Saturday, September 19, 2015
Posted by el duque at 6:10 AM
Tanaka on four days rest? It sounds like a good way to blow out 2016.
Of course, Yankee pitching right now is facing the equivalent of a Third World humanitarian crisis. Hungry innings are beating at our doors, and we don't have enough pitchers to feed them. Not in the bullpen, which is 90 percent Scranton. Not in the rotation, which has nobody to be counted on. Once upon a time, a position player would throw an inning maybe once a year. For the Yankees, it's become a once-every-two-months occurrence. Other teams bring up young horses from Ashtabula and Elmira Heights. They come in, throw strikes, eat innings. We can't hold a six-run lead without turning to Betances or Miller. The Mets are limiting the innings of their aces. We are running Tanaka on four days rest.
Our team was built for an April-to-August season. Once we hit September, wheels fell off. But it's all cumulative. Back in May, Girardi was turning to Betances and Miller in blowout games, if a big lead looked in jeopardy. And while we have congratulated ourselves for the arrival of Luis Severino and Greg Bird - fine players, indeed - we overlook the fact that practically every other team has a few 22-year-old impact rookies. For us, it's an exciting breakthrough. For everybody else, it's business as usual. And now we're throwing Tanaka on four days rest.
Last night in the bottom of the eighth, down by four, Joe brought in the once-upon-a-time closer Andrew Bailey, temporarily rousing David Cone from his Ibogaine delirium. Coney announced that this was a golden opportunity! Bailey could "leapfrog" others in the bullpen and put himself into the playoff mix! What he was really saying is: Yep, it's that bad. Anybody who can throw an inning without summoning the dogs from hell will suddenly become Girardi's new Scott Proctor. And now we're throwing Tanaka on four days rest.
Oh, well. Maybe Tanaka can be the next Bumgarner. If the Yankees hold on to the Wild Card birth - right now, I'm not betting on anything - and then got hot, our season could go deep into October. That could mean another six or seven turns of the rotation. But something tells me Girardi doesn't really expect that to happen. If he did, would Tanaka be pitching on four days rest?