Throughout a baseball season, the battle vs war predicament is constantly dissected. On any given day, a manager has to decide what he’s willing to sacrifice to win that battle while keeping the war in mind.
When you’re talking about a five game series in five days, that becomes even more magnified.
Last night, for a while it seemed like the Yankees were going to win the battle but take a hit long term. Yes, they had a one run lead, but they were going to have to burn all three of their premium relievers in game one.
Giancarlo Stanton reversed that narrative with one swing.
All of a sudden, Chapman is now available for the rest of the series. No, he won’t be able to pitch four games in a row. However he can easily pitch in three of the next four. Ideally, the Yankees wrap this up in three or four anyway and don’t need to worry about a potential game five. The most likely scenario would seem to be the Yankees winning this series in four games with Chapman pitching in the final two victories.
I’m obviously getting ahead of myself a bit, but using Chapman last night would’ve caused some headaches tonight. If he had pitched last night, would he be used in a tie game in the 8th inning tonight? What about if we were down 1 in the 9th? Luckily, we don’t have to find out. Chapman will be fully rested and ready to go. Conversely, the Rays had to use four different delivers. John Curtiss, one of Kevin Cash’s premium horses, had to throw 42 pitches and is presumably unavailable tonight.