A big question left hanging in the air after Derek Jeter broke his ankle in the late stages of the Yankees' 6-4 loss to the Tigers in Game 1 of the ALCS was this: Why didn't the manager bring in David Robertson, his eighth-inning guy, to pitch the eighth inning in an attempt to hold the line at 2-0?
The answer contained a bit more candor than we are accustomed to getting from Girardi.
"These guys have been overworked, our bullpen, the Robertsons, the Sorianos, and I’m not so sure their stuff when I brought them in the last two innings wasn't on grit,' Girardi said. "I know it's a long series, and physically I just felt if we weren't tied or within one run, I can't blow them out."
Both Robertson and closer Rafael Soriano wound up working anyway, Soriano pitching a 1-2-3 tenth and Robertson a 1-2-3 11th before David Phelps allowed the final two runs in the 12th. After Andy Pettitte worked into the seventh inning, Girardi used seven more pitchers to get through the next 5-1/3 innings, and with Hiroki Kuroda going today on three days rest, may find himself short of relief help. Only Joba Chamberlain, who was hit by a flying bat on the elbow and had to leave in the 12th inning of Game 4 of the ALDS, was not used Saturday night.
And the possibilty is that neither Robertson nor Soriano will be able to go today. "I've got to see how they feel,'' Girardi said. "I don't even know if they're available to me. Robby had thrown four out of five days, then was up on the day we didn't use him against Baltimore. Soriano was up on the day we didn't use him, threw two innings the day before, an inning and a third (before that). I have no idea what I have."