TR, delegating via email while goatating:
I have no ability to post, read or comment from work. A draft is in the attached Word doc. Pls paste it in and garnish with photos of Yankees. And heavy-chested women. Gracias.
1 – Jeter (SS, R)
2 – Ichiro (LF, L)
3 – Teixeira (1B, S)
4 – Cano (2B, L)
5 – Swisher (RF, S)
6 – Ibanez (DH, L)
7 – Chavez (3B, L)
8 – Martin (C, R)
9 – Granderson (CF, L)
Two switch-hitters and two right-handed hitters means you can’t help but have back-to-back-lefties at some point, but we’ll likely be seeing match-up relievers by the third go-round in the lineup, which gives Girardi the opportunity to find a low-pressure pinch-hit opportunity for A-Rod in place of Ibanez or Chavez.
Yes, the team’s top HR hitter is batting ninth. And yes, Jeter is back at SS. I don’t care if Jeter can’t move well. Ibanez’ bat is sorely needed in this deciding game. Same for Eric Chavez, who has hit well all year against righties. Jeter will have to find a way to turn DPs with one good leg. The elephant in the room remains the “how the hell do you bench A-Rod in a deciding game” question, but the fact of the matter is that this lineup gives the team the best chance to win, and A-Rod’s porcelain confidence is clearly cracked.
Both teams have other issues to consider, including severely depleted bullpens. Rafael Soriano has pitched 3.1 innings in the last two days (although only 39 pitches). It’s also worth noting that while A-Rod and his .125 average have been the face of the Yankees’ hitting woes, Nick Swisher (.133 average) Ichiro (.200 average), Robinson Cano (.111 average) and Curtis Granderson (.063 average) have been equally horrendous.
Thankfully, the 5:07 PM start time means I won’t hear any insufferable yapping on sports talk radio about the lineup. Whatever Girardi does, he deserves some slack, based on the big stones he whipped out in Game 3 by pinch-hitting for A-Rod.
Prediction: Yankees win 6-2. CC shakes off a shaky first couple innings and goes 7+ strong innings. Teixeira gets the big hits early to put the game away.