Tuesday, November 3, 2009

First to Third: Three Days Rest

Despite taking a 3-1 series lead into last night's game five of the World Series, the Yankees sent A.J. Burnett to the mound to face the Phillies on three days rest rather than sending Chad Gaudin out to pitch.  Burnett, who hadn't thrown on three days rest all season, didn't make it out of the third inning and surrendered six earned runs and issues four walks.  Not what the Yankees were looking for in their number two starter.

After the game, the Yankees were quick to tell the media that it wasn't the three days rest that was Burnett's problem, but it couldn't have helped.  Andy Pettitte, the Yankees 38 year old third starter is likely to take the ball on short rest in game six of the World Series, Wednesday in the Bronx. 

As the season creeps into November, each of the three Yankee postseason starters has thrown over 200 innings and their arms aren't getting any fresher.  With such a commanding series lead, why didn't the Yankees pitch Gaudin?  He certainly couldn't have fared worse than Burnett and he would have enabled the Yankees to have a fresh set of starting pitchers for the remaining two games.  The Yankees seem content to finish the postseason with three starters and are looking to become the first team since the 1991 Minnesota Twins to win the World Series with just three postseason starters.  

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