It would be irresponsible for Joe Girardi to start Raul Ibanez in Game 4 of the Division Series or any future playoff game for that matter.
And I am not saying this as a Yankee hater who posted the following Tweet last night.
No, if you are rooting for the Yankees, you need to have Ibanez on the bench.
Why? Because he has shown he is valuable coming off the bench as a threat. Lingering, waiting and having the ability to enter the game, tie it and win it.
He did it against the A’s on September 22. Game off the bench, homered twice including the 13th inning game tying shot.
He did it against the Red Sox on October 2. He pinch hit in the 9th and homered to tie the game. Then in the 12th he won the game with a single.
Last night he came off the bench, homered to tie the game and then homered to win it.
This is what he does. He’s like Dave Roberts with the 2004 Red Sox. Roberts was the looming threat of a stolen base when then needed it.
The Yankees can turn to the bench for a game tying homer.
You know he will do it when he pinch hits today.
Girardi might not be sure when he needs that homer.
Will he need to pinch hit for Chavez? Nunez?
Thinking he can do it for the whole game might be a fallacy.
But you know when Ibanez walks into the on deck circle, the crowd would go berzerk.
That’s Ibanez’s job.
Don’t start him.