On-Base Perception

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Slumping offense obscuring great Yankees pitching

Did Joe Girardi make the right move in

Did Joe Girardi make the right move in letting CC Sabathia go the whole game?

Pro:By letting him go, the Yankees were able to save their bullpen, which threw 11.1 innings in the five game series. Rafael Soriano and David Robertson took the bulk of the relief workload, throwing 3.1 and 4.1 innings, respectively. With Game 1 of the American League Championship starting Saturday, the 'pen gets some needed rest.

Con: Sabathia had to throw 121 pitches in the complete-game effort, which was his maximum for the regular season. Add the fact that he's still rebounding from an injury earlier in the year, it could have been too much on the ace.

Result: Sabathia got the win to send the Yankees to the American League Championship Series.

(Credit: Newsday/J. Conrad Williams, Jr.)

The Yankees offense hasn't been doing very much this postseason. As a team, the Yankees are hitting .205 (53-for-258) and scoring an average of 2.85 runs per game. Alex Rodriguez, Robinson Cano, Nick Swisher and Curtis Granderson have seemingly forgotten how to hit after solid to spectacular regular seasons from each. The lineup can't seem to do anything.

Well, that's not exactly true. It's doing one thing: overshadowing the excellent pitching the Yankees have been getting.

The Yankees have the best postseason team ERA and starter ERA since CC Sabathia came to the team in 2009. Here's the breakdown:

2012: 2.37 team ERA (19 ER in 72 IP); 2.33 starter ERA (14 ER in 54 IP); 2.50 bullpen ERA (5 ER in 18 IP)

2011: 3.27 team ERA (16 ER in 44 IP); 4.86 starter ERA (11 ER in 20.1 IP); 1.90 bullpen ERA (5 ER in 23.2 IP)

2010: 5.01 team ERA (44 ER in 79 IP); 5.76 starter ERA (35 ER in 54.2 IP); 3.32 bullpen ERA (9 ER in 24.1 IP)

2009: 3.26 team ERA (51 ER in 140.2 IP); 3.68 starter ERA (36 ER in 88 IP); 2.56 bullpen ERA (15 ER in 52.2 IP)

In the offseason, GM Brian Cashman tried to stockpile pitching, acquiring Michael Pineda via trade and signing free agents Freddy Garcia, Hiroki Kuroda and Andy Pettitte to supplement Sabathia and Phil Hughes. David Phelps emerged as a valuable piece in the rotation or the pen. Rafael Soriano filled in remarkably for Mariano Rivera and David Robertson was once again one of the top set-up men in the game.

The pitching held up its end of the bargain in the regular season and carried it over to the playoffs.

The lineup on the other hand has the Yankees heading fast for a winter of discontent.

Tags: CC Sabathia , Yankees

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