Is the honeymoon over? Are we allowed to criticize Joe Girardi yet? Today, I’d like to criticize Girardi.
When Mike Mussina and Josh Beckett face off, it’s tough
The problem I have with Girardi’s decision — besides the utter stupidity of allowing Ramirez to face Mussina late in a close game with first base open — is the way he went about making it. It was in fact a classic Joe Torre Era mistake. Peter Abraham relates information about the exchange on the mound:
Joe Girardi went with what Mike Mussina wanted to do. The Moose was more comfortable going after Manny than facing the ever-selective Kevin Youkilis with the bases loaded.
“I’ve been pitching a while, so he asked me what I felt like doing,” Mussina said. “I told him what I thought.”
Girardi after the game took the blame, but he has to know Mussina’s limitations. He has to know Manny Ramirez’s ridiculous history against the Yankees. He has to take the ball from Mussina in that situation.
In the end, Mussina wasn’t terrible. He gave up 4 runs in a 5.2 innings largely because Brian Bruney didn’t get the job done either. But again, Mussina went to his fastball too often. That 87 mph meatball he threw to Manny Ramirez was simply indicative of a less-than-stellar Mussina outing.
After the game, Girardi and Moose both said the right thing. Too bad they didn’t do the right thing during the game.