The Yankees will talk about taking it one game at a time, which is all fine and good, but they need to figure out how to win three games in a row. So, while they focus on winning tomorrow, let’s do a potentially pointless exercise and talk about what happens if they win Sunday.
First thing I do tomorrow if I am Joe Torre, after putting Giambi in the lineup for Game 3, is announce that Chien-Ming Wang will start Game 4 and Andy Pettite would start a potential Game 5. Ok, he doesn’t need to announce it until after they win, but Wang should be sent home early tomorrow night to get some sleep.
Yes, he threw 94 pitches Thursday, but tired sinkerball pitchers are better than rested ones and who cares if he only gives you four or five innings? If the Yankees get to Monday, they will need to bulld on the momentum of Sunday’s win. Who gives you a better chance for that, tired Wang or rested Mussina? Obviously, you know my vote and I hope Torre realizes it too. I think starting Mussina in Game 4 down 2-1 would be very similar to pitching Wright in the same spot last year. You are hoping it will go well, but in your heart you have serious doubts. He can relieve when Wang gets tired, but keep him out of things until that point.
Secondly, if you get to Game 4, you have to wrap you head around the idea that Luis Vizcaino isn’t the third guy out of the pen right now. They may not use Joba and Mo tomorrow at all which would be great (er, great if they won) but if they do, they probably need to figure out some other bullpen combos for Monday. Corey suggested in the comments of another post Farnsworth ahead of Vizcaino right now which I endorse, but I will go one step further and say throw Hughes in front of Farnsworth.
Yes, I know he relieved for the first time Thursday and no, it isn’t fair to ask him to do it. But, if the Yankees are holding a one-run lead late in the game and Joba and Mo can’t go, who would you rather see? I wouldn’t ask him to enter an inning in progress, but if it’s the start of the 7th and I need someone to protect a lead, he’s my guy. If he fails, so be it, I don’t think a bad relief appearance will hurt his psyche since he is a starter and the experience just might help him.
Those are my moves for the future, as for tomorrow night, other than giving Giambi a crack, my biggest thought is to get guys moving on the basepaths. Yes, the Yankees haven’t had many chances, but other than Abreu’s steal in Game 2, they haven’t done much on the basepaths in this series. I am not just asking for straight steals, but hit-and-run plays as well. (BTW- I am not asking for a plethora of bunts which Carey, Gwynn and Brenley all seem in favor of. I still don’t understand how they can keep questioning Torre’s decision to let Jeter swing away in Game 1. It didn’t work, but I think Jeter has proven he usually delivers a big hit in a big spot and I am not going to second-guess that call- now, maybe if it had been A-Rod j/k)
Well, that’s my collective "wisdom" what do you guys think they should do? As for me, I will be posting again tomorrow when the lineups are out and then during the game in some form and after in a longer form.