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- CC on 3 days rest? No problem:
. . . And in four career regular-season starts made on three days’ rest, he (Sabathia) has posted a 3-1 record and a 1.01 ERA, averaging nearly a strikeout per inning.
“You know that going on certain rest that you’re not going to have your best fastball,” Sabathia said. “So you’ve just got to stay under control and make sure your delivery is good, and make sure you go out there and throw strikes.”
. . . the Yankees also knew that the benefits would last more than one game. Starting Sabathia on short rest would also allow them to use A.J. Burnett and Andy Pettitte on regular rest in Games 5 and 6, before bringing Sabathia back on regular rest, if necessary, for a potential Game 7 at Yankee Stadium.
. . . Amassing 230 innings in the regular season, Sabathia fell short of his 2008 regular-season total by 23 innings. And so he entered the postseason fresh.
“You look at everything,” Girardi said. “The thing about CC is he doesn’t have the amount of innings that he had the last two years in the regular season. We slowed him down. He’s been able to have extra rest, and that’s why we feel good about it. We wouldn’t ask him to do something that we didn’t think he was capable of, or that he didn’t have a chance to be successful at.”
Rivera’s 36 saves in postseason play are the most in Major League history. The most remarkable aspect of those saves is that 12 of them have been two innings or more. Rivera’s 0.72 postseason ERA — spread over 81 appearances — is also tops for anyone with at least 30 innings.
Girardi got three rings as a player, largely because of Rivera. Now, he hopes to ride his closer to another as manager.
“I think the Yankees have been very blessed to have Mo over this long run that he has had,” Girardi said. “Obviously, if you blow a save during the regular season, you have a lot of time to make up for that. But if you blow a save during the postseason, in a short series, there’s not quite so much time. He has meant so much to this organization and to the success of this organization in the playoffs.”
Scott Boras threw out the ceremonial first pitch in free agency today, comparing Matt Holliday to Mark Teixeira in the impact the agent believes each player can have on a club.
“These guys are blue-collar superstars,” Boras said. “They don’t hit 50 home runs, but they’re complete players. They can give you something without swinging a bat.”
Teixeira signed with the New York Yankees last winter, for $180 million. Boras would not say what his asking price would be for Holliday, but he made clear he considered Holliday’s abilities in getting on base, hitting for power and playing superior defense similar to those of Teixeira.
“There are differences between hitters and complete players,” Boras said. “Matt Holliday is a complete player.
“There is, frankly, no one like him in the market.”
[My take: But Holliday plays a lesser defensive spectrum position, and I don’t think anyone would agree he surpasses Tex defensively irrespective of position.]
- Dave Collins turns 55 today. Collins was supposed to be a speed merchant on the bases for the Yanks when he signed as a free agent in ’82. However, he only appeared in 111 games, had an OBP of .315 and stole a mere 13 bases. He was quickly dealt after the season.
- Mickey Mantle would have been 78 today.
- On this date in 1960, coach Ralph Houk is named to succeed Casey Stengel as manager of the Yankees. He briefly led the team during the season when Stengel was hospitalized.
- On this date in 1964, Johnny Keane, three days after resigning as manager of the World Champions St. Louis Cardinals, replaces Yogi Berra as the Yankees’ field boss.
- On this date in 1981, the Yankees take Game One of the Series over the Dodgers 5 – 3. Bob Watson hit a three-run home run in the first inning as pitcher Ron Guidry goes seven innings for the win. Goose Gossage closes down a Dodgers rally in the 8th.
- On this date in 1996, the Atlanta Braves defeat the Yankees, 12 – 1, in the World Series opener. At age nineteen, Andruw Jones puts himself in the record books as the youngest player to hit a home run in the Series. He hit one homer in the second inning off Andy Pettitte and another in the third. Pitcher John Smoltz gains the win.