Can Mariano Go Two Innings?

As we got to the outs counting stage of last night’s game I started to wonder how Joe Girardi would use the bullpen. After AJ gave up the homer to make it 2-1 I figured he would have a very short leash if he got into trouble in the 5th and probably would give way to a combo of Logan or Wade (depending on the batter) with Soriano, Robertson and Rivera pitching the 6th-9th. The Yankees made it all academic, but I wonder, could Mariano get 6 outs if they needed him to?

In 2011, Mariano pitched more than an inning only three times and only once was it for six outs. His highest pitch total was 33 and he only threw 20 or more pitches in a game 10 times. You can see a pattern in the way Girardi has used Mariano since he became manager in the number of multiple inning games he has thrown:

2008- 15
2009- 10
2010- 5
2011- 3

You can’t fault Girardi. He knows he has to ease back on Mariano because as great as he is, he is also 41. But in the playoffs, all bets are off. Even so, I don’t think we would see Girardi use Mo for six outs unless he had burned out his primary bullpen. Four outs maybe, but I have a feeling the days of Mo for the 8th and 9th are over.