Shot of Sports Juice: Girardi’s Gyrations

The World Series has been intriguing to say the least.  My initial thoughts were that the Phillies had the team to get it done.  While the Yankees have the bats, Joe Girardi definitely doesn’t trust his pitching staff outside of CC Sabathia, AJ Burnett, Andy Petite and Mariano Rivera.

It’s funny to think a $200 million dollar payroll team with a pitching staff of 13-14 guys is reduced to 4 guys.  Girardi has a fear about him that I thought would be the Yankee’s undoing in the series.

Thus far it looks like the Yankees have enough hitting to overcome the fears, but a sketchy game 5 has me revisiting my original prediction.  Girardi’s decision to go with a 3 man rotation in the ALCS and World Series was controversial at the best of times, but really subject to second guessing after Burnett flamed out in game 5.

As we look to tonight’s game 6, Pettitte is going to go on 3 days rest after showing signs of being gassed in game 3.  At best, the Yanks will get 6 innings out of him which will force Girardi into using some of the relievers he clearly would rather leave out in the bullpen to chew sunflower seeds and pop bubbles.

The Phillies on the other hand will send future hall of famer Pedro ‘Who’s Your Daddy’ Martinez to the mound.  I think all fans appreciate the opportunity to see Pedro pitch at Yankee stadium one last time tonight.  That said, even a vintage pitching performance will still leave Phillies fans sweating in the 8th and 9th innings as Madson/ Lidge attempt to close out the game.

So what’s the prediction?  Hmm, I’m thinking the Phillies prevail.  That’ll lead to Sabathia pitching on 3 days rest for a third time this postseason which will intensify the scrutiny over how Girardi has handled his staff.  The Phillies will counter with a guy that wants the season to be over (Cole Hamels) or a soft throwing rookie (JA Happ).  I’m not sure there are enough tea leaves available to figure out how a game 7 would play out, but I hope we get to see it!

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