• Burnett Out Of ALDS Rotation, Pettitte Goes In Game 2

    Posted by on October 5th, 2010 · Comments (10)

    Via Wallace Matthews -

    A.J. Burnett will not be part of the New York Yankees’ starting rotation in the American League Division Series, a baseball official with knowledge of the Yankees’ thinking has confirmed.

    The Yankees announced Tuesday that CC Sabathia will start Game 1 against the Minnesota Twins. Andy Pettitte will start in Game 2, while Phil Hughes will start Game 3 when the series moves from Minnesota to the Bronx.

    The Yankees did not announce a Game 4 starter. But according to the source, manager Joe Girardi will bring Sabathia back for Game 4 on short rest if needed, while Pettitte, who would pitch on regular rest because of the off days in the schedule, would start Game 5 if necessary.

    So, here’s the question: Does all this make Game 1 of the ALDS “Must Win” for the Yankees?

    Think about it. If New York loses Game 1, then they have to win three out of four games to advance – and will only have Sabathia pitching in one of those games and that will be on short rest. Sure sounds like Game 1 is a must for the Yankees, no?

    Comments on Burnett Out Of ALDS Rotation, Pettitte Goes In Game 2

    1. MJ Recanati
      October 5th, 2010 | 1:45 pm

      There have been 96 five-game series in post-season history (1969-1984 AL/NLCS, 1995-2009 AL/NLDS, 1981 AL/NLDS (due to strike)). In those 96 matchups, the team that won Game 1 went on to win the series 68 times (70.8%). So, yeah, Game 1 is very important, and not just because of the Yankee rotation. Historically, Game 1 is very important in a five-game series.

    2. October 5th, 2010 | 2:30 pm

      Oh, I agree. I’m not big on saying that the Yanks need to win Game 1, but this year, they kinda do. Especially in the first round.

    3. #15
      October 5th, 2010 | 2:36 pm

      Winning either of the two games in Minni will suffice. I still prefer Hughes in game 2 (on the road) and Andy in game 3 (at home and better to throw the lefty at them in the Bronx). As far as AJ… He’s shown nothing to think he’d get the call in a 5 game series and be effective. Rest up, clear your head, ice your eye, and be ready for the next round. Have the pen standing by.

    4. MJ Recanati
      October 5th, 2010 | 2:43 pm

      I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: irrespective of the home/road splits, I’m amazed that Yankee fans would rather have Phil Hughes potentially pitching twice in the ALDS instead of Andy Pettitte.

      Andy Pettitte? Have people forgotten about him already?

    5. October 5th, 2010 | 3:23 pm

      @ MJ Recanati:

      Dude. You missed the memo. Phil Hughes was the first 24-year old ever elected to the Hall of Fame and the first player in baseball history to win more Cy Young Awards than all other Cy Young Award winners combined!

    6. October 5th, 2010 | 3:49 pm

      MJ Recanati wrote:

      There have been 96 five-game series in post-season history (1969-1984 AL/NLCS, 1995-2009 AL/NLDS, 1981 AL/NLDS (due to strike)). In those 96 matchups, the team that won Game 1 went on to win the series 68 times (70.8%). So, yeah, Game 1 is very important, and not just because of the Yankee rotation. Historically, Game 1 is very important in a five-game series.

      FWIW, the 2000 Yankees, 2002 Angels, 2003 Red Sox, and 2006 Tigers all recently lost Game 1 of the ALDS on the road and went on to win the series.

      http://bbref.com/pi/shareit/jWG9W

    7. MJ Recanati
      October 5th, 2010 | 3:51 pm

      @ Steve Lombardi:
      I’m as big a Hughes fan as the guy that wrote that memo but even I can’t get so stats-obsessed as to bottom-line the conversation in the following way:

      In a Game 5 scenario, I’d take Andy Pettitte over Phil Hughes in 2010. Maybe not in 2011 or 2012, but certainly in 2010. To me, that seals the deal. Pettitte pitches Game 2 and, if necessary, Game 5. If Hughes gets bombed at home, so be it. There’s no guarantee that he doesn’t get bombed on the road, either. You just gotta pitch your best pitchers no matter what.

    8. jrk
      October 5th, 2010 | 4:00 pm

      I’d have to agree with the sentiments here that Game 1 is as close to a “must-win” as is possible for the Yankees in a Game 1. Other than the question marks for the pitchers to follow (injury for Andy, inexperience for Hughes), if the Twinkies take Game 1 from one the best pitchers in baseball, their confidence will be flying high that might finally break this slump against the Yankees.
      And like MJ, I also am a big Hughes fan, but cannot believe that people out there want Hughes before Andy in this postseason rotation.

    9. Evan3457
      October 5th, 2010 | 10:15 pm

      Liriano is also a very good starter.

      The only reason I can see why Game 1 might be considered “must-win” is that the Yanks really havn’t hit Pavano well at all since he left.

      But, in general, no, I don’t regard any game 1 as “must win”.

      If they were playing the Rangers, and Cliff Lee was pitching, would Game 1 still be “must win”?

      Well, Liriano might not be Lee, but he’s been plenty damned good this season, all by his own self. Note his K/IP, K/BB, and HR/9 ratios.

    10. Raf
      October 6th, 2010 | 9:35 am

      Steve Lombardi wrote:

      FWIW, the 2000 Yankees, 2002 Angels, 2003 Red Sox, and 2006 Tigers all recently lost Game 1 of the ALDS on the road and went on to win the series.

      Still, those are pretty bad odds.

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