With the forecast calling for a 90 percent chance of rain and the chance of thunderstorms Saturday night, the question was logical. Still, Joe Girardi didn’t hesitate, saying he will pitch Andy Pettitte in Game 6 even if rain pushes it to Sunday.
“Andy’s going to start the next game for us,” Girardi said during a 6:15 press conference.
CC Sabathia would be ready on full rest on Sunday, when he is currently scheduled to pitch Game 7. But reasons to keep the rotation intact are obvious. Which is chief among them if Pettitte and the Yanks lock up the ALCS in 6? The luxury of sending Sabathia against the Phillies on Wednesday in Game 1 of the World Series. We know that, even if Girardi didn’t quite say it.
The manager answered a few other pertinent questions. Including:
• He will “sleep on” replacing the struggling Nick Swisher in the Game 6 lineup. Girardi, as you can hear, said Swisher has done well against Joe Saunders. A quick look indicates that isn’t entirely true. Swisher is 5 for 21 with a home run, six RBI and a .741 OPS vs. Saunders in his career. That’s well below Swisher’s career .818 OPS.
• Removing Alex Rodriguez from the lineup in the ninth inning of Game 5 was “very tough,” but Girardi believed Freddy Guzman gave the club a better chance to score the tying run on a double to the gap. “Alex runs the bases very well, but sometimes the extra step can tie or win a game for you,” he said.
• Girardi continues to express confidence in his bullpen, Phil Hughes in particular. Dave Eiland told us earlier he, like Posada, expected to talk to Hughes. Eiland said Hughes’ mechanics failed him on the single by Vladimir Guerrero in the exact way they failed him against the Twins. “It’s just a minor adjustment and he knows it,” Eiland said. “It’s just staying within yourself and not trying to make that good stuff you have even better. If you do that you get a little jumpy in your delivery and it affects your command. That’s what’s happened.” No comment tonight from Hughes, who did not attend the workout.
• The cold that bothered Derek Jeter has not spread to others. Dr. Girardi thought Jeter sounded better today.
Here’s the audio: