And on the 119th pitch, Joe Torre awoke from his deep slumber

Reinforcements arrive for Trenton's playoff drive
Game 138: It's like the 2003 ALCS all over again

At the end of the 6th inning during Sunday’s painfully long loss to the Devil Rays, Andy Pettitte had topped the 100-pitch mark. His 103rd pitch of the day resulted in an inning-ended force-out off the bat of Josh Wilson. At that point, the score stood at 2-1, and there was no way Joe Torre would let Andy Pettitte come back for the 7th. Right?

Well, not quite. Joe Torre sent Andy Pettitte to the mound, inexplicably, in the 7th. Before the start of that ill-fated inning, six of the last 10 batters to face Pettitte had reached base, and only a great throw by Johnny Damon had kept the game close. So with a very well-rested Joba Chamberlain in the bullpen, Torre opted to have Pettitte throw 16 more pitches.

Following an eight-pitch strike out of Akinori Iwaumura and a two-pitch single off the bat of Carl Crawford, I announced to Emma that Carlos Peña was due for a home run. So instead of going with a well-rested right-handed strike out artist, sleeping Joe left Andy Pettitte in. Peña obliged my prediction by crushing a ball about 700 feet over the right field wall. Finally, Joe came out of the dugout, but it was too little too.

Two innings later, he left the one-inning Edwar Ramirez in for a few batters too many, and by the time we looked up, much of the 54,000 fans at Yankee Stadium had left because the score was 8-2. Ouch.

Now, I know we dump on Joe Torre a lot, but why in the name of Phil Rizzuto would you have Andy Pettitte throw 119 pitches in a 2-1 game when he hadn’t been particularly effective since striking out the side in the 4th inning? Why not use your bullpen? Why not employ the ace-in-the-hole?

Earlier in the day, Joe Torre opined to the New York media that he wanted to return to manage the Yanks next season. With the team getting younger, I can’t think of a worse idea right now. Torre’s inept pitching management killed the team today. Who knows what it will do to the likes of Joba Chamberlain, Phil Hughes, Ian Kennedy and others who may come up through the system? We need a manager that knows what to do in a 2-1 game against the Devil Rays. Joe today proved that he isn’t necessarily the right one for the job. And it cost the Yanks a chance to widen their Wild Card lead on the eve of a series against the Mariners.

Reinforcements arrive for Trenton's playoff drive
Game 138: It's like the 2003 ALCS all over again
  • UkYankee

    I have only watched Baseball since July 03….yet I was screaming at gameday while Andy stuglled through the 6th. Then relieved he came through unscathed in the knowledge that even the obviously inept Joe T wouldn’t send him out for the 7th. theat is at least 7 games this year old CLueless has lost with pitching management so bad that a novice like me knew what terrible moves he was making (or not usually). please tell me how this is possible and none of the thousand or so beat writers evr calls him out on it (to his face). please don’t bring him back for another year!!!!! I actually think its not possible anyway, as Cashmoney has completely lost faith in him (Jaba Rules, trading away his fav toys) and he was the only guy demanding his stay last year….rant over

  • dan p

    Very rarely will I question Joe who I think does a decent job, but how in the f-ck can you leave Andy out there to face a very good line up for the fourth time when he was lucky as hell to get through them three times. Torre said Andy wasn’t going to let Joe take him out. Am I the only one that thinks thak is completly f-cking absurd?

  • Rich

    Ben and the other commenters:

    Since Chamberlain is supposedly not allowed to come in once an inning begins would you want to bring him in at the top of the 7th in a close but losing game making him unavailable for Monday and/or Tuesday?

    If not, who did you want to replace Pettitte and when?

    I’m really looking forward to your answers because other than Chamberlain (who I wouldn’t use in that situation) I don’t think any of the available relievers would have done much better than Pettitte.

    • Joseph P.


      • John

        I saw Andy scream into his glove when he got out of the 6th and I figured he was done.
        This is a spot I would have used Farnsworth. I know that’s begging for an implosion but he’s sitting out in the pen doing nothing.

    • Wordekemper = Wizard

      This is a problem, sure, but if we can’t ever trust Britton (Bruney is beyond this point, I think) or Farnsworth, then we are in trouble. Chamberlain, Viz, and Mo can only do so much. Seems like Joe was willing to trust Edwar, so why not Edwar the 7th, Joba the 8th, and depending on whether we have scored or not, if there is a good chance to win, Joba the 9th.

      • Wordekemper = Wizard

        I forgot Veras, too. Personally, I think Edwar and Bruney hardly belong at this point. I don’t get to see many games living in Oregon; tell me otherwise and help a gameday brother out.
        What if they went with Scott Patterson if he does well in his next couple SWB starts?

  • Trevor

    It’s too bad mike mussina wasn’t sucking ass the time that joba came up. Instead of being in the pen he could be that ace were lacking.

  • Jake T

    There was a conversation earlier about possible FA outfielders next year. The Phillies are my NL team since i grew up there and i was wondering what the situation with Rowand is. Is there any way they let him go? Is their any way the Yankees take a flier out on him?

    • Joseph P.

      No chance. We have JD, Matsui, Cabrera, and probably Abreu coming back next year.

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  • Dude

    ^ plus Gardner (probably) as a D replacement/pinch-runner.