It's that time again—October baseball is quickly approaching, and it couldn't come at a worse time for the New York Yankees.
Joe Girardi has mismanaged this ball club on numerous occasions, most recently against the Minnesota Twins. Phil Hughes was pitching a somewhat decent game—he had given up one earned run, but the Twins were threatening with runners on the corners and two outs—and Girardi decided to go to the bullpen. He called upon Boone Logan, and although the two runs were charged to Hughes, Girardi's mismanaging is what caused the Yankees' downfall that day; it can be argued that it's what vanquished their AL East lead.
Time and time again Girardi has gone to his matchup book and it has failed him. If the starting pitcher isn't C.C. Sabathia or Hiroki Kuroda, Girardi is flipping through pages in that book by the sixth inning. As a starter, this can be discouraging and result in a lack of self-confidence.
Even if Girardi managed correctly, it would be difficult for the Yankees to advance further than the second round.
Don't get me wrong, I am a Yankee fan, but they've JUST started playing great baseball again.
The starting pitching is worrisome. C.C. hasn't really looked like the workhorse that he's come to be known as. His last three starts have been extremely dominant, but before that he appeared to be fading away. In his September 14 start, he gave up four runs in 6.2 innings, which is unheard of from the Yankee ace. Then cases were being made that Hiroki Kuroda should be the team's No. 1 in the playoffs, and Sabathia picked up the progress.
Sabathia is the team's ace—that was he was signed to be. His last three starts have been of ace-quality, but he's due for a rough outing, and that will be coming in the playoffs considering the regular season ends tonight.
I'm still not convinced Andy Pettitte is 100 percent either; however, he is Andy Pettitte and that name goes a long way when talking about the postseason. The Yankees need a healthy, dependable Andy Pettitte, not a depleted, 40-year-old starting pitcher, and although he's looked good up to this point in his return, he, too, is due for a rough start.
Last but not least, the run support just hasn't been consistent. Yes, New York put up 10 runs on the board Monday night, but that won't happen in the postseason when you have opposing starting pitchers like Justin Verlander, Matt Harrison and Wei-Yin Chen.
This postseason is shaping up to be a strong competitive battle, especially in the American League, and for the reason mentioned above, I'm not convinced the Yankees have what it takes to claim No. 28.