Quick hits from Joe Girardi’s office
The Yankees’ beat reporters met with Joe Girardi earlier this afternoon in his Yankee Stadium office. Here’s a rundown of what was covered:
Ellsbury on the bench: “It was something that I mulled over for a couple of days. I think when it came down to it in the end, it was Gardy’s numbers against left-handers this year compared to Jacoby’s.” Girardi said he didn’t make the final call until about 3 pm today.
Chris Young’s in the lineup: Girardi said he needed this to happen for a trio of factors – Young’s success vs. Houston, against Dallas Keuchel (6-for-20) and all left-handers (.327/.397/.595 this season).
How did Ellsbury handle it?: “As I told him today, you’re going to be in this game. So I need you ready. He said, ‘I’ll be ready, don’t worry.'”
Brian McCann catching over John Ryan Murphy: “McCann’s numbers off of left-handers, when you look at Murph’s numbers off left-handers, they’re pretty close. When you start talking about damage, this ballpark is suited for Mac. We usually win games by hitting home runs.”
Bullpen blueprint: Like all season, Girardi’s plan 1A is to get the ball from Justin Wilson to Dellin Betances to Andrew Miller. He suggested that he could ask “maybe more” than four innings from that trio. Luis Severino would be a one-inning reliever tonight. Ivan Nova, probably the same thing. The Yankees could get distance from Bryan Mitchell or Adam Warren. Severino would come into this game late – like, after the three relievers at the end and Warren, so probably in extra innings. They’d love to keep him fresh in case they’re heading to Kansas City.
If Tanaka struggles early: “It really depends on how early. You might feel that you might need to go to (Justin) Wilson early to have him get out of an inning and then go another inning. I think all semblance and order of a bullpen is kind of off in a one-game playoff.”
CC Sabathia: Would have been on the roster tonight if he had not checked him into rehab. James Pazos took Sabathia’s place on the roster.
Why is Gary Sanchez on the roster?: In short, just in case the Yankees have to run for McCann early in the game.
“Let’s just say it’s 3-2 in the bottom of the sixth and you’re losing and he’s on second with nobody out or he’s on third with one out,” Girardi said. “I think you’re probably going to – at least I’m going to really think about – I probably need to pinch run here because I have to make sure we score this run. It could be your last opportunity. When you’re only carrying two catchers, you have to think a little bit different. But it gives me more options.”
If the Yankees win, in light of the Sabathia news, would they celebrate with alcohol?: “I’ve talked about it, thought about it. I’m sure they’ve talked about it and thought about it. We’ll just do what we feel is appropriate.”