One of the big questions for Joe Girardi tomorrow – and one which he may not answer – is how many starters the Yankees will use in the World Series. In the ALCS, the schedule had an extra off-day (between Games 4 and 5) that allowed the Yankees to use CC Sabathia three times, if necessary, while only pitching once on short rest. Everyone else pitched twice on normal rest.
In the World Series, there are only two scheduled off days. That means a three-man rotation would require that Andy Pettitte and A.J. Burnett also pitch on short rest, as well as Sabathia. Is that a gamble? Sure. But it also might be less of a gamble than pitching Chad Gaudin, whose last appearance of more than two innings came on Sept. 28.
My initial thought was that the Yankees would have to use four starters because of concerns about using Pettitte and Burnett short. It now seems that the Yankees are more seriously considering that option, and it’s hard to argue with using your best players as often as possible when the games matter most. Even if the Yankees do use Gaudin, one possibility would be to use him in Game 5 – with Sabathia starting Game 4 – so that CC could hypothetically pitch Games 1, 4 and 7 (the last two coming on short rest).
If it were me, I think that’s the plan I’d choose. Burnett and Pettitte both pitching short is something I’m just not sure about, but I do like the idea of Sabathia being available three times. Gaudin vs. Joe Blanton? Sounds like an offense type of game anyway, and I think the Yankees have shown plenty of times this year that winning a game 7-5 isn’t all that unfamiliar.