Spike emailed that picture last night. It was obviously taken during the storm and, yes, I used it to justify a headline about tonight’s pitching matchup.
It’s impossible to know what last night’s game might have been. A.J. Burnett was limited to three innings because of the rain and the Yankees had to lean on a string of relievers who had hardly been used the past two weeks. Aside from Royce Ring, none of them had an especially good night.
Which leaves tonight. The final regular season game between the Yankees and Rays will be a rematch of last week’s terrific pitching matchup between CC Sabathia and David Price. If you saw it the first time, it’s probably going to be worth seeing again. Hard to imagine either team would pick anyone else to have on the mound.
If it comes down to the bullpens again, the Yankees should have Kerry Wood, Boone Logan and Mariano Rivera available. All three had the past two days off. Dave Robertson’s availability might depend on his sore lower back, and Joba Chamberlain would be iffy at best. He was off yesterday, but before that he pitched three out of four, and Girardi has said he wants to give his relievers two days off after they’ve gone three out of four. Whether that changes because the back-to-back games were at the beginning instead of the end of the four games, I have no idea.
Regardless, the Yankees will lean on Sabathia as long as possible. If they win tonight, taking three out of four will have been a huge success. If they lose, it’s easy to remember what Lance Berkman said on the last day in Baltimore: “In a four-game series, usually if it’s two good teams it’s 2-2 and then we’re right back where we were and nobody gains any ground.”