Tag:CC Sabathia
Posted on: October 19, 2010 12:24 am
Edited on: October 19, 2010 11:29 am

Yankees sticking with Burnett

A.J. Burnett Joe Girardi is sticking with A.J. Burnett to start Game 4 of the American League Championship Series on Tuesday.

When he was asked in the postage press conference if he was still going to pitch Burnett, Girardi didn't hesitate.

"Yes. Yes," Girardi said.

He answered the follow-up -- if he'd had to think about it -- just as quickly.

"No," Girardi said.

Burnett was 10-15 with a  5.26 ERA in the regular season and wasn't used in the ALDS. He went 1-7 with a 6.61 ERA in the last two months of the season. However, he did make three starts against the Rangers this year and went 1-0 with a 2.50 ERA and a 1.28 WHIP.

Last season, Burenett was 1-1 with a 5.27 ERA in five postseason starts.

The Yankees could have used CC Sabathia on short rest, but then would have had to find a Game 5 starter on short rest, too.

Burnett will face Tommy Hunter, who was 13-4 with a 3.73 ERA. He went five innings in a no-decision against the Yankees on Sept. 11, allowing two runs on six hits, while striking out eight and walking three in a Rangers victory.

-- C. Trent Rosecrans

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Posted on: October 17, 2010 3:25 pm
Edited on: October 19, 2010 11:10 am

Girardi going with Burnett in Game 4

Contrary to all indications, and contrary to common sense, Yankees manager Joe Girardi is planning on starting A.J. Burnett in Game 4 of the ALCS.

Girardi just told reporters in his workout-day media session that the Yankees will stay in rotation, saying, "We believe in A.J." You might be able to file that soon under Famous Last Words.

So let me see if I have this straight: Girardi plans to face Cliff Lee in Game 3 and then, regardless of the outcome of that game, put Game 4 on the shoulders of a guy who won just one of his last 12 regular-season starts and couldn't even get through a simulated game without plunking his teammates? And by doing so he's ensuring that his ace, CC Sabathia, pitches once instead of twice in what is now a five-game series?

There's a time for showing loyalty, but this is not it. This is a time to win games at all costs, and there's no way Burnett gives you your best chance at winning. Can't wait to hear the fallout in New York over this one.

-- David Andriesen

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Posted on: October 16, 2010 7:59 pm

Yankees need to keep Burnett out of rotation

CC Sabathia The Yankees need to make sure A.J. Burnett doesn't come near the mound in Game 4 of the ALCS.

Now that the Rangers have responded with a rousing Game 2 victory, this much is clear: Texas can hang with the big boys. The Rangers would have a 2-0 series lead if not for a bullpen implosion in Game 1.

From hereon out, it's a five-game series with Cliff Lee taking the mound in Game 1 and Game 5 if the series stretches that far. The Yankees could potentially answer with Pettitte followed by Burnett, then Sabathia, Hughes and Pettitte again. Or, given CC Sabathia (pictured) and Phil Hughes' poor pitch counts, could conceivably go on three days rest without too much difficulty.

It then becomes Pettitte, Sabathia, Hughes, Pettitte again then a leaning on CC Sabathia for three days rest in Game 7 -- but the big dude can handle that.

With the series at a 1-1 tie, it's possible a win in Game 3 would make the Yankees commit to Burnett in Game 4, but given what Buster Olney of ESPN tweeted earlier, that's unlikely. Olney said that Burnett's wild simulated game has "convinced" the Yankees to do what they can to avoid pitching Burnett.

After being outplayed overall by Texas in the first two games, it makes complete sense to take advantage of Sabathia and Hughes' short starts to go to a three-man rotation. Not only is it the right choice from a competitive standpoint, it passes the smell test for both players and fans alike.

-- Evan Brunell

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Posted on: October 15, 2010 11:24 am
Edited on: October 19, 2010 11:10 am

Our fearless second-round predictions

David Andriesen, Evan Brunell and C. Trent Rosecrans are in agreement on the National League, but have a split decision in the American League.

David Andriesen

ALCS: Rangers over Yankees in 7

This is a great matchup of two teams that, despite their disparate postseason pedigrees, are very similar. While there's a lot of talk about Cliff Lee being the difference-maker, CC Sabathia gives the Yankees an equally powerful weapon. It's easy to say each of those guys are an automatic two wins, but I have a feeling one of them is due for a stumble (I just don't know which one). A.J. Burnett would seem to be a huge comparative liability for the Yankees, so of course he'll go out and pitch a shutout. Could go either way here, but I grew up a Rangers fan, so my inner fanboy tips the scale.

NLCS: Phillies over Giants in 5

The Phillies look like an unstoppable freight train right now. Even when the Reds had them on the ropes in Game 2, the Phillies swatted them away. We are seeing the importance of starting pitching so far this postseason, and nobody can match Philadelphia in that department. The Giants are obviously no slouches on the mound, but it will be an upset if the Phillies don't win the whole thing.

Evan Brunell

ALCS: Rangers over Yankees in 7
The Yankees and Rangers are pretty evenly matched up, so the nod has to go to the team with the better ace. CC Sabathia has been worth every cent of the megadeal he signed with the Yankees so far, but even he can't match up to Cliff Lee. If both teams stick to a four-man rotation, that's an added benefit to Texas as Tommy Hunter is far more trustworthy than A.J. Burnett. The one question is if Texas' offense can keep up with the Yankees, who will grind starters down and get into the bullpen early.

NLCS: Phillies over Giants in 6
While the Giants have their own Big Three and a burgeoning Big Four, the Phillies simply have too much firepower. The starting pitching is sublime while the bullpen has come together quickly to support a strong offense. San Francisco's team is essentially the poor man's Philadelphia, but that doesn't help the Giants when it comes to facing Philly.

C. Trent Rosecrans

ALCS: Yankees over Rangers in 7
A.J. Burnett can only lose one game, right? And Cliff Lee can only pitch two, right? C.J. Wilson has been good, but I still have to go with the better-hitting team, and that's the Yankees. In the end, they have too many bats for the Rangers. Of course, I said the same thing about the Rays and look where that got me.

NLCS: Phillies over Giants in 5

Let's see -- the Phillies have the better rotation and the better offense. Sounds pretty simple. It's tough to see how San Francisco's offense can do much better than Cincinnati's did against Phillie piching. We should get a couple of great 1-0, 2-1 games, but look for Philadelphia to come out ahead in both of those.

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Posted on: October 13, 2010 5:26 pm
Edited on: October 19, 2010 11:05 am

Rangers set ALCS rotation

Rangers manager Ron Washington officially confirmed that his ALCS rotation will be what we projected last night, with C.J. Wilson getting the nod for Game 1.

So that's Wilson vs. CC Sabathia in the first game, followed by Colby Lewis vs. Phil Hughes, Cliff Lee vs. Andy Pettitte and Tommy Hunter vs. A.J. Burnett.

Washington also said the Rangers will add a reliever for the series, dropping reserve infielder Esteban German from the roster. Left-handers Michael Kirkman, Clay Rapada and Matt Harrison and right-handers Mark Lowe and Scott Feldman are the candidates to be added.

UPDATE: The Yankees have switched it up and will throw Hughes second and Pettitte third. The above text has been changed to reflect that and is correct.

-- David Andriesen

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Posted on: October 12, 2010 11:11 pm
Edited on: October 12, 2010 11:39 pm

ALCS has battle of evenly-matched teams

RZThe ALCS is set, and the Yankees with 27 World Series rings will do battle with a team that just won its first postseason series -- ever.

Cliff Lee That may seem like an obvious advantage, but both teams are rather evenly matched in starting pitching. Although the Yankees will be able to roll with a normal format of the ace in the first game, the Rangers will have to push Cliff Lee (pictured, right) back to the third game.

Game 1 will pit Yankees ace CC Sabathia against fellow lefty C.J. Wilson. While Sabathia holds an edge, it's not a major one as Wilson has his own successful year in the books. Game 2 will see Andy Pettitte go against Colby Lewis. Lewis holds the edge in an ability to go deep in the game and actually has a better xFIP than Pettitte (3.93 to 4.05) but it's close enough that you can't discount Pettitte's pitching from the south and his postseason credentials. Another close matchup.

Then, Lee goes against Phil Hughes. Easy advantage for Texas and Lee, but Phil Hughes is no slouch either. Then you get into the soft underbelly of both teams in Game 4 starters of A.J. Burnett and Tommy Hunter.

Even though the Yankees have a chance to jump out to an early lead, the Rangers will also benefit from being able to throw Lee in Game 3 -- oftentimes a game that sets the tone for the rest of the series -- and a do-or-die Game 7. Unless the Yankees bring CC Sabathia back on three days' rest for Game 7 (and that sounded unlikely given Joe Girardi's comments on the subject), the Yankees might be underdogs going into a possible Game 7.

The starting pitching matchups remain close enough that each team's offense will have to step up in order to guarantee victory -- and each team goes different routes when it comes to offense.

The Yankees paced baseball in runs scored with 859, but the Rangers weren't too far behind at fifth with 787. However, both teams went in very different ways when it came to scoring these runs. The Yankees live and die by plate discipline, also pacing first in the majors in on-base percentage.

Mark Teixeira Mark Teixeira (left) paced the team with 93 walks, but Brett Gardner, Derek Jeter, Alex Rodriguez, Jorge Posada, Nick Swisher, Robinson Cano and Curtis Granderson also cracked or exceeded the 50-walk plateau. That's eight of nine starters, if you weren't counting.

Ah, but the Rangers have their own weapon: a team batting average of .276 paced the league with both Michael Young (.284 batting average) and Josh Hamilton (.359) tying for a team lead with 186 hits. Vladimir Guerrero and Nelson Cruz also topped the .300 batting average mark, so this team can make contact.

The Yankees have the advantage of running up the pitch counts of the Rangers pitchers which will force Texas to dip into what has already been an overworked bullpen. On the other hand, an aggressive approach at the plate might be what it takes to take out the Yankees starters -- but only as long as the club doesn't expand its strike zone. Given the team is 18th in total walks, that could end up a real concern.

Fielding is the last major impact there can be on a series. The Rangers have a team UZR/150 (Ultimate Zone Rating) of 1.9, but the Yankees lurk just behind at 1.8. In defensive runs saved, the Rangers have one to their name, while the Yankees have exactly zero. So even the pitching is evenly matched up.

Both teams are too close in offense, pitching and defense to call any victor. Given the Yankees have the edge in plate discipline and power, that might be enough to tip the scales in favor of New York in what is shaping up to be a battle between two evenly-matched teams.

-- Evan Brunell

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Posted on: October 9, 2010 9:47 pm

News on Game 4 starters

If the Twins win the game that's under way now, they will face a mismatch on the mound in Game 4 tomorrow. Joe Girardi said again Saturday that ace CC Sabathia would get the call on short rest Sunday at Yankee Stadium. Twins manager Ron Gardenhire, however, said he did not consider throwing Game 1 starter Francisco Liriano on short rest. He told reporters that Nick Blackburn would get the Twins' Game 4 start. Blackburn was 10-12 with a 5.42 ERA during the regular season.

We know there's going to be a Game 4 in the Giants-Braves series, and Giants manager Bruce Bochy said he's undecided about -- or at least not ready to disclose -- whether he'll throw Game 1 starter Tim Lincecum on three days' rest or turn to rookie Madison Bumgarner. Meanwhile, Braves manager Bobby Cox says he's leaning toward Game 1 starter Derek Lowe in Game 4 over rookie Brandon Beachy.

The projected starters for Game 4 in Arlington on Sunday are Tommy Hunter for the Rangers and Wade Davis for the Rays.

-- David Andriesen

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Posted on: October 8, 2010 10:15 pm
Edited on: October 8, 2010 10:17 pm

Sabathia would pitch Game 4

It was assumed, but now it's official: If the Yankees-Twins series goes to a fourth game, CC Sabathia will start for the Yankees on three days' rest Sunday.

Manager Joe Girardi confirmed the plan Friday. Throwing pitchers on short rest in the postseason is nothing new for the Yankees, and nothing new for Sabathia -- he won Game 4 of both the ALCS and World Series last year.

Sabathia was the winner in Game 1 against the Twins on Wednesday, allowing three runs in six innings.

-- David Andriesen

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Category: MLB
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