We’re set for a split doubleheader. Joe Girardi is not high on the concept, or on straight doubleheaders for that matter.
“I don’t like either one,” Girardi said. “I would vote for two seven-inning games, or you increase the roster for doubleheaders, just because it’s so hard on your team physically. It’s one thing if you have a day off after a doubleheader, but if you don’t, it’s really hard on you physically. I think it takes away from the quality of the game sometimes in a sense. So I’m not a big fan of doubleheaders, but Mother Nature is not something we can fight.”
Girardi added: “I’ve heard it brought up about increasing rosters lately for split doubleheaders, just because you could use an extra position player and you could use an extra pitcher as well, I believe. But I don’t know what’s going to happen.”
Game 1 starter Bartolo Colon isn’t the pitcher he used to be six years ago when he was a Cy Young winner. But Girardi said, “He’s pretty close. I think there’s a difference in Bartolo, though. I don’t think he had as much movement if you go back five or six years ago. But he also had more (velocity). His secondary pitches have improved since that time. But the biggest difference between Bartolo now and then to me is the movement. He was a guy who would get up to 98, 99 back in the day.”
It’s hard to say what’s ahead for Game 2 starter Ivan Nova, whether this is a one-and-done opportunity for now.
“As far as having an exact plan with Nova, we do not,” Girardi said.
The Yankees will have to make a roster move after the first game to make room for Nova. Wonder if it will be Chris Dickerson going down? He’s starting the first game in left. We’ll see.
The nonwaiver trade deadline is less than 28 hours away. Asked if this team is good enough to win a championship as is, Girardi said. “We got to where we are with the guys in this room, and that’s the bottom line. No, we’re not first place. I believe we have the second-best record in the American League and one of the better records in baseball. So this team has played very, very well with the guys we have in this room.
“Have we got big contributions from some players we didn’t necessarily expect? Yes, we have. But as far as trades, my job is to manage the guys in that room. My job is to get the best out of them. And there’s a lot of talent in that room.
“The big thing for this club is staying healthy. We’ve had some injuries that we’ve had to deal with. We’ve lost a lot of guys in our bullpen, but guys have stepped up. If guys keep stepping up like they’ve been, we should be OK.”