In our continuing quest to update you on the Yankee who, in our opinion, hasn’t earned his pinstripes, Javier Vazquez, the embattled $12M 4th starter, was moved to the bullpen last night, and faced one batter, in the top of the 9th inning, recording a strikeout. The Yanks had trailed 9-7 when Vazquez entered the game, and then got clutch home runs from Alex Rodriguez to tie the game in the bottom of the 9th, and from Marcus Thames, who hit a two run walk off homer. Since Vazquez got the Red Sox last recorded out, he was the pitcher of record, picking up one of the easiest wins in his career.
Yankees manager Joe Girardi, who held Vazquez back from making the start, bristled at the notion that he was trying to save Vazquez from the microscope that comes with pitching against Boston, though he did skip Vazquez earlier in the month against Boston for that very reason.
“I want to make this clear,” Girardi said. “He was not skipped because of that situation. Our bullpen is a mess. I needed a long guy today. We could not activate Chan Ho Park if you didn’t have a long man.
“You couldn’t call up some of the guys that we’ve sent down. You can’t recall them, and you did not have [Ivan] Nova. We wanted Chan Ho Park back in our bullpen, and that’s why Javy had to do it.
“I tried not to use him today, because I want to pitch him on Friday. And for me, right now, he can still pitch Friday.”
To their credit, the magnanimous Yankees crowd last night gave Vazquez an ovation upon being inserted into the game in the 9th inning, probably not wanting to further damage Vazquez’s confidence.
The Javier Vazquez watch will continue Friday, when Vazquez will start at Citifield against the New York Mets.