The Swisher of our discontent

The at-bat that sealed the game
World Series Game Two: Phillies @ Yankees

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In just one season, Nick Swisher has fast become a fan favorite in New York City. Last night, he again displayed his antics in a moment that Amanda Rykoff caught on camera. She posted the above image to her Posterous site and called Swisher’s bow to Hideki Matsui during lineup introductions a sign of the Mohawk Godzilla Nation.

Tonight, Nick Swisher will rest though. After going 0 for 3 with a strike out against Cliff Lee last night, Nick is mired in a terrible slump. He is just 3 for his last 35 with 12 strike outs. Considering his 7-for-42 end to the season, Nick is now hitting just .130 since mid-September with 12 walks. No lucky Mohawk can save him for that.

When the Yanks released the lineup about 45 minutes ago, Nick Swisher found himself a part of the Yankee bench. On a night when Jose Molina will bat ninth and catch, Jerry Hairston will hit seventh and play right field. Apparently, it is a part of the Yankee strategy to put two inferior hitters into the lineup one night after scoring just one run. Hairston, for what it’s worth, has played just one game in right field all season. I could rant about this lineup forever, but back to Swisher.

As an aside, it appears as though Joe Girardi has opted for Hairston over Brett Gardner or Eric Hinske because of Hairston’s career numbers against Pedro. Although Hairston is 10 for 27 against Martinez, all but eight of those ABs came in 2002 and 2003. Hairston hasn’t faced Martinez since July 26, 2004. If Girardi is making his decision based upon numbers that are at least five years old, that is, honestly put, a stupid move.

I would never have advocated for benching Nick Swisher. He’s just off right now. Fack Youk, in a Nick Swisher futility report, summed it up best using a PitchF/x chart and some observations from the game:

Swish was even given a generous ball on the second pitch of the at bat – the green square which was clearly high enough and right down the pike. So what did Swisher do with the five (really 6) pitches that were in his – or Major League hitter’s – wheelhouse? He took three for strikes (and one for a ball) and fouled the other two off.

You don’t take four strikes in those respective locations in one at bat unless you are completely lost at the plate and are simply resorting to guessing. You don’t foul the other two off unless your rhythm and timing are out of whack. It was as if Lee & Ruiz had figured out that Swisher wasn’t going to hit the ball no matter where it was and decided to just lay it right down the middle…

Swisher is prone to extended slumps and he picked a pretty terrible time to have one of his worst of the year. The sporadic schedule has probably negatively affected as a switch hitter since he has two swings that he needs to keep working and both have seemingly fallen into a state of disrepair.

The best way for Swisher to move beyond this slump is more ABs, but the Yankees don’t really have the luxury of more at-bats. If they lose three more games, their season is over, and if they lose tonight, they face longs World Series odds on the road. And so Nick Swisher will sit, and I won’t mind.

Joe Girardi shouldn’t be employing a lineup without both Swisher and Jorge Posada, but tonight, he is. He should have used Brett Gardner or even Hinske over Hairston, but the ink has dried on that one. The top of the order can overcome some poor decisions at the bottom, and hopefully, Nick lets his head clear on this one. After an unexpectedly good season from Swisher, the last thing we want is a fade into oblivion after a bad postseason.

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The at-bat that sealed the game
World Series Game Two: Phillies @ Yankees
  • jsbrendog

    pinch hit hit to drive in some runs for swisher.

    i know, he’ll never ph for anyone

    goddammit. i cant stand playoff girardi

    • http://twitter.com/mikepop1027 Mike Pop

      We still going to kill em tonight.

      Burnett will show why he’s going to win WS MVP.

      • Bill R

        I hope your right!

        • Bill R

          correction….. YOU’RE

  • Tom Zig

    ::sad face::

  • Doug

    not saying it’s the right or wrong decision, but nowhere in the article does it say WHY hairston was chosen to replace swisher, he has a slash line against pedro of .370/.433/.519 in 27 ABs.

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

      Invalid. Those numbers were complied mostly between 2002 and 2003. His last AB against Pedro was in July of 2004. I didn’t include those numbers because it is frankly stupid to make a decision about the 2009 World Series on the basis of something Hairston did half a decade ago.

      • Doug

        and that’s fine. but you might have included that whole argument and i’d certainly be inclined to believe you. just saying that it might have been useful to know why girardi made the decision he did is all.

        • The Three Amigos

          Pedro is a completely different pitcher now, and in 27 at bats I hit .800 against Pedro this past offseason. It’s irrelevant.

          • Bill R

            It’s not like Pedro got any better! 03 and 04 Pedro was no push over! So I would assume Harriston if he could handle him then can handle him now. Hey who knows he could be The Luis Sojo; Vizcaino kinda player we need to give us a spark!

            As far as Molina that is just plain dumb! i seem to remember a certain double Jorge had off of Pedro that seemed to work out well for us.

      • andrew

        It may be stupid to use those numbers, but it appears that Girardi may have used them. it’s information that is certainly pertinent to the situation.

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

          I’ll update the post.

          • andrew

            haha, you are welcome to add “it is utterly ridiculous to use stats from 5 years ago to make our playoff lineup, but it appears girardi may have done so anyway”

            • Doug

              he used “stupid” instead of “ridiculous” :-)

  • http://twitter.com/hopjake Jake H

    If the Yanks win it’s a great move, it they lose it will be a terrible move. Hopefully one of Joe’s hunches pays off.

    • Reggie C.

      If they lose , it likely won’t be b/c Hairston hit 7th. If hitters 1-6 can’t power through and generate instant runs without the need of Hairston and Molina, then we just weren’t going to beat the Phils.

      • http://twitter.com/mikepop1027 Mike Pop

        Yeah, you can’t base a move on what went on after.

        This is a bad move, and even worse that Molina is starting.

        I’m saying – a slumping Nick Swisher is probably more likely to do something than a Jerry Hairston who hasn’t hit in a month.

        • BklynJT

          I have more confidence in a unknown that Swisher. I know Swisher is going to make an out. I don’t know what Hairston will do. Heck, he didn’t play for so long and got us the game winning run in that playoff game.

        • Reggie C.

          Ahh. I understand. Hairston in the lineup over Swisher generally isn’t a good move. But Joe G. and company simply don’t think Swish is a good bet to snap out of it soon enough. The way Swish has been hitting , Joe G. might be thinking that Hairston won’t hit any worse.

          We’ve seen Swish slump for a whole month. He looks that bad right now.

        • http://dinosaursneverexisted.files.wordpress.com/2009/04/melky.jpg Drew

          Eh, Swish has 4 hits in 35 AB’s.
          I’d guess J-Hair could be more productive than that. If nothing else this will give Swish a chance to collect his thoughts on the bench. I’m not sure if it will help, but at this point I don’t see how it could hurt.

      • Jake K.

        If we lose by one or two runs it absolutely could be because of Hairston and Molina.

        • http://twitter.com/mikepop1027 Mike Pop

          Or it could be cause of bad pitching, or the other players.

          But this move is still going to looked at as a bad move.

          • Jake K.

            Right, but Girardi can’t control whether or not AJ pitches well. He can control how he fills out the lineup card.

            • http://twitter.com/mikepop1027 Mike Pop

              Oh I know Jake. Just adding on.

  • e mills

    well the line on the game hasn’t changed from -210 for the Yankees even after the lineup is posted….maybe the oddsmakers know something we don’t (as I look for the silver lining somewhere)

    • pat

      Good observation. Vegas knows more about sports than any blogger, network, analyst, commenter put together.

      • e mills

        yankees were -210 last night as well…

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

        Meh, Vegas has a better track record of success than all the pundits and talking heads put together, frankly. Vegas puts it’s money where it’s mouth is, and it always makes money year after year.

        • Jake K.

          Vegas sets the line to draw money on both sides, not just based on who they think is going to win.

          • thurdonpaul

            exactly

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

            Meaning that not only does Vegas generally want to predict who is going to win accurately, but also wants to predict how much they’re going to win by accurately as well.

            If Vegas was wrong about who would win frequently, they wouldn’t make money, because people would know the line is horrible and they’d bet heavily against Vegas’s odds.

            • SM

              Depends what you mean by ‘frequently’ because the juice gives them a nice margin of error too

            • TheZack

              I think the issue actually has a lot more to do with the # of stupid people willing to fork over their money on impossible odds night after night and less to do with their ability to be so great at predicting sports.

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

                You’ve got a good point there.

                Vegas doesn’t have to be smart, just smarter than the majority of the dumb people.

          • http://www.stonerh1@aol.com Bob Stone

            Exactly right – It’s as much a relection of who’s betting what team than who they think will win.

  • Jake K.

    I hate both these moves. I thought Girardi was learning on the job but he moves get less and less defensible. After Burnett’s last start, there is absolutely no good reason for Molina to be in the lineup.

    • BklynJT

      Molina will likely see only 1-2 at bats at most… which sucks because that likely means we arent hitting Pedro.

      • Jake K.

        That’s 1-2 at bats too many. Superstition is the only reason for Molina to be in the lineup.

        • Lanny

          We can deal with Molina getting 2 at bats if Burnett pitches well.

          • Jake K.

            And his last playoff start should have put to bed any notions that AJ is magically better with Molina catching.

  • RCK

    I’m pretty furious about this lineup. More angry about Molina than Swisher, but I think both are bad decisions.

  • SteveD Fla

    I know I am beating a dead horse but Jorge should be in the lineup. Not Molina.

  • http://www.repairmycomputer.com Marc

    Swisher may be in a slump, but I still plain out just like the guy. His off-field antics make up for shortcomings(by which i mean slumps). Sitting in section 203 and getting saluted from him is pretty damn cool. Doesn’t every creature love being recognized with a salute?!

    • http://twitter.com/mikepop1027 Mike Pop

      Yeah man. I don’t give a crap if he goes 0-5 and leaves 12 on. Just keep giving me the Swisher salute and smiling!!!!

    • andrew

      I rather him never acknowledge the fans and hit .280 with some homers and walks mixed in there, but that’s just me…

    • Doug

      “His off-field antics make up for shortcomings(by which i mean slumps).”

      what?

    • http://www.repairmycomputer.com Marc

      /Sarcasm’d

  • http://dinosaursneverexisted.files.wordpress.com/2009/04/melky.jpg Drew

    I think J-Hair will make some things happen tonight.

    As for Grit over Hairy, Pedro could probably make a young hitter such as Gardy look silly, even 38 yr old Pedro.
    I could see Hinske over Hairy but definitely not Grit.

    • e mills

      As for Grit over Hairy, Pedro could probably make a young hitter such as Gardy look silly, even 38 yr old Pedro.

      Great point

      • http://twitter.com/mikepop1027 Mike Pop

        I’d rather Hinske. Just me though ;)

        More likely to hit a long ball over the short wall. Plus last year he dominated the Phillies in the World Series,

        .500/.500/2.000 (2.500)

        • http://twitter.com/mikepop1027 Mike Pop

          Hinske career OPS against the Phillies:

          2.115

          Heh.

          • http://dinosaursneverexisted.files.wordpress.com/2009/04/melky.jpg Drew

            Haa nice.

            Maybe Joe likes Hairy over Hinske because of the speed element.

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

          Gardner’s OF defense >>>> Swisher’s OF defense >>> Hairston’s OF defense >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>> Hinske’s OF defense

  • Boogie Down

    If the Yanks 1-6 hitters can not produce at least six to eight runs this game, they deserve to lose. I predict that Pedro will give up a quick two runs in the first, settle down until the fourth, then give up another 2 or three runs to get knocked out of the game. The Phillies middle relief wil come into the game, and we’ll oummel them for the rest of the game. AJ will be in control tonight, and we’ll win 8-2.

    • BklynJT

      I love your prediction. Give me some more good news

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

        I just saved a bunch of money on my car insurance by switching to GEICO.

        • http://dinosaursneverexisted.files.wordpress.com/2009/04/melky.jpg Drew

          I’m shuttin down the studio.

    • Usty

      Me too. Can I have the lottery numbers while you’re at it? (I keed, I keed) I hope that comes completely true.

    • Jake K.

      So the bottom third of the lineup doesn’t matter? The Yankees scored so many runs this year because their lineup was so deep that it wore out pitchers, not by giving away three outs per trip through the lineup.

      • BklynJT

        He’s not saying it doesn’t matter, he’s just saying our big hitters need to get the job done for us to have any chance in this series, and if our bottom of the order starts hitting too, we wont be stopped…

        Basically our top of the lineup can carry this team, where as our bottom of the lineup usually can’t.

  • http://generationnot.blogspot.com/ Steve S

    Wait…he is still starting Molina? Really? So is he planning one of these random losing the DH double switches? I thought once he dropped Cervelli he would leave this combo alone. And can anyone provide Hairston’s career numbers against Pedro?

  • TJ

    Dumb, dumb, dumb

    I’m not so mad about the Swisher benching as I am the Molina one. That’s just stupid.

    • BklynJT

      Instead of being down on Molina and expecting him to do badly, lets all root for him to get a big hit!!! As the manager, you have to have confidence in your players. LETS GO YANKEES. LETS GO MOLINA, prove us all wrong.

  • http://www.nomaas.org/images/pedro_daddy.jpg Joe D.

    Pedro vs. Hairston

    Yup. 24 at-bats. The last of which was in July of 2004. If Girardi is going to put this much faith in small sample sizes, then I’d rather see Molina not catching Burnett, since AJ has stunk in two of his three postseason starts.*

    * Yep, I include the Twins start as stinking. Walks and HBPs galore; sheer luck keeping the runs total from being awful.

    Sigh.

    Dammit, Joe.

    • Jake K.

      It shows that, for all his intelligence, Girardi fundamentally doesn’t understand sample size.

      • http://dinosaursneverexisted.files.wordpress.com/2009/04/melky.jpg Drew

        ..I’m sure he does.

      • http://www.facebook.com/dougchu Doug

        Pretentious overstatement… for the win!

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

        No, it doesn’t, not at all. Let me give you an utterly logical decision tree that leads you to Jerry Hairston starting that doesn’t rely on the small sample size of Hairston’s plate appearances vs. Pedro:

        1) Swisher is a streak hitter and is slumping. I want to give him a breather to collect himself, and he hits lefties better than righties for his career, so sitting him against Pedro makes more sense than sitting him against Hamels in Game 3, doubled by the fact that sitting him at home where we have the DH makes more sense than sitting him on the road in an NL park. I’m benching Swish for a game to snap him out of his funk.

        2) My choices are Hinske, Hairston, or Gardner. I eliminate Gardner first, because he’s the least experienced and thus, the most prone to pressing and overdoing it (like what we’ve seen from Hughes and Joba recently). Also, Gardner adds pinchrunning value off the bench (but that’s a far distant secondary point).

        C) Between Hinske and Hairston, it’s pretty much a draw: Hinske’s the better bat, but he’s a huge defensive liability in RF, while Hairston’s a solid OF defender but less adept ath the plate. Since Hinske’s bad corner OF defense would be magnified by Johnny’s bad defense in the other corner, and since Hinske adds value as a late-inning pinchhitter for someone that Hairston does not, the tiebreakers break for starting Hairston for the defensive value and keeping Hinske in reserve for the pinchhitting value.

        Hairston’s good numbers v. Pedro are just the cherry on top. If you’ve made up your mind to bench Swisher for a game, I like the choice of Hairston over the other two options.

        • Jake K.

          Even if I concede that point, tell me that starting Molina is not based on Girardi deciding–based on just a handful of starts–that Burnett doesn’t pitch as well to Posada.

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

            The Molina/Posada gambit is a separate matter. I have disagreed with that from the start.

            • Jake K.

              Right, but wouldn’t you have to say that Girardi saw Molina catching while AJ had a good run of starts and decided that AJ pitched better to him? Isn’t that a failure to understand sample sizes?

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

                Meh, perhaps, but there’s more afoot there.

                • Jake K.

                  Maybe. I know that you’ve been a big backer of Girardi, but I often feel like a manager’s biggest job, especially on a team with this much talent, is to stay out of the way. And he seems to be taking runs off the board.

    • http://www.nomaas.org/images/pedro_daddy.jpg Joe D.

      Looks like Baseball Cube missed 3 ABs that Baseball Reference caught. Fine: 27 ABs. I’m still pissed. More about Molina.

      A very small part* of me is a little happier** I have to work tonight and will miss the first 2.5 hours of the game.

      *Tiny, like the Phillies chances of winning this series.
      **A miniscule difference, though, similar to the gap between Jose Molina’s OBP and the OBP of Jimmy Rollins.

      • Lanny

        Good that Joe has that book.

  • Joey

    I figure the best way for Swish to break out of a slump would be to hit against Pedro

  • steve s

    The problem is using Hairston in RF. That is where this move will most likely backfire with the Phillies left handed hitters very capable of banging the ball all over RF tonight. Gardner was the move with Posada catching.

  • dkidd

    don’t mind hairston, but molina makes me grumpy

    jorge in the line-up keeps 2003 game 7 in pedro’s head (not really, but it would make me feel better)

  • BklynJT

    Come on guys!!! We need to get some positive vibes going… Let’s trust this team that they can get the job done, tonight and in this series!!!!!

    • Lanny

      So we all should do backflips that Molina is catching and Hairston is in RF? Why even comment then? Why even discuss and debate it?

      • http://twitter.com/mikepop1027 Mike Pop

        Man, you crack me up dude.

        While you can be extremely annoying, i’m glad you comment here.

  • http://www.sportsfrog.com/2009/10/23/the-2009-mlb-delawards/ Mister Delaware

    I was tryinig to explain to a Phillies fan why last night’s loss bothered me the least of any so far in the playoffs. The logic being its better to get beaten than to beat yourself. Girardi wanted a headstart on self-inflicted pain tonight, I see. Fuck.

    (And if you must bench Swish, rather than let him break out against a junkballer righty, why not Gardner in CF. Better defense and preserves the f’ing matchup.)

  • donttradecano

    If he did that against HOF Pedro, than tonight hes going 4-4 with 4 GS and 16RBI

    • http://twitter.com/mikepop1027 Mike Pop

      Book it. J-Hair creates his Yankees legacy tonight.

      For that guy who played for that other slumping guy that was a questionable decision but the Yankees still won the game.

      • donttradecano

        and throws 4, count em 4 guys out at the plate.

        • Lanny

          Doesnt J Hair already have a good legacy started with the hit n run vs Ana?

  • Free Mike Vick

    i think its fair to say swisher really feasted on bad teams this season…to the tune of 8HRs and 21 RBIs vs the royals and O’s combined. add in another 8HRs vs the Rays (who really had a tough time getting going after their amazing run last season)and a couple of more vs the Jays

    you look…swisher did most of his damage vs 3 or 4 teams that had some pitching issues. Especially the O’s. The Rays are an exception b/c their pitching was “ok” but they weren’t anywhere close to the team they were last year…and in the 2nd half they just folded up and died. On july 20th the rays were 4.5 out…and they never got closer then that.

    you look at swisher vs the playoff teams…and he left something to be desired no doubt. Decent vs the red sox would be a nice way of putting it…plus he played horrid RF when the red sox were on the other side for some reason. Nothing vs the twins…nothing vs the angels…didn’t get a hit vs the phils in the 3 games back in may.

    • Pat Bateman

      Thank you…you wont get anyone on this website to admit this themselves because they ignored what was right in front of their face all season. It was clear that swisher was a subpar hitter who compiled stats, and mostly his wonderful walks against brutal pitching…most on this website ignored this and demanded that everyone accept swisher as an all star because his OBP said so…the number are only part of the game, they can never tell the whole story

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

        You homicidal killing is way better than your thinking or your analyzing, Patrick.

        • Pat Bateman

          Sorry, I made this post while returning some video tapes…

  • charlespoet

    most don’t like it but there is no way the Yankees lose tonight, not after Jay Z performs Empire State – I am telling you between the song and AJ – who is due for a good AJ start – series will be tied 1-1.

    • http://twitter.com/mikepop1027 Mike Pop

      Time for Burnett to be our Beckett.

      • charlespoet

        Tonight he will be… he is due for one of those after the All Star break performances.

        • http://twitter.com/mikepop1027 Mike Pop

          I don’t know why people are acting like A.J. has not been pretty good this postseason.

          First two games were great and he had an epic bad 1st inning of his 3rd start and the pen didn’t help him strand the runners.

          Burnett hit his expectations this year. Now let’s just win this shit !

          • charlespoet

            I agree. After the 1st inning against the Angels he threw shutout baseball.

            Here is what sticks in everyone’s mind thanks to ESPN, Fatass Francessa, FOX and others, is that they focus on his one inning where he struggles. They treat it like he just melts down.

            While it can be a rollercoaster ride, not a meltdown.

            Look for the Yankees to win this one close – 4-2, scoring an insurance run in the bottom of the 8th to give Mo cushion.

            AJ – 7 ip 4 hits, 1 r, 1 ER, 2 BB, 0 HR, 6 k…

            • Salty Buggah

              “After the 1st inning against the Angels he threw shutout baseball.”

              Well, he was charged for 2 more ERs after that. So 6 ER in 6 IP is kinda like an innings-eating meltdown.

  • Mike HC

    This is a bit nuts to me. We wait until Game two of the World Series to bench Swisher? Like Hairston is such a no brainer masher? We have already got the slumping Swisher and we are going to miss the “getting hot” Swisher. He is a guy who can carry an offense for a game. Hairston and Molina in the same lineup by choice? I don’t know. I guess all I can really say is, Go Yanks!! In Girardi I trust, even if I disagree with his moves.

    • BklynJT

      waiting for gadot…

  • e mills

    not that the Yankees necessarily rely on the long ball, perhaps it isn’t a bad idea to have a slap-type hitter in the lineup. He’s not gonna try to muscle the ball over the fences, which may bode well and keep a rally going/started. Subsequently, double-or-nothing Molina can hit a double, drive him in and let the Cap’n keep it rolling

  • Lanny

    A dubious Girardi move??? Why I’m shocked!

    It would be better if Hairston ever played RF this yr. Obviously Girardi feels the vet can give better at bats than someone like Gardner vs Pedro. I’ll buy it.

    But there can be complaints about giving Swisher a day off to ease his head.

  • jsbrendog

    what amatchup we have here folks. pedro in the first world series in the new yankee stadium against the last man to homer in the old yankee stadium. (molina taps out to pitcher)

    /mccarver’d

    • http://twitter.com/mikepop1027 Mike Pop

      /drools on Buck’s shoulder

      I’m such a bad person.

  • Tampa Yankee

    Awesome! I guess Joe wanted Pedro to feel right at home so he’s rolling out his NL line-up tonight.

    From LoHud:
    UPDATE, 5:09 p.m.: Chad here with some notes from Girardi’s session with the beat writers.

    • On sticking with Jose Molina to catch A.J. Burnett: “It’s never easy when it involves taking Jorge out, but I felt it’s worked pretty well.”
    It has?

    • There was some discussion of starting Brett Gardner in place of Swisher, but the Yankees decided to go with Hairston because of his numbers against Martinez.
    See above

    • http://twitter.com/mikepop1027 Mike Pop

      Yankees are 2-1 in A.J.’s starts so yeah even though it’s a dumb move – it has worked out. They should be 3-0.

      • Salty Buggah

        Eh, I dont know. He gave up 6 ER in 6 innings last time. Even though he was in line for a win, it doesn’t mean that “it worked.” The 2 starts before that, he was shaky but got out with limited damage. Molina does nothing really. Jorge should be in there no matter what.

  • Salty Buggah

    OK, I don’t mind Hairston as much but Molina?!!! Again. Did last time do nothing?

    Hope Jose pitches better today because our offense is slightly reduced.

    • Mike HC

      hahahah, I don’t know if you made a typo or you meant to write what you did, but that was funny.

      Molina better hit his pitches tonight.

      • http://twitter.com/mikepop1027 Mike Pop

        Just try to have decent at bats. 3 or 4 pitches every time. Preferably 5 !

        • Mike HC

          No, I meant, based on Salty’s joke/typo, that Molina has to “pitch” well, being that he apparently has the real effect on how well we pitch tonight. It is all on Jose!

        • Tom Zig

          3 or 4 pitches every time total. Preferably If we’re lucky 5!

          Fixed that for ya, Popavero

      • Salty Buggah

        No, that was the joke. How AJ pitches is not affected by who catches.

        • http://twitter.com/mikepop1027 Mike Pop

          Ya, I get it now, jerks.

          /walks away pissed

  • Mike Z aka “The Instant Classic”

    Get owned last night by Lee and the Phillies last night and put out a inferior line up the next night? Um, ok.
    Posada must be pissed and rightfully so. This is a terrible move. Gardner? Haiston? Molina? Really Joe?

    • Mike Z aka “The Instant Classic”

      I meant Hairston over Garner?
      I’m pissed, sorry for the typo/

    • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bm61weFrK4c JobaWockeeZ

      Because obviously 2009 Pedro is on the caliber of 2009 Cliff Lee.

  • jsbrendog

    i’d like to know what janusz posada has to say about this.

  • mustang

    Wow…Nick Swisher out of the line and RAB still standing?
    LOL

    The Swisher move I agree ( maybe not for Hairston) with the guy just looks lost out there I thought Girardi might give it one more game, but I guess not.

    I disagree with the Molina move.

    • Salty Buggah

      Well, I don’t really agree with either move but I’m more willing to accept the Hairston move. But then you HAVE to start Jorge considering that Molina doesn’t really help AJ and that we need a better bat if we put in another inferior bat.

      • mustang

        I probably would of given Swisher one more game because Lee was just on, but I don’t disagree with the move.

        I agree with you on everything else.

        • mustang

          And I think Jorge should play regardless inferior bat or slumping Swisher either way they need the bat.

          • Salty Buggah

            Agreed.

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

          While I don’t like benching Swisher, I understand the philosophy behind it (he needs a mental day to reset himself and see if that snaps his slump) and it’s not sound.

          That said, if you’re going to bench Swish for a day, the smart move is doing it here at YS3 against the righty Pedro while you still have the DH and not on the road against the lefty Hamels where you don’t have the DH.

          If you bench Swish for a day, this is the spot where you do it.

          • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bm61weFrK4c JobaWockeeZ

            If you bench Swish for a day, this is the spot where you do it.
            Agreed.

            Nick Swisher 2009 Home Stats: .226/.382/.394 .776 OPS
            Nick Swisher 2009 Away Stats:.268/.361/.585 .945 OPS

            Put him in the lineup when they go to Philly.

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

              It makes sense home/away, it makes sense lefty/righty, and it makes sense DH/no DH.

          • Salty Buggah

            I agree. That’s why I don’t mind it all that much. But I still think starting Jorge is a must when he is benched.

          • mustang

            Great point didn’t think of that.

  • dsss

    Forgetting whether I like Girardi or not, or whether he is a good or not so good manager, the lineup changes make absolutely no sense.
    In spite of AJ’s personal catcher, he didn’t do so good last outing; 3 out of 6 good innings is a losing strategy. Posada’s numbers in his previous 23 WS games were horrible- .208/.337/.338. Still, Posada was one of the few to get on base last night. Is inserting an almost sure out in place of someone who at least has the potential to hit really the answer? Besides with Cervelli out, it leaves no back up.
    As far Hariston for Swisher, I think it is past time that Nick was either removed or at most, platooned. At the plate he looks like he doesn’t have a clue. I. am in favor of using Hariston, but not starting in place of Swisher; Gardner should be starting.
    As far as the rest of the lineup, there are a few others who look clueless, and have for some time. Did anyone think Bruney was suddenly going to look like a star. Hughes has left the building and cannot be relied on in a high pressure situation; hell, he couldn’t even be relied on last night in a losing one. Has anyone looked more clueless than Matsui on the basepath than he did last night?
    And by the way, do you think that using CC for too many innings his last 2 outings on short rest, was responsible for his lost edge? I don’t think you can blame it on not pitching for a couple extra days; Lee had off even longer, By the way, that’s the same Lee that Cashman passed on at the trading deadline back in the summer.
    Not that Girardi was horrible, but in the previous 2 playoff series, he was more lucky than good. His luck and the talent around him may not be good enough to bail him out this time. I still think the Yankees can win this, but they don’t need their manager handcuffing them.

    • http://dinosaursneverexisted.files.wordpress.com/2009/04/melky.jpg Drew

      You don’t seem pleased about much Mr. Dsss.

      • dsss

        On the contrary, I like the team and I think they will win, but that doesn’t blind me to what is being done wrong. I thought this was a chance to discuss what was being done without being emotionally blinded by my enthusiasm for the team.

    • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bm61weFrK4c JobaWockeeZ

      And by the way, do you think that using CC for too many innings his last 2 outings on short rest, was responsible for his lost edge?
      No.

    • Rose

      I agree. Our hitting that all the analysts keep salivating over each series…hasn’t been anywhere to be found. Aside from that one game in LA, the offense hasn’t clicked and we’ve resulted in “clutch hits” or luck to get by. We’ve had several extra inning games…what seems like half of the games played…Arod and Jeter are the only two GOOD hitters…you have Posada showing up sometimes…and Damon, Cano and Melky had 2 good games the entire post season. Matsui, Swisher, etc are automatic outs…

      And as I’ve said before…unless we pitch absolutely stellar…we lose the game for the most part. Take Pettitte’s Game 3 in LA. He pitched VERY GOOD…but not GREAT…and we lost. Because our hitting stinks that bad. Sabathia was dominant…so we could win those close games because of him. Last night, CC pitched VERY GOOD but not GREAT…and we lost again.

      Sure, good pitching wins ballgames…but when the other team has BETTER pitching and you have almost no offense at all?? You have to hope and pray for more luck to get you by…

    • JMK aka The Overshare

      Appreciate you posting, but in the future, could you press enter two times? It would be easier to read.

      Also, the Matsui blunder is pretty defensible because the umpire didn’t make a clear indication of it being a pop-up or not. That said, she should have at least hustled. The possibility of a Lee acquisition is irrelevant; it didn’t happen, we kept young guys and only shelled out money for Sabathia, who, one could argue, is the superior pitcher. These things don’t exist in a vacuum, and keeping prospects in the system is important. We’d all be thrilled to get Lee but at what cost?

      Otherwise, a few of your points I agree with. If you’re going to start Molina, don’t you need the third catcher if Posada is going to play (and you NEED JoPo to play considering Molina’s batting futility). And for Bruney? You can defend the move, but I don’t think anyone really expected much, and I’d be surprised to see him unless it’s a blowout or he’s the last guy in the ‘pen. Hughes has been the second most reliable bullpen pitcher this year. I know it’s hard to watch but unfortunately, no one else has really distinguished themselves (spare Marte, funny enough) and we’ll have to live and die by Hughes.

  • Rose

    I always heard left handed batters talk about how they looked forward to facing lefties when they were in a slump because they force you to pay attention more and open up your stance to get better looks, etc. Not quite sure how this works with switch hitters (it doesn’t)…but perhaps he could try batting left against a lhp to see how it goes?? I mean he need he could try anything at this point…he looks absolutely miserable out there.

  • tampayankee

    This blog is an April fools joke right?
    This guy is a lifetime .240 hitter that feeds off of mediocure pitching for walks. This is not the Benching of Reggies Jackson for Paul Blair. This guy and Damon are liabilities in the outfield, on the bases and at the plate.
    Without Jeter, A-Rod, great starting pitching and Melky this team is on winter vacation.
    Here is the bigger question why is Damon and texiera batting 2-3, repectively? Damon can’t bunt or run and Tex looks pathetic. Outside of a miracle the Phillies in 6, Clueless Joe and Brainless Brian made a team just good enough to fail.

    • mustang

      That’s another one off the bandwagon.

      Keep them coming folks.

      • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bm61weFrK4c JobaWockeeZ

        I don’t think he was on any bandwagon except for irrationally hating the Yankees.

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

          That.

          Tampayankee has never exactly been working with a full lunchpail, if memory serves.

          • Tampa Yankee

            Please remember that the real “Tampa Yankee” (aka me) is different from “tampayankee”.

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

              One of the two of you is gonna have to change your name to St. Petersburg Yankee.

    • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bm61weFrK4c JobaWockeeZ

      Yeah with a .370 OBP

      But homers only look at the BA to decide whether someone is good or not. If you can’t get past this I have no idea why you should call the manager clueless when you are basing Swisher on one overrated stat.

      Oh and having Damon and Tex hit lower in the lineup? The irony of being ‘clueless’ is immense.

    • Salty Buggah

      I’ve been thinking that maybe Girardi has questionable in the postseason but you just made me realize it could have been worse. Thanks.

    • Rose

      I think you’re going a little extreme with this. We are perfectly capable of dominating this team…we’re just all slumping all at once per usual…and then this random bad decision on top of it has people running for the panic button. Our 1 dominant Ace was outpitched…the fire-man Arod struck out 3 times…our bullpen is falling apart before our eyes…we have a crapshoot #2 pitcher who needs a career .210 hitter as a battery-mate which gets rid of our great offensive hitting catcher…and the rest of the team seemingly looks lost at the plate as well.

      It doesn’t look good at all…but we’re still capable of righting the ship. Personally, I thought we were going to after that offensive show in LA…but that seemingly was a fluke I guess…

      Here’s for keeping our heads up though…

  • BigBlueAL

    Good thing Cervelli is off the roster so now when Posada enters the game there are no more catchers available. But at least Bruney is now in the bullpen!!

    • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bm61weFrK4c JobaWockeeZ

      There is no need for 3 catchers.

      • mustang

        If Posada is in and gets hurt who catches?

        • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bm61weFrK4c JobaWockeeZ

          After PH’ing for Jose? Hairston.

          • http://dinosaursneverexisted.files.wordpress.com/2009/04/melky.jpg Drew

            yupp Hairston is the emergency catcher.

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

          If Gardner pinchruns for Melky and gets hurt, who plays CF?

          If Hinske pinchhits for Hairston and then Cano fouls a ball off his foot, who plays second base?

          The “what happens if Player X gets hurt after Player Y is already unavailable” game is kinda dumb. You deal with it the best you can, and then make a change after the game and keep playing

          • Rose

            I agree. But I don’t agree with starting a career platoon pinch hitter AND a career back up catcher AT THE SAME TIME in the WORLD SERIES when you’re already down 0-1…

            It’s just common sense…

            • http://dinosaursneverexisted.files.wordpress.com/2009/04/melky.jpg Drew

              3 weeks ago most of us hoped Molina would be in the lineup of the WS. Not because we like Molina as a starter but because that would imply that we were in fact in the WS and AJ had pitched effectively. More so than not, AJ has done that.

              I’ve made peace with the fact that JoMo will catch AJ.

              As for J-Hair, how can you blame Joe for sitting Swish, even if it’s just for a day? Joe’s stuck with him almost to a fault. Sitting him tonight can’t really hurt imo. Playoff Swisher and “career platoon pinch hitter” are not such a drastic difference.

              • Rose

                If we’re up 1-0…sure…I’m not scratching my head as much…but in a crucial must-win Game 2 when you have an erratic crapshooter who has shown he buckles under pressure…on the mound…and then you tie in the fact you have a career backup catcher who hits .210, and a career platoon pinch-hitter who doesn’t bat that great either…when you’re down 0-1 at home to start the world series after your dominant best pitcher was outpitched…

                You start to re-think certain things haha

          • mustang

            I understand what your saying, but catchers probably have a higher chance of injury and are both harder to replace and play a more critical role on the field.

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

              That “higher chance of injury” is what? 2% for catchers as opposed to 1% for position players?

              When was the last time we lost a catcher to injury in a postseason game? Anyone? Bueller?

              • Rose

                Almost never. But the catcher position is a little bit more important than a RF or 2B position…but I agree that it shouldn’t really be an issue to talk about in the first place.

            • Rose

              I agree…there’s a reason Molina has started every Burnett start thus far (albeit a bad one)…but if the catcher job wasn’t all that important…the reason Molina IS catching…wouldn’t exist.

    • mustang

      Agree.

  • JMK aka The Overshare

    Okay, so I hope to clear this up a bit.

    We all hate the move to keep Molina in the lineup over Posada. Unquestionably a double facepalm. No need to rehash it again.

    We’re a bit divided on the Swisher move, though, it seems. Some advocate that he hasn’t been hitting and hey, how could the replacement be any worse? Others say the only way to break out of the slump is to let him hack it out there and if he’s on, he’s a far superior player than any replacement.

    Beyond that, some think Hinske should replace Swisher (if he’s to be replaced), while others lobby for Gardner?

    I’ve got it all, right?

    • http://dinosaursneverexisted.files.wordpress.com/2009/04/melky.jpg Drew

      You forgot one.

      Clueless Joe and Brainless Brian made a team just good enough to fail.
      /Tampa Yankee’d

      • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bm61weFrK4c JobaWockeeZ

        /Tampa Yankee’d
        /tampayankee’d

        Fixed. Tampa Yankee is a sane fan of the team. tampayankee is the exact opposite.

        • http://dinosaursneverexisted.files.wordpress.com/2009/04/melky.jpg Drew

          ah my bad. Gracias.

      • mustang

        How come I get the feeling that if they were to ever lose game 2 they would be like about 10 of us still believing.
        My God reading some of the threads today you would think the yanks were down 0-3. I never realize how many Yankees fans have a Mets fans kind of mentality,

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

          My God reading some of the threads today you would think the yanks were down 0-3. I never realize how many Yankees fans have a Mets fans kind of mentality,

          I’ve said it hundreds of times: 21st century Yankee fans have become like 20th century Red Sox fans, and it’s fucking disgusting.

          Show some pride and self respect, you nancies.

          • Rose

            Well that’s because 20th Century Red Sox fans and 21st Century Yankees fans have something major in common. Their teams have gotten close but failed…a bunch of times.

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

              Their teams have gotten close but failed…a bunch of times.

              We’ve “gotten close but failed” 7 or 8 times in a decade, now, by my count.

              They “got close but failed” like, what, 20, 30+ times over an 86 year span? And just flat out failed, in epic fashion, the other 50-60 times?

              Fuck that. We have no reason to be paranoid. NONE.

              Paranoia = irrationality

              • Rose

                I was talking about getting the World Series and failing. Since 1918, they went to the World Series 3 times and failed in the 20th Century. In the first decade of the 21st Century…we just so happen to have reached the World Series just as many times…so I felt it was somewhat comparable anyway…even more so for us because we had so much success RIGHT before getting there 3 quick times in these first 10 years…and failing…

                • Rose

                  NOTE: We haven’t failed yet this year…I still think we can turn it on at any time…I was referencing the 2 previous. And I’m not saying I’m panicking…I’m just trying to reason for those people you were talking about…

            • mustang

              I understand this, but I still don’t get.

              It’s been ONE GAME how about some faith. I’m not even asking for blind faith (i.e. what they did in the regular season and in the playoffs so far) can they get to game 2 before the bandwagon drops off and giving up the flag.

              • Rose

                Oh I have faith (even though I wanted to stab everyone at the bar last night)…I was only trying to explain the reasoning behind it

  • hal

    Let’s Go Jer-ry

    Let’s Go Jer-ry

  • Salty Buggah

    You know you’ve made an irrational move when most of us here disagree with it and Lombardi agrees with it.

  • JM

    I wouldn’t be as mad as I am right now about this if MOLINA WASN’T CATCHING! I THOUGHT IT WAS OVER WITH! Oh-Vur-Manage-ment bum bum bum bum bum. BTW, today= Must-Win Vs. Pedro

  • Joseph M

    I don’t like the move, Hairston hurts defensively, can you imagine if he screws up in the field with AJ pitching. Hinske would have been worst (he has no range), I would have gone with Gardner or left Nick out there and hope he figures it out. Most of the time moves like these in the World Series backfire, I just hope he doesn’t cost us the game.

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

      Hairston hurts defensively

      Jerry Hairston is a good defensive outfielder. Career UZR is +27.5 for all three positions combined, and he’s got positive marks in all three individually.

      • slappy white

        Way to defend OUR team….FUCK IT, WE WILL WIN TONIGHT

  • Rose

    The Yankees are starting a career back up catcher and a career platoon pinch-hitter in a WORLD SERIES where they already have a questionable 4th outfielder duo of Melky Cabrera and Brett Gardner…and the rest of the guys aren’t hitting that well already (other than Arod and Jeter). Not to mention AJ is a crapshoot…especially under pressure…he buckles.

    I’m keeping my head up…but this has disaster written all over it.

    • vin

      It also has “Girardi pulled the right strings!” written all over it… as long as AJ pitches well, and the bats come alive.

      • Rose

        Touche’. And I hope you’re right!!

  • Hova

    Jay-Z doing Empire State with Alicia Keys and John Legend singing the national anthem. We will not lose tonight.

    In AJ we trust.

    • Hova

      Didn’t finish previous post. Feel bad for Swish but I think he needs a blow right now. The guy hasn’t looked right in a while. Hopefully Hairston comes through with a little Yankee magic tonight.

  • charlespoet

    Interesting that some of the same people spouting the 96 team and the others during their WS run as an example that the series is far from over are now blasting Girardi on this move.

    If memory serves, those teams were made of people like Molina and Hariston and they produced when called upon.

    But what do I know, you can only be a true fan if you bitch and no one complains about it.

    • Hova

      Girardi can’t win either way. Can you imagine what MSM will say if Hairston goes 0-4 tonight? Hopefully we can dilute all that with a win tonight.

      • http://dinosaursneverexisted.files.wordpress.com/2009/04/melky.jpg Drew

        Ha and if he goes 2-4 people will say, “Sure it happened to work out but it was the WRONG move!”

        • charlespoet

          and that is why they are in the MSM and views as worthless hacks with no brains – queue the sad trombone and line up the losers …..

    • Rose

      This Phillies team is FAR better offensively than that Braves team was though…

      • charlespoet

        And that Braves team had far better pitching than this Phillies team. When was the last time an offensive team with 1.5 starters won the WS?

        pitching, defense, pitching defense, pitching, defense – I present to you Game 1 Cliff Lee – unplugged the Yankee offense which is also better than the Phillies offense and the 96 Braves offense, and the 96 Yankees offense.

        • Rose

          I’m agreeing with you. I was just saying that we could win those games because our pitching was still very good…and their hitting wasn’t that great…while ours wasn’t all that bad.

          Of course we have awesome hitting…they’re just not performing though! That’s why I am skeptical to a few of these statistics…Jeter, Arod, etc have playstation numbers over their career against Cliff Lee…sure…but this is an entirely different Cliff Lee now…so those numbers are essentially meaningless. And if 90% of your offense is mired in a slump…their numbers don’t really mean as much either. Same with bullpen numbers. Our bullpen WAS great..but as of right now…it’s probably one of the worst in the playoffs…

          IF everybody is at their norm…then yes…”on paper” we’ll destroy them. But as of right now…and as of the entire playoffs…we’ve had no hitting, our bullpen has been terrible, and AJ has been questionable…

  • charlespoet

    Said it earlier in the thread and will say it again.

    AJ will avoid the 1 inning rollercoaster and the Yankees will win 4-2 tacking on an insurance run in the bottom of the 8th. Enter Sandman – leave for Philly – 1-1……. Where the Yankees had a 1 game better road record than Philly’s home record…. AND play is a far tougher division and conference…

    But none of that matters in a room full of GM’s.

    • http://dinosaursneverexisted.files.wordpress.com/2009/04/melky.jpg Drew

      charlespoet ftw!

      I think we’ll get more than 4 though.

      • charlespoet

        Yanks can get 6 if they get timely hits from Damon, Tex and Matsui… without it, it becomes an NL style game where Molina does his best “Sac Bunt”

  • acb

    i dont mind the hairston move but i would rather have gardner in center and upgrade the defence. i do mind not having posada in the lineup though especially against pedro.

  • charlespoet

    STATE OF THE STRIPES: The Yankees remain four wins away from their 27th World Series after dropping Game 1 to the Phillies, 6-1, last night at the Stadium. The Yankees are now 24-16 all-time in World Series openers, but the good news for Yankees fans is that eight of the 15 previous losses came in years when the Yankees came back to win the World Series anyway.

  • slappy white

    I just dont believe in my pinstripe bleeding heart that we will have this great season full of comebacks and great wins that we will make it to the world series and then let everyone down….I believe we will come back and win this thing and I will believe that until we have made our last out…..FUCK IT WE WILL WIN THIS