NEW YORK -- Manager Joe Girardi again defended his decision to let CC Sabathia pitch eight innings in Monday's convincing 10-2 win against the Red Sox, which saw the staff ace pitch with a comfortable lead throughout after the Yankees scored nine runs in the second inning.
Should the Yankees squander their one-game lead on the Orioles in the American League East and not win the division, New York would play a one-game AL Wild Card matchup against Oakland on Friday, when Sabathia would be on three days' rest.
Girardi acknowledged he is concerned about setting up a playoff rotation, but Sabathia is no stranger to pitching on short rest, and repeatedly said after his start Monday that he would be more than willing to do so again this season, even after spending two stints on the disabled list earlier this year. The southpaw has made seven career starts on three days' rest between the regular season and playoffs, combining to go 4-2 with a 2.40 ERA.
The left-hander threw 103 pitches Monday before Freddy Garcia came in for the final three outs, resting a relief corps that Girardi can expect to use Tuesday behind David Phelps, who made his past two appearances out of the bullpen.
"It's not like I asked him to throw 120 pitches. He threw  pitches," Girardi said. "CC, when he's on a roll, he gets on a roll and it seems sometimes the more work he gets, the better he gets. You're asking me to think about, 'What if we tie? What if we have to play another game?' It doesn't make sense. I have to worry about today."