It's real simple. CC Sabathia should absolutely be coming back to start Game 2 tomorrow night. It shouldn't even be a debate. He's the Yankees's ace and the highest paid pitcher in baseball. Situations like this are exactly why the Yankees signed Sabathia in the first place, so why would they play it passive here and hold him out until Monday, moving Freddy's schedule up a day in the process?
Even if there is concern about bringing him back after just 1 day off (which there shouldn't be because he only threw 27 low-stress pitches last night), the more important thing to consider is that bringing CC back tomorrow sets him up to pitch Game 5 instead of Ivan Nova. No offense to Ivan Nova, but I want CC on the mound in a potential elimination game on short rest more than I want Nova on regular rest. Shit, I want CC on the mound on short rest for a Game 5 over anybody on the Yankee staff on regular rest. I would want CC on the mound in Game 5 if he had thrown 150 pitches the night before and had his arm chopped off after he was taken out of the game. And bringing him back to pitch Game 2 allows that to happen.
The weather screwed up the original rotation plans, I get that. But that doesn't mean the Yankees have to screw up the rest of it by playing it safe. The loss of the off day means they have to use a 4th starter in this series, likely A.J., and that makes it all the more important to have your best on the hill in a must-win game. And let's also not forget that CC's got an opt out clause kicking in after this season and surely wants to get paid more on his next deal. He's got plenty of incentive to go out on Sunday and pitch well and then come back for a potential Game 5 and do the same thing on short rest. He wants the ball, he has all the motivation in the world to want the ball to help his team and help his bottom line; give him the ball.
In a 5-game series, your ace should never pitch less than 2 games. CC is the Yankees' ace and is more than capable of coming back on short rest tomorrow and for a Game 5 if needed, especially after his shortened outing last night. If the Yankees win Game 1 tonight, he can put them on the brink of a sweep. If they lose, he's the guy they want out there to even things up. It's a win-win situation either way. Do the right thing, Joe. Put the big fella on the hill tomorrow.
The End of Summer
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