Blaming the umpire and not blaming the umpire

Brackman rebounds from control issues, kinda
Rethinking bullpen usage patterns

A short note on tonight’s game: When the first base umpire missed a call on Derek Jeter in the sixth inning, it potentially cost the Yankees a run. Johnny Damon singled, and Mark Teixeira hit what was a two-run home run but could have been a three-run home run. For that, we blame the umpire. But in the ninth, Phil Coke issued a lead off walk to the Indians’ number nine hitter Trevor Crowe who entered the game hitting .171/.237/.200. That Coke even got to three balls on a hitter with such low numbers speaks volumes about the lefty’s control today, and it certainly makes the fact that he tried to blame the umpire after the game even harder to stomach.

Sometimes, the umpires may impact the game, and sometimes, a pitcher just has to throw strikes. As The Star-Ledger’s Marc Carig notes, Phil Coke is doing himself no favors by blaming the umpire for his inability to attack the zone while facing a .171 hitter batting ninth for a depleted team.

Brackman rebounds from control issues, kinda
Rethinking bullpen usage patterns
  • steve (different one)

    yeah, that’s weaksauce.

    and it’s also the second lame excuse Coke has made this season.

    he’s still a rookie, he’ll learn. but this should be a fine in the next kangaroo court.

  • Drew

    [Open mouth: Insert foot]
    Excuses, excuses… Hey buddy, uhh, why don’t you just get outs and close the yapper? kthnxbye

  • RollingWave

    it doesn’t help that the first base ump was Bob Davison. He who got the major league ump job after making two extremely questionable call in the 06 WBC on team Japan in the Japan vs USA game. and have generally been considered a horrible umpire around the league.

    I think this was a very ehhh game, If Gardner hadn’t butcher that play in the 3rd… if it wasn’t followed by a lame ass bloop single.. if the ump didn’t blow the call… if we hit Carl Pavano like Carl Pavano… if Gardner stole second … etc.

    Any one of those things going the other way probably resulted in a yankee vic.

  • Mike HC

    I think the article written by Carig summed it up nicely. Coke was obviously heated and upset about his performance, but publicly calling out the umpire is only going to bring more attention to the situation; especially considering the old adage that rookies should be seen, but not heard (although that is really not followed these days). It must be tough to say the company line with a bunch of reporters in your face after a situation like that, but you just gotta suck it up and keep your frustration to yourself. Overall though, this is not a very big deal … just a guy letting off some steam.

  • steve (different one)

    i’ve noticed that Craig seems to be a yankee reporter that isn’t a total moron.

    that makes him what, one of 2? 3?

  • John

    Besides, according to Gameday, that 3-2 pitch was a ball. However, the first pitch of the AB was a strike according to Gameday but was called a ball.

    This does not excuse what Coke did, as Ben noted he shouldn’t even have gotten to 3 balls against a .191 hitter. I like what Gardy did, he took blame for the loss, blaming it on his defensive mishap and not stealing a base. You are supposed to own up to your mistakes and Coke didn’t.

    • John

      On second thought, I could understand why the first pitch was called a ball as it was borderline…and why was it classified as a curveball? Oh well

    • John

      *.171 hitter…even worse!

  • AlexNYC

    Did Coke got too much rest or was he very spotty today? I mean he hasn’t pitched in a while until today.

    • JP

      I know the Lemming-Manager-Pitching-Usage-Algorithm states that you don’t bring Rivera in in the 9th inning of a tied game on the road.

      I say you do. You try to win the game. If Wang is done, you bring in your best pitcher to keep the game tied, and hope to win it next inning.

      Game tied, bottom 9? One run loses it. Lots of pressure on the pitcher. If Mo came in and held the game, then they score in the top of the 10th, you potentially have to use Coke or someone else to finish the game. But with a 1-run lead, it’s a bit easier on the pitcher. And if he screws up, you can potentially still have a tied game.

      If they don’t score in the top of the 10th, well then you have to use Coke in a tied game, but at least you gave it a shot.

      FWIW, I think Girardi used Posada in this “aggressive” mode, bringing him in in the 8th as a pinch hitter. He risked not getting him to the plate in the 9th by bringing him in in the 8th; he could have “saved” him as a 9th inning pinch hitter. As it was, of course, Jorge batted in the 9th.

      This game showed why a player like Gardner has a tough time keeping a starting job, on any team. For a guy like Gardner to contribute, he has to do the little things, like steal the base to stay out of the DP, and he has to catch the ball in the OF. Jeter can get by being a crappy SS because he’s a consistently good offensive player who hits a few homers.

      I don’t know whether it’s good or bad, but this loss, like lots of the recent losses, seems like they were very close to winning and “should” have won.

      Certainly a turnaround from April…

  • bonestock94

    My heart sank when I saw Coke on the mound. The guy has had his moments but I’m just not comfortable having him pitch in such a situation, only Mo and Aceves(if you wanna count Wang him too). The fact that he blames the loss on anyone but himself is laughable. Bad/close calls are the nature of the game.

  • Matt H

    I think the turning point came when Gardner misplayed that ball in center.

    It lead to that extra run, thus effectively ending Hughes’ day.

  • Matt M.

    who does coke think he is? a year ago he was knows as the ‘other’ Phil in the organization and putting up pedestrian #s for a guy old for his league

    …dont turn into an ingrate

    • AlexNYC

      He’s a rookie, he’ll learn. I just hope Joe G. straightens him out like he used to do with Scott Olsen (now with Nationals) back then in the Marlins.

      • Bo

        How did he straighten out Olsen?