For the Yankees, there was a lot of good that came from yesterday’s come-from-behind win at Fenway. That much is obvious. But the bad was just as crystal clear.
Freddy Garcia couldn’t pitch out of the second inning. He said his arm was feeling better in that second inning, but he also acknowledged that it was too little, too late. Five runs had already scored, and Garcia was showing nothing to make Joe Girardi believe he could get through the middle of the order again.
“The second inning I felt better,” Garcia said. “Like I say, it was too late. I already gave up five. I don’t know. Every pitch I was throwing, they hit.”
Garcia’s outing might have been an extreme example, but it was also part of a bad trend for the Yankees rotation. The bullpen has helped pick up the slack, but the supposed-to-be-a-strength rotation has been the Yankees most obvious hole. Aside from Ivan Nova, none of the Yankees starters has an ERA below 5.00.
“We need to get them on a roll,” Girardi said. “I think that’s important. It’s been a struggle. At times it’s been good, and at times it’s been a struggle. I believe it will change. I really do. … I have a lot of belief in my guys that they’ll turn it around at any point. For me, that’s what I focus on. I don’t say this guy’s got this or this guy’s got that. What Freddy’s went through is (the same as) a guy struggling at the plate for probably 14 or 15 days, a half a month. How many times have we seen that? We’ve seen that a lot. I have faith that he’ll turn it around.”
Sometime soon, something has to give. Andy Pettitte could be three minor league starts away from the big league rotation, and when he’s ready, someone will have to go. CC Sabathia and Hiroki Kuroda are locked into spots, and Nova has been awfully good. Phil Hughes has battled familiar problems, but he’s also shown some positive flashes, and he’s been better than Garcia whose ERA is up to 9.75.
“If don’t pitch the way I have to pitch, that’s my problem,” Garcia said. “Whatever moves they have to do, they’re doing it. No matter what. It’s all about me. If I don’t pitch good enough, that’s my problem. I’m not thinking about who’s coming back or who they’ll bring back. It’s not my job to worry about it. My job to worry about is pitch good, that’s all.”
Associated Press photo