After clinching a playoff birth on Tuesday, Yankees manager did a little rearranging in his pitching rotation. The Yankees pushed scheduled starter Andy Pettitte back until Friday, likely lining him up better for the postseason.
Taking Pettitte’s turn in the rotation was the inconsistent Javier Vazquez. The righty had a chance to push the Yankees into first place in the American League East. It could very well have been Vazquez’s last chance to make a case for a playoff roster spot.
He blew it.
Vazquez lasted just 4.2 innings, giving up seven runs on ten hits including three home runs to the Toronto Blue Jays. He also walked two and did not strike out a single batter.
With a strong start, Vazquez may have been considered for the fourth starter spot in the starting playoff rotation. While that was a long shot, he could have at least made a case for a bullpen spot.
Any roster spot seems unlikely after this latest rough outing. Vazquez has pitched in five games during the month of September, three starts. In those five games, Vazquez has given up 18 runs and 24 hits in 18.1 innings. He has struck out just 10 batters the entire month. For the month of September, Vazquez is 0-1 with a 8.84 ERA, certainly not playoff type numbers.
During their game, the Yankees had found out Tampa Bay had lost, giving New York a chance to retake the AL East lead. Vazquez and the Yankees could not get the job done, losing 8-4 in Toronto.
Third baseman Alex Rodriguez reached the 30 home run mark for the 13th consecutive season and the 100 RBI plateau for the 14th consecutive year. That was not enough on this night.
New York pounded 11 hits in the game but went just 3-for-11 with runners in scoring position and left ten runners on base.
After today’s off day, the Yankees will travel to Boston either tied with Tampa Bay for the AL East or a full game back. Tampa starts a four game series in Kansas City tonight.
While Joe Girardi has not made any playoff announcements other than the obvious of CC Sabathia starting game one, it’s unlikely Javier Vazquez would be included on the postseason roster.