Thank You, Rain Gods!

April 6, 2011 – 11:00 pm

I guess the gods were feeling sorry for the Yankees after Tuesday’s disaster, as today’s rain out could not have come at a better time.  Not only did we have the No. 5 starter going with our top two relievers unavailable — a sure recipe for disaster — Joe Girardi had decided to go with a “house money” lineup with three regulars getting the day off.  A loss seemed all but a given.  But now that the rain gods have intervened, everything is back to looking rosy.  We’re back to the “regular” starter in the rotation (yeah, I know, it’s A.J., but still), plus everyone got the day off so it will be the normal lineup in the series finale Thursday, and Soriano and Rivera will once again be available.

I’ve noticed that Girardi is taking some heat on the internets for his decision to rest so many regulars with the lineup today, but after I thought about it some, it makes some sense to me.  Anyone remember the total collapse of the team in the last six weeks of the season last year?  They went from the team with the best record in the majors to having the worst September record in the league.  And that in the middle of a heated division race.  But in spite of this colossal collapse, I read very few explanations for it over the off season.  Could it have had something to do with the fact that the Yankees were one of the oldest teams in the league last year?  And maybe it was age catching up with a lot of the veterans?  Sure makes some sense to me.  And this year the Yankees are significantly older than last year — average age of the batters is 31.7 compared to 30.3 last year, and for pitchers it’s 30.9 compared to 30.4.  This year they are the oldest team in the league, both batters and pitchers.  Sooooo….. maybe Girardi is thinking if it was age that played a significant part in the collapse last year, it’s something that needs to be dealt with from week one of this season.  And thus he may be planning on making sure all the older guys get plenty of rest throughout the season.  Sure makes sense to me.

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