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CC vs. AJ in Game 4: a rebuttal

Oct 19, 2010, 1:10 PM EDT

Joe Pawlikowski counters my Team A.J. post over at Fangraphs. He prefers CC Sabathia for a pretty basic reason:

The overall point of using Sabathia tonight is to give the team the best chance of prolonging the series. No matter the match-up, Sabathia gives the team a better chance to win this evening. That means at least two more games. Since the Yankees are down two games to one, prolonging the series should be their foremost thought.

There is obviously more to that argument including data about short rest starts, so by all means, go read it. It’s probably the best pro-Sabathia argument I’ve seen today. Everything else is so much hysteria, it seems.

I think both Joe and I agree on one thing: there is no clear, shining wonderful option for the Yankees. This is not a situation of a smart move vs. a boneheaded move. It’s about tradeoffs: do you take your best shot in this one game, or do you try to maximize your sustained firepower over the next three?



  1. Dan Friedman - Oct 19, 2010 at 1:21 PM

    You both also agree on the all-important point that what is more important than AJ Burnett’s performance tonight is the Yankee batters WAKING UP.

    • Chris Fiorentino - Oct 19, 2010 at 2:09 PM

      Of course, if the Yankers bats wake up, they can easily outslug the Rangers the next three games and avoid Cliff Lee in game 7. But the question becomes how do you predict whether the bats will wake up?

      • Kevin S. - Oct 19, 2010 at 5:06 PM

        Given that slumps have no predictive value going forward, I would set my expectations for the Yankees level of offense at roughly what they did this season, plus whatever Tommy Hunter’s sucktitude adds to that.

  2. Chris Fiorentino - Oct 19, 2010 at 1:44 PM

    I just don’t see the sanity in pitching Hughes again in Texas in game 6. His one start there this postseason was dreadful. Wouldn’t you rather see Petitte on 3 days rest pitch game 6 and CC on 3 days rest pitch game 7 over Hughes? Dire times call for dire measures, and if you are putting all your eggs in the “AJ Burnett” basket over the “CC on short rest” basket, you are taking too big a gamble.

    • roadduck99 - Oct 19, 2010 at 2:03 PM

      How did CC look in his one start in Texas this postseason?

      • Chris Fiorentino - Oct 19, 2010 at 2:08 PM

        CC is CC. Hughes is a young guy who’s had one good start against the Twinkies in his career in the postseason. If you want to compare CC to Hughes, on any amount of rest, then you are nuts. Like I said earlier today, and the article Craig linked to above also says, CC is a great short-rest pitcher. I would have more confidence in CC pitching 4, Burnett/Hughes pitching 5, and Petitte pitching 6. Nobody is bringing this up, but THAT is the way that gives the Yankers the best chance of avoiding a game 7.

    • Richard In Big D - Oct 19, 2010 at 2:42 PM

      I, for one, would love to see a 76 year old Andy Petitte on 3 days rest. That would help save Lee for game 1.

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