Andy Martino, SNY.tv | Twitter |
St. Petersburg, Fla. -- The script when you use an opener, as the Yankees did on Wednesday and will likely do at least once in the division series, is supposed to flow like this: The opener blazes through a dominant one or two innings, then a starting pitcher -- the "bulk guy" -- enters to more favorable matchups down the lineup.
These innovations, pioneered by the brilliant Tampa Bay Rays last season and since imitated by other clubs, have helped teams maximize their pitchers' strengths and steal wins from what would have been back-of-the-rotation slogs. The opener is a fascinating hack of the game, and will only become more widespread.
But what happens when the strategy goes sideways, as it did for the Yanks and Jonathan Loaisiga on Wednesday?