Coming off of a dominant Game 3 in the Bronx in which the Yankee lineup finally broke out in support of another C.C. Sabathia playoff gem, Manager Joe Girardi has shaken up the lineup a bit for Game 4.
It’s a Sonny day in the Bronx and we’re looking to even things up! https://t.co/WMPfrL3cvr pic.twitter.com/Ii3tB6Lt2C
— New York Yankees (@Yankees) October 17, 2017
With Sonny Gray on the bump tonight in the Bronx, Girardi has decided to give his pitcher a potential defensive boost behind the plate by DH-ing Gary Sanchez in lieu of Austin Romine behind the dish.
“Run prevention” Girardi said is the idea behind Romine catching Gray today. Also mentioned Sanchez big part of 5R allowed first 3 games.
— Sweeny Murti (@YankeesWFAN) October 17, 2017
It remains to be seen how the move shakes out, but it appears to be the right decision by the Yankees’ skipper. Gray’s numbers are much better with Romine catching him, and in a pivotal Game 4, there is little margin for error.
It’s a relatively small sample size, but in three starts with Romine, Gray had a 1.45 ERA, .543 OPS against and only allowed one home run. In eight starts with Sanchez behind the plate, Gray has a 4.63 era, a .767 OPS against and allowed 10 homers.
Aside from those numbers, the eye test has been telling in Gray’s last few starts dating back to the regular season. Sanchez has been unable to bury his ever important and devastating breaking ball in the dirt multiple times, allowing runners to advance and ultimately score.
The move also provides a stronger DH presence with Sanchez, as the DH spot has produced exactly one hit this postseason for the Yanks. The move also gives Sanchez a break from catching a night game followed by back-to-back 5:00pm starts.
Joe Girardi said catcher ERA split was a big factor in putting Austin Romine behind the plate with Sonny Gray. Also gives Sanchez a break.
— Bryan Hoch (@BryanHoch) October 17, 2017
Regardless of the certainly varied opinions, these two remaining home games in the Bronx are crucial for the Yanks, and having Romine defensively may be just what Sonny Gray needs to get back on track against this dynamic Houston offense.
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