The Yankees are strongly considering to start CC Sabathia 3 games in the ALCS if the series reach 7 games. With the four extra days before his next start, Sabathia will be fully rested for Game 1 on Friday night. He could take the ball in Game 4 next Tuesday (the 20th) on three days rest, and (with the extra off day in Los Angeles) still be available for a potential Game 7 on the normal four days in between starts.
Many people doubted if Sabathia can pitch Game 4 on short day rest. They would rather like to see Joba or Gaudin start in Game 4. But if you base it on history, CC Sabathia has pitch effectively on short rest. CC's final four starts of 2008 regular season with Milwaukee prove the critics that he can be effective. He went 2-2 with a 1.88 ERA and 26 strikeouts in 28.2 innings to drag the Brewers into the playoffs. But since the Brewers abused Sabathia's arm by stretching the Ace inning to 253 in the regular season, Sabathia lost steam in Game 2 of the NLDS. CC surrendered 5 runs in 2.3 innings, including a walk to the pitcher Brett Myers and a grand slam to Shane Victorino.
In New York it's a different story. The Yankees didn't abuse Sabathia's arm. The Yankees limited CC's innings to just 230 in the regular season. That's the advantage that the Yankees have. Their Ace pitcher is well rested and is capable to play in short day rest.
The Yankees are facing the LA Angels in the ALCS. A team who has mastered the skill of manufacturing runs. As much as possible, we dont' want to see any runners on base. That is where the Angels made their killing. They are a Run and Gun team. The main factor for defeating the Angels is Pitching. Don't put any Angels on base. And if you do that then we have a good chance in advancing to the World Series. These is the play-offs. There is no time to experiment by starting a pitcher like Joba and Gaudin. Go to your No. 1 guy, your stud, your ace. Every game in the post-season is important and if the Yankees have only 3 dependable starting pitchers to rely on then that is how they should play it.
Baseball isn't hockey. Baseball players do not need a day in between games during postseason play to heal the bumps and bruises of a non-contact sport. Extra days off interrupt the flow of momentum and focus, the two most important factors over a 162-game season. It ruins the game! Like I said these is the play-offs! No time for fooling around.
And besides Joba has proven himself in the ALDS that he belongs to the bullpen. Joba gives another weapon and is more effective as a reliever today than a starter. Gaudin can start but if the Yankees are up 3-0.
Start CC for 3, that's the key to winning and advancing to the World Series.