CLEVELAND — If the Indians lose Game 3 of the division series tonight, manager Eric Wedge said he would not consider bringing C.C. Sabathia back on three days rest to replace Paul Byrd in Game 4 on Monday.
“I wouldn’t consider that,” Wedge said during the team’s workout Saturday at Yankee Stadium. “I’ve never been a big fan. I think there’s a time and place for it, depending on that particular individual, depending on a situation a team might be in, but that’s not something I’m considering.
“We’re going with our guys. We’ve got four guys here that are scheduled to start that have done a tremendous job for us all year long.”
Though Sabathia worked only five innings in Cleveland’s 12-3 Game 1 victory, he labored, throwing 114 pitches and walking a career-high six batters.
“You’re talking about taking a viable risk if you’re bringing somebody back on three days rest, particularly after how hard he worked in that first game,” Wedge said.
Byrd, 15-8 with a 4.59 ERA in one of the best regular-season efforts of his career this year, does have a history of postseason success. With the Angels in 2005, the veteran right-hander was the only pitcher to beat the world champion Chicago White Sox in the playoffs, going 1-0 with a 3.38 ERA in two ALCS starts against the Sox.
Unlike Wedge, Yankees manager Joe Torre is considering rolling the dice with his Game 1 starter, Chien-Ming Wang. Wang, who threw only 94 pitches in allowing a career-high eight runs in 42/3 innings, is considered a candidate to start Game 4, along with veteran Mike Mussina and Phillip Hughes.
Sabathia is scheduled to pitch Game 5 on Wednesday, with Fausto Carmona, who was brilliant in Cleveland’s
2-1, 11-inning Game 2 victory Friday night, also available.
The rook look
For one of the few times this season, Indians second baseman Asdrubal Cabrera resembled a first-year player, chasing pitches and struggling to an 0-for-4 performance Friday, which included a double-play ball in the first inning after Grady Sizemore led off with a single. Cabrera also committed an error.
“It’s no concern,” Wedge said. “I think it’s going to show itself to you from time to time with all young players, and not necessarily just young players, but also players who don’t have a great deal of postseason experience.”
New York’s Game 3 starter Roger Clemens said he would have taken action had he been in charge when the barrage of midges invaded Jacobs Field on Friday and wreaked havoc on Yanks reliever Joba Chamberlain.
“I would have probably pulled us off the field,” Clemens said. “I think it’s hard enough for our young kids to go out there and concentrate in that situation.”
Clearly rattled by the insects, Chamberlain, who allowed just one earned run during the regular season, imploded in the eighth inning, walking two, hitting a batter and throwing two wild pitches — the last permitting Sizemore to score the game-tying run.
“Joba looked like the movie ‘Bees,’” said Yankees first baseman Doug Mientkiewicz. “He had them all over his neck and back. But then again, so did their guys.”
The Indians will most likely stick with their regular lineup against right-handed pitching, but expect to see Jason Giambi play for New York at either first base or designated hitter. Giambi, who has just one pinch-hit appearance in the first two games of the series, hit .500
(8-for-16) with four homers and six RBIs against the Indians this year, batting .323 with 24 homers and 77 RBIs against them during his career.
Contact Chris Assenheimer at 329-7137 or firstname.lastname@example.org.