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Please, Lupica. Girardi has no choice but to start Pettitte tonight

Nov 4, 2009, 10:55 AM EDT

I do my best to avoid Mike Lupica whenever possible, but my buddy Jason alerts me to the latest bit of wisdom from the New York Daily News’ alpha dog:

Joe Girardi knows the deal as well as he knows his way out to the mound. He’s right about using only three starters in the postseason if the Yankees win, tonight or tomorrow night. He’s right if Andy Pettitte does the job in Game 6 on three days’ rest that A.J. Burnett didn’t do Monday night. Or he’s right if this thing plays all the way out and CC Sabathia carries everybody across the finish line. Girardi just better be right about three days’ rest for these guys after being up three games to one.

As most of you know, I’m a lawyer by training and trade, and it’s times like these that I wish I could mix the law and baseball. If I could, I’d put Lupica on the stand and cross examine him:

Lawyer: So, Mr. Lupica, is it your position here today that Mr. Girardi should start Mr. Gaudin — who hasn’t pitched in a month — or, say, Mr. Chamberlain in Game Six of the World Series?

Lupica: [mutters something unintelligible]

Lawyer: I’m sorry, I didn’t hear your answer, could you speak a little louder so the jury and the court reporter can hear your answer?

Lupica: I said, um, no. Pettitte’s a better choice.

Lawyer: So you’d agree with me, then, that Mr. Girardi is making the right decision to start Mr. Pettitte tonight?

Lupica: Yes.

Lawyer: So, if Mr. Pettitte doesn’t perform, it’s not because of Mr. Girardi’s poor decision, is it?  It’s because of something else such as poor roster construction?

Lupica: Yes

Lawyer: Your honor, at this time I think Mr. Lupica may wish to retract his “Girardi had better be right” statement because such rhetoric is clearly not supported by the witness’ own beliefs.

Of course, I suppose it’s possible that Lupica really does think it’s better to start Chad Gaudin. He doesn’t say either way in his article. Which is a shame, because if he said Gaudin was the man, we’d be able to dismiss Lupica as certifiably insane without going through all of this hassle.

  1. jonny5 - Nov 4, 2009 at 12:33 PM

    I love this match up. It’s one for the ages, or in this case, “the aged”. The wonderful part about this is, if Philly takes game 6, we’re looking at Sabathia, who in my honest opinion is spooked by Philly and will crumble under the pressure of a game 7. But let’s get through tonight first. My Tentative prediction 7-5 Phills for tonight. Woo Hoo!!! Go Phillies!!!! This is going to be great!!!! better count on having a hangover tomorrow……. hmmm????

  2. steel the king - Nov 4, 2009 at 12:47 PM

    Are you insane, even if Pettite doesn’t win tonight which is doubtful at best. Why would CC be afraid of the Phils The only pitcher on the rotation that can match CC is Cliff Lee guess what he won’t be pitching in game 7. So sorry, all we really need is for Pettite the winningest pitcher in post season HISTORY to give us 6 strong tonight and it’s over. The way both teams are hitting right now even if Utley hits a homer every time he comes up it won’t be enough. The Phillies will need at least 8 to win tonight, and I don’t see them being able to produce tonight. I bet Pedro won’t last pass the 5 tonight. Game over thanks for the 27th ring

  3. jonny5 - Nov 4, 2009 at 12:59 PM

    Nope, I’m very sane. And one thing I’ve noticed following the Phills is this team has won when they had to. Another thing i’ve noticed is short rest for these old goats isn’t cutting it. And since I’m stating what I’ve noticed, Another is CC, when facing the Phills has lost his look of confidence on his face. Let’s not forget what the Phills did to sabathia last season on short rest, by the looks of it, he hasn’t. 7-5 Phills for tonight’s game. And in the words of “John” “MARK MY WORDS” LOL!!! Don’t count your chickens before they hatch King!!!

  4. Jeff - Nov 4, 2009 at 1:30 PM

    Wow Jonny5. That is some really amazing insight you have there! CC has lost his “look” of confidence? What is the percentage of Philly runs that are accounted for by Chase Utley versus Sabathia? 4 out of 5 runs….so the rest of them Phillies are really scaring Sabathia. If the Yankees continue to pitch to Utley like they have, they could be in in trouble, but I strongly doubt that they will continue to throw low fastballs down the middle…..
    Craig, Lupica is a dinosaur that used to have some journalistic credibility. That is long gone at this point, and he exists only to try to stir the pot, no matter how foolish he may sound. I hope as fans of my generation take control of the world, we can make sure hacks like him don’t have gainful employment.

  5. jonny5 - Nov 4, 2009 at 2:03 PM

    We will see Jeff. I’m talking about a hypothetical game seven here. With Sabathia on multiple short rest starts, just like when the Phills whooped up on him last season. His face tells me he’s lost his confidence. He’s pitched more balls than he normally does and he’s on the downward spiral here. but like I said, we’ll see if it goes that far first. And they can pitch around utley all they want because the Phills line up will bring it, because they have to.

  6. Mike Z - Nov 4, 2009 at 2:11 PM

    “So sorry, all we really need is for Pettite the winningest pitcher in post season HISTORY to give us 6 strong tonight and it’s over.”
    You expect a 37 year old guy to bring his good stuff and pitch 6 solid on 3 days rest? When he has not pitched on 3 days rest since 2006. And he has not pitched on 3 days rest after throwing 100+ pitches in a game since 2001. He has pitched on 5 or 6 days rest this entire postseason. 6 innings, doubt it. He will be lucky to get 6 outs. Pettite will get the start but Gaudin will probably be in for some very early relief work.

  7. comeonman - Nov 4, 2009 at 2:17 PM

    Dude, the only picture SPOOKED IS HAMEL……….

  8. comeonman - Nov 4, 2009 at 2:19 PM


  9. jonny5 - Nov 4, 2009 at 2:22 PM

    Hamels is spooked I agree. But will he start pitching in game 7? not so sure about that.

  10. comeonman - Nov 4, 2009 at 2:22 PM


  11. jonny5 - Nov 4, 2009 at 2:34 PM

    LOL!!! from a guy who types in CAPS!! And can’t figure out how to post properly. Yeah, I “ARE NOT TOO SMART”.

  12. Daniel - Nov 4, 2009 at 2:43 PM

    Based on some general numbers, Gaudin on normal rest vs. Pettitte on short rest should be about a wash. Given that Chad hasn’t pitched in a while, not letting him start makes sense. I don’t think it would have been a completely terrible decision though.

  13. Chris - Nov 4, 2009 at 2:47 PM

    Not sure I get why CC would be spooked. He pitched well in game one except for the Utley homers. His team won game 4 even when he didn’t have his best stuff. Game 7 would be the game he was paid the big bucks to come and win, and I think he can do it if it comes to that, especially if his opposition is Hamels (who the Yanks already knocked around) or Happ.
    Happ can certainly pitch, but to ask a rookie to shut down this lineup, on the road, in a Game 7, against one of the game’s top starting pitchers, is a whole lot to ask. Not sayin’ he can’t do it, just don’t think he (or Hamels) will. At least Hamels has the history of pitching well in the postseason.
    I don’t think either starter will get far tonight, and I’ll be impressed if either guy goes 5. Pedro already deserves a hat-tip and Andy’s a gamer but I’d be shocked by a low-scoring game.

  14. John - Nov 4, 2009 at 2:48 PM


  15. jonny5 - Nov 4, 2009 at 3:16 PM

    Not saying he’ll be spooked, or that he won’t pitch well. Just hoping. All I’m saying is by the man’s face he looks like he doesn’t have the CC confidence he normally does, and for good reason. Even this mountain of a man gets worn down, and look who he’s facing. The same guys who took advantage of this very same situation last season a CC on multiple short rest starts. Did any of you Yankee fans watch the Phills and Brewers last season in the play offs? That’s what we hope for again if we see a game 7. After all this talk about CC in game 7 could be a mute point. And I totally agree with you on the Phillies pitching for a game 7, it’s a toss up.

  16. John - Nov 4, 2009 at 3:39 PM

    That’s “moot point” jonny5 and it won’t be for there will be a game seven and the Phillies will prevail. PHILLIES IN SEVEN!!! MARK MY WORDS!!!

  17. jonny5 - Nov 4, 2009 at 3:55 PM

    LOL, Yes it is John, you got me. You have to excuse me, I’m home sick with H1N1. Maybe the Phills and getting tanked will help me feel better tonight???? I’m sure as hell going to find out. ;>)~

  18. Joey B - Nov 4, 2009 at 5:02 PM

    Ehhh. If Lupica wanted to get his bona fides, he should come out and declare that the NYY should’ve used a 4-man rotation from the beginning, including Gaudin or Joba. As it is, the article is meaningless. I don’t like the NYY, nor Girardi, but this basically says that the decision will be right or wrong based on results. So if 3 Philly hitters hit ropes right at Tex with guys on, it’s a good decision, and if they bloop one down the RF with bases juiced, then it’s a bad decision?

  19. John - Nov 4, 2009 at 6:00 PM

    H1N1? Ahhhhhhh… breathing all over in this forum!!! *puts on a surgeons mask* They’re offering free H1N1 vaccine shots tomorrow here, should I get one? PHILLIES IN SEVEN!!! MARK MY WORDS!!!

  20. DieHard Yankees Fan - Nov 4, 2009 at 6:55 PM

    You should get one while it is free. Because you are so sick that the Philly will lose tonight. Philly do not even get a chane. Got it???????

  21. GBS - Nov 4, 2009 at 10:11 PM

    comeonman – those guys throwing the ball to the catcher over and over are called pitchers, not pictures.

  22. Kathern Auwaerter - Jan 17, 2010 at 4:10 AM

    That is some inspirational stuff. Never knew that opinions could be this varied. Thanks for all the enthusiasm to offer such helpful information here.

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