Championship Series. He not only should be leaning in that direction, it is the right way to go.

You would be taking a big risk starting Chad Gaudin in Game 4 after he hasn't started in a couple of weeks. Yes, he's been working out and throwing in the bullpen to keep sharp. And remember, one of the most clutch pitching performances of the Yankees 1990s dynasty came from Orlando "El Duque" Hernandez in Game 4 of the ALCS against Cleveland with the Yanks down 2 games to 1 after he sat on the bench for a few weeks. But Gaudin -- a solid starter -- is no El Duque, who was dominating and puzzling during a clutch performance that saved the Yankees season.

Really think about any scenario the Yanks could be in at that point in the ALCS. If heaven forbid, they're down a game or two, you have to go with your horse. But even if the Yankees are leading the series, you still have to go with Sabathia. If the 2004 ALCS taught us anything, it's that you have to put your foot on the other team's throat when you have them down.

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