Yankees lose. Yankees lose.

Shelley, bullpen carry SWB to win
An SOS from the bullpen

To Yankees fans, last night’s was a big game. In the big picture it was just one of 162, but after losing two straight, not to mention all seven this season, to the Red Sox, it felt like a must-win. Again, in the big picture it wasn’t. What’s happened now that they’ve lost? (A: They’ll play 102 more games.) It might feel like the season’s trickled down the drain, but trust me when I say it hasn’t.

While the major action took place in the later innings, there was plenty going on in the early frames. In each of the first two innings the Yankees saw the leadoff hitter reach second base with no outs, but in neither could they bring him around to score.

It was an especial shame in the first. Brad Penny had just plunked Alex Rodriguez, which drew a warning and precluded any attempt at retribution, putting runners on first and third with two outs for Robinson Cano. What followed was an intense at bat in which Cano fouled off the first seven pitches, took two balls, fouled off the 10th, and finally on the 11th flied out to left. Balls three and four landed in the seats at some point, but Cano’s not the kind of guy who’s going to let them go by.

The second ended in an infuriating manner. After doubling to lead off the inning, Nick Swisher found himself still standing at second base with one out and Francisco Cervelli at the dish. Frankie popped one to left, not deep but enough to approach the shallow monster. Swisher went all-in on it bouncing off the wall and he lost. Jason Bay doubled him up.

This was the second night in a row where the Red Sox caught Swisher drifting too far. There’s an old saying in Tennessee — I know it’s in Texas, it’s probably in Tennessee — that says, fool me once…shame on…shame on you. It fooled me. We can’t get fooled again. Don’t be surprised if Gardner starts in center tomorrow, with Melky and Damon flanking him.

The following four innings were only remarkable because Brad Penny continued to post zeroes. He entered the game with a 5.85 ERA, 6.51 at Fenway, and the Yankees couldn’t manage a run off him. Granted, he did throw 65 percent of his pitches for strikes, but he tossed 117 of them total, which is quite the sum through six innings.

On the other end, CC did his part, limiting the Red Sox to one run through seven innings. The only damage came when a 45-year-old with dry eyes popped one the other way. That was another emotional trip which warped reality a bit. Solo homers happen — Johan Santana gives up a ton of ’em. It just stings that it was the second of the series for Ortiz, he he had hit only two for the year and was hitting on the Interstate heading into the series. His single in the seventh put him over .200.

Here comes the good part. With Penny done after the sixth, Manny Delcarmen, member of the insurmountable Red Sox bullpen, entered the game. The Yankees wasted no time in taking back the game. Melky singled, Cervelli doubled down the third base line, scoring Cabrera who was moving on the pitch. A new ballgame had dawned. It wouldn’t last for long.

With runners on first and third and two outs, Alex Rodriguez stepped to the plate. A-Rod detractors cringed; A-Rod supporters prayed. Manny Delcarmen made is pitches, but on the sixth toss of the at bat he made the wrong one, and Alex drilled it to center, plating both runners and putting the Yanks up by a couple. It would be the team’s only hit in 11 at bats with runners in scoring position.

Here comes the bad part. After having thrown 106 pitches in the first seven frames, CC Sabathia came out to face Nick Green in the eighth. Nothing wrong here. As the Milwaukee Brewers proved last year, CC’s definitely the guy to stick with here. Green stymied the Yanks by singling and bringing up the top of the order. Again, no reason to go to a lesser reliever in this spot.

CC and Pedroia squared off, and it was much like how Penny and Cano battled in the first. Except, of course, that Pedroia was willing to take balls three and four. He screamed something and jogged to first after CC missed way wide. So what is the manager to do here?

Girardi decided to stick with his ace. Some might have preferred he go to the bullpen there, but I don’t think Girardi made the wrong call. Remember, as Girardi saw the situation it was a choice between Sabathia and Aceves. Can you blame him for choosing Sabathia? I find it hard to.

What’s to blame here is conventional managerial strategy. Yes, this is the part where I talk about how you want your best pitcher in this situation. If the decision of who to face Drew is no longer between CC and Aceves, but is now between CC and Mariano, I think the choice is Mo. This applies both before and after the Drew at bat, but especially after.

In the former, runners were on first and second with no outs. The started has thrown 121 pitches and just missed badly for ball four. The guy who makes the 15th fewest outs in the AL is coming to the plate, and he’s followed by the guy who makes the fewest outs. The choice is CC, your tiring ace, or Mariano Rivera, the greatest closer of all time who, after faltering in one game last week, slammed the door in emphatic fashion in the next two. Who do you come up with?

If the answer wasn’t Mo before Drew singled, it sure was after. The situation was the same as before, except it was a one-run game. Again, there was no one out, and the hitter who makes the fewest outs among all MLB starters was at the plate. Instead of inserting his best to face his opponent’s best, Girardi went with No. 2. He paid for it. Youkilis singled, which mercifully did not score a run. Jason Bay’s single did, though, and a Mike Lowell sac fly put the Red Sox up for good.

As is natural in moments of dire frustration, many fans called for Girardi’s head during and after the game. We saw dozens of tweets, I received a number of emails, and I’m sure there were plenty of comments in the game thread — which I cannot bring myself to read — to that effect. However, firing Girardi because of the way he managed this game would accomplish nothing.

Mike might have put it perfectly when he said that a book of cliches could manage this team. No manager of the Yankees, down in the game in the division to the Red Sox while playing in Fenway, will bring in his closer unless he plans for him to finish the game. Girardi said that he would have used Mo for a four-out save, but not five or six. “I was going to [call on Mo in the eighth] if the situation arose,” Girardi told reporters after the game, “but the situation did not arise.” I beg to differ.

What separates last night’s scenario was that the best hitters on the best team in the division were at the plate with runners on. The Yankees had a small lead to protect. Conventional baseball wisdom would hold that you save your closer, your best bullpen option, for the end of the game so he can lock down the lead. That cannot happen, though, if there is no lead to protect.

Mo simply gives the team a better chance to survive a threatening situation. If he can pick up for CC and get through the eighth while allowing just one run, the Yanks take a 3-2 lead into the ninth with the bottom of the Sox order due up. Mo can pitch to maybe one batter before he reaches that four-out limit Girardi set. Then you bring in Aceves to face the bottom of the order. Isn’t that a more comfortable scenario than bringing in Aceves to face the best hitters in the lineup with men on base and no one out?

Alas, this goes against “the book” so most managers will dismiss the idea. Not when the team is a contender. Yeah, maybe if the team’s in last place the manger will do something like bring in the closer in a tie game on the road, but don’t expect that from guys who will be second guessed endlessly by the bottomless media pit of New York.

No one feels good about the past three games. Not the manager, not the coaching staff, not the players, not the fans. The disappointment and frustration will wear off, though. They have 47 games left until they face the Red Sox again, and a lot can change between now and then. A lot, I expect, will change between now and then. The Yankees might have a stronger bullpen. Their starters might hit a groove. The bats might be firing on all cylinders. This could be an excellent 62-game run. They looked like a team capable of it before the series. If they really are a good team, they won’t let this one roadblock in June impede their entire season.

In the end, the Captain put it best. When asked, “Do you have any concerns about this club?” Jeter looked at the reporter and replied: “Nope.” The room fell silent. The Captain had spoken. It is time to move on.

Shelley, bullpen carry SWB to win
An SOS from the bullpen
  • http://theyankeeuniverse.com Moshe Mandel

    Can’t say it much better than that. I will add this: Look around the AL. Outside of the Red Sox, do you see anyone finishing with a better record than the Yankees? Because I sure don’t. These are both playoff teams.

    • John

      Agreed. As long we make the playoffs, whether it is via wild-card or division title (which is the way I think we will make it) that’s all that matters. If things do not go our way now. They definitely will in the postseason. They HAVE to.

      The Sox are 28-24 against non-Yankees teams while we are 34-18 against them while playing without A-rod for a month and still playing without a fully healthy A-rod, without our opening day starting RF’er, with our “erstwhile ace” sucking, with out our main 2 setup men for loooong time, without our opening day backup INF’er for a while, backup Catcher for long time, and a starting rotation and bullpen that had struggled a lot early and our bullpen and AJ still kind of are.

    • Wolf Williams

      Does it matter if you’re a playoff team if you’ve proven that the one other playoff team ahead of you presents an insurmountable obstacle? If the Yankees make the playoffs and lose a Game Seven to Boston, are we all supposed to say, “Hey…. at least we didn’t get swept like those first eight games of the season”…?

      No one needs the condescending reminder that tomorrow is another day and the season goes on for another 102 games…. the fact is, the best team in the league owns an 8-0 record against the Yankees, and if the rest of the league is below us, whoop-dee-damn-doo. There will be no medal for almost winning the World Series.

      Penny’s performance is a perfect example of stepping up when it’s time to step up, (of course, some here will call it a lucky anomaly and unlikely to happen again) and his performance highlights the Yankees’ collective lack of resolve and toughness when facing a better team. This was a perfect time for the Yankees to show some mettle, and what did they show? They showed they were incapable of grabbing their sacks and showing any kind of spirit whatsoever. It means nothing to muster a comeback — or 20 — against the rest of the league. If you can’t beat Boston once — ONCE! — then the rest is all meaningless details of a season headed (apparently) for another pathetic finish.

      You guys might be right, and this might all get turned around… but second place is the first loser, and if it’s Boston in the World Series, then all else is pointless. For the kind of money the Yankees ask fans to shell out, we have a right to demand perfection, in effort if not in results. The effort the last three nights, on a scale of 1-10, is no better than a 2.5.

      Tomorrow will come, and we’re all aware of that thank you very much, but excuse us if we are less than enthusiastic even with a win over the Mets. The Yankees owe us a lot more than what we’ve seen over the last 72 hours, and a win Friday will not go far in erasing the memory of this Red Sox series just ended.

      • http://theyankeeuniverse.com Moshe Mandel

        The Yankees went 6-0 vs Cleveland in ’07, if I remember correctly, and 5-1 vs. Detroit the year they lost to them. Last season the Angels went 8-1 vs Boston, and got swept. I’m not trying to be condescending. It was a frustrating series, but to say that there was no effort is ridiculous. I’m sorry, but where did you see a lack of effort? They made mistakes, but they weren’t lazy mistakes. They just did not execute. And quite frankly, this:

        It means nothing to muster a comeback — or 20 — against the rest of the league. If you can’t beat Boston once — ONCE! — then the rest is all meaningless details of a season headed (apparently) for another pathetic finish.

        is a ridiculous statement.

        • http://www.riveraveblues.com Joseph Pawlikowski

          Show me a man who claims on an Internet message board that a team gave no effort, and I’ll show you a man who would be too chicken shit to say it to any of their faces.

          • Wolf Williams

            Now, you want to throw around comments like that, fine, you’re entitled.

            But if anything, your comment there can be reflected right back at you.

            Come on….. you can do better than that.

            • http://www.riveraveblues.com Joseph Pawlikowski

              I’m not the one saying the players put in no effort.

              • Wolf Williams

                But you’re implying things about me…. which is what I take is your objection to my comment, implying things about the Yankee players.

                I’m not going to get into a ‘what I would do to their faces’ argument, because it’s beneath both of us (this isn’t eighth grade, after all). But you’ve gone down the same road, bro, that you’re accusing me of going down….

                • http://www.riveraveblues.com Joseph Pawlikowski

                  If you took it as a personal jab, I understand why, given the context. It’s honestly something I see all around, and something that bothers me. Like we, people watching at home on TV, can measure the effort the players put in.

                  I’m not in this to take personal shots, and I apologize for stooping to that in this case. I do stand by, though, standing behind your word. I stand by my statement that people who say on Internet message boards that players don’t put effort would never, ever say that to the players’ faces, given the opportunity.

        • Wolf Williams

          Obviously, we’ll disagree on that. Fair enough.

      • Jake K.

        Your problem is that you are equating results with effort. The Yanks did mount a comeback tonight. Unfortunately, CC ran out of gas and Aceves just didn’t have it. It happens.

        You can choose to believe that it’s a long season and these things are going to happen, or you can believe that the Yankees are a collective bunch of cowards who hate their mothers and tremble in fear at a pair of red stockings.

      • yankee in virginia

        the yankees have to match up in a short series with the red sox and several other teams —

        first they have to get to the playoffs — it is best if they do this from 1st place

        getting a manager who knows what he is doing would help — girardi unfortunately learned from torre who was tactically awful

        aceves had enough innings against this team — after the long delay entering the red sox 8th maybe you use him – but not with the tying run at bat and no outs — go to Mo to put out the fire — agree with all who demand the return of the “Fireman” as opposed to the closer — both are critical but we don’t get to mo unless we contol the most flammable situation in the game

        still, it does not help when your front line pitcher has a dominating fastball and slider and elects to throw a change up to the #9 hitter who has proven he can’t hit your two best pitches

        this kind of “pitching” along with the waste pitches that lead to even counts is what is elevating hits and walks

        go back and review the 0-2 and 1-2 counts burnett, sabathia, huges and pettit have had that they turn into good ABs by the opposition

        it does not help when cano jeter et al face a new pitcher and nearly always swing at the 1st pitch — melky is doing a better job of working the pitcher, the count, the game situation

        eiland and girardi are not the guys to turn this around and get the best of the talent — the yankees desperately need someone from the Leyland lineage

        but i have to give props to girardi for the hit and run that scored melky

      • emiller

        They aren’t an insurmountable obstacle… While we can blame the manager, or the bullpen, or the lack of effort, or anything under the sun, the real problem seems to be nothing more than bad luck… Let me explain:

        It seemed to me like the Yankees have been right in most of these games so far, but have failed to some up with the big hit time and time again so I did a little research and here’s what I found. In the 8 games between the Yankees and the Red Sox this season the Yankees have batted 11 for 82 (.130) with runners in scoring position. Boston? 27 for 91 (.300). I really don’t think it’s necessary to look much further than that. It’s not like the Yankees have been striking out at unthinkable rates or anything, they just haven’t gotten the job done when runs are at stake and I’d gamble it’s mostly a BABIP problem. If anyone wants to figure out the BABIP of both teams in those situations I’d love to hear it, but that’s too much work for me. However, I think the result would be comforting to all of us.

        Personally, I’ll take an 0 for 18 against Boston this season if we get the 4 wins in October that matter. To be 0 and 8 against the top team in your division and only trail them by two games is impressive when you think about it.

        • Klemy

          It’s not so much with not coming up with THE big hit, it’s not coming up with them consistently, with 1 for 11 and 2 for 12 with RISP over the past two games.

          Going 0-8 vs any team is rough. Doing it vs the Red Sox amplifies the hell out of it. I’m sure they’ll keep battling, but those 3 games absolutely disappointed me.

          When Arod gets deliberately plunked and we could not make them pay for it in any way at all, not even a win, it hurts. I really hope they make me forget about this series soon.

    • NHYankee62

      Don’t concede anything to Boston!

  • Jake K.

    Joe, your analysis of Girardi’s failure to bring in Mo is spot on. That most other managers would have done the same thing is not an excuse, instead it’s an indictment of the entire profession’s lack of vision and creativity.

    • JP

      Interviews I’d like to see:

      Reporter: Joe, after Sabathia gave up the single to Green, with Pedroia coming up, why didn’t you bring in Mo? The game was on the line.

      Girardi: Well, I was willing to use Mo for a 4 out save maybe, but not 5 or 6 outs.

      Reporter: So Aceves would pitch one inning, and Mo one.

      Girardi: Ideally, yes. I might need Mo again tomorrow.

      Reporter: Ok. Who’s the better pitcher, Mo, or Al?

      Girardi: Are you kidding? Mo.

      Reporter: So, we want Mo in there when nobody’s on, in the 9th, and the inferior pitcher in the 8th, with the tying run at the plate, and the best 3 hitters in the lineup coming up?

      Girardi: Yes. Everybody does it that way.

      Reporter: Sorry. How could I have been so stupid.

      Ok, you guys will flame me for being arrogant or something. Maybe so. Managing is a tough job.

      But seriously, how long does this sort of blatantly illogical thinking go on before some manager grows a brain?

      Even if you want Aceves to get you just 1-2 outs, don’t you take the chance that he gets the final 1 or 2 outs in the ninth, against inferior hitters…with the lead…and with nobody on base?

      Managers use their second and third best relief pitchers in the toughest situations, over and over, and no reporter ever challenges them on this.

      It’s this kind of idiotic thinking that makes me wonder whether alot of things baseball people do are senseless. Who knows, maybe someday we’ll learn that pitch counts are actually stupid…

      • Mark B.

        This kind of idiotic thinking will cost Girardi his job if he keeps it up….

      • dc1874

        Sparky Lyle…Goose…would come in all the time when game was on line….REGARDLESS of inning…

        • http://www.riveraveblues.com Joseph Pawlikowski

          And it’s a shame that the age of specialization has gotten guys away from that.

          • thurdonpaul

            joe, i basically agree with your idea of using your best guy in the eighth if its a key moment and/or the other teams best hitters are coming up, but what about the thought that ninth inning pitchers are different, and some guys cant handle the ninth inning ?
            remember coke a few weeks back ? he just about shit his pants in the ninth.

      • emiller

        Billy Beane has been saying managers are doing it wrong for years. That’s why he’s the smartest man on Earth.

        • Klemy

          Point. +1

      • toad

        I agree 100%. Why does Rivera have to pitch to the end of the game? In what is obviously a critical, probably decisive, situation, how does it make any sense at all not to use the best available pitcher?

  • Arlok789

    This sweep only hurts because it came at the hands of a bunch of toolbag douchenozzles who play in a stupid city called Boston.

    • http://www.riveraveblues.com Benjamin Kabak

      I mean, yeah. That really plays into this whole thing. It’s personal in a way.

      • BigBlueAL

        It also hurts because it is 8 games lost to your closest division rival.

        • Klemy

          Imagine taking half of those games? Jesus, we’re at a comfortable lead in the division and feeling really good.

      • Stryker

        is it really ‘personal’ though? why should it be? yes, it hurts because the team just got swept by a heated division rival (who also happens to be arguably the best team in the league). yes girardi made a highly questionable call by not bringing in mariano rivera last night, and it cost the yankees the game. but had this not been the red sox would you be taking the losses so personally and saying that you “hate” the yankees, want girardi fired and blah blah blah?

  • BigBlueAL

    Well the one bright spot is definitely the schedule for the rest of this month.

  • My Pet Goat

    Eff me, I had to go to dinner and left assuming we had this one wrapped up. Damn!

  • Thomas A. Anderson

    Yankees need to take 2 of 3 from the Mets and sweep the Nats at home. If so, then this is nothing more than a burr in the fanbase’s saddle.

    Yankees need to pound the teams they should. To this point, they have done a good job of doing so. Like Derek Jeter intimated, the team just has to move on and not lose focus.

  • John

    Let’s take our anger and frustration out against the Mets this weekend! Let’s beatup Livan Hernandez and his 81.5 average fastball.

  • http://www.richardiurilli.com/ Richard Iurilli

    Everything else aside, the simple fact is that Mariano Rivera should have come in after the Dustin Pedroia walk in the eighth inning and certainly after the J.D. Drew single. But what’s this you say? Joe Girardi didn’t want to use Mariano Rivera for a six-out save? I agree. Mariano is thirty-nine years old and had significant shoulder injury last winter. You don’t want to risk injuring him by having him throw thirty or more pitches. So how do you solve this dilemma? Simple: use Mariano Rivera in the eighth inning and allow another inferior reliever to close out the game in the ninth.

    The reason for this is obvious. You want your best pitcher pitching in the most crucial situation in the game. In the eighth inning, the Red Sox had men on first and second with no one out, with Kevin Youkilis, Jason Bay, and Mike Lowell due up. Why would you want anyone but your best reliever facing those three batters with the game on the line?

    The problem, of course, is that the conventional wisdom is to save your closer for a save situation. My question, then, is this: Why would you use an inferior reliever in a crucial spot while saving your best reliever for a situation that may never arise?

    To illustrate my point, I provide this example:

    Let’s say that Joe Girardi decides to give Alex Rodriguez a night off tomorrow, and Ramiro Pena starts at third base in his stead. Because Alex is not injured, he is of course available to pinch-hit at any time. Now let’s say that it is the bottom of the eighth inning, the Yankees trail by three, and Pena is due up with the bases loaded and nobody out. Do you pinch-hit Alex for Pena, or do you save him because you might need him if the Yankees get a few base-runners in the ninth inning? It’s an obvious choice, right? You would pinch-hit Alex for Pena, because the Yankees are more likely to win with Alex Rodriguez at bat in such a situation
    than with Ramiro Pena. In fact, everyone would be calling for Girardi’s head if he didn’t make that choice.

    Wasn’t the situation tonight similar? In the same way the Yankees have a better chance of winning if Alex Rodriguez is at bat with the bases loaded than they would if Ramiro Pena was at bat, don’t they have a better chance of winning if Mariano Rivera is pitching with two on and none out than they would if Alfredo Aceves or Phil Coke is pitching? Alex Rodriguez or Ramiro Pena? Mariano Rivera or Alfredo Aceves?

    The simple fact is this: Regardless of who was managing tonight, the Yankees probably lose this game. Joe Torre? Given the same circumstances, he would save Mariano Rivera for a save situation. So would Terry Francona, Mike Scioscia (spelling?) or any number of other successful and respected managers. And until managers defy the conventional wisdom and throw out the so-called roles that define the modern bull-pen, teams will continue to lose games like the one tonight.

    /book

    • http://www.richardiurilli.com/ Richard Iurilli

      Sorry for repeating some things from the recap. I was on my way to bed when I saw the recap thread, and I just had to post this.

      • kunaldo

        still, well said…i really wish someone would ask joe about it

  • Jordan

    Joe,

    I enjoyed your post, but I respectfully disagree regarding Girardi and not considering firing him.

    The job of a manager as we all know is to put his team in the best position to win. Joe Girardi consistently fails at doing so and should suffer accordingly.

    He has made one good move that I think was great and that was flip-flopping Jeter and Damon. It has worked well for both players and I personally feel confident every time the lineup turns around that something positive will happen, even if that’s just driving up the opposing pitcher’s pitch count.

    But his failures are a many. Just this week he made awful blunders which are 100% on him. He switched around the rotation and gave AJ more rest than he was used to. AJ pitched poorly and Girardi himself said that he put AJ in a tough spot and basically excused his poor start. If it was such a tough spot, why did Girardi make the move he did? Andy and AJ both have past success against Boston, but he chose AJ with the understanding that the rest may be a problem for AJ. That’s not putting your team in a position to win.

    Secondly, he had Melky bunt last night with Gardner on first. Absolutely wrong decision. First of all, we all know you don’t go for the tie there. Second of all, you must have Gardner steal second. He was running on Varitek, the same catcher that gave up 6 steals to Crawford. SIX. You take the chance to make something happen! Then you bunt him over to third if you’re intent on bunting and giving away an out. What happened last night made absolutely zero sense. And Wang, well, that’s a ridiculous situation where he never should have pitched in this series in the first place. You want to build a guy’s confidence? You don’t throw him out there in the middle of a Red Sox series. You either pitch him vs. Texas or skip him. Wang again had no chance to succeed barring a miraculous turn around.

    Thirdly, tonight, you pull Swisher as soon as he makes another bonehead play. You show authority and let the team know that if your head is in the sky you’re not playing that night for the New York Yankees. And you get yourself thrown out of a game after the Matsui at bat when he “fouls” down the third base line and strikes out on a suspect pitch! Fire a dead team up! It worked once all ready this season! I liked him leaving in Sabathia, it’s the right move because he’s your ace, your guy. Putting in Aceves in that situation was hopeless. He had absolutely no chance to succeed without again barring a miracle he’s never pulled off in his young major league career. Mo was the only possible answer. Four outs vs. six outs is not an excuse. If you’re willing to go four, you should be willing to go six, you know Mariano would be. Then after the game he says he had to work with what Cashman gives him? Are you kidding me? If you don’t believe that you can succeed with the pen you have, go to Brian and tell him. Man up! Don’t make excuses to the media afterward. That’s pathetic.

    In my opinion, this series is on Girardi because in each game he made critical mistakes that heavily contributed to each loss and the sweep.

    I honestly don’t know if you fire him here, but there needs to be a clear understanding that this type of showing cannot be tolerated. He needs to take control of his players, motivate them and put them each and every night in the best possible position to win. This is the New York Yankees, not the Nashville Sounds! Firing him might shake the team up and show them that year after year $200+ million isn’t meant to buy you embarrassing baseball where in some instances the odds of success are stacked against you because of poor decision making.

    • Wolf Williams

      Absolutely agree with pulling Swisher, but you do it after he’s in the field. You send another player out to make Swisher come off the field. He deserved no amount of professional etiquette there. He embarrased the team twice, and turn-about is fair play.

      • NHYankee62

        Leaving Swisher in clearly sends a message that anything will be tolerated. It’s ok to lose focus not once, but 2 nights in a row.

        The only guy who could’ve replaced Gardner, another player who Girardi failed to discipline. Remember when the Yankees blew that game in Cleveland and Gardner refused to steal despite being told to do so? The very next day Gardner was starting in CF (I believe Swisher was healthy; maybe someone on here knows for sure).

        Also, Girardi let Cano get away with not hustling all season last year. In a game at Anaheim last August, Cano didn’t even bother to dive as a dribbler got by him for the game winning run. The very next day he’s starting in Minnesota. He rips a double into the gap but only gets to first base since he was just jogging out of the box. It wasn’t until the Yankees were out of it in late September that Girardi finally benched him.

    • NHYankee62

      I’m glad you mentioned the bunting of Melky on Wednesday night. That was a terrible move.

      Melky has been one of the teams most clutch hitters. Gardners’ main reason for being on the team is his speed. If you don’t have him steal in that situation, then we have no use for him.

      Plus bunting Melky is giving away a valuable out against a very good bullpen. If Gardner had simply stolen the base, they would’ve had a 4 for 4 Teixeira hitting with Gardy on 2nd instead of leading off the 9th.

  • Wolf Williams

    So what do the Yankees do now? Rid eout Girardi until the end of the season? If he’s fired tonight — which Big George would have done pre-1996, no doubt — where do we turn? Tony Pena?

    Seriously, can we afford another 102 games of Girardi’s mismanagement?

    • http://www.riveraveblues.com Joseph Pawlikowski

      As I stated in the recap, other than it being an impulsive and emotional reaction to a poor three games, the reason you don’t fire Girardi is because he did what any other manager would do. What you call Girardi’s mismanagement is what I call universal mismanagement.

      • Wolf Williams

        So…. because most managers do it, we excuse our manager for doing it, as well? Is the standard now ‘what anyone else owuld have done?”

        So the conversation would go, “Don’t worry about it Joe G….. you were just doing what we all would have done.”

        If that’s the attitude within the franchise, then no wonder we’re down 8-0 to the Red Sox. Don’t worry… everyone else will lose to them to, so we might as well…..

        • http://www.riveraveblues.com Joseph Pawlikowski

          Hey, I’m not saying I agree with it. In fact, in the post I spent hundreds of words talking about how I don’t agree with it. What I also don’t agree with is the idea of firing Girardi because he’s mismanaging the team. Because a replacement would also, in all likelihood, mismanage the team in the same way. If you’re not going to gain anything, then why fire the guy?

          • Wolf Williams

            I’m not sure I would fire him… just wondering out loud if we’d benefit at all from it. I suspect we would not.

            But……… he needs a smack in the mouth for this series. I wouldn’t object to a public statement of reprimand by Cashman. I think Joe deserves to be called out publicly.

            • http://www.riveraveblues.com Joseph Pawlikowski

              I would hope, if nothing else, that this would lead people to more openly question “the book.” Because the book isn’t always right.

              • Jordan

                100% agreed, Joe. The book needs to throw out in some very key situations.

                But don’t you think some message needs to be sent by management that the performance we all witnessed cannot be tolerated?

                The odds of Girardi getting fired after this are slim, and I don’t necessarily advocate his firing because I unfortunately agree that at least an overwhelming majority of managers would have made a lot of the same mistakes.

                I just don’t believe that sitting back and making excuses and basically letting it go and hoping for the best over the next week is the right answer.

          • NHYankee62

            Why does Swisher get to stay in the game after a severe lack of concentration on the basepaths 2 games in a row?

            Real managers like Billy Martin actually had the balls to yank Reggie Jackson out of RF in the middle of the game for not hustling.

            Girardi needs to set an example with players that continue to make stupid mistakes and don’t hustle.

            He also waited way too long last season to bench Cano.

            • John

              Though I agree about benching Swish to get his head straight, I can understand why Girardi didn’t. We were playing against our archrivals in a close game in which we were struggling getting runs so he might not have wanted to lose Swisher’s bat to an inferior bat in Gardner.

              • NHYankee62

                Swisher hasn’t exactly been swinging the hottest bat lately (yes I know he had one double tonight).

                You could argue that Gardner has almost a good of a chance as Swisher to get on base at least once a night. After he gets on, he becomes a tremendous asset on the basepaths.

                However, the main point is that the manager needs to show the entire team right now that he will not allow a continual lack of concentration. Two nights in a row he gets caught in la la land and gets picked off. Also, he made a horrible play to miss a ball in RF that really hurt Wang.

                If you allow players to get away with a lack of focus, then there will be much worse problems over the long run than worrying about not having Swishers bat in the lineup for the rest of one game in Boston.

                • John

                  Im sure Girardi adressed that with Swish.

                  Swish has gotten it together recently at the plate actually. And if Swish’s spot came up in a big spot but Gardy had to bat and failed, there would be some serious criticizing of Girardi for taking Swish out.

                • NHYankee62

                  Setting that tone for what will not be tolerated for the remaining 102 games is alot more important than having Swishers bat in the lineup for the rest of the game.

                  He’s been ok at the plate, but he’s not exactly Mark Teixeira either.

                  The bottom line is that as manager you have to set an example. This is the New York Fucking Yankees we’re talking about here. Making too lack of concentration plays to get picked off on the basepaths 2 games in a row cannot be tolerated. Combine that with the terrible misplay of the flyball in RF Wednesday (I don’t care that he later made a diving catch, it doesn’t excuse his earlier lack of focus) and he definitely needs to be benched!

                • ChrisS

                  Swisher hasn’t exactly been swinging the hottest bat lately

                  Last 9 games: .435/.581/.870/1.450 OPS, 2 HR/6 RBI

                  I’d call that pretty hot lately.

            • ranger11

              Swisher or Girardi in a fight? I’d have to take Girardi in that one.

        • Jake K.

          And who would you replace him with? You might not think that an important consideration, but it is. It is absolutely reckless and reactionary to call for firing the manager based on a few plays that you disagree with. The Yankees are 34-26 despite have played without some of their better players for significant chunks of time. Get some perspective.

          There are thousands upon thousands of isolated decisions in a baseball season. You can’t fire the manager based on one, or even a few, that you disagree with. Especially so early in the season. You fire the manager because his philosophy/approach/decision making is fundamentally flawed or opposed to the direction the organization wants to go in. Not because you’re amped up and think he should have embarrassed Swisher.

          • ranger11

            Take it from a Yankee fan from the 80’s, it is not fun to have your manager fired every year. Although I did think that Girardi was going to more creative than this.

  • tycho

    first round knock outs

    same old, same old

    #27 i still a long time coming

    • Chris

      And I thought it was only June. Thanks for reminding me that it’s October already.

  • Hova

    All the stats in the world can’t explain what’s happened. How can this Yankee team be this dominated by an opposing team? It just makes no sense. The Red Sox are basically a .500 team against the rest of baseball. But they’re 1.000 against us? I just don’t understand. Somebody please explain.

    (Joba, if you’re reading this, please make is forget the last 3 days. Greatly appreciated)

    • John

      It’s baseball, it happens. They played well against us and got some luck against us.

    • Jake K.

      Say it with me…small sample size! The Yanks got really outplayed in some games, lost a few others that they’ll usually win. Has nothing to do with curses, voodoo, psychological warfare, grit, bad facial hair or anything else.

      • John

        I dont know about that “bad facial hair.” It is annoying as hell. Maybe the Yanks just wanted to leave ASAP so they wouldn’t have to witness that garbage on their opponents face.

    • SF Yanks

      Ugh, this is the most frustrating thing about losing- having to listen to this crap. It’s not for lack of trying, or being lazy, or anything else you can muster up. IT’S BASEBALL! IT HAPPENS! Get over it. That’s it. Fer Christ’s sakes…

  • http://theyankeeuniverse.com Moshe Mandel

    This fire Girardi stuff in the comments is hilarious. This is really the negative side of the internet age- managers are going to make questionable decisions, and every last one will be amplified. I don’t think he has been great strategically, but he has not been awful either. How about having Cervelli swing away tonight? Not one comment giving Joe credit for that. The mistakes are talked up, the good moves are basically ignored, and suddenly a guy doing a very solid job is getting run out of town.

    • Jordan

      The Cervelli move to swing away was a good move, I agree. But it’s also the move the opposing team would have made had it been in the same situation. You know the Red Sox never would have bunted had they been in the same situation. You don’t bunt and give away an out, it’s not effective.

      Furthermore, how is he doing a very solid job? Other than managing the bullpen better than Torre, what has he done that say, for lack of a better term, a replacement level manager wouldn’t have?

      If he would have put Mariano in after taking out C.C. few people would say he made the wrong move. It was clear C.C. was out of gas and putting in your best reliever isn’t going to get rational people angry. If Rivera gives it up, then you hear people saying he’s finished, but few would take that out on Girardi. How could you? Aceves instead of Rivera? It’s not possible.

      • John

        NO manager would have put Mo in BTW, so we cannot really blame him for doing the conventional thing, flawed as it may be, and putting in a another reliever. Imagine if Mo got out of that inning but was not able to pitch the ninth and then Ace blew it. Then, a lot of people would say that we should have saved Mo for his closer role.

        • http://www.riveraveblues.com Joseph Pawlikowski

          And a lot of people would be wrong. I just can’t see how you justify putting a lesser reliever in a far, far tigher spot. Think about it. Even if Aceves succeeds there, you still would have put him in a tight spot against the opponent’s best hitters, and then Mo would have faced the bottom of the order.

          Convention or not, it’s an indefensible strategy to not use Mo in the 8th inning.

          • Wolf Williams

            You lose with your strength, absolutely. If they beat our best, you shake hands and call it a loss.

            To lose by using anything but your best assets is to concede defeat, and we ain’t in that business.

          • John

            Oh I agree with you completely about putting in Mo but Im just saying that people would find something to complain about for Girardi. A lot of complaining is relative to the result.

          • NHYankee62

            I simply don’t understand why not one single manager can’t think outside the box in terms of bringing in your closer to face other teams best hitters in the 8th.

            If all managers think alike, what’s the difference? Just flip a coin, doesn’t matter if it’s Girardi, Ozzie, Lou, Torre… etc!

            Way to be innovative guys!!!

            In that case, they’re all a bunch of cowards. You need to take risks to be successful. In fact, it’s a much greater risk to have a lesser reliever in Aceves pitch to the heart of Boston’s order instead of having Mo pitch the 8th and then bringing in Aceves to pitch to the bottom of the order in the 9th.

            • John

              If all managers think alike, what’s the difference? Just flip a coin, doesn’t matter if it’s Girardi, Ozzie, Lou, Torre… etc!

              Which is exactly why the effect of managers is overrated.

              • NHYankee62

                Apparently it was ok to pitch Mo for 2 innings on May 16th for a 6 out save against the Twinkies, but not tonight against their biggest rival in what amounts to a 2 game swing in the standings!

                • John

                  Yea but he had pitched one inning in the 6 days before that. Mo had come off of a series in which he pitched 3 straight says and had entered this series pitching in 4 of 5 days.

                  However, I might agree with pitching Mo 2 innings if needed.

                  I think you’re getting me wrong here. I WANTED Mo to pitch the 8th to get out of the jam and would rather have Ace pitched the ninth against Boston’s bottom of the order.

                • John

                  Check this out from Eric Boland of Newsday:

                  In his pregame press briefing last night, manager Joe Girardi cited the Yankees’ second-inning mistakes as a reason why they lost for the seventh straight time to the Red Sox.

                  “We made mistakes in the second inning that I felt cost us the ballgame,” he said.

                  Two things are interesting about that: Swisher was the only player to make mistakes in the second inning, and Girardi was not asked about this. He volunteered it. That usually indicates a level of annoyance with the player, even if Girardi did not name him.

                  It’s not benching him but I think that also says a lot.

                • NHYankee62

                  Swisher better NOT be in the lineup tonight against the Mutts!

                • NHYankee62

                  Hey John,

                  That wasn’t meant to be a critique of your post, it was just stating the point that if you’re going to use Mo for 6 outs, doing so against Boston would be much more important then the lowly Twinkies.

                • John

                  Oh ok. But still pitching Mo for two would not have good as he has had a lot of work recently, contrary to the game you were referring.

                • Chris

                  That game was a completely different scenario. He was brought in in the 9th on May 16. He only pitched 2 innings because the game went to extra innings. Also, he remained in the game in part because he only threw 11 pitches in the 9th. This is completely different from the situation last night where Mo would have needed to throw 2 innings to complete the game.

        • Jordan

          I really don’t understand why no manager would have made that move? What is the difference between 4 outs and 6 outs? If you’re willing to have your closer sit on the bench in between innings, you should be willing to have him come in any time in the 8th.

          If his pitch count is too high after the eighth and Ace blows it Girardi simply says that he put his best pitcher, the greatest reliever of all time, in the toughest situation facing the Red Sox best hitters and Ace didn’t come through against a weaker part of the lineup. It’s a legitimate point that the media and fans have to at least respect and consider.

      • Jake K.

        There’s not a single manager in the game who you couldn’t find in-game decisions to quibble with. You are NEVER going to have a manager whose every decision you are going to agree with. It’s just not going to happen.

      • http://theyankeeuniverse.com Moshe Mandel

        Well, the team is 8 games over .500 despite some injuries and disappointing pitching. Quite frankly, considering the inconsistency of Mo, Burnett and Hughes, Wang imploding, A-Rod missing a month, and every effective reliever from last season tanking, that is an accomplishment. While I think managers are overrated, I think he needs to get a little credit. Also, I think he does a nice job with the bullpen, although as we saw tonight, he is a bit conventional, and I think he does an exceptional job managing the lineup and getting his older players rest. He clearly has a detailed plan for this stuff, often based on matchups and the like, rather than just occasionally “giving a guy a day,” and I think that is something that he deserves more credit for.

    • k42

      +1 this. A hit and run with Cervelli turned out to be a spectacular (not just good) managerial decision. Conveniently forgotten after the sting of a loss.

      As far as bringing Rivera in for the 8th, if you’re going to commit to that decision with the game on the line in Fenway, you also have to commit to that decision for the game at home against the Orioles. Every game is worth the same in the standings. This kind of bullpen management would likely lead to a lot more appearances for Mo and his surgically repaired shoulder, also, not to mention having the same 3-4-5 guys see the same single pitch game after game as Mo is brought in to pitch specifically to them in the late innings… presumably multiple times over the course of a season. It’s not inconceivable to think that if Jason Bay gets 3-4 more ABs against Rivera during the regular season, he’ll be that much more prepared to face him in the playoffs. The whole point of a bullpen is to have guys to show hitters different pitches, from different directions, at different speeds. But those are just a few thoughts… I’m not sure I disagree.

      • Klemy

        I’m not so sure you have to do that vs the Orioles or that it’s exactly equal in the standings. Vs the O’s you are not going to be tied for first or 2 games in back. You’re still out ahead of them and not directly losing to your biggest divisional competition at this time. If the O’s and Boston had the same record, fine.

        Still, this places too much importance on on game regardless.

    • Rich

      I agree with Moshe. As usual there’s overreaction running rampant. Every loss brings “Fire Girardi” squeals, yet when the Yanks were playing better than any team up until this series I hadn’t heard many calls then.

  • John

    LOL at the owner of the Sox, John Henry, twittering after the loss, saying, “MT Curse?”

    MT=Mark Teixeira BTW

  • BigBlueAL

    Great now John Henry on his Twitter page rights “The Curse of MT” referring to Tex. If anything he shouldve tweeted “The Curse of Arod”!!

    • John

      Really? You believe A-rod is a curse or were you joking?

      • BigBlueAL

        No joking, just say since technically they started winning after the Yankees got Arod he shouldve tweeted that not about Tex. Actually Fuck John Henry period!!!!

        • John

          I find it big coincidence. If we had not lost those Games 4-7 in 2004 against them, as one of the authors at RAB said a while back, A-rod would have been MVP of that ALCS and probably WS and we would have making statues of him.

          • BigBlueAL

            Oh my bad when I said No joking I meant No to believing A-rod is a curse. Sorry bout that, shouldve put a , in between my No and joking.

            • John

              Yea, I kinda figured but just wanted to say that in general if anyone else though that,

    • Hova

      That pu$$y doesn’t have the balls to tweet “Curse of ARod”. He’s the last guy they want to mess with. Papsmear still remembers what ARod did to him in 07, hence the b!tch ass pitching around him.

      Pardon my cursing, but the last guy I want to see talking shit is Henry. 105 pounds of nothing.

      • John

        He was just playing around though. However, I feel he must have at least believed somewhat in it for bringing it up.

        • Hova

          Just bitter because he couldn’t find an extra
          $1.25M/yr to give to the second best 1B in the game. What an idiot. Billions of dollars and you lose a talent like that over $10M

  • Dela G

    man i cannot wait until august to beat the shit outta them

    • http://www.riveraveblues.com Joseph Pawlikowski

      I give you credit, my friend. I’m in more of the “I can’t wait to watch them play ball against a different team” mindset.

      • BigBlueAL

        It will be nice playing 15 games in a row vs the entire NL East not named the Phillies.

    • JP

      I don’t think that way. I don’t care which teams we beat, as long as we win. I want to win the division, and beat everyone in the playoffs. If we go 0-15 against Boston, but still accomplish the rest, who cares.

      I know where you’re coming from. I couldn’t fall asleep last night for almost 2 hours I was so pissed. Deep, deep hatred. But you can’t let it get to you.

  • Wolf Williams

    Admitting is the first step to recovery….

    My name’s Wolf, and I’m an angry Yankees fan.

    Anyone know step 2?

    • http://www.riveraveblues.com Joseph Pawlikowski

      I was about to say that you write like a big angry dude. Which is good. We need a big angry dude here. All we have is Axl, who writes like a little angry dude.

      (Of course, because I’m not a big angry dude, you’re going to say stuff that pisses me off, and I’m going to say stuff that pisses you off. I just wanted to note that I like having you around, my childish antics aside.)

      • Wolf Williams

        Likewise….. we vent because we love. To me, arguments ain’t hate; they’re just talking louder than usual.

        It’s never personal and no harm done. I hope we all here understand that.

        • BigBlueAL

          Nothing wrong with venting. Kinda why I love Ben, Mike and Joseph because they keep everything in perspective yet vent and sound frustrated like most of us. Its the people who either go overboard with anger or the people who no matter what think everything is good and the team could lose 20 in a row and nothing is wrong that is annoying!! LOL

    • Jamal

      My name’s Jamal and I’m a happy Red Sox fan! :)

      • Wolf Williams

        What the fuck are you doing here, then?

        • http://theyankeeuniverse.com Moshe Mandel

          My thoughts exactly.

    • BigBlueAL

      For therapy I pop in one of the DVD’s I have from the Torre championship years. Although actually that isnt smart because all it does is get me angry over these past few years and comparing these teams to those championship teams.

      But its hard since those teams won during my “younger glory years” of 16-20. God I feel like an old, bitter fan who always talks about how much better the teams they rooted for when they were younger were than the current teams. These past few years have aged me quite a bit emotionally….

  • Andrew

    The sad part about all this is, no matter how well we do over the next 50 or so games, the fact that we’re 0-8 against the Sox will curtail any fan excitement substantially.

    I can’t wait until we spank the Nationals next week and flex our muscles against the mighty Marlins! We’ll really be sending a message to the rest of baseball!

    • http://theyankeeuniverse.com Moshe Mandel

      Who cares about sending messages? All I care about is where they end up in the standings.

      • Andrew

        Not talking about sending messages. Just saying it’s going to be a little harder to get excited over a mid-July win over the White Sox when you know the Yankees just can’t beat the top dog in the AL East.

      • ranger11

        If they made the wild card last year while at the same time losing every game against the Sox I’d take it 100 percent of the time.

      • BigBlueAL

        The more you look around the AL the more it really looks like its the Yankees and Red Sox and everybody else. Although the fact that the Yankees own the 4th best run differential in the AL East worries me a bit, but as Rob Neyer noted today alot of that came w/o Arod. Cant see Tampa being more than a .500 team with their injuries and bullpen woes plus Toronto looks like another mid-80’s victory season for them which shouldnt threaten the Yankees who should along with Boston win in the mid-90’s.

        • John

          and don’t forget bullpen and Wang implosions early on that set us back, especially the 22-4 drubbing.

    • Drew

      Since when is fan excitement the issue? Next time we play the Sox I’ll probably be even more hyped than if the series was 4-4.

      • Andrew

        Yeah. Next time we play the Sox. I was talking about every other game in between.

        • John

          A win would be a win no matter who it comes against. I’m sure most of us would be ecstatic if we keep winning against other teams in that span.

        • Drew

          Eh, if you can’t get up for a game then don’t watch. I’ll be pumped for any Yankee game until we are officially and scientifically ineligible for another.

          • Andrew

            You’re consistently awful, I’ll give you that. I never said I wouldn’t get up for a game. The point flew right over your head.

            • Drew

              You: “the fact that we’re 0-8 against the Sox will curtail any fan excitement substantially.”
              That is incorrect, IMO. Hence, my disagreement with you.
              You may take teams like the Marlins for granted. I however, know that any team in the Majors is capable of winning a game in a 3 game series.
              Honestly, I don’t know why you watch if you can’t get up for any game other than the Yanks-Sox, “I was talking about every other game in between.”
              You talk about sending messages then you say you’re not talking about sending messages.
              Maybe your point, “flew right over” my head, or maybe, it’s a bit late for you, bud.
              I am consistently awful? Very clever, get to bed, bud.

              • Andrew

                I can’t get up for any game other than the Sox? WTF are you even talking about? Where did I say that? Jesus.

                I hate to get into this stuff – but I guran-dam-tee you that I put more into every game than you do.

                I’ve never seen someone so dumb attempt to be so condescending.

                • Drew

                  Actually I’m really not “so dumb.” lol.
                  You can guarantee what you want, no one is a bigger Yankee fan than I am. NO ONE. Also, no one is more upset after an L, especially to the Sox, than I. I also try to curb my enthusiasm and/or displeasure when speaking on RAB. Sometimes I’m successful in this and sometimes I am not. So, if you read a generally even keel post from me, don’t take it as, “you put more into a game than I do.”

                  “The sad part about all this is, no matter how well we do over the next 50 or so games, the fact that we’re 0-8 against the Sox will curtail any fan excitement substantially.”
                  What true Yank fan, in his or her right mind, will let 0-8 curtail their excitement in future games? I know I won’t. I’m not saying you won’t be extremely happy after a win, I’m just saying, I disagree with your initial post, a true fan will not curtail their excitement because of our record vs. the Sox. Tomorrow, when we beat the Mets, I will enjoy it more than any other win this year.

                • ranger11

                  I just want a win. I don’t care if it was against the Bad News Fuckin’ Bears!

                • Andrew

                  Whatever, man. Maybe I was speaking out of frustration, I just know it’s going to suck having 0-8 hovering over our heads until August. All I’m trying to say.

                  I’d be lying if I said I won’t be watching tomorrow with just as much excitement and interest as usual.

                  Still, that 0-8 is going to linger. And it sucks. That’s all.

                • ranger11

                  I agree, it does suck. But, it’s a long season. I hate them assholes.

                • http://www.riveraveblues.com Joseph Pawlikowski

                  “I hate to get into this stuff – but I guran-dam-tee you that I put more into every game than you do. ”

                  Andrew watches harder than anyone! ANYONE!

  • Joba-to-the-pen

    It’s not about how many games we can win in the next 102.But it shows how we can’t beat playoff teams (Red Sox,Phillies).It’s like a broken record when people say “We still got a lot of games left”.Yes we can get to the playoffs but it’s useless if we don’t have a shut down bullpen and get beaten easily by greater teams.

    Beating the Twins and Indians from now to August isn’t gonna win us in October when we face great playoff teams.

  • stuart

    wolf williams question for you since the sox players always step up, then why do they have only a 2 game better record?

    I am really anxious to read your stute analysis.. the yanks are 8 games behind head to head but ony 2 games out of first please tell me why.

    the thing that bothers me is I was not suprised that the red sox hitters came thru in the 8th and I cringe when the yankees come up in big situations, I am not sure why. The yanks have scored more runs this year so why do I feel that are guys will and do fail?????

    Cano needs to move down in the order this has been 3 years or so, he only hits, never takes a walk and is bad with RISP.. He is no longer a rookie and seems to have reached his limit a all hit low OBP, good player who appears to not get it…….Is this analysis of Cano worng?

    Swishers cavalier attitude to his 2 huge baserunning mistakes in a 24 hour period should earn him a game on the benc and a talking to.

    On the positive side Cervelli has been more then could be expected and is getting valuable experiance, I really like him defensively………….

    • Wolf Williams

      Bro… I’m not the answer man. I’m a pissed off Yankees fan who has no little brother to beat up just to blow off the steam.

      Cano…. You might be right. Maybe we’ve seen his best and this is what we get: a great No. 7 or 8 hitter, an iffy-to-below average 5-hole guy.

      As for the disparity in head-to-head vs. overall records….. Again, I’m not a numbers cruncher, but you make a point. Maybe it’s all psychology, and at the end of the day it won’t matter if we go further than they go in the postseason. But for my own childish purposes, I like seeing Red Sox guts spilled on the field, and I like seeing them lying broken and batterd on the basepaths. But that’s just me.

      These games kill me, even though I’m wise enough to know they should not. But then again, no serious person is without contradictions. Welcome to my world.

      • Drew

        Everyone here enjoys seeing that. But, when we see the opposite, we have to try and keep an even keel. All the while, knowing, that we are in fact, the best team on the planet.

        • Wolf Williams

          No doubt…. but the word is sports ‘fan(atic)’ and not sports ‘realist.’ We’re fan(atic)s because we go way too insane over things way to insignificant.

          But as the man said… This is the life we’ve chosen. Being a baseball fan is a hell of a lot better than being married. If the Yankees rip my guts out, I don’t have to pretend I want to sleep next to them. As awful as I feel tonight, there are worse things.

          • Bo

            How are we the “best team on the planet” when we are 0-8 vs Boston?

  • stuart

    the yanks lost 2 of 3 to the phils they could have won or lost all 3. the yanks have beaten good teams this year…

    someone posted today the yanks were 6 and 0 a few years ago and then lost in 4 to cleveland in the playoffs. regular season record means jack…

    it is correct get to the playoffs and then it is a new season. 4th and 5th starters in most instances do not start in the playoffs or 5th starters for sure, pens are shortened many things change… the yanks run differential would be much better if the 3 to 5 huge blowouts did not occur. the record is all that counts and to me this team is a playoff team and with some minor tweaking this team can do some damage…….

    • John

      Yea, the Magic were 2-0 against the Lakers but are down 3-1 now in the Finals. Yes, Basketball is another sporin the regular seasont but if a team is superior to another team, it usually beats them in Basketball, yet still the Magic are down after beating them earlier. However, in baseball it’s more likely for any team can pull of a series win. So the Royals or Nationals can win or sweep series from a superior team. It doesn’t mean they are better, just means that they beat them in that series. It’s a small sample in both sports (2 out of 82 games and 8 out of 162).

      It’s dissappointing but it doesn’t mean we are worse than them.

  • stuart

    someone also pointed out the yanks had a winning record last year agaisnt the sux and tampa……

    would you trade that in for a losing head to head record and a trip to the postseason??????

    Joba to the pen you are totally wrong wins are the only thing that matters. The year the mariners won like 114 games or so, they destroyed the yanks in the regular season including a 4 game sweep in the bronx, how did that story end……..

  • dkidd

    for me, the bummer of the series was burnett. he looked like he didn’t want to be out in the rain a la randy johnson in the 05 playoffs

    i hope he shows up against santana on sunday

  • Drew

    An odd thing about us and the Sox is that their pen is anything but scary. When we face Papelbon, I am anything but concerned and in fact fully confident in our ability to come back. In other games, winning losing or tied, is anyone really afraid of Del Carmen? Okajima? I know I’m not.
    2 games back in the AL East in June.
    I am as mad as the next guy that we’ve yet to beat Boston, however, this is a great team. We have taken several lumps along the way. Even on our recent hot streak we were far from clicking on all cylinders. If we ever get anywhere close to “clicking on all cylinders” toward the last couple months, we will win the AL and vie for #27. I can’t wait.
    FYI, we play the Mets tomorrow. If you can’t get up for that series, check your pulse.

  • John

    Damn, here does Reynolds about Joba-to-the-pen.

    http://newyork.yankees.mlb.com/media/video.jsp?content_id=5006351&c_id=nyy

    Maybe he should consider that CC allowed 3 batter to reach base before Ace gave up that hit and sac fly.

    • Drew

      In hopes of keeping my sanity, I refuse to watch that video!
      Give Reynolds credit, he’s been steadfast in his stance since the beginning. It’s funny though, these guys all suggest Jober to the 8th after two games of less than 3 innings out of our starters. You’d think that subtracting a solid starter wouldn’t be such a good idea.

    • Chris

      Here’s a solution for the 8th inning: Bruney!

      • Bo

        And Bruney can stay healthy and pitch???

        Even if Bruney comes back throwing well they still need another arm.

        • http://www.riveraveblues.com Joseph Pawlikowski

          Rosenthal has an article on Fox Sports (on which Ben will elaborate in a half hour) about the Yanks pursuing relievers. He talks about the exact guys we wrote about a month ago.

        • Chris

          How about this suggestion for another arm: Marte

          And another: Melancon

          That would give a pen of:
          Mo
          Bruney
          Marte
          Aceves
          Robertson
          Melancon
          One of Hughes/Wang/Veras/Tomko – depending on the situation

  • BigBlueAL

    For the B-Jobbers, you would think with the way Wang has pitched this season, the way Burnett and Pettitte have pitched (which is mediocre at best) that no other evidence is needed as to why Joba should be a starter considering he has been clearly the 2nd best starter on this team behind CC and he hasnt even been firing on all cylinders yet.

    Imagine now if Joba was in the pen, who the hell would be the replacement for Wang if his struggles continue considering Hughes would already be in the rotation for Joba???? Aceves?? He has proven to be very good in the bullpen so like Joba I would assume you would want him in the bullpen. At least with Joba in the rotation you can replace Wang with Hughes and not leave a huge hole in the rotation like you would have if Joba was in the pen.

    I was always in the camp that Joba should be a starter even though in the back of my mind I always wandered if maybe he really would help us out more in the pen. But after this tough sweep the one thing that I feel good about most is (besides facing Livan next and a depleted, demoralized Mets team in general not to mention the fairly easy schedule the rest of this month) that we have Joba starting the next game.

    • Drew

      Exactly. I get so excited for Jober’s starts.
      Our future, and Joba’s season, should not be sacrificed because our most reliable non-Mo arm is a guy from the Mexican League. Patience is key. Cash will come through, if Dam-Mar and Bruneski don’t come back with their solid arms, we will get someone. I AM NOT willing to put our “future CC” in the eight inning because two relievers got hurt.
      You always say wander, it’s wonder! lol ;)

      • BigBlueAL

        Shit thats right!!!! Wander is moving around, wonder is thinking about something. My bad.

  • AlexNYC

    There is no way Joba is going to the pen. Joba is the 2nd best starting pitcher on the team right now.

    1 – Sabathia
    2 – Joba
    3 – Pettitte
    4 – Burnett
    5 – CMW

    • Andrew

      If he reaches his innings limit in mid-August, then what? I’m not saying I want Joba in the pen, because I don’t, but are we really going to let him pitch 200+ innings this year (postseason – hopefully – included)?

      If Wang blows up on Wed., and Joba reaches his innings limit in mid-August, there’s a real chance our rotation could be: Sabathia, Burnett, Pettitte, Hughes (?), Aceves (??)going into September. That’s not going to get the job done. I think Cash may need to consider going after another top arm. Cliff Lee? Roy Oswalt? Jake Peavy? Yes, please.

      • ArodMVP217

        if he reaces innings limit, shut him down. he is that important to the futuro

      • ChrisS

        I’m skeptical that Joba will reach his cap by mid-August and that the line isn’t as hard and fast as people think. He throws a lot of pitches and averages 5 1/3 IP now. If he gets skipped a few off days, he’ll be in line to finish September at ~150 IP. Besides, lost in the math here is what’s more important, the number of pitches he throws or the IP? What’s worse, he finishes with 170 IP and 2800 pitches thrown or 150 IP and 2750 pitches thrown? I’m pretty sure that Cashman has a very specific plan for Joba. Most people just weren’t CC’d on the email.

        I can see Joba finishing the year, including out of the bullpen during the playoffs, with ~165 IP. With Hughes around 185-200.

    • ChrisS

      Phil Hughes is arguably #3 (depending on Andy’s back), definitely #4 right now, until Burnett starts locating the plate.

      Unfortunately, he’s in pen while CMW gets right.

  • jonathan

    I am sorry but our inability to beat the red sox has got to weigh heavily on this team, no matter what the capn has said. When you have it in your head that no lead in the divison will be safe because we still have 10 games against a team we literally cannot beat…its got to be exausting.
    On another note, is BIG SLOPPY really going to do a curtain call for every home run he hits?? Come on now that is just lame…Oh I just finished that TPS report better go and take my curtain call in the coffee room BRB

    • JobaWockeeZ

      Ortiz is getting curtain calls for easy fly balls so I’d imagine every homerun he hits will translate into a curtain call in Fenway.

  • JeffG

    I’m looking forward to having Bruney back next week. Marte should get Drew out there – a better bullpen would have avoided this last one.

    But the real sense that I get for losing these series against the Sox is that they have caught us at the right time each series. Watching enough baseball you know when hitters are hot and coming into this series it just seemed we were on the tail end of a hot streak. Our pitching was not right either. But we know what our team looks like when things are clicking. Unfortunately we just weren’t and they were. Beckett came in hot and Penny probably threw the best he has all year. We could have beat Wakefield but we lost at expense of getting our number two pitcher going.

    I believe in averages. We are the better team. I would rather beat them in August, September, and hopefully October. We will.

    • ArodMVP217

      amen broheem

  • http://rbiradio.blogspot.com/ Joey H.

    Has he lost confidence in Rivera? Thats what I think. I hate to say it but that time he got bombed by Bay is probably in the back of his mind.

    • Bo

      Maybe the fact that he has no faith in any arm besides Mo is the reason.

  • pat

    Our plan has been to let papi get a few hits so Theo doesn’t think he’s completely done. That way the Sox don’t feel the pressing need to trade for another bat. Now papi can suck ballsacs for a few more weeks until we play them again.

    • Bob Stone

      ietc

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  • Jesus

    YES kept on making a big deal about the sox maybe “stealing signs”. I don’t know how you could even begin to prove that, but i remember cleveland making the same complaint in the ’07 ALCS, and i thought i heard of other clubs complaining about the sox stealing signs. Do you guys think this may be a concern or is Kay just being his typical DB self?

    • http://www.riveraveblues.com Joseph Pawlikowski

      Stealing signs is not a problem. It’s been part of the game forever.

    • Chris

      If you have a problem with a team stealing your signs, learn to disguise them better.

  • Phrancis

    In a way I like these losses, because if these 2 teams meet in the play-offs. Red Sox comes with odds in their favour and a sense of entitlement that they own the yankees. And 99% of the time that leads to their demise. Sort of like the Patriots in 06.

  • Axl

    Listen Mr. Brightside,

    Joe Girardi dropped the ball this series. What’s worse, is that it was easily avoidable AND very obvious. He heads into Fenway Park with AJ Burnett on 7 days rest, an incredibly ineffective Chein Meng Wang (who already doesn’t pitch well against the Sox or at Fenway), and CC Sabathia. We’re already…before the games are played…are losing 2 out of the 3 games. That leaves us with ONE regular-normal game to play. Our Ace against their 5th starter. We ended up losing that one too.

    We had ONE good pitcher out of the entire series, Sabathia. Nobody could hit.
    But on the positive side…we did continue our streak for errors in a game and increase it to 50 games in a row.

    The team looked tired. They looked careless. They looked sloppy. They didn’t want to win any of these games. If they won it was a bonus…but if they lost and were embarrassed for 8 straight games…it’s no big deal…they’ll just go home and buy another Mercedes.

    Girardi was suppose to come in here and be the General that he was for Florida with the kids…but he can’t have a double-standard in the clubhouse. The presence of Jeter, Rivera, Posada, Pettitte, etc actually hurts him because he can’t get angry with them so-to-speak. Therefore, he can’t get angry with anybody. He went from being the staunch General-type to being a worse just-as-soft version of Joe Torre. So what was the point? I liked the Girardi move at first because Don Mattingly was literally a less-experienced softy Joe Torre and Girardi was going to bring some gusto to the club. He hasn’t. People are as laid back and careless as ever. So why didn’t we just keep Torre then? While he was a headache to watch at times…he still commanded more respect.

    How a team can go on winnings streaks and demolish teams and then head into Fenway Park riding high and at the flip of a switch look like they’re the Baltimore Orioles…it doesn’t really make any sense. Are they this intimidated by this club??

    Oh and by the way. I’m still waiting for this “Wait til Nick Green comes back down to earth…then we can say ‘we told you so’ to the Red Sox”. LOL. Doesn’t seem like he’s slowing down. He’s still getting clutch hits for them and hitting around .300. And even if he “comes back down to earth”…I don’t think they’ll ever complain about how he’s fit in thus far.

    • Bo

      Girardi is utterly clueless. All the talk from last year about how great he was with the bullpen has clearly stopped too.

      • Axl

        The guy seems like he’s just there for stage presence. A professional baseball player who was a knowledgeable catcher for a dynasty couldn’t possibly not know so much about managing a team. I’m going to give him the benefit of the doubt and say that he was hired to be a puppet and that Hank, Hal, and Cashman are the ones calling the shots…all of them. Girardi is just the guy who is pressing the buttons.

        No baseball player is this stupid. It’s not possible. Especially one who anchored a dynasty for a number of years as catcher.

    • pat

      What was he supposed to do with Burnett? Start somebody else on short rest? Haha come on you can’t be serious.

      Nick Green? NICK GREEN? You talkin bout Nick Green? NICK GREEN???

      Dude hit .233 in AAA last year. before He hadn’t had a hit in the big leagues since September 10th 2006!!!.

      Shiiit I know you’re not talkin about Nick Green.

      • Axl

        I’m not saying he could have done anything with Burnett…but you know it’s a crapshoot with certain pitchers with 7 days rest…so DON’T START FUCKING WANG IN GAME 2!!! It’s that simple. I mean he basically threw 2 games down the toilet before they even began. Maybe one he had no control over…but he had plenty of control over Game 2.

        And I don’t care about what Nick Green hit in AAA last year. That’s irrelevant. I’m sure when people started noticing David Ortiz hitting home runs at a quicker pace they didnt say “cmon its David Ortiz! He hit only 10 home runs last year for Minnesota!”

        Means nothing. He’s producing…they all are. Meanwhile, we’re not. Bottom line.

  • Frank

    Great recap of the game. I see a lot of responses focusing on whether or not Girardi should have brought in Mo and questioning other Girardi moves leading to the 8th, i.e. whether Melky should have bunted or should Swisher have been removed.

    But the fact of the matter is last night’s loss falls squarely on the shoulders of CC. He pitches a very good 7 innings and has a reasonable pitch count heading into the 8th with a 3-1 lead. How look at the 8th. He gets ahead of Nick Green 1-2 and throws him a fastball, resulting in a single, when Green couldn’t hit his off speed pitches all night. That was huge. He needed to get Green out. It’s Nick fucking Green. Then he gets into a 10 plus AB with Pedroia, ultimately resulting in walk. And finally, ahead 0-1 on Drew, CC allows another single. At this point, the flood gates are open. CC had to get 2 of those 3 batters out and he didn’t. He gets paid $180 million- he has to shut the door. You can argue back and forth what should have happened from that point forward, but the fact is CC didn’t get it done and I’m sure he’d be the first to say so.

  • Bo

    When has Mo or any closer been brought into the 8th with no outs besides an October game?

    It just doesn’t happen. This team needs reliable set up arms. Aceves isn’t an 8th inning set up man. He’s a solid swingman who can pitch the 6/7 and multiple inning stints but hes not a shutdown type, swing and miss pitcher.

  • JimT

    Joe,
    You make a compelling case for bringing Rivera into what was the games highest leverage situation. However, remaining questions / objections. Did Rivera have enough time to warm up? I may be reaching here but it seems to me that you want to give Rivera his normal time and pace to prepare. Given that he likely wasn’t expecting to enter the game at that point he may have been rushed. Baseball players are routine oriented and hate being taken out of thier expected roles. It will involve a change in how both managers and players think and approach the game. The conventional solution is to have a Rivera / Wettland (sp?) eigth-ninth combination. So, the question becomes do you change your thinking/approach or build a bull pen/team that succeeds in a conventional manner. I’m very old fashioned here, but I think that I would prefer to keep my closer in a position to be mentaly and physicaly ready for his role and build a bull pen to support him.

    I know that like you Bill James has been advocating this best pitcher into high leverage situations for some time, it will likely take someone like Tony Larussa who is willing to be different to experiment with this.

    • http://www.riveraveblues.com Benjamin Kabak

      Did Rivera have enough time to warm up?

      Moot point. Have the current pitcher throw to first a few times. Use your visits the mound. Unless you’re trying to get a starter in for a relief appearance, there is always time to get a reliever ready to come in.

      • Chris

        As Suzyn Waldman made painfully clear last night, he only needs 7 pitches to warm up.

    • http://www.riveraveblues.com Joseph Pawlikowski

      I’ve long advocated a different, perhaps more efficient, way to use relievers. Unfortunately the Yanks don’t exactly have the arms for that right now, but in the long run I think that the modern pen is a massive waste and that teams can’t possibly find enough quality arms to fill all those one-inning stints.

      Honestly, and I say this with no snark, come back when the Red Sox bullpen comes back down to earth a bit. It started in this series. They won’t be that good all season. It’s the nature of the beast. That’s why I think it’s the problem. You can’t have seven one-inning guys (or maybe six one-inning guys and a longman, who is probably bad in his own regard) and expect them to pitch well consistently throughout the season. Baseball is too random and volatile for that. Teams need to seriously reconsider how they construct bullpens.

  • http://anewfrontier.wordpress.com Pablo Zevallos

    Honestly, not using Rivera is defensible here. As I said in the game thread, shit happens at Fenway, and that ninth inning would have had the same pressure as the eighth inning. Aceves had been very reliable before last night, and it was important to find out if he could get a team out of that jam. Better to know in early June than August/September, no?

    • http://www.riveraveblues.com Joseph Pawlikowski

      Not buying it. You can’t sit there and tell me that no outs, bottom of the order in the ninth is the same pressure as two on, none out for the heart of the order in the eighth, no matter the ballpark. I’ll scoff. I might laugh. In one situation, a hit does considerable, detrimental damage. In the other, a it takes multiple hits.

      • Axl

        EXACTLY. +1. Read my post further below. It explained this to a “T”

        • http://www.riveraveblues.com Joseph Pawlikowski

          I did read it, and I did enjoy it. Very thoughtful, Axl.

      • kunaldo

        agreed

  • http://bronxbaseballdaily.com Matt ACTY/BBD

    In the end, the Captain put it best. When asked, “Do you have any concerns about this club?” Jeter looked at the reporter and replied: “Nope.”

    Confidence level = 10.

  • http://myspace.com/lincolnsworld Link

    Basically, until we go 162-0, some people just will not be satisfied. Life goes on. Bringing in Rivera early would have been retarded, and after he came in and blew it everyone would be calling for Giradi’s head for not leaving CC in there. Damned if you do, damned if you don’t.

    • http://bronxbaseballdaily.com Matt ACTY/BBD

      Why would bringing the best relief pitcher in the history of relief pitchers have been “retarded?” If Boston beats the combination of CC/Mo, I can live with that. If a team can put runs on the board against those two, then good for them. I don’t like dealing with the team’s best reliever sitting in the bullpen with the 3-4-5 hitters for the opposition coming up with the tying and go ahead runs on base. I say use Rivera there then use Aceves or someone else for the ninth when the bottom of the order is due up. To hell with the save.

      • http://www.riveraveblues.com Joseph Pawlikowski

        Damn. I was about to say the same thing. If they beat your best, you tip your cap. It hurts so much more to lose while your best sits in the bulpen.

        • http://myspace.com/lincolnsworld Link

          So…now loses count less depending on who was pitching? Does Aceves suck or has he been alright this year? When was Mo’s last 2 inning save? And who closes tonight against the Mets if Mo pitches tonight? As someone said before…it is June 11 not October 11…

          • http://www.riveraveblues.com Joseph Pawlikowski

            I think you missed the point. No one said losses count more or less. The Yankees had a lead in the 8th and a chance to win the game. In the tightest of spots, they didn’t go to their best option.

            And if you’ll read the post, he doesn’t need to get a 2-inning save. If he locks that down the Yanks can use Coke and Aceves to face the bottom of the order.

            In which situation would you rather see Aceves? Bottom of the ninth with the 6-7-8 guys due up, or bottom of the eighth with two on, none out, and the 3-4-5 guys due up?

          • MattG

            That was a “win” that became a “loss,” and Rivera is there to save wins.

            Understand this: 3-1, eighth inning. That is either:

            1. a win
            2. a blown save

            If it has to be #2, whom do you want blowing the save?

            8th inning, small lead, Rivera pitches. I’d like to make Girardi write that on the blackboard 500 times.

            • http://www.riveraveblues.com Joseph Pawlikowski

              • thurdonpaul

                i mostly agree with the thinking of bring your best guy in if necessary in the eighth, but, what about the idea that some guys cant pitch the ninth ?
                remember coke just about shitting his pants a few weeks ago in the ninth ?

                • http://bronxbaseballdaily.com Matt ACTY/BBD

                  I think that had more to do with the fact that Coke had been used more than normal that week.

              • MattG

                This is hysterical!

          • http://bronxbaseballdaily.com Matt ACTY/BBD

            No one was necessarily calling for a two inning save. I would have rather had Rivera pitch one inning, the eighth, to get Youkilis, Bay, and Lowell with the tying and go ahead runs on base and let Aceves or Coke or D-Rob pick up the ninth to pitch to Ortiz-Varitek-Baldelli.

            And, yeah, Aceves has done real well this season but I would prefer, you know, the best reliever ever to be pitching in a big spot like that. Obviously, the loss would be frustrating if Rivera let the runs in as Aceves did, but I’m less frustrated if a team beats the Yankees’ best.

      • Taylor

        Seriously, the right call was Mo for 1 inning in the 8th to face the middle of the lineup. Aceves, Coke, and/or Robertson could easily have handled the bottom of the order in the 9th.

        For me, Aceves didn’t pitch that badly, he let up two medium hit singles that just happened to fall in front of outfielders.

        Then in the top of the 9th, Jeter’s ball comes up for Green, and Tex’s line drive is right at Youkilis. That’s just how baseball is sometimes. Who cares if it’s against the Red Sox, we as fans feed into it by placing way too much emphasis on just another team in the division. They’re record against can only be used as a tiebreaker if we’re both in the playoffs to begin with, and at that point, I’ll take my chances against them in the ALCS.

    • MattG

      Bringing in Rivera early would have been retarded

      I disagree completely, of course. And calling it ‘retarded’ is very obnoxious.

      Last night, the team that used their closer first was going to have a huge probability of winning. If someone were to run a simulation, 1000 games using Aceves, 1000 games using Rivera, in that spot, I would bet my house the “Rivera Strategy” wins twice as often.

      • http://myspace.com/lincolnsworld Link

        Retarded was a poor choice of wording…how about ‘short sighted’?…

        • http://bronxbaseballdaily.com Matt ACTY/BBD

          I don’t think it’s very short sighted at all. Let Rivera pitch the 8th, use a lesser reliever to get the bottom part of the order in the 9th.

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  • Axl

    The overhype of the “Closer” role, which brought it up to hollywood status, has ruined a lot of common sense in the game. The term “Save” or “Save Situation” is pinned for a certain individual who comes in with up to a 3 run lead and “saves” the game…but only if he throws the last pitch of the game too.

    So if a reliever comes in with no outs and the bases loaded in a tie game in the 7th and allows no runs and does a remarkable job…he gets a handshake…while the guy coming in the 9th with now a 3 run lead and nobody on base gets a beautiful reward that goes down in the history books. Make sense? Not quite.

    And because of this…managers are duped and blinded by the hollywood status that it’s become…and literally save (no pun intended) them for the very end…because that’s what they are seemingly suppose to do.

    Now I’m not saying that if your starting pitcher gets into a jam in the 3rd or 4th inning…you bring in your closer to try and stop the bleeding. You use your head. If it’s even the 7th inning and you have problems on your hands…and your pitcher just walked the bases loaded and you know your bullpen is beyond terrible. You should bring in your closer. It’s common sense. It’s better to have your inexperienced shitty bullpen guys come in with the bases empty in the 8th and 9th than it is bringing them in the 7th with the bases loaded with no outs in that situation. And besides, perhaps your closer can pitch the 8th too…so that terrible bullpen guy only has to pitch the 9th with the bases loaded.

    Managers need to start breaking off from what’s expected and what’s cliche. It’s really stupid.

    And these “stats” that are made are just feeding the frenzy.

    • http://bronxbaseballdaily.com Matt ACTY/BBD

      I agree….with…just about…everything…Axl said…

    • http://www.riveraveblues.com Joseph Pawlikowski

      I assume you meant “bases empty” at the end there, but in any case this is spot on. It’s called strategy, and it’s pretty fundamental in that regard.

      We should all chip in and get Girardi “The 33 Strategies of War” by Robert Greene.

      • Axl

        lol. yes, I did mean bases empty at the end…sorry there.

      • kunaldo

        I still havent finished the 48 laws of power…I think i’ll get 33 and lend him my copy after i’m done…heck, he can keep it if he promises to properly utilize mo!

        by the way, well said axl

  • MattG

    I absolutely cannot comprehend the thinking that 5 outs is okay, but 6 outs is a deal-breaker. That is unfathomably rigid thinking.

    Next evolution: bullpen managers. What does it mean when a manager, in any field, strictly adheres to common convention? Typically, it means either (a) the manager is sub-par, or (b) that manager’s job is too nuanced at best, too difficult at worst.

    If we reject (a)–which we can do because it is every manager in baseball–we are left with a job that is too nuanced.

    Placing a manager in charge of only the bullpen strategy would fix this. Just like football teams attack different situations with different tactics, a bright man put in charge of a bullpen would not be so regimented as to let the Yankees lose that game without using Rivera.

    In that game last night, either Rivera or Papelbon was going to pitch. Usually, you say your closer pitched because the team won. Last night, it would’ve been appropriate to say your team won because your closer pitched.

    It is astounding that Girardi can’t see this simple truth, but maybe he has too many other things to worry about. I don’t get it.

    • http://www.riveraveblues.com Joseph Pawlikowski

      Doesn’t the bench coach already have that kind of presence?

      • MattG

        I’m talking just like the defensive coordinator in football, so no.

  • YankeeScribe

    I love how some people are brushing off these three games as if they’re not a problem. Losing 3 games in a row is bad no matter who the opponent is. The way the Yankees played this series with the errors and baserunning mistakes, is a major cause for concern.

    If they really want to show that this series loss didn’t affect them, they need to put together another winning streak, and go back to playing flawless baseball the way they did in May.

    • http://myspace.com/lincolnsworld Link

      I am certainly not brushing it off, this series has sucked, no doubt about it. But the fact remains that the Yankees are 2 games out with 102 to play.

      • YankeeScribe

        By no means is 3 losses in a row the end of the season but Boston exposed pretty much all of our strengths and weaknesses. I leave this series not feeling as confident about the team’s ability to compete down the stretch. There’s a very good possibility that Toronto or Tampa could step up their game and make the AL East a 3-way pennant race this summer and fall. So these losses might not hurt us now but they could come back to haunt us later…

        • http://myspace.com/lincolnsworld Link

          I can understand that. But I haven’t felt confident about our ability to compete down the strecth for quite some time now lol….but that’s just me.

  • http://myspace.com/lincolnsworld Link

    Just so I am clear, we talk alot about ‘defined roles’ but yet there is a school of thought that Rivera should be used differently from how he has been used basically his entire career? I just don’t see how using him for only the 8th would have been any different if the Red Sox walk off in the 9th against Coke, Aceves or whoever…would that have been less likely to happen if Rivera comes in to start the 8th? Possibly…all I am saying is I don’t think the wheel needs to be reinvented just because we lost one game. That’s all. I agree that Rivera is better than Aceves but he is certainly not going to convert every single opportunity when there is a small lead in the 8th inning. And if last night was appropriate for a 2 inning save, why not every time we have a 2 run or less lead in the 8th?

    • http://bronxbaseballdaily.com Matt ACTY/BBD

      I just don’t see how using him for only the 8th would have been any different if the Red Sox walk off in the 9th against Coke, Aceves or whoever…

      Because if Rivera comes in and gets the job done in the 8th, the chances that the Sox walk off in the ninth with the bottom of the order due up, starting out w/no one on base, would be very small.

      but he is certainly not going to convert every single opportunity when there is a small lead in the 8th inning.

      No, he isn’t, but I’d still rather have the best relief pitcher the team has be out there than anyone else in that spot.

      And if last night was appropriate for a 2 inning save, why not every time we have a 2 run or less lead in the 8th?

      I don’t think anyone was calling for a two inning save. It seems that everyone wanted to use Rivera for just one inning, the more important inning this time, and then let someone else do the ninth, because it would’ve been far less important/crucial if Rivera had gotten out of the 8th.

      • Rock

        Wait I’m getting a bit confused…. most on here completely downplay the importance of a strong pitcher in the 8th when we are talking about the B-Jobbers (and I am not one who thinks he should be in the pen)…. but now we want to start using our best pitcher earlier and a lesser reliever to finish the game?

        I agree that managers have certainly fallen into some traps with the way they look at things, but I also think the manager would get killed if he used his closer in the 8th and had to close the game out with a perceived weaker pitcher who subsequently gave up the game.

        • http://bronxbaseballdaily.com Matt ACTY/BBD

          but now we want to start using our best pitcher earlier and a lesser reliever to finish the game?

          With the tying and go ahead runs on base and the opponent’s best hitters coming up, I want the best pitcher possible pitching in that situation and that was Rivera. Last night, the outs in the eighth were more important than the outs in the ninth because of the runners on, the score, and the upcoming batters.

          but I also think the manager would get killed if he used his closer in the 8th and had to close the game out with a perceived weaker pitcher who subsequently gave up the game.

          I see what you’re saying here but the manager shouldn’t make his decisions based on whether or not he’d “get killed” for them. If Rivera had been able to get out of the eighth inning jam, the chances that the Sox could come back in the ninth is very small.

      • http://myspace.com/lincolnsworld Link

        Well if Rivera came in to start the 8th, he would have faced the 9-1-2 hitters. leaving the 3-4-5 for he 9th. So he most likely would have needed to pitch both innings, and again, when has he ever been used this way? Who is to say he wants to come in the 8th and come out for the 9th?

        • http://bronxbaseballdaily.com Matt ACTY/BBD

          I think you’re getting me wrong here, I didn’t want him to come in at the beginning of the 8th. Leaving CC in as long as Girardi did was fine with me. However, once Drew got that single that scored Green, Joe should’ve turned Rivera rather than Aceves there.

          • http://myspace.com/lincolnsworld Link

            Ok, I understand that. It’s just to me I don’t agree with taking Rivera out. I believe that bringing Rivera in after the hit would be valid, I just don’t agree he should be in for just that situation.

            • http://bronxbaseballdaily.com Matt ACTY/BBD

              Right right. If he had came in and gotten through the situation having thrown a small amount of pitches, I’d obviously be fine with him coming back out for the ninth.

  • Mike B.

    Oh what a horrible game it was. Does Girardi really have a clue as to what’s going on?

    Mike

  • Zach

    Joel Sherman said the Yankees have to be better grinders, like Pedroia and his 9 pitch at bat, but doesn’t think they have that in him.

    • http://bronxbaseballdaily.com Matt ACTY/BBD

      Oh Joel.

      Pedroia averages 3.89 P/PA, a good number. The Yankees have four players, five if you include Pena, who average more P/PA.

      • Chris

        STOP WITH THE FACTS!

        We prefer unsubstantiated speculation!

  • matthagggs

    Sabathia has to get Nick Green out. Has to. He pitched a great game, but he cannot let that hit happen.

    If he gets Green out, and the midget still gets his walk, then Coke can pitch to Drew, and Mo can come in for Youkilis and the rest. Not how any of us would have done it, but that’s what Girardi would have done. Since Girardi or any other manager would never bring in Mo for the 8th and someone else for the 9th, there’s no point talking about it. And frankly I don’t trust any of the mopes out in the pen to pitch the 9th at Fenway with a five run lead, let alone a two run lead. Especially without a security blanket.

    They have to fix the bullpen. Cashman has had five years to do something about it and outside of Joba every move that has been made has been a total failure. People wonder why there are still Joba to the pen talkers (I’m not one of them) – it’s because over the past 3 seasons the Yankees played their best stretch of baseball, and were the best team in baseball, when he was called up that first summer and used in the pen. They can’t and won’t put him back there, but they HAVE TO find someone else who can be trusted or all of the other good things this team does will be wasted.

    Bruney has spent way more time being ineffective and unhealhty than he ever has being effective and healthy. Sorry but he can’t be relied upon to be the answer. Ditto Marte. Nice pitchers when healthy (when’s that?) but they need one guy better than both of them.

    Bullpens blow games all the time. Heck Boston’s blew the game last night until the Yanks blew it back. But Boston has way more bullets out there. Girardi seems reluctant to throw the kids into the fire, but its time to find out what Robertson can do in tough spots – why is he warming up in the first inning the other night? Aceves is who he is.

    The end.

    • YankeeScribe

      Nick Green has been giving the Yankees problems each time these teams play. I don’t understand how the Yankees let these third-string guys around the league beat them.

  • YankeeScribe

    Does anyone think Swisher should benched atleast for one game after his sloppy on the field and on the basepaths play this series? I mean, he’s a talented player but he’s got some huge flaws in his game and we may only be beginning to see why Chicago gave up on him.

  • Count Zero

    First, let me say I agree with the logic that says, “use your best pitcher in the key situation in the 8th.”

    However, that entire situation was one of those times where no matter what you do as a manager, if it goes badly, you’re going to get second-guessed. If you don’t start the inning with CC, you’re open to being second-guessed. If you bring Rivera in and he gives up the go-ahead run, you’re going to be second-guessed for using him in a non-standard way. If you bring in Mo, and he holds the lead, but someone else blows the save in the 9th, you’re going to be second-guessed for doing things backward. If you leave Mo in to get 6 outs, and he gives it up in the 9th, you’re going to get second-guessed for overuse at this point in his career.

    Shit happens. Given that you’re going to get second-guessed if the Yanks blow the lead no matter what you do, is it any wonder that most managers play it by the proverbial “book?” Following the book leaves you open to less criticism than being creative and losing the game.

    Again, I completely agree with the strategy of using Rivera in the 8th — just saying that I’m not surprised almost no one does it.

    • http://myspace.com/lincolnsworld Link

      I was saying that earlier, but I still don’t think Rivera in the 8th would have been the answer.

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  • NYY22224

    Why dont the yankees go out and pick up Pedro, sign him to a minor league deal, let him work back, worst case he is awful and doesnt play best case he is the new 8th inning guy. Only pitching an inning or two should allow him to ramp up his velocity a bit and we know he is a proven performer. whats a million or two in the way of having a solid guy out of the pen?