Ivan Nova, Freddy Garcia to start

Updated: September 29, 2011, 1:46 AM ET
By Wallace Matthews | ESPNNewYork.com

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. -- Getting information out of Joe Girardi is about as easy as pulling a wisdom tooth, and often just as unpleasant.

But the New York Yankees manager, who has been stubbornly reticent about revealing any of his postseason roster decisions, did offer one nugget of news before Wednesday night's regular-season finale between the Yankees and Tampa Bay Rays.

Rookie Ivan Nova will start Game 2 of the American League Division Series against the Detroit Tigers.

"Nova's going to start," Girardi said. "It's probably going to be Game 2. How's that?"

It is an indication of how far Nova has come this season, from being sent to Triple-A in July to clearly supplanting A.J. Burnett as the Yankees' No. 2 starter, posting the second-best record of any starting pitcher on the team, 16-4 with a 3.70 ERA, behind Game 1 starter CC Sabathia's 19-8 and 3.00.

After the Yankees' 8-7 loss to the Rays, Girardi said that Freddy Garcia would start Game 3 of the ALDS, following Sabathia and Nova. Sabathia and Nova would pitch Games 4 and 5, if necessary. That means A.J. Burnett is headed to the bullpen.

Neither Girardi nor general manager Brian Cashman would reveal before the game whether the Yankees had made any of the other remaining postseason decisions, such as how many pitchers they will carry or whether both rookie catchers, Jesus Montero and Austin Romine, would make the roster.

"There are two or three decisions left to be made," Girardi said. "We're fairly close, but some of those decisions have to be made depending on who we play."

Wallace Matthews covers the Yankees for ESPNNewYork.com.

Wallace Matthews has covered New York sports since 1983 as a reporter, columnist, radio host and TV commentator. He covers the Yankees for ESPNNewYork.com after working for Newsday, the New York Post, the New York Sun and ESPN New York 98.7 FM.
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