Alfonso Soriano has a sore thumb. Alex Rodriguez has a sore hamstring. After tonight, the Yankees last 12 games are against three last-place teams and the team they’re chasing for the second wild card.
So, Joe Girardi was presented with this idea…
Why not sit Soriano, sit Rodriguez, take the scheduled day off on Monday and gear up for a massive sprint to the finish? Weaken the team for one night to be at full strength for a two weeks of frantic chasing.
“If they say they’re able, I’m going to play them,” Girardi said. “Because you can’t take for granted one game and say, we’re not going to put what we feel is the best team out there. You can’t do that at this time.”
The Yankees are already taking what you might consider a gamble tonight, starting Ivan Nova despite the lingering triceps issue that forced him out of his last start and has been bothering him off and on all year. They’re facing Clay Buchholz, who was outstanding in the first half but has pitched just once in the past three months (that start was five scoreless innings on Tuesday).
There’s still some opportunity here, but it’s awfully narrow at this point.
“It’s only a must win game when it’s an elimination game,” Girardi said. “But I think (tonight)’s a real important game.”
Associated Press photo