After beating Buck’s Birds for the second night in a row 5-4, plus some key losses, the New York Yankees have propelled themselves to one behind the
As things stand now the O’s are 76-78 and Yankees are 77-68, leaving Baltimore only a half-game back in the Wild Card standings.
With the two teams tied 9-9 on the season, winning tonight’s game is vital if the two AL East rivals end the season tied.
If the O’s and Yankees end the regular season tied for one Wild Card spot they will play a tiebreaker on September 30th and the winner moves on to playoffs, while the loser goes home.
Home field advantage for this tiebreaker is decided, according to MLB rules, by the two teams head-to-head winning percentage during the 2013 regular season.
The Yankees home record is 44-31, and away it is 34-37 so that makes them a below .500 team away from the Bronx. So in this intense scenario, home field could be the difference maker.
I get that the Yankees are short on starters but Girardi has never been shy about making scheduling changes to the rotation to put the team in a better position to win.
Girardi is a numbers guy as he is a by-the-binder manager, so how did he miss this?
The Yankees are playing the most critical game of the season, and are starting the worst pitcher in the rotation in Hughes.
Hughes got demoted to the bullpen for being that bad just two weeks ago, so Girardi had plenty of time to figure out a plan.
Tonight marks the 14th game the Yankees have played in a row. Not surprisingly, the bullpen has been way overworked already so bringing in a pitcher whose who is a long shot to make it through the fourth innings is a joke.
Not to mention that they head to Boston tomorrow for three more vs. the hot Red Sox before they get an off day.
Hughes has been so bad that this is irresponsible of the Yankees to start him, as his numbers are atrocious.
WARNING: Phil Hughes pitching stats below.
(all stats courtesy of baseball-reference.com)PHIL HUGHES vs. ACTIVE ORIOLES - PITCHING STATS