Three's a crown? Rotation leading way
Yankees closing in on title behind short-rested starters
PHILADELPHIA -- With their dramatic win on Sunday night, the Yankees are now one game away from completing a straightforward equation: nine regulars multiplied by three starters equals a 27th World Series title.
A.J. hopes to follow CC's lead
Of course, it was an easier trick for the Yankees to pull off in the ALCS. With an extra off-day between Games 4 and 5, Girardi only needed to call on Sabathia to go on three days' rest in the Yankees' six-game series victory. And Sabathia, like Morris in 1991, appears to be a pitcher ideally suited to the demands of pitching on short rest."You can't help but to be somewhat inspired when he throws," Burnett said of Sabathia after Game 4. "He goes deep in the game every time, and just the big presence that he has on the mound. And he's a workhorse. When you are the No. 2 guy behind a guy like that, you have to step your game up a little bit, and I think it pushes me to be better." The Yankees have won both games that Sabathia has started on three days' rest, each a pivotal Game 4 that gave them a commanding 3-1 series lead. "At this point in the season, in these situations, physically, you feel fine," said Sabathia, who earned a reputation for pitching well on short rest while carrying the Brewers to the playoffs last September. "I definitely think it's more mental, just not having the days' rest to be able to come back and pitch a good game." Girardi decided to stick with the trimmed-down rotation for the World Series, even though it would call on all three of his starters to pitch on short rest. Burnett admitted it was the manager's decision. "They told me I was [pitching on short rest]," Burnett, Monday's Game 5 starter, said on Sunday. "They told me just to be heads up, that it could be a possibility, and that they'd let me know for sure." While Burnett and Pettitte have yet to pitch on three days' rest, their career numbers doing so suggest it isn't a major issue. Pettitte has pitched on three days' rest 14 times. Although his record is only 4-6, his ERA is a respectable 4.15. Two of his most memorable World Series starts -- Game 5 of the 1996 Series in Atlanta and Game 2 of the '03 Fall Classic vs. Florida -- were on three days' rest.
Tim Britton is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.