How Joe Girardi mishandled the Joba move

Tampa's pen blows it in glorious fashion
The once and former heir apparent

Let’s get this part of the recap out of the way right now: Had Andy Pettitte not blown three leads tonight, Kyle Farnsworth would not have been pitching in a tie game in the eighth inning. Michael Kay can bloviate about Joba Chamberlain all he wants, but starting pitching — good starting pitching — is what wins games. The Yankees didn’t get good starting pitching tonight, and it cost them later on.

That said, the only person surprised by Kyle Farnsworth’s eighth inning meltdown tonight seems to be Joe Girardi who continues to go to Farnsworth in high-leverage situations. Anyone else could see this one coming from a mile way, and when the dust settled and Farnsworth ended with a strong K, Yankee fans just weren’t surprised by the outcome.

This result — another bad performance by the consistently bad Farnsworth — brings me to a conclusion that a few RAB commenters voiced tonight as well: Joe Girardi and Dave Eiland did not handle Joba Chamberlain’s transition out of the bullpen as well as they should have. When Chamberlain moved out of the setup role, we knew that the Yankees would have a little bit of trouble finding someone to fill that role. We knew what we were getting with Kyle Farnsworth, and the idea, I thought, was to try various combinations of pitchers in the eighth innings. It’s not like the Yanks don’t have choice.

First, the Yankees have Edwar Ramirez. The rail-thin righty has thrown exceptionally well this season. In 16 innings spanning 14 Big League performances, Edwar has allowed just one run on 11 hits and six walks while striking out 15. While Ramirez has pitched mostly in low leverage situations — 11 of his 14 appearances have come with the Yanks either up by four or more or down by three or more — his numbers warrant a look in the eighth inning.

Then, we have the inexplicably underused Chris Britton. Of all the Yankee relievers outside of Farnsworth and Hawkins, Britton actually has a track record of MLB success. In 2006, he kept runners off-base and threw to a 3.35 ERA in 53.2 innings. This year, he’s allowed one hit over six innings in three appearances while, oddly enough, walking four and striking out none. He too deserves more high-leverage appearances.

It wouldn’t be too hard to make the case for Jose Veras or Ross Ohlendorf either. But the point remains: The Yankees have to recognize that this is a team in progress right now, and they have to be willing to break the mold. We’ve seen Kyle Farnsworth fail at this job for parts of three seasons now. At what point with Joe Girardi realize that and try some of the other pieces in his pen?

Game Notes:

  • Not the best day for Derek Jeter again, eh? He made a costly non-error that lead to a few Twins runs and then got thrown out at second late in the game.
  • When A-Rod reached first to lead off the ninth, the obvious move was to have him steal as soon as possible. Hideki Matsui hasn’t struck out since May 21; a hit-and-run would have been ideal, and a straight steal would have been fine. I know Kenny Singleton and Michael Kay were talking about how, on the road, you play for the win, but you can’t win until you tie.
  • Robinson Cano last walked on May 25. Since then, he’s had 32 plate appearances, and he’s seen 88 pitches. That’s 2.75 pitches per plate appearance, and that is utterly terrible. He’s five for 31 (.161) with a sac fly over that stretch, and I think perhaps a day off — or an order to take a pitch — would not be the worst thing for Cano.
  • In Red Sox news, David Ortiz is out at least a month and could need season-ending wrist surgery after damaging some ligaments. As Nick Johnson can tell you, that’s not a good injury. I wonder if the Red Sox would consider this guy to fill in Ortiz’s big shoes. The fit, as Buster Olney would say, is perfect.
Tampa's pen blows it in glorious fashion
The once and former heir apparent
  • Yankee Fan in Chicago

    Somehow I doubt Bonds signs with Boston:

    Remember the infamous 2004 interview with a Boston Globe reporter, who asked Bonds whether he would consider finishing his career in Beantown? Bonds just shook his head and said, “Boston is too racist for me. I couldn’t play there. That’s been going on ever since my dad (Bobby) was playing baseball. I can’t play like that. That’s not for me, brother.”

    • http://www.riveraveblues.com Ben K.

      That was a tad bit tongue-in-cheek. I highly doubt that the Sox would be interested in bringing over more of a media storm and all the baggage that Bonds brings with him. I bet, however, that Theo and Co. love the prospect of a lefty who put up a near-.500 OBP last season coming over to DH behind Manny in Fenway.

      • RustyJohn

        I’m still perplexed why Seattle didn’t sign him this year-low stress, minimal media exposure, need for left handed power bat with high obp…oh, I remember why they didn’t…because BIll Bavasi sucks.

      • TurnTwo

        but the problem is what happens when Bi Papi does come back, say in August… now you’ve got 2 players, albeit very good at what they do, who are limited to DH roles.

        you’re not sitting David Ortiz if he’s healthy, so do you then want to deal with a surly Barry Bonds who isnt getting ABs?

        • A.D.

          Ortiz should only be out a month as of right now

  • Rich

    Meanwhile, Patterson and Britton will likely be in SWB by the end of the week, and Farnsworth and Hawkins will being wasting space on the 25 roster.

    • RustyJohn

      I want to see Britton get all Private Pyle/Vincent D’Onofrio the next time he gets sent down to Scanton- I bet Joe G does a good R. Lee Ermey with that buzzcut.

  • dan

    Michael Kay actually wanted the yankees to play for the tie. Ken Singleton then began convincing him that on the road, you play for the win (for some ridiculous reason, i forgot what). I stopped listening after that (for no particular reason), so idk what happened next.

    • RustyJohn

      Some day I want to hear one of these morons argue that you need to play for the loss.

      • TurnTwo

        ill bet you thats not too far off.

    • GoTerpsGo

      Since I don’t live in the tri-state area I had to either watch Fox Sports North or ESPN – so I dealt with watching ESPN. Mr. ex-Mets GM thought ARod didn’t necessarily run so he didn’t reinjure his quad. Is there any merit to that?

      • http://www.riveraveblues.com Ben K.

        None whatsoever.

        • A.D.

          Especially given that on Sat he stole a base, and then tried to steal another late in the game

  • kunaldo

    this farnsworth $hit is getting ridiculous….if girardi really is such a ‘numbers’ guy, why the fcuk would you bring in the second worst arm in the pen?? edwar should be given the 8th until he blows up…whatever happened to rewarding good work? at least torre overused the GOOD arms..

  • RustyJohn

    Is Cashman going to have to have Britton rules for Girardi to ensure he gets used in games? “Britton must be used at least every third game…”

    • Rich

      No, you can set ceiling for usage as a GM, but not a floor.

      He should handle the Farnsworth situation same way he handled Torre’s overuse of Proctor, that is, get rid of him.

  • A-Point

    Ortiz is still showing the classic signs of decay from Roid use. The heart palpitations, the knees and now the wrist break down. Not to mention the huge jump in HR and body size. I don’t wish players to be hurt, but at least Mitchell and his report protected his own. Now we are seeing the fruits of the juice use. Or was that magic shakes?

    I thought the Yankees lately were showing signs of doing a better job at stealing bases. Then in the 9th tonight they don’t try it to avoid the DP. Same with the hit and run with Chad at the bat. Poor thinking from the manager if you ask me.

    I just don’t see anything from Girardi that was supposed to have changed. At least Torre learned that you can’t put Farnsy in that situation and expect a good outcome. Britton still remains on the bench when he is brought up, yet he worked fast and got outs. I thought that was what you want relievers to do.

    • Chip

      That’s very true. You also see the shift really killing these guys because they’re still trying to pull the ball but they don’t have the same power that they did so then line out to pop out to the right side where the other team has about ten players waiting for it.

    • A.D.

      As much as anyone may think Ortiz used roids, speculating on player for that shouldn’t be done, there is no physical proof, and he’s always been that big, and his knees would break down because of his size if he used roids or not

  • stuart

    when for Me,ancon and COx???

    Hawkins and Kyle WILL NEVER SUCCEED, BECAUS eTHEY STINK AND HAVE FOR THE MAJORITY OF THERE CAREERS.

    WHY can’t others see this?????

  • http://everythingbaseball.wordpress.com Aaron

    The problem seems to be the fact that Girardi hasn’t developed trust in anyone he has in the bullpen, with the exception of Rivera. It seems as though he arbitrarily uses his bullpen arms but doesn’t place enough consideration on the game situation at hand. When it comes to Farnsworth, it’s as if he has become the 8th inning man by default because he’s probably the most experienced pitcher in the bullpen. Or, did Girardi and Farnsworth play together in Chicago?

    And the Ortiz thing, quickly. There still is the likelihood (according the news stations up here) that he won’t need surgery and won’t be gone for the entire season. I don’t see the Sox making any acquisitions unless he will be out the whole year.

  • Brandon

    Farnsy can not be trusted what part of that doesn’t any Joe understand ! it’s simple you go w/ the hot hand, how about Ramirez, Veras even Ohlendorf, I’d trust them w/ the high leverage innings before I trust Farnsy again !!! Joe G your a smart man F’ the loyalty this guy is making you loo like a fool !

    • Brandon

      “look” that’s how pissed I am.

  • jew4jeter

    I hate to say it, but so far Giarardi has been a disappointment. I thought the biggest benefit to him replacing Torre, would be improved bullpen management. I just hope that Girardi has finally learned that you can’t fit a square peg (Farnsworth) into a round hole (the eighth inning), no matter how many times you try.

  • Yankees=warriors

    We really do need starters BAD. Not one quality start from the rotation during this turn! As easy as it seem to score runs, the starters have to take the blame too. Can’t expect the offense to score zillion runs everytime out.

    As for the relievers, I think the only way they can stop Girardi’s obsession with Farnsworth is if they deal him like how they once did Proctor. Too bad no one wants him…

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  • BigBlueAL

    Joe Torre must be saying somewhere, “At least I didnt use Farnsworth as much as Girardi is!!” All the Torre bullpen-haters now are ripping on the new Joe. The fact is, NO MANAGER can manage this bullpen successfully with the utter crap that is at their disposal, even moreso now that Joba is starting (which im happy about dont get me wrong). Its amazing with the bullpen having 7 pitchers at the moment, and not one of them is a lefty, furthermore there is not one freakin lefty to call-up from the minors!!! Traber doesnt count cause he already proved he sucks. I know everyone here loves Britton, but please, the fact that in 6 innings he hasnt K’ed anyone while walking 4 is not surprising, for as big as he is he cant even throw 90 mph (although his numbers with the Orioles were pretty good).

    For now, the best options would be Edwar and Ohlie in the 8th, which is somewhat scary to begin with. I know everyone here talks about JB Cox and Melancon, but your telling me the answer to the bullpen are a couple of pitchers who have never pitched in the majors and are coming off major injuries???? Hey, i hope they do eventually come up and pitch good, but if thats the plan, shit. Unfortunately at the moment the best solution is for the offense to start hitting like its 2006-2007 and put up enuff runs where even Farnsy cant blow the game…

    • JeffG

      Right on man. Looks like I began my post a bit late – you got it.

  • JeffG

    Its funny how people blame the manager for using the players hes got… if Edwar came in and did the same thing he did the other day people would be having his head for that. The team in general had two guys that could lock the late innnings and one is going into the rotation. I like Joba a a starter but we have to live with the rest of the shakey bullpen that your loverboy Cashman put together.
    Olendorf should have been in? – last outing the guy barely escaped two late ining jams he caused himself. Britton? the guy is the last call up for a reason. Wait till he proves it to you.
    What about that crap posted months ago where Torre ruined Fansworth’s confidence? BS guys – the manager is not to blame for the crappy pen his GM has left him. Our GM brought us Hawkins in the offseason – Great work – No?
    Most teams use the same strategy of trying to fit their best guy for the eigth inning and unfortunately Farns is believed to fit that bill at the moment.
    Anyways, I just think Torre and Giardi take too much heat on this site and Cash is the praised as a genius… utterly absurd.

    • Mark B

      JeffG, you couldn’t have said it any better. Bravo.

      The answer lies not with Girardi or Torre, but with Cashman. In his push to have the team build up the minor league system, he neglected to sign a solid veteran to replace him in the pen.

      If the team’s goal last winter was to transition Joba into the rotation, signing LaTroy Hawkins was not an acceptable replacement. Troy Percival, Guilerrmo Mota or even Salomon Torres sure would have looked a lot better.

      • TurnTwo

        seriously, did you just suggest Percival and Mota? that makes me ill.

        blame it on Cashman, but he had a limited market to work with. in hindsight, was Torres a better arm? maybe, and thats a big maybe. otherwise, people would have been SCREAMING if he signed Linebrink to a 3 year deal, or if he traded a couple minor league prospects for a more proven guy like maybe Street or someone of his ilk.

        and Hawkins was never signed under the condition of being the 8th inning guy when Joba transitioned out.

        as pointed out, Girardi has options to use, but he’s got this ridiculous faith in pushing Farnsworth to be all that he can be.

    • mustang

      You beat me to the punch, but I had to say it too.

  • Manimal

    Technically, you can get a lead with out making it a tie first =P

    I will repeat, we have a lot of spare parts that could be used come trade time but why wait when Fuentes has been on the block for basically 4 months.

  • mustang

    I have a problem blaming the pitching when 7 runners are left in scoring position with 2 outs, LOB: 10,scoring opportunities: 3/16, 15 hits and they get only 5 runs.

    Who signed Farnsworth?
    Who after admitting having trade offers for Farnsworth did not trade him?
    Who even after Farnsworth when out and signed Hawkins with his horrible career numbers at the Stadium and in Fenway?
    So if your going to blame Girardi for is use of the losers in the bull pen you have to blame Cashman for not only signing but keep those guys.
    I don’t know if it’s ego or what, but Cashaman seems to have a real problem with knowing when to cut his loses.

    • mustang

      PS- That’s 18.75 million dollars that Mr. Fiscally Responsible spend on those two guys that you want bury in the pen.

      • JRVJ

        $10MM of those dollars are gone (2006 and 2007 for Farns), plus 1/3 of 2008 for Farns and Hawkins.

        There’s no valid reason not to DFA Hawkins, and later in the year, maybe Farns.

        As to last night’s game (which did not let me sleep soundly!), Pettitte did not have, and he should have been taken out when the Yanks went up 5-4.

        More than bringing in Farns, I think that was Girardi’s biggest mistake of the game…..

        • mustang

          Gone or not it was spent.
          In Igawa, Frans, and Hawkins Cashman spend 64.75 million dollars and they have nothing to show for it except watching the balls leave the park.

          • http://everythingbaseball.wordpress.com Aaron

            If we’re going to start calculating how much wasted money Cashman has spent then shouldn’t the list really be starting with Pavano instead of Farnsworth?

            • mustang

              I never use Pavano because at the time it was hard to find anyone who thought that was a bad move. Also Pavano has never been health enough for him to be traded.
              However with Igawa and especially Farnsworth Cashman had chances to get something and get them off this team. With Hawkins the numbers spoke for them selves I will never understand that one.

    • Mark B

      We won’t have Cashman to kick around anymore if we don’t change things around. This will be come Damon Oppenheimer’s responsibility in about 4 months…..

      • mustang

        I actually like Cashman the job he has done with the farm system and dealing with the bullshit of being the Yankees GM is great.
        Still somewhere a long the line you have to be held accountable for some of these signings and not cutting loses especially if you’re going to preach fiscal responsibility.

    • MD

      you are right on…..terrible job of major league pitching procurement…..too much money spent on failure……someone has to be accountable…..both Latroy and Farns need to be shipped out pronto……we should be able to get something from Colorado or Milwaukee, or even Detroit…….this team is rebuilding it’s pitching staff, so lets do it and find out what we have……my guess is it’s coming soon, and neither of the 2 vets will be here by the end of July…..of course, by then……….

  • Tripp

    The problem for me is Girardi was in the booth last year and watched multiple times when Farnsworth blew the game. It’s not like this is new to Girardi. How do you continue to use Farnsworth over and over again in that situation?

  • Jorge Steinbrenner

    Kyle Farnsworth has a big contract.

    Kyle Farnsworth will get endless opportunities to perform in big roles, no matter the result, until that contract is up.

    We are where we are today because we signed too many players to big, bloated contracts who didn’t play up to them throughout this decade, just like we did in the 80’s.

    I don’t see how this is so hard for people to understand.

    If anything, Girardi should be blamed for not pushing back on this, as he seems to push back less on playing the “veterans” than Torre did.

    • TurnTwo

      i would stop short of comparing this team to those of the 1980’s, but i agree in the sense that Girardi seems to push back a lot less than i expected him regarding players not performing up to their abilities and talent, and money be damned i’m going to put the best playing on the field who prove they can get the job done.

  • Chip

    I just don’t understand like everybody else why we’re not using Edwar until he proves he just can’t handle it. I honestly don’t blame Cashman, there wasn’t anything that looked like a good deal out there this winter and Hawkins was a low-risk deal. And when you look at it, Hawkins hasn’t been pitching in any important situations.

    Girardi was in a tough situation in this one as well. The bullpen had been getting a lot of work in for the past few days and Joba won’t pitch deep tomorrow so I agree with bringing Pettite back out for another inning and it did almost work. The reason we lost this game is because we got 13 hits over 6 innings off their starter and couldn’t get a hit with runners in scoring position to save out lives. I just don’t know what it is but nobody on this team can hit once a guy gets to second.

    • mustang

      ” I honestly don’t blame Cashman, there wasn’t anything that looked like a good deal out there this winter and Hawkins was a low-risk deal.”

      Hawkins had a career 9.00 ERA at the Stadium and a 7.00 ERA at Fenway. So in a 162 game season this guy has 90 chances to come into a place where he has an ERA around 8.00.
      If there was nothing out there this winter don’t make the bigger mistake of signing garbage.

  • Z1m

    Fool me once shame on you. Fool me twice shame on me. Shame on anyone from front office to the manager/coaches. The Yankees continue to make the same mistake for 3 years now. For every good outting he has two bad. You can’t continue to put him in tie games or down 1 run games. He will blow them. If you’re going to pitch him needs to be in games where the Yankees have a two run lead or more.

    I would have considered this a bad investment sometime last year and moved on. I would release him and hope that a good team picks him up and he starts blowing games for them. That would be the best way to max Kyle Fransworth. The Yankees can get more out of him if he plays for someone else. That way he’ll help them lose instead of costing them games.

    • mustang

      Agree, but I would of traded him.

      • RichYF

        mustang,

        You are so doom and gloom. Traded Farnsworth for what? Nothing? That accomplishes just that.

        The idea that this is Cashman’s fault is perfectly fine. The only problem with that is he can only put players on the team. How they are used is not something he can control. Maybe he should get rid of Farnsworth so Girardi CAN’T pitch him in the 8th inning. Just like he did Proctor. And Cairo. And half of the other players he had to get rid of because Torre just put them out there all the time.

        The point of this post was to say that Farnsworth is fine in low leverage situations. He is a perfectly suitable 6th or 7th inning guy and can get a strikeout when he needs one. He just can’t take the pressure of the 8th inning. Hawkins is what he is. A veteran that can provide some leadership and eat some innings.

        Britton, Ramirez, Bruney (before injury), Ohlendorf, and to some degree Veras are all actual options for the 8th inning. Ohlie does pretty well when he DOESN’T PITCH MORE THAN ONE INNING.

        Like I said, jump on Cashman all you want, but Girardi is putting Farnsworth in to blow games. If Ramirez/Ohlie/Veras/anyone else blows it in the 8th at least we can look back and say, “Well, based on the season thus far I can understand why he put him in there.” Even Farns has SOME credibility so far this season. But after the last 2 years, every Yanks fan knows the drill.

        If Girardi is going to go by “experience” and “the book” to manage this team, then we might as well pack it up right now. He’s going to have to take some chances on some young kids in the bullpen and catch lightning in a bottle while Melacon and Cox get their work in in the minors.

        • mustang

          ” Traded Farnsworth for what? Nothing? That accomplishes just that.”
          No. It gets him off this team and maybe Cashman gets some young talent or something they can use. There is a sucker out there willing to take a chance on Farnsworth’s arm the Yankees did.

          What you guys are basically saying is that Girardi is being stubborn and letting Farnsworth pitch the 8th. What I’m saying is that Cashman been stubborn for the last 3 years by keeping Farnsworth around.

          • http://www.riveraveblues.com Ben K.

            Here’s something though that no one likes to hear: With the pitching market it as it is right now, there is a place for a Kyle Farnsworth on the Yankees. That place just isn’t the 8th inning of a tie game.

            • mustang

              Ok.
              Bury the guy no matter how you cut it the signing and not trading the guy when you had the chance is a failure in management.

        • mustang

          “Hawkins is what he is. A veteran that can provide some leadership and eat some innings.”

          For leadership in the pen they have Mo. They don’t have to pay 3.75 million for someone to eat up innings badly they have a whole minor league system dieing to do it for a lot less.

  • Steve S

    Farnsworth has shown some improvement this year, regardless of the situation. I dont think its fair to jump on Girardi for this. Its one decision on one night. Girardi needs to go through the proper line. And to be quite honest the guys you mentioned really dont stand out. Ramirez is really the only one that arguably merits an argument. Britton, as much as everyone loves him, if Joe Girardi went from using him sporadically to putting him into the 8th inning of a tie game, that would be more than strange. And to be fair I think if Brian Bruney were still here, he would be the guy getting Joba’s old job. Except for Britton, Joe has shown that he is willing to use everyone and to balance out the workload. Its actually been one of his strong suits. I think if he continues to go to Farnsworth in those situations then there is a bone to pick. But to jump on him after Farnsworth has his first real 8th inning meltdown since taking over the reigns is a little unfair, especially when your best replacement on the roster is Edwar Ramirez. I think we all know they need to bring somebody up or make a move, because the 8th inning guy (if its going to be one guy) is not on this team.

  • Z1m

    Positive spin is with Ortiz and DiceK missing a month that may be able to settle Boston down and balance out the Yankees losing games in the early days of May. The Rays should come back to earth soon and the rest of the teams are all right around 500 in the other divisons. If the Yankees can figure something out with this pitching now would be a nice time to make a move.

  • Jon W.

    As for the game last night…

    I know ARod not running in the 9th has been talked about already, so I won’t beat a dead horse, but am I the only one who thought Girardi should have pinch hit for Moeller in the 7th? I know the Yanks were already up 5 – 4, but I had absolutely no confidence in Moeller getting the runner in from 3rd, and sure enough, he struck out. Betemit is no great shakes, either, and you then are left with only 1 catcher, but I thought another run there would have been huge.

    • LC

      Or how about bringing in Mo to face Delmon Young in the eighth? I know Farnsy is capable of getting the strikeout, and Delmon Young frequently looks terrible, but what are the chances that Farnsworth is able to keep a runner at third from scoring with fewer than two outs?

  • A.D.

    Hopefully if Robertson has another good week in AAA (i.e. low to no walks) we will see him in the bigs soon, and Traber or Hawkins DFA for the 40 man spot. We have some top bullpen arms in the minors, and it would be nice to see what they can do especially with no lock down 8th inning guy

  • mike

    The first line of the post is the best line – its all about starting pitching, and if Petitte did not spit the bit against a sucky offense 3 TIMES in seven innings, or if there was a situational hit or out made by the Yanks in this game it would have been over long before the 8th inning.

    As much as it pains me to see Worthless pitch the 8th, it would continue to hurt more watching Joba sit in the pen when the Yanks are down a few runs because they cannot hit a ball into the air, or that for 3/5ths of all starts the starters implode leaving no oportunity for him to getinto the game.

    I love these idiots speaking about how unbeatable the Yanks are when Joba and Mo come into the game – do they realize the Yanks are UNDER .500 because they have no starters??? Talk about looking at the trees and forgeting the forest!

    Lets gets Jorge back, sit Cano for a week and have either Bettemit or AG take some at-bats, hopefully get a nice boost from Joba and make up some ground on the Sox while Papi and Dice are out.

    But, Mr. cashman, you have to do something about gettina a better Shelly Duncan, and clean up the pen…..

  • gdama

    Wow, you guys sound like Michael Kay, and that is a bad thing.

    You = Blogger (AKA fan with a web site)

    Giardi = Former NL manager of the year.

    I think I will give him the benny of the doubt loooooooong before any bloggers.

    More over, weren’t you guys the biggest opponents of trading for Santana? Had we traded for him, Joba would be in the 8th inning right now, but as it is we are treading water around .500 because our starting pitching is the sh*ts. If they don’t stretch Joba out this year, he will be in the same situation next year, they are handling it fine, they know more than you.

  • Simon B.

    Yeah, what a horrible bullpen. 4th in the AL.

    What makes everybody assume that another pitcher would have held the 8th there? Joba, himself, gave up two ties and a blew the only lead of the season until Hawkins did last week in the 11th.

    People have this crazy idea that the bullpen should be perfect all the time and never give up runs. Pitchers give up runs sometimes. It’s not a matter of particular blame. Farnsworth hasn’t been very good lately; hopefully someone will get the more prominent role ahead of him, but that doesn’t allude to some huge problem that the Yankees have. They just lost last night.

    By the way, fancy a guess what that fantastic reliever Okajima—you know that vital part of the bullpen that the Yankees should aspire to—did in the 8th last night.

  • http://bullpenstatus.blogspot.com Stefan W.

    What I find hilarious is that we went into the season with NO illusions whatsoever about this being a transition year. Yet here comes the March of the Trolls, screaming for Cashman’s head. Where were you people at the beginning of the season?

    It’s enough to make the rest of us cheer extra hard for the Yankees, just so we don’t have to read barrages of “OMGZ CASHMAN IS TEH STUPIDZ!!!!!!!111” when something goes wrong.

  • Phil McCracken

    Great entry Ben.

    I’m just surprised that the rotation continues to go out and blow games and put up terrible performances, yet the criticism keeps coming on the bullpen.

    Just like last week vs Baltimore, Chamberlain wasn’t available because he was pitching the next day and everyone went into a panic. What nobody focused on was that Ian Kennedy (injury or not) put up another 3 inning performance.

    You can’t win with bad starters. Doesn’t matter if you’ve got K-Rod and RIvera in the 8th and 9th. Starters can’t keep the game in reach, then you’ve got no business winning anyways.

  • Rob_in_CT

    There were several reasons the Yanks lost last night, and only one of them was the decision to use Farns. Andy Pettitte was so-so, and the defense behind him was downright shoddy. That’s numero uno. The offense did ok, but could have done better. Then there’s Farns.

    I wish JG had used Edwar. But I can’t get too worked up over it. Starting pitching and the defense are bigger problems. One will hopefully improve (SP). The other is what it is.

    • Joe

      True, the Yanks looked awful last night on almost every level. How many runners were stranded at third? It seems like they’ve lost the abuility to play fundamental baseball. Given their pitching woes, the Yanks need to produce runs anyway they can – including sac flies. I’d love to see more bunting, stolen bases, etc. I really thought Girardi would have brought that to the team.

      On the other hand, how many leads has Farnsworth blown while with the Yankees? He’s got a nasty fastball, but zero confidence in it. If he’s going to be the “8th Inning” set-up man, he needs to ditch the subpar curveball and focus on his fastball. The problem there is his control.

      It’s safe to say the bullpen is abysmal, but every aspect of the 2008 Yankees is abysmal thus far

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