After an extremely rough and depressing stretch, the New York Yankees finally look like themselves again. The bombers have won four straight games to pull within a half game of the second place Toronto Blue Jays.
A week ago, people were starting to wonder if the Yankees would even make the playoffs. Now, everything is starting to click for the Yankees from their hitting to their starting pitching and bullpen. Now, I’m starting to think about the playoffs and this Yankees rotation.
For the Yankees, the first two games are relatively easy choices. Gerrit Cole would obviously get the ball in game one, and likely Tanaka would get the ball in game two. However, game three isn’t very clear. Who would the Yankees start in a game 3 in the playoffs this year?
The Yankees Options?
Fortunately, the Yankees do have a few options for a third playoff game. If they were in a be in a do or die game three in the wild card round, Aaron Boone has three guys that he could look to for a solid start. None would probably give the Yankees fan base an extreme amount of confidence.
The first option would be the veteran lefty J.A. Happ. Happ has started six games this year for the Yankees and he’s pitched to a 1-2 record with a 4.31 ERA. Now, he has been much better over his last four starts. Happ has pitched to a 2.59 ERA since his August 16th start.
While Yankees fans aren’t extremely comfortable with Happ, he honestly might be the safest choice. He’s pitched in the playoffs, and when he’s on, you know what he’s going to give you. Given the experience, I wouldn’t be shocked to see Happ get the ball.
The next option would be the big lefty, Jordan Montgomery. There were high expectations for Montgomery entering the season given what he did as a rookie, but he’s seen a mixed bag of results so far in his 2020 campaign for the Yankees.
Montgomery has pitched to a 2-2 record with a 4.76 ERA in eight starts this year. Montgomery looked really good yesterday against the Orioles, but this comes just two starts after he couldn’t get out of the first against the Rays. Montgomery is a solid pitcher, but I’m not sure I’d trust him with the ball in a game 3.
The final option for the Yankees would be the rookie, Deivi Garcia. I can honestly say that Garcia has far surpassed my expectations in his first three starts, Garcia has pitched to a 1-1 record with a 3.06 ERA.
His last start blew me away. With the Yankees sputtering, Garcia went out and pitched seven strong innings against the Blue Jays leading the Yankees to a win that snapped their losing streak. Garcia has proven that he belongs in the rotation. Would Boone give him the ball in a game 3 is the question.
The Yankees Decision?
I think that ultimately we are going to need to watch how these three pitch the rest of the season. If things ended today, I think that the Yankees would probably lean towards a rotation of Cole-Tanaka-Happ in the playoffs. While many would love to see Garcia get that start, I think Boone values the experience of Happ.