NEW YORK, NY: Ivan Nova of the New York Yankees looks on during the game against the Texas Rangers at Yankee Stadium in the Bronx borough of New York City. (Photo by Chris Trotman/Getty Images)
Once you get past CC Sabathia, the Yankees have a whole bunch of starters with claims on postseason rotation spots, but they're going with a rookie and a grizzled veteran, both unheralded before the season.
You already know who's starting for the New York Yankees in Game 1 of their Division Series against the Detroit Tigers, which opens Friday night in the Bronx. Everybody's known the identity of the Yankees' Game 1 starter for quite some time.
It wasn't until yesterday, though, that we learned who will start Games 2 and 3 for the Yankees. And the news is surprising for any number of reasons.
Rookie Iván Nova will start Game 2 of the American League Division Series against the Detroit Tigers.
"Nova's going to start," Girardi said. "It's probably going to be Game 2. How's that?"
After the Yankees' 8-7 loss to the Rays, Girardi said that Freddy Garcia would start Game 3 of the ALDS, following Sabathia and Nova. Sabathia and Nova would pitch Games 4 and 5, if necessary. That means A.J. Burnett is headed to the bullpen.
Is Bartolo Colón headed to the bullpen, too? Or is he heading to Tampa, to stay in "shape" in case somebody gets hurt? But this isn't about Bartolo Colón? It's about Nova and Garcia, both of whom entered spring training, roughly seven months ago, just hoping to win jobs with the big club, as neither was guaranteed anything.
Nova, despite pitching well for the Yankees, was actually sent to the minors for a few weeks in July, and his current status as the Yankees' No. 2 starter probably says equal parts about his growth and their desperation.