Brian Heyman here at the Stadium for Chad today. CC Sabathia took his bullpen session for his Game 5 start, but he has said that wouldn’t mean he would be unavailable to work on short rest in Game 4. Joe Girardi, though, said the Yankees’ “rotation is the same.” Meaning A.J. Burnett is still in line for Game 4.
“I know it’s been a tough year for him at times this year, but we believe in A.J.,” Girardi said.
But that doesn’t mean Girardi couldn’t change his mind if the Yankees go down 2-1. He left himself some additional wiggle room when he said, “I know there’s some weather in the forecast.” There’s a 70 percent chance of some rain on Tuesday, but that doesn’t mean a 100 percent chance of a postponement that would allow them to skip Burnett.
Girardi said he didn’t anticipate making any lineup changes in Game 3. But so much of the workout-day chatter was about the pitching matchup. Cliff Lee and Andy Pettitte threw praise at each other.
“In my opinion, he’s probably the best postseason pitcher of all time just by the number of wins and the number of rings he’s got,” Lee said of Pettitte and his record 19 victories and his five rings. “He definitely knows what he’s doing with the ball.”
“I think what is separating him from any other pitcher right now is really his cutter, how late it is,” Pettitte said of Lee, “I think when maybe people talk about him, (they say) he doesn’t have dominating stuff. People will say whatever. That cutter has to be pretty dominating.”
Lee has never lost a postseason start, going 6-0 with one no-decision. His postseason ERA of 1.44 is the fifth lowest of all time for those with a minimum of five starts. And, of course, he won those two games against the Yankees for the Phillies in the World Series last year.
“But he’s only human,” Texas manager Ron Washington said. “If anything goes wrong, he’s going against a ballclub that can make you play.”
There apparently is some faux controversy being stirred up over Lee’s cap, with the white resin stains on it.
“It definitely makes me way better,” Lee deadpanned. “I know that much. Without that hat, I don’t know if I could do it. It’s resin is what it is. I go to the resin bag quite a bit. I touch my hat in the same place over and over. And it just accumulates. I couldn’t pitch without it. That’s for sure.”
A couple of the Yankees batters said they might not be able to have that usual patient approach at the plate with Lee pitching because he throws so many strikes. Washington said if Pettitte and his great pickoff move serves as a deterrent to the Rangers’ aggression on the bases, they could win in other ways.
Gates open three hours before first pitch for any fans coming to Game 3.