Oct
29

A Second Look: Managing the 8th inning

By

Before moving on entirely from last night’s Game 1 loss to a dominant Cliff Lee, I want to take a few minutes this morning to delve in depth into a potential turning point of the game. Specifically, I want to see how the 8th inning unfolded and why while offering up a potential alternative. I hate to call it a second-guess of Joe Girardi because I think he made the right moves, but he could have a made a move that was perhaps more right than the ones that didn’t work out last night.

With CC at 113 pitches through seven and the Yanks eying him for a Game 4 start on short rest, Joe Girardi had to go to the bullpen. To start the inning, he went to Phil Hughes. At that point, the leverage index — a measure of how critical a particular situation is — made Hughes’ appearance a logical one. Down 2-0, Girardi wanted to keep the game close, and he went with the guy who has been the second-best reliever.

Hughes, though, couldn’t deliver. His mechanics seem out of whack, and he walked both Jimmy Rollins and Shane Victorino. Back to the pen went Joe Girardi and into the game came Damaso Marte. With Chase Utley and Ryan Howard due up, this move sorta kinda made sense. Utley had homered twice off of a lefty, and he hit southpaws this year to the tune of a .288/.417/.545 line. His OPS against lefties is .085 higher than it is against righties. Howard, on the other hand, hits .207/.298/.356 off of left-handers.

Marte did his job as Chase Utley struck out and Ryan Howard flew out. Again, Girardi went to the pen, and again, he made the move that, on paper, seemed to be the right one. Jayson Werth hit .302/.436/.644 against lefties but just .256/.348/.457 against righties. Although Girardi had the option to intentionally walk Werth and keep Marte in to face Raul Ibañez, another lefty bat, Ibañez had .139 points higher against lefties than against righties. Despite calls for Phil Coke, despite the populist movement to match up lefty-lefty, here, using a right-hander against the Phils’ lefty DH simply made more sense.

David Robertson, though, ran into a problem. He walked Jayson Werth on four straight pitches (even if PitchF/x disagrees). At this point, with the game on the line, David Robertson was pitching in the highest leverage situation the Yanks had faced since the Phillies had bases loaded in the first inning. They desperately needed an out, but Robertson allowed a seeing-eye two-run single into the hole between first and second. The game became officially out of reach.

Here, then is my almost-second guess: With the game in danger of being blown out, you almost have to hand the ball over to the reliever you want most for high leverage situations. The Yankees needed the game to be saved right there to have a shot at coming back against Cliff Lee, and Mariano is the guy who gets saves. This wasn’t a save situation by rulebook, but it was a save of a close game. Robertson faltered in the high leverage situation, and the Yanks let Game 1 get out of hand.

Of course, the Yankees can’t use Mariano Rivera in every late-inning high-leverage situation. He can’t pitch seven times in a seven-game series. He has, however, once appeared four times in a five-game series (2000) and five times in a seven game series (2004). Just last week, he made five appearances in the six-game ALCS. To keep the game close, the Yanks could have asked for four outs from Mariano after two days off.

In the end, it didn’t matter. The Yankees couldn’t plate two runs against Lee. Maybe the 9th shakes down differently with Mo instead of The Brian Bruney Experience and Phil Coke; maybe not. Furthermore, if the Yanks have to go to Mo for every high-leverage situation this week, they have far deeper bullpen problems than they can afford to have right now. Still, I have long challenged the use of closers in save situations as compared to leverage situations. Tonight, the Yanks rolled the high-leverage dice with someone not named Mariano and lost.

Categories : Death by Bullpen
  • http://twitter.com/hopjake Jake H

    I had no problem with Robertson pitching to Raul. I just wonder where Cano was positioned. Also the pitch that was hit was a good pitch. Curve at the knees on the outside.

    • Cam

      When I saw the way the ball came off the bat, it definitely looked like a groundout. But I’m not sure if it was on Cano there. Earlier in the game, Tex let a ball go by him to his right that certainly looked like a ball he could’ve gotten to, and part of me thinks that was another one. If not getting an out there, definitely knock it down. But in the end, it could’ve just been a seeing eye grounder that went the Phils way.

    • CubanC

      I thought the same thing. However, upon looking at the replay, it looked as though Teixeira could/should have made a play on that. He hesitated and then went back over to first. Shockingly, McCarver saw it and mentioned it.

      I still believe Robertson to be more trustworthy than Hughes. Robertson hadn’t pitched in at least a week. I think he pitched fairly well. The homeplate ump was all over the place, Werth should have never walked and Ibanez hit a good pitch for an 87 hopper through the hole.

      • http://twitter.com/hopjake Jake H

        I thought Teix had it also and let it go by. The home plate ump was pretty bad last night. If he wants to have a small zone or a large zone it doesn’t matter as long as he was consistent. He wasn’t consistent during at bats let alone during the whole game.

    • Chris

      What about Tex? He had a shot at getting to that ball. It would have been a tough play, but it was possible – particularly since Ibanez isn’t that fast.

      A lot of people (including me) defend his defense, but maybe it’s plays like that that hurt his UZR.

      • Bo

        Watch the replay of it. How would Tex get to that? It was a seeing eye single. it happens on off speed pitches to guys with no timing.

  • Bill

    Eh, down by two I don’t go to Mo there not with another game today. With 3 days off and a day off tomorrow we can now feasibly use Mo for 2 innings tonight.

    Plus we needed to try to find some mix of relievers outside of Mo that could keep the opposition at bay. Unfortunately of the guys we used only Marte looked good.

    Robertson was squeezed and didn’t look terrible. Hughes is maybe another baserunner from being put in the doghouse for good. Bruney is out, he won’t throw another meaningful pitch all year unless we go deep into extra innings. Coke wasn’t good he’s fallen behind Marte for sure now.

  • Doug

    “Furthermore, if the Yanks have to go to Mo for every high-leverage situation this week, they have far deeper bullpen problems than they can afford to have right now.”

    this

  • hal

    No Mo last night was fine by me, especially down 2 at the time, we may need him for 6 outs tonight as the bullpen is a mess right now.

  • Evan NYC

    Regardless of who came in, they were not scoring runs off of Lee. It doesn’t matter who comes out of the bullpen, they were blanked all night except for the throwing error by Rollins.

    • Bo

      They scored a run on him in the 9th.

      You dont know how the 8th and 9th would play out if he had a 2 run lead instead of 4 and 6.

      • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside

        Correct.

    • Mike HC

      I think that this is the bottom line. Even if the Yanks kept the Phils at two runs, we were not winning anyway. But you never know how one things changes a game. Bringing Mo in could have put mental pressure on Lee. It may have got the crowd more amped up, like Girardi is going for the win tonight, instead of saving guys. After the two additional runs scored, Lee may have felt a bit more relaxed.

      • Bo

        Not winning anyway?

        Its amazing that some people havent watched this team come back all yr long.

        • Mike HC

          Meaning based on how the game turned out. The yanks were down two when this decision was made and they only scored one more run. So, no matter what Girardi did, they probably were not going to win anyway seeing it from hindsight.

          • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside

            Bo’s right and you’re wrong.

            It doesn’t work that way. If the lead stays at 2-0 instead of 4-0, it starts an entirely new timeline in an alternate universe. No way to know what happens then.

            Maybe Lee pitches a little tighter with a smaller cushion and we get to him.

            • Mike HC

              I know. I agree. AS I wrote in the post Bo responded to, “Bringing Mo in could have put mental pressure on Lee. It may have got the crowd more amped up, like Girardi is going for the win tonight, instead of saving guys. After the two additional runs scored, Lee may have felt a bit more relaxed.”

            • Sweet Dick Willie

              Maybe Manuel brings in Lidge.

  • Evan NYC

    Tex, Swisher and Cano are a combined 20 for 116 (.172). Not saying it all rests on him, but Swisher has been dead weight at the bottom of the order and he has missed too many opportunities to bring in runs. Does Girardi start Hinske in RF tonight against the righty or leave Swisher in the lineup?

    • hal

      swish = whiffle ball swing

      upper cut city

      • Evan NYC

        Not only is he not hitting, he isn’t drawing walks either. That was one thing about Swisher that was useful that if he didn’t hit he would still get on base. This postseason he has a .205 OBP with 12Ks. That is not good. Having Cano, Swisher and Molina in the same lineup is like facing the Mets…

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

          Please remember, as per our commenting guidelines, to keep comments on topic. Thoughts on Nick Swisher are not on topic in this thread.

          • Evan NYC

            My bad, sorry Ben.

          • hal

            also sorry

            • Bo

              Well Swisher did hit in the 8th inning. And this is a topic about the 8th.

  • KayGee

    I like the idea of bringing in MO in that situation…considering how important every single game is, I’m not looking at the possibility of needing MO for 6 outs tomorrow…Too many things can happen to make MO irrelevant in a game…I’m trying to do everything I possibly can to get a win today…Lee was absolutely dealing theres no question…but a 2 run game with this lineup, it is far from impossible to mount a comeback.

    If you bring in MO, theres a chance he throws one pitch and gets out of it. If he does the job, its a bloop and a blast from being a tie game, in which case you are bringing in MO for the 9th. Even if the Yanks dont score bottom 8, Im sending MO back out there to give them the best chance of making a comeback. If he gives up a hit and a couple of runs and it becomes a 4-5 run game, you let him finish the inning and pull him after that. With the off day after game 2, I’m going to get the most I can out of the greatest of all time.

    Not a second guess of Girardi…but absolutely an idea to consider

    • Evan NYC

      Agreed. I think that history has shown that Girardi, along with the majority of managers, do not go against the grain. A closer pitches in a tie game at home or a save situation.

      • BklynJT

        He already went against the grain when he left in Robertson to face Ibanez, and that did not turn out well.

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

          No, he didn’t go against the grain leaving Robertson in. That was a fine move that didn’t turn out well as I said more than once in the post.

          • BklynJT

            It wasn’t going against the grain (bring in lefty to face Ibanez) to leave Roberston after he walked Werth? Normal managers, would automatically put the lefty in, no?

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

        Yep. It’s gonna take a long, long time for managers to change that way of thinking.

    • hal

      using Mo is always something to consider, but somebody else has to show they can get some big outs in this series or the end result won;t be good

      • KayGee

        True…dont get me wrong I’m not saying this is a no-brainer by any means…but considering at most there are 7 games left…to me there is no time to prove if anyone can get big outs..nor does it really matter if anyone but MO can get big outs if they win 4 more games…basically at this point I’m all for extended appearances from MO as long as he feels strong…it would not be considered “desperation” mode because they are obviously not desperate…but I think when it comes to MO’s use it should be close to that level…if you can give him the ball in a close and late game/high leverage situation you do it.

  • BklynJT

    I am amazed that people cannot stop finding ways to second guess Girardi. That move by Girardi to let Robertson face Ibanez was very unconventional, although widely popular amongst the crowd here at RAB. It didn’t work one bit, and many would argue against it being the right or wrong move. RAB advocates it because of the numbers, well guess what, Girardi makes many decisions, you know the ones that are always being criticized, based on his stupid book. Why don’t you guys go criticize yourselves for supporting the move that put the game out of reach! Instead you find something else to criticize, when in all reality, the game was over once those additionaly 2 runs came in.

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

      As I said, it’s not really a second-guess. It’s a thought piece. If you don’t like it, find somewhere else to get your Yankee news. There’s no reason to be this nasty to us.

      • BklynJT

        Aren’t you being a bit sensitive? I’ve been following RAB since its infancy, before it got all the recognition that it duly deserves. As a matter of fact, I agreed with the move to leave Robertson in, and when it didn’t work, I basically felt that Girardi made the right decision. I had no thought of whether to bring Mo in, and chalked that loss up to Lee besting us. When I read all the comments, not necessarily your post (as you said you acknowledge that it was a second guess), it just made me realize how Girardi will never win if the yankees lose, no matter what decision he makes. If he makes the wrong decision and it works out, he gets lucky. If he makes the right decision and it doesnt work, well we’ll find something at fault.

        What’s wrong with me having an objection, I was only pointing out an observation that I made of many Yankee fans? Was I really being nasty? If so I apologize, but I don’t think I said anything overly nasty at all. And I don’t want to tell you how to run your site, but its not right to just tell some one to beat it after all the years they been following your site.

        • Mike HC

          We are coming off a tough World Series loss. Everyone is little on edge. Lets all settle down and take a breath. We need a win tonight baby!!!!

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

          You’re right. I was being a bit too sensitive this morning. My apologies, BklynJT. Tough loss last night got to us all.

          I think you’re misreading my intent with this post. I have no qualms with the pitching decisions in the 8th. I’m just offering up another take on it. Girardi managed fine, and it just didn’t work out.

    • http://twitter.com/hopjake Jake H

      If Robertson gets out of it then Yankee fans are claiming that he’s a genius. Moves sometimes just don’t work. Also if Hughes gets 1 guy out before leaving then we get out of that inning without giving up a run.

      • Tank Foster

        Robertson did his job. Ibanez hit a routine grounder. It found a hole, probably because the fielders hesitated slightly or were fractionally out of position. 95% of the time, a grounder like that is an out. BABIP is capricious, and sometimes it works against you.

        • toad

          I agree with this. There’s a random element that is impossible to eliminate.

          Suppose you knew, ahead of time, that if you left Robertson in Ibanez would hit an ordinary grounder. Would you leave him in?

      • Bo

        The if game is a dangerous game to play.

        Its a results business. Robertson and Hughes didnt get the job done. There are no “if’s” involved

        • http://twitter.com/hopjake Jake H

          I agree. They didn’t get the job done but questioning every move that the manager makes it pointless. Pitchers were put into places to make win and they didn’t.

        • Tank Foster

          Go back and read it again, Bo. Robertson did do his job. He induced a pretty weakly hit grounder. The infielders didn’t catch it. It happens.

          Hughes didn’t get the job done. If we’re going to hang the loss on anyone, it’s Hughes. In reality, it doesn’t matter what any of them did, the Yankees weren’t going to come back against Lee. Not last night, anyway.

          • Bo

            I read it. He didnt get the job done.

            You can play this game all day. If the ball was hit slower. if Cano was positioned more to his left. If Robertson threw him a fastball. if Tex was shaded towards second. And on and on and on.

            Its just a dangerous game to play and pointless. Robertson had his shot.

            Lets not forget he walked Werth. The guy he was brought into face. And that wasnt a case of pitching around him. Otherwise he’d have left Marte in.

            • Tank Foster

              I’m not sure I understand what you mean by saying it’s a “dangerous” game. I agree it’s pointless, but it’s similarly pointless to discuss anything that woulda coulda shoulda happened.

              You choose to define success and failure by the result. That’s fine.

              But I think when you are having a “think piece” as Ben calls it, trying to dissect what happened, you look at things like how Ibanez hit the ball. Ibanez did not hit Robertson hard. Robertson induced a result that works most of the time. I would agree that intentionally walking Werth and letting Marte pitch to Ibanez would have been a reasonable strategy.

              Bringing in Robertson means Girardi was electing to go after Werth, so yes, Robertson failed in that sense in that he didn’t get Werth.

              My main point is that platoon matchups are overrated, and that sometimes you do things right but the results don’t follow. You have to factor all those things in when you’re critiquing managerial moves.

  • Frank Fernandez

    I’m glad he saved Mariano for a more winnable game. Like tonight. And, anyway, the kids in the pen need to stand on their own feet and get some holds or the whole enterprise (beating the Phillies) isn’t happening. Coke to face Ibanez, sure. Mariano down 2-0 in the 8th inning of Game 1 of a best of 7, no.

    • Evan NYC

      I’m hoping they mash Pedro and don’t need Mo.

      • CT Yankee

        Amen to that

      • Frank Fernandez

        Me too. I’m also hoping they don’t need Mo for two innings tonight, which was probably another thought kicking around Girardi’s mind last night while he was watching the 8th inning.

    • KayGee

      Bringing in MO in that situation last night = keeping it a winable game

      • Bo

        2-0 isnt winnable?

        Have you not been watching this team come back all yr?

        • KayGee

          Re-read the comment…Im saying that if you bring MO in there and he gets the out (most likely scenario), 2-0 keeps it winnable…im agreeing with Ben’s post and arguing Frank’s point of a “more winnable game”

  • larryf

    Robertson has great mechanics. Tremendous leg drive-look where his front foot lands at release. If he could learn a 3rd pitch and throw it for strikes I think he will be dominant for us for sure. Watch Swish flail at pedro’s junk tonight-gonna be ugly…I am all in for Gardner in center and melky in right. Hinske? not If we lose the series, will he have the distinction of being on the team that lost 2 years in a row to the Phillies???

    • Tank Foster

      I’m not exactly sure what Robertson would have to do to improve, but if he can improve a little, he’d be a great guy to (gasp) replace Mo when His Holiness finally decides to hang it up. Of course, as good as Mo is, DRob might be retiring first, so who knows. But I agree with you, Robertson looks like a sound pitcher, seems very calm, and makes batters look bad with sub-95mph stuff.

      • Bo

        I dont know why we got to keep up the replace Mo thing. Hes at the top of his game. Not like hes retiring.

        And his replacement is already on the team. Joba.

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

          Keep telling yourself that, Bo.

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

        I definitely think K-Rob’s got the makeup/stuff to be a future closer. If he just cuts down on the walks by 0.5 or 1 per nine, he’ll be freakin’ golden.

        • toad

          Agree.

  • Tank Foster

    Let’s remember that lefty/righty splits tend to look more impressive than they really are (the difference between someone hitting .300 of someone and .200 is one extra hit in 10 at bats), and that they must be tempered by the effectiveness of the lefty/righty at hand. Ibanez is a power hitter, and Coke gives up homeruns at a higher rate than Robertson, and also (I think, anyway), pitches to contact more than Robertson. I wanted Robertson in that situation.

    I would not have used Rivera in that situation. Maybe, maybe, to one batter only, but still probably not. You don’t want to win the battle and lose the war. Odds were strongly against the Yankees anyway at that point with Lee cruising, and using Mariano in a losing effort might have prevented him from, say, pitching 2 innings tonight.

    I really thought the Yankees would hit Lee. I thought the pressure of the situation, the fact that he’d been a little iffy in his last few regular season starts, the fear of the “band box,” etc., would allow the Yankees to hit him a little.

    But he was perfect. I was glad Mariano was saved.

    Now, tonight, same situation, I DO put Mariano in, because you have to try to avoid going 0-2.

  • ooda

    Here’s what worries me. The Phils lineup is very good. They are going to get to the Yankees bullpen before Rivera. The bullpen is going to have to perform or we are in big trouble.

    • Tank Foster

      Don’t worry–the Yankee bullpen, including Hughes and the other guys not named Rivera–will pitch better the rest of the series. Robertson was great last night, it was one of those quirky BABIP things where he won the pitching battle but lost because the ball found a hole. It happens. Hughes will straighten it out. I think Girardi may now go to Robertson or Joba first, but I think Hughes will have the opportunity to pitch again and will do well.

  • Mike HC

    I think the mistake was taking CC out. With a two run lead, would Girardi have pulled CC for Hughes in the 8th, I doubt it. He would have either stuck with CC for an out or two and then went to Mo for the save. I don’t think he should have managed differently just because we were down two, as Ben kinda alluded to in the post. If it was Game 7, you can bet that it would have been CC straight to Mo as well.

    In a two run World Series game, CC should be able to 130 pitches. With the Yanks offense, two runs is merely, in Michael Kay’s words, “a bloop and a blast.” There was no reason to go with Hughes, Marte, and Robertson for the 8th. While all good pitchers, all three were worse options then CC for another inning, to Mo.

    Girardi decided to not use his best pitchers even though he could have, and the Yanks lost. Maybe he made the right move. Maybe the Yanks pitching will be stronger for CC’s next start and Mo will make a big difference in tonights game, but last night, I think it cost us just a little.

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

      I think CC was taken out because of the fact that they want him to pitch on short rest in Game Four. Most of his pitches tonight were relatively stressful, so I can’t argue with taking Sabathia out of the game.

      The game looks much different if CC hits his spots against Utley and Hughes doesn’t walk Rollins (6.1%) and Victorino (8.8%) who have below league average (9.1) walk rates.

      • Bo

        Cant second guess putting Hughes in there.

        hes been the go to guy all yr even if he has been shaky in Oct. It was a good spot for him to show what he had. Which is unfortunately nothing.

        Joba better get ready because he is going to pitch a lot.

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

          I’m not second guessing putting Hughes in at all. I’ve got no problem with it. I do have a problem with the walks to two guys who aren’t particularly good at drawing walks and that’s on Hughes, not Girardi.

          • Bo

            I think we all have a problem with Hughes not finidng the zone.

            I’d be happier right now if he let up two hits.

      • Mike HC

        For sure. CC was taken out so he can pitch more effectively on short rest, but it is a questionable move if you don’t try 100% to win every World Series game.

        In my opinion, it was clear that Girardi was not trying to win that game with all he had. He saved CC and Mo for another day, but this the WS here. It is not like we were down 4, we were only down 2. The bottom line is that Girardi was sniffing a loss, and tried to conserve his top guys, instead of believing in the offense and going all out for the win.

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

          The bottom line is that Girardi was sniffing a loss, and tried to conserve his top guys, instead of believing in the offense and going all out for the win.

          Well, I think he did trust that the offense would scratch across at least a run. If D-Rob gets Ibanez, or that ball doesn’t bounce through the IF, we’re not even having this conversation.

          • Bo

            I dont think Girardi to his credit ever gives up and smells a loss.

            Why would he with this team?

            • Mike HC

              He didn’t give up, but he went half way. He hedged his bets. And maybe he made the right move. Why wear down CC and Mo when Lee was so dominant. But, as the Yankee manager, I probably would not have thought that way. I would have thought that this Yankee offense has been doing it all year, and I want to do everything in my power to keep this game at two runs.

              • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside

                No, he didn’t go halfway or hedge his bets.

                He has confidence in his bullpen. He thought they would pitch well and go two scoreless innings.

                He was wrong; it happens. But he’s not conceding defeat by lifting CC after 7. Not by a longshot.

                • Mike HC

                  Again, this is getting repetitive and I think everyone here gets what I’m saying, but he didn’t do everything he could have. We clearly saved CC and Mo for later in the series. People are saying using Hughes, Marte and Robertson in the 8th was the best way to win that game, but it was not. Maybe it was the best way to win the series, but not the best way to win the game. That is it.

            • Evan NYC

              Once Bruney came into that game, he knew it was over. Bruney is the white flag.

          • Mike HC

            Very true. Drob really did get Ibanez to do what he wanted him to do, it just did not work out. Shit happens. No matter the result though, as I wrote below, taking CC out after 113 and not using Mo, clearly sent the message that we were not going all out for this win. We were going to do it with our secondary guys.

            • Bo

              Its not like putting in Hughes was putting in Bruney or Aceves. if hes not a primary guy I dont know who is.

              Hughes was the equal of Mo all yr long. He just bombed last night.

              • Mike HC

                As I wrote to you right above, it was a half way move. Not going all out, but not completely giving up (which would have been ridiculous and was really not an option.

                Girardi was two realistic choices. Use possible his best two pitchers, CC and Mo for the final two innings, or use his secondary guys and see how things shake out from there. He choose option two. Not using his two best guys. I know there were counterbalancing circumstances, but he still made his choice.

                • handtius

                  He did not go half way. Phil Hughes has an era under 2 as a reliever. That is not going half way.

                • Mike HC

                  So. my question to you is, if that was game 7, do or die, would you have put Hughes in there, then went to Marte, then went to Robertson, or would you have stuck with CC to Mo or straight to Mo?

                • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside

                  So. my question to you is, if that was game 7, do or die, would you have put Hughes in there, then went to Marte, then went to Robertson, or would you have stuck with CC to Mo or straight to Mo?

                  Red herring.

                  IT’S NOT GAME SEVEN. The fact that you don’t manage Game 1 the way you manage Game 7 does NOT mean you’re not trying to win Game 1 all out.

                  Game 7 is always different, because there’s no game after that.

                • Mike HC

                  That is my point. My only point is that Girardi did not do everything he could have to win that game. And maybe in the World Series, down by only two runs in game, you should do everything you can do (Obviously short of using your other starting pitcher.)

                • Rob H.

                  Then Girardi might as well send everyone else in the bullpen home. If doing everything he can to win means only using Mariano, then he should just send everyone else home and tell his starters to be prepared to throw 130 pitches each start because Mo is the only one who Girardi is allowed to use in order for fans to think he is doing everything he can to win.

                  Girardi went with his top bullpen arms and they simply failed. Why does it have to be anything else but that? Hughes failed and D-Rob couldn’t get that last out. That’s it, end of story. Why do we continually have to blame Girardi and criticize him? The guy can never do anything right for some of you.

                • Mike HC

                  Not every starter can go 130, but CC can. You don’t only have to use Mo for every game, but in this case, where CC can get at least an extra out or two, and Mo can get 4 or 5 outs when he had plenty of rest, I say you do it.

                  In baseball, many decisions have to be made. The manager makes those decisions. Getting second guessed, especially in New York, is part of the job. I don’t see Girardi crying that everyone is second guessing his decisions, so why are you doing the crying for him?

                • Rob H.

                  Just because CC can go 130 pitches does not mean that is the smart move. He was at 113 pitches and he did his job. It is perfectly reasonable for Girardi to expect his bullpen which has been very good over the course of the year to be able to get 3 outs and not let up a run in the 8th inning. THere isn’t a single thing wrong with that, yet you feel the need to say that Girardi wasn’t playing to win because he didn’t do it your way.

                  Second guessing decisions that have no business being second guessed is what I have a problem with. You are second guessing him just because he went to what has been a strength this entire season. That’s ridiculous to me. The bottom line is that his ace relievers did not get the job done. Bottom Line. End of story. It really can be as simple as that without any second guessing being needed.

    • Tank Foster

      Maybe, but I think when you start getting up around 130 pitches, you start risking things. If you don’t trust your bullpen to do the job after you won 103 games, you don’t belong in the WS. And if CC doesn’t pitch well in game 4, the Yankees are in big trouble.

      Sometimes you have to trust guys. You have to think about the next three games, not just this one. Lee was cruising with a low pitch count and the Yankees couldn’t hit the ball even close to solidly off him. The only way they were going to tie that game was a pretty big mistake from Lee. I had no problem with anything Girardi did. The players didn’t execute. He could have chosen other options and gotten the same or worse results. Time to move on.

      • Mike HC

        Putting Mo in the game might have sparked the fans and the Yankee players alike. Girardi would have been sending a message that we are winning this game at all costs, and the Phils better start worrying about the big, bad, comeback kid Yankee offense.

        Not doing that, instead going with Hughes, Marte and Robertson, sent the message that we give in to Lee and we want to see another day. Again, maybe Girardi is right, and he probably is, he has the job for a reason, but I would have managed differently. I can see both ways though.

        • Tank Foster

          If you are correct, then you are saying Girardi doesn’t have confidence in Hughes.

          Girardi has more confidence in his relievers than we do.

          There is absolutely no way in hell Girardi was thinking “we’re going to lose anyway, let’s tiptoe our way out of this and try not to get too dirty.”

          He was going to the formula that worked all year. He can’t use Mariano all the time, and was playing his hand out the best way he could see. It didn’t work.

          • Mike HC

            Didn’t Hughes have a mechanical flaw, which David Cone said was actually bullshit, and you tell guys they have a fixable mechanical flaw so they don’t start to get all mental. Either way, mechanical flaw or no flaw, Hughes is clearly struggling. If that was game 7, CC and Mo were the pitchers. But Girardi managed game one not as a must win, which is maybe the right way to go.

        • handtius

          That’s a little ridiculous. Hughes has been dominate in the pen in the second half. Yes, he’s been rocky in the playoffs, but you expect and hope that he’ll come out of it. So, going to him is not conceding the win. If he is right, the game is still a 2 run game. I don’t think anyone on that team ever concedes a win or thinks their manager is.

          I was actually happy with how he played that inning because it showed me that he trust Robertson and hopefully will start using him in higher leverage situations and not just in extra innings.

          I don’t see where any of this leads you to believe he is giving up.

          Hughes: best reliever not named Mo.
          Marte: pitching well against lefties.
          Robertson: Showing trust in a pitcher who has been great in the post season.

          • Mike HC

            I don’t really mean that he was giving up. He was simply not going all out and using all his resources for this win. He had the clear option to pitch CC for another 10 -20 pitches and then bring Mo in. I don’t think anybody here would argue that if your life was on the line you would not do that.

            But, he decided there were other factors in play. That CC was going on short rest, that Lee looked really good, and he did not use his “life on the line” options, but went with his secondary guys. Really, I get it. He is probably right. I just personally would manage differently, which is maybe why I’m not a manger to begin with, just a fan.

    • handtius

      CC is going to pitch on 3 days rest twice. You don’t want to push him too hard where he’s not effective in his next start.

      • Bo

        If you cant put in Hughes in last night to get 3 outs you’re in big trouble if you’re Girardi.

        He cant let Sabathia throw 130 pitches in a 2-0 hole in Game 1. Especially if hes got to come back to him in Game 4.

        It’ll be tough to win this with the pen performing like last night and that means pretty much Hughes. If Hughes is useless we’re in trouble.

        it was a no brainer to go to Hughes. thats been the formula since May. He better snap out of it quick and Joba better take the Delorean to 2007.

        • handtius

          I don’t know why you posted this under me, because I agree 100%. it was the right move to make.

          The only other way I would have go, would have been to bring in Robertson to start the 8th because we were down. I am not second-guessing Joe G. He did the right thing.

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

        If he were to pitch in Game Seven, I believe it would be on normal rest.

        • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside

          No. Only if there’s a rainout and a delay.

          The sked is currently: 1-2-rest-3-4-5-rest-6-7.

          There’s no extra off day, like there was in the ALCS.

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

            Oh really? Damn, I read the schedule wrong, then. Thanks for the correction.

  • Bo

    I think we’ve all seen enough of Bruney. He showed why he should never have been on the post season roster last night.

    And you have to let a lefty face Ibanez especially after how lost he looked against Sabathia. Walk Werth and let Marte face him.

    • larryf

      Bruney has his erratic fastball that he throws 95% of the time and a slider that moves about 1 inch.

  • Hova

    So is Mo the only guy we have right now that can handle high leverage situations? That’s f-ing unacceptable. These other guys need to step up and freaking pitch. That’s what they get paid to do. I refuse to believe Mo is our only reliable pitcher out of the bullpen in high leverage situations.

    Now that some of these guys saw some action, maybe they’ll settle down and be effective pitchers going forward.

    • Bo

      He better not be or it’ll be a short series.

    • Evan NYC

      It’s frustrating because we watched Hughes attack hitters all year out of the bullpen and he was extremely successful at it. Once we hit the playoffs, he made that switch and he is right back to where he was as a starter, nibbling the corners and trying to be too “fine”.

      • Tank Foster

        With respect, how do you know that’s what he’s doing? Why would he do that? Maybe he just can’t throw strikes. Maybe he is attacking, but is just missing.

        My guess is that – as is usually the case – it isn’t one thing. He probably is nervous and choking a little. And, he probably is off a bit mechanically. So he’s putting himself in a hole, and when he does throw it over, maybe it doesn’t have the velocity or movement it did when he was free and easy during the regular season. So he’s either walking guys or getting hit harder than he’s used to. This compounds his nervousness, etc. Vicious cycle…

        • BklynJT

          Word, I knew he was gonna walk rollins after that foul shot that was almost a hr. Hughes is probably thinking about all the things that can go wrong when he’s on that mound. Not a good mentality to have…

    • Tank Foster

      Right. You have to dance with the girl(s) ya brought, and for Girardi that means Hughes, etc. Certainly Mo and CC will get more use in this series than in the regular season, but pushing CC to 130+ pitches when behind late in the game, knowing you need him on short rest Sunday, AND using Mo when behind late, knowing you might need him for 2 more than once in this series, is cutting off your nose to spite your face.

      The Yankees lost. Time to move on and hit Pedro.

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

        The Yankees lost. Time to move on and hit Pedro.

        Woo!

  • mryankee

    I apologize for my previous post. I think the abject horridness of last night’s game got the best of me. A win tonight would make me feel much better. I am begging the Yanks not to let that 260 hitting chump ass ss get another ring. Please offense wake the f up-I know lee was good but come on he is not Sandy Koufax or anybody. Phil Hughes needs to get his head out of his ass and throw the ball like he can. Ok I am still pissed sorry

  • mryankee

    The major issue is that now Pedro is in a no lose situation. The Phillies have the advantage. AJ last time did not pitch well when we had the lead in the series now he has to save the series. By the way that pathetic excuse for a hitter will be catching tonight. Girardi has to know Posada must catch tonight. Again these are the decisions that manager’s jobs ride on.

  • Tom Palomino

    Girardi surely will be under some scrutiny tonight with the decision at catcher. I don’t think last night was necessarily his fault. Hughes didn’t pitch well and got SQUEEZED by the home plate ump. That’s no excuse though. It is what it is. I know the 9th would’ve been different if Lee only had a 2-0 lead, but like Girardi said after the game, sometimes the pitching is just too good. Lee was too good last night. Time to move on.

    I think Pedro will be incredibly nervous tonight. He isn’t old Pedro and he’s in a hostile environment and he hasn’t been in this situation in a while. He took a little vacation to Shea for a few years and is now in the toilet under the highest pressure situation.

    Check out some great Yankees Memorabilia at Steiner Sports, my client. Hopefully Steiner will be carrying some 2009 WS Champs stuff soon. Last night wasn’t a great start though.

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