Yeah, I'm all kind of pissed right now. Freaking Joe Girardi. What the heck are you doing my man? His bullpen management cost the Yankees the game tonight! And I don't want to hear from anyone that it's only April, or that it's the 5th game of the season, or that it's only one game or only one loss. Divisions are lost and playoffs are missed because of one loss. Every game matters and every loss counts, regardless of when the game is played. Tonight's loss didn't need to happen. If the Yankees miss the playoffs by one game this will be one of the losses that could have changed their fate.
I'm putting this loss on Girardi's bullpen management because he made a move that shouldn't have been made and it came back to bite him in the ass. Joe never should have opened the 8th inning with Rafael Soriano on the mound. The right play was open with David Robertson and go to Soriano if Robertson gets into trouble. That's how I would have managed it. Here's why: The Yankees were up 4-0. Soriano had just pitched the day before. Freddy Garcia is starting tomorrow and who knows what you'll need from your bullpen. I would have tried to save his arm as much as I could. David Robertson is a quality RP and has the stuff to get hitters out. Girardi should have let him take a shot.
The thing that makes me the most annoyed is how Girardi responded to questions in his post game press conference? When asked why he went to Soriano he responded because Soriano is "our 8th inning guy." Umm, what? Last time I checked every game has an 8th inning. What are you going to do Joe? Use him every game? You've got to be smart and pick your spots. Tonight wasn't the right spot. Many factors need to be taken into account. The biggest factors: What's the lead? (4 runs) When did he pitch last? (yesterday) When will he be needed again? (possibly tomorrow). Add all that up and your answer should be: open the 8th with another pitcher. Girardi also comment that he didn't want to bring Soriano in during the middle of an inning? Why not Joe? Soriano is a closer by nature, not a set-up guy. Everybody knows that closers do better when something is on the line? We've all seen Mariano Rivera falter in non-save situations. Maybe bringing Soriano in with a 4-run lead isn't a good idea. I'm sure he'd do better with a little pressure. Who knows? One last question for Joe: who's your 8th inning guy tomorrow?
Aargh. It's late and my brain is fried. I want to blog a little more but I still have some stuff to do before bed and in addition to being pissed I'm dead tired. Here are the rest of my game thoughts in quick-hit fashion:
- Great outing by CC. He was in mid-season form. He'll only get better. Too bad the pen couldn't hold it. CC deserved the win.
- Mark Teixeira hit another 3-run HR. Doesn't look like he'll struggle this spring. He's locked in.
- Andruw Jones. Welcome to NY. Nice first AB. He hits LHPs rather well. Keep it up.
- I hate lefty specialists. I've said it for years. Boone Logan didn't get it done tonight. He's there to get out Denard Span and Joe Mauer, not issue leadoff walks and singles. Shape up or you're getting shipped out.
After ranting about Girardi, let me add this: I know it's not all his fault. Players still need to execute. It was Rafael Soriano's job to get those guys out, He failed in that. But again, he shouldn't have been in the game to implode like that. Aargh.
Peace, love and Pinstripes,