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Tuesday September 28, 2010 4:02 am

New York Yankees starters thin beyond CC Sabathia




Posted by Adrien Griffin Categories: Athletes, MLB, Playoffs,

A.J. BurnettAs the New York Yankees limp into the playoffs, the teams they’ll face are preparing for the postseason by resting their veterans and getting their rotations in order. Playoff baseball is nothing new to New York, but having a questionable pitching staff is. In the last few weeks, only CC Sabathia has been a reliable starter for the Yankees; the rest have been average at best. When the Yankees get through with Game 1, will the rest of their pitchers be able to get them through the next couple?

A.J. Burnett has been atrocious in August and September, going 1-7 in 11 starts with an ERA of 6.98. Andy Pettite has only made two starts since returning from his injury, and while he looked pretty good in his first game, six runs in 3 1/3 innings against Boston on Friday did not look too great. Javier Vasquez also only has one victory since July, but he’s put up better numbers than Burnett since then. Phil Hughes has been the next best after Sabathia, but a 1-2 month of September with an ERA at 4.85 shows that he’s either taking it easy or he’s running out of gas. And let’s make this the only mention of Ivan Nova, okay?

Remember that with all of the other playoff spots decided, the Rays, Twins and Rangers will all use the rest of this week to set up their rotations for the playoffs beginning next Wednesday. Unless the unthinkable happens and the Yankees can’t eliminate Boston, forcing Sabathia to actually have to pitch next Sunday, he’ll face off against another ace in Game 1 of the Divisional Series, so an opening win is possible, but not assured.

Sergio Mitre and Dustin Mosely have both been used as spot starters this season, but chances are the Yankees will still turn to their established guys to pitch behind Sabathia. Besides, with such a high-powered offense, the Yankees may be able to survive a bad outing or two. Still, it looks like the American League pennant isn’t a lock for anybody this year. As far as the Yankees go, expect Sabathia to put nothing but zeros on the scoreboard, but after him, there’ll probably be a lot of crooked numbers.

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