There is a New NYYSportstalk Podcast coming up tonight. The guys will definitely hit you with some serious knowledge, and break down the Yankees pummeling of the bushleague Rays this afternoon. The 12-1 Yankee route was the type of win I think members of the Yankee Universe expected a lot more of this season. Especially after acquiring the reigning NL MVP in Giancarlo Stanton. Annoyingly (as I’ve discussed a few times in this space) we’ve gotten more donkeys like last nights 8-7 loss to those Rays than routes. Regardless the Yankees, are 98-61 and their magic number for clinching homefield against the idle A’s in next week’s Wild Card Game is 1. I am not going to waste time on a 45th round draft pick, scrub like Andrew Kittredge. There is no place in baseball for throwing at a guy’s head like he did Austin Romine’s. Period. I don’t care how pissed you are about anything that has taken place on the field. Grow up! CC Sabathia, and the boys made that abundantly clear. The Yankees have a postseason to play. My focus (like this teams) is on Wednesday’s “sudden death” tilt.
I have listened to the analysts, read the articles, broken it down with my buddies, and I have come to this outside the box conclusion. The Yankees should bullpen the A’s next week in the Wild Card Game. Yes JA Happ has pitched incredibly since joining the Yankees in July. Great! On the other hand Masahiro Tanaka has struggled his last 2 starts giving up 8 earned runs in his last 8 innings. Erstwhile Ace Luis Severino has won his last 2 starts after his implosion in Oakland on September the 5th, and struggling against the Twinkies on the 12th. He has shown signs of being “Cy Sevy” from the 1st half. Do you trust him in a 1 game winner-take-all? I sure don’t.
The easy, old-school method of thinking is start Happ. He’s pitched awesome, but this is a new day. The 2018 Yankees are a really talented team. However they struggle with RISP(despite being 4 homeruns away from setting the single season team homer record), and don’t seem to be the best at making in game adjustments at the plate. They have stunk for the most part this year against teams who implore the “bullpenning” strategy. They gave the Rays a taste of their own medicine on Monday night using that strategy against them, and it was brilliant! Holder, Tarpley, Gray, Green, Robertson, Betances, Chapman, and Zach Britton held Tampa to 2 hits. If you can’t beat it join it!
The Yankees doing this does a number of things. It sends a message to the A’s(who are going to start Mike Fiers and pull him after 3 because of their own great bullpen) that they can play that kind of game. It will prevent the Oakland power bats from locking in on 1 pitcher after the season ends Sunday. It allows Happ to be ready for game’s 1 and 5 against Boston in the Division Series. It plays to the Yankees biggest strength(their pen). Most importantly and hysterically it takes away the right to complain from the Yankee twitter mob. The Yanks are screwed win or lose if Happ or Severino gets hit hard just as Sevy did last year against Minnesota. It will be “Boone and Cashman suck, they shoulda started the other guy”. They can simply say as an organization they did what they thought was best for the team based on that dominant bullpen being their best asset. I don’t know whether you “open” with Robertson or Green. I just know it is a great way to set the team up for a great postseason run.