Advantage Yankees

Other than Mariano’s brief, and I mean brief, appearance in Game 1 (part 2), everything went about as well as you could hope for it to go as a Yankees’ fan. Ivan Nova almost completed the game. The offense, or Robinson Cano, went bonkers and Mariano was the only significant bullpen arm used, and only for three pitches. That means the Yankees will have Soriano, Robertson and Mo ready to go later today and Monday if needed. Add in the fact that Max Scherzer is now starting at Yankee Stadium and not at home (Home ERA 3.80 vs. Road ERA of 5.23) while Justin Verlander will only add his work in Game 3 to the 1 inning he pitched Friday.

Cano’s performance is somewhat ironic to me because I can’t stop thinking about how the Yankees almost gave him away. If you recall, he was the guy the Yankees tried to get Arizona to take at the 2004 trade deadline for Randy Johnson. They only gave him a shot in 2005 because that team was awful out of the gate. He’s banged out over 1,200 hits since then and become the Yankees’ most dangerous hitter. If the Yankees hadn’t turned to Cano in May of 2005, where would he be now?

That’s a question I was thinking a lot about Friday as I watched Matt Moore dominate the Rangers in the second start of his big league career. Here was a 22-year old kid blanking the Rangers over seven innings of two-run ball. It made me wonder why the Yankees, even with the successes of guys like Cano, are so reluctant to turn to rookies? Tampa had to and they were rewarded. It doesn’t always work out that way, but I wonder if the Yankees had promoted Betances or Banuelos in August would they have had to worry about their playoff rotation?

That’s a gripe we can worry about later. For now, the Yankees are where we want them to be. One win down, ten more to go.