The Yankees, still needing a win after today’s debacle, are expected to use Gerrit Cole Sunday. No need for that because there’s a better way.
The Yankees are shooting themselves in the foot, unable to earn a win at home against Tampa Bay, forcing the team to play yet another game that counts for all the marbles on the table.
The prevailing thinking within and without Yankees World is that Gerrit Cole will pitch tomorrow’s final game out of necessity on three days rest.
If that’s the case, though, Aaron Boone and his brain trust need to spend some time rethinking because there are at least two reasons why the team should go in a different direction.
Yankees: Not So Fast…
First, as discussed in an article written this morning, Gerrit Cole has been anything but impressive over his last five starts.
He looks to be either out of gas or unable to find a rhythm and pitches he relied on earlier in the season when he was well on his way to a Cy Young.
Second, and more significantly, ask yourself this question.
What aspect of the Yankees 2021 team has been the most consistent and productive throughout the season?
Without argument, it’s the Yankees bullpen – from top to bottom that has provided the team with unmatched depth since day one.
So, instead of Cole, why not go with a bullpen day tomorrow from start to finish?
Leadoff with Luis Severino, who has been superb since returning and can pitch a minimum of three spotless innings. If he’s going well, keep him in there.
Aroldis Chapman? I wouldn’t go anywhere near him, especially against the Rays and the history of collapsing before our eyes in big games.
There’s No Tomorrow After Tomorrow – Unless…
The game tomorrow has to be won. The Yankees are out of options after today’s loss.
Boone is likely to tell Gerrit Cole to leave nothing in the tank on three days’ rest – just give us four good innings.
Unwittingly this puts the game in the hands of the bullpen to cover five innings. So why not hand the entire game over to The Team that has carried the Yankees to the record they have today?
If the Red Sox win tonight and tomorrow, the Yankees go home. If Boston splits and the Yankees win tomorrow, there will be a one-game playoff Monday at Fenway Park because the Sox took the season series by 10-9.
And Lord knows what Toronto and Seattle will do to complicate things further?
Yankees: Dare We Look Ahead?
Looking beyond tomorrow, though, Boone would then be thrown back to Cole Monday and Corey Kluber Tuesday if the Yankees make it that far.
Again, given Cole’s uneasiness and don’t believe Boone isn’t feeling it, Kluber and Cole could also be reversed.
After all, Kluber had made nine postseason starts with Cleveland, including two wins in the 2016 World Series, a year in which he also won a Cy Young.
In the end, though, all decisions will be removed from Aaron Boone, and the final decisions will be handed down from the analytics gurus Brian Cashman is so committed to following, a trend that dominates baseball today.
Boone will take the hit as he has all year if things don’t go well for the Yankees’ pitching, pardoning the guys who hide behind their computer screens, and he will likely be finished as the Yankees’ manager.
Screw It, Aaron – Go With Your Instincts
With that possibility, a different scenario would have Boone saying, “Screw it,” going instead with the baseball instincts and knowledge he’s built over the years. Too much to ask? Probably, but doing so would endear him to Yankees’ fans even more than the infamous home run he hit many moons ago.
We’ve reached a point where previous stats are meaningless. Jordan Montgomery, the Yankees’ most consistent and productive starter down the stretch, had his worse game of the season. Who predicted that?
This puts even more ammo in the notion that baseball instincts are more reliable than numbers and that Aaron Boone should use them to fill out the rest of his lineup.
Do not, under any circumstances let Gary Sanchez anywhere near the playing field.
Finally, to accent the point on Gerrit Cole, it is foolhardy to pitch him because “that’s why he’s here.”
Before the Yankees go there tomorrow, at least give alternatives a thorough hearing – with the door shut from the hounds in analytics.
Aaron Boone Postgame Today
"Obviously a tough day… we have to get over it quickly."
— YES Network (@YESNetwork) October 2, 2021
Here’s What Readers Are Saying…
Shelley Puls Tamasi That’s not true. No starter has been announced yet. Why would they use him when it’s still unclear as to their place, or not, in the postseason? Correct, I did say “expected” though.
Osiris Diaz Severino hasn’t gone more than 2 and thrown more than 30 pitches yet. You that confident to get at least 3 from him? You betcha, and even more.
Eric Breeze Sounds about right an article I can say yes to
Robert Rosado Herrand Good article I was thinking the same
David Lynton I would not pitch Cole tomorrow