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Girardi: Road success is why Hughes moved to Game 2

Yankees starter Phil Hughes pitches against the Tampa

Yankees starter Phil Hughes pitches against the Tampa Bay Rays at Yankee Stadium. (Sept. 21, 2010) Photo Credit: Jim McIsaac

ARLINGTON, Texas - The reasons for flipping Phil Hughes and Andy Pettitte in the ALCS rotation were pretty clear-cut for Joe Girardi and his staff.

First and foremost were Hughes' past successes in this ballpark - 2-0 with a 0.00 ERA in two starts, though neither this year - and the righthander's home/away splits.

"He's pitched very well on the road this year," Girardi said of Hughes.

Hughes was 7-4 with a 3.47 ERA in 13 road games (11 starts), compared to 11-4 with a 4.66 ERA in 18 starts at home. Of the 25 homers Hughes allowed this season, 20 came at Yankee Stadium.

Then there was the matter of a potential deciding game.

"It puts Andy, who has the most postseason wins in the history of this game, in Game 7 if in fact there is a Game 7," pitching coach Dave Eiland said. "Not to say that Hughsie couldn't do it, but we tried to figure out what the best thing was for us. A couple of different things pointed to Andy for [Games] 3 and 7."

Pettitte, who will face Cliff Lee in Game 3 at Yankee Stadium, was fine with whatever the Yankees decided. "I'll pitch whenever they want me to pitch, whenever they need me to pitch," he said.

For obvious reasons, his preference would be to not be needed for a seventh game. "I hope I only have to pitch one time in this series,' he said. "That would be great."

If it ain't broke . . .

The Yankees didn't make any changes from the Division Series for their 25-man roster. That was good news for Greg Golson, Austin Kearns, Ramiro Peña, Dustin Moseley and Sergio Mitre. Chad Gaudin and Javier Vazquez were among those left off the roster.

"There were discussions about 'do you want an extra pitcher,' and we felt we didn't need to," said Girardi, who turned 46 Thursday. "We tried to cover our bases with all things involved and we just decided to stand pat."

Just fine

Girardi was not concerned with A.J. Burnett's simulated game Wednesday, one in which he hit two batters.

"I actually thought he threw the ball pretty well," Girardi said of Burnett, who is scheduled to start Game 4. "Obviously, you never want to hit your own hitters. It happens, and we don't want to see the guys get beat up. [But] I am confident in him and I've seen what A.J. can do."

New York Sports