Girardi makes it official: Sabathia to start Game 4

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As expected, Joe Girardi officially announced that CC Sabathia will start Game 4 of the ALCS for the Yankees.
Chad Gaudin or Joba Chamberlain were the other options, so there was never really any doubt. Sabathia will be working on short rest after throwing 113 pitches over eight innings of one-run ball Friday in Game 1, but will then be lined up to start a potential Game 7 on full rest (or Game 1 of the World Series on extra rest).
Sabathia didn’t make a single start on short rest during the regular season, and in fact made 13 of his 34 starts on more than four days’ rest. For his career he’s only started on three days’ rest four times, but three of those outings came last season for the Brewers and he’s gone 3-1 with a 1.01 ERA on short rest.
“We’re comfortable with him going on short rest,” Girardi said. “He’s had success going on short rest if you look at last year’s numbers, so we’re comfortable doing it. He feels good, and we’re going right to CC.”
Sabathia will match up against Scott Kazmir tomorrow night unless the Angels change their plan to go with a four-man rotation and instead turn back to Game 1 starter John Lackey. As noted prior to the series starting, the drawn-out ALCS schedule allowing the Yankees to use Sabathia three times plus A.J. Burnett and Andy Pettitte twice apiece is a big factor in New York’s favor.

Yankees GM Brian Cashman not considering demoting struggling Greg Bird

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Yankees first baseman Greg Bird gave his team tons of confidence to hand him the everyday job at first base to start the 2017 regular season, batting .451/.556/1.098 with eight home runs in 51 spring at-bats. But he’s followed that up by hitting .107/.254/.214 through the first month of the regular season.

GM Brian Cashman doesn’t have any intent to demote Bird back to Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre, MLB.com’s Bryan Hoch reports. Cashman said, “It’s not even an option for me in my mind right now, at all.”

Bird didn’t start Sunday’s game against the Orioles, a 7-4 loss in 11 innings. Lefty Wade Miley started for the Orioles, prompting manager Joe Girardi to put Chris Carter into the lineup at first base. If Bird isn’t able to figure things out, Carter might have an increased role on the team.

Chris Archer threw behind Jose Bautista

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Rays starter Chris Archer threw his first pitch to Blue Jays outfielder Jose Bautista behind the slugger’s back with one out in the first inning of Sunday afternoon’s game in Toronto. Bautista and Archer then had a staredown. Home plate umpire Jim Wolf issued warnings to both teams. Bautista ultimately flied out to right field and he appeared to have a quick word with Archer on his way back to the dugout.

Archer could have been exacting revenge — euphemistically known as “protecting his teammate” — because Jays reliever Joe Biagini hit Rays outfielder Steven Souza in the seventh inning of Saturday’s game. Souza was forced to leave the game and underwent an X-ray, which came back negative. He was held out of Sunday’s lineup. Biagini’s pitch did not appear to be intentional.

The Jays won Sunday’s contest 3-1 with no further incident. The two clubs meet again in Tampa for a three-game series starting on May 5, so we’ll see if Sunday was the last of the bad blood between them.