Monday, April 15, 2013

Should Joe let a 38-year-old pitcher throw nine innings... in April?

This is scary. Almost exactly three years ago, CC Sabathia took a no-hitter against the Rays into the eighth, when Kelly Stoppach singled.  Joe Girardi quickly waddled from the latrine, gave CC the hook (we were leading 8-0) and later proclaimed CC would never have thrown a no-no, because Joe was going to take him out in the ninth. That day, CC threw 111 pitches.

Frankly, I wondered if Joe would have really taken out CC.  It's easy to say what you would have done, if only...

But last night, where was Joe's overriding concern for the health of Hiroki Kuroda? He let Kuroda go nine. The talking point is that Kuroda's count was low: 113 pitches. Still, Kuroda is 38 - (Sabathia in 2010 was 29) - and I don't care how grizzled a veteran he is, this will be a long, lonnnnnng season.

Listen: I don't want to go Rand Paul on this. Kuroda had a great night on ESPN. You could say Joe was paying tribute a great veteran - or that he was watching the MTV Movie Awards and forgot - and we must go with it.

But Andy Pettitte recently hurt his back while getting up from the frickin couch. (And he was pulled last week in the 7th after 97 pitches.) And Phil Hughes on Saturday told reporters he doesn't recall ever being pounded the way he was hit by Baltimore. Ivan Nova still believes his signature four-inning jaunt is a quality start, and Dellin Betances - the former Killer B - is legally changing his last name to Brackman. (Yesterday, he didn't last an inning in Scranton, and it wasn't because he was walking batters, either. They just lit him up.) 

As fun as it was to watch Kuroda mop up last night, I was cringing. Joe was playing with fire. What if a grounder up the middle caught the pitching hand? What if tweaked a gonad fielding a bunt? Yes, I know you can't fear injuries: That's how you get injured. But eight innings is a modern day shutout, and if we lost Kuroda because he was pitching the ninth...

Frankly, I hope the Yankees have servants to help their pitchers get up from couches.


JM said...

What's with all this namby pamby business? So the guy is 38 and he threw 113 pitches in April. What's the big deal? Jumpin' Jehosephat, Grover Cleveland Alexander was 107 and he threw both ends of a double header on Opening Day, and he went 47-6 that year and ended the season with back-to-back no hitters. And what about the great Christie Mathewson? Fer Pete's sake, the guy was 742 when he threw 212 pitches to beat the Babylonian Gardeners in 107-degree heat!

That's the trouble with you kids today, you baby every clown who can throw a spitball until they're so soft they break down when you take their blankies away. Look at how Joba turned out, those Joba rules were a great idea, now, wasn't they?

Jiminy Cricket, where the bejesus is Nolan Ryan when you need him?

el duque said...

Andy Pettitte hurt himself getting up from the couch.

Getting up from the couch.

If he wasn't making so much money, he couldn't afford a couch, and we'd still have him.

You don't have to pamper kids. But 40 year olds get hurt on couches.

Anonymous said...

perhaps we should suspend Andy in water between starts.

el duque said...

Anonymous, you hit on something there.

Leinstery said...

How come no one is talking about how Suzyn actually got her star of the game last night? Big Suzy usually gets the crumbs that YES doesn't want. So big congrats to Suzyn to sticking her dick in the ground and claiming whats rightfully hers.