Jays rally back for walk-off win over Yankees

A fine night of pitching on the farm
2011 Draft: Damaged Goods

It’s never any fun when it happens to your team. The Yankees had pretty firm control of this game for the first eight-and-a-half innings, using a combination of the long ball and bent but don’t break pitching to hand Mariano Rivera a two-run lead in the ninth. That’s a situation we’d all take every day of the week, but it was just not meant to be on Tuesday.

(AP Photo/The Canadian Press, Chris Young)

Blown Opportunities

As with any loss of this nature, we have to take a look back at the checks the Yankees didn’t cash. The first came in the fifth inning, when Russell Martin muscled a ball to the opposite field for a leadoff double. Brett Gardner, mired in a 1-for-23, tried to bunt him over to third, but the ball went right back to the pitcher who cut Martin down between second and third. A couple of pitches later, Gardner was thrown out trying to steal, the third time that’s happened in six tries this year.

One inning later, the Yankees had men at first and second with one out, but they moved over on a Jorge Posada Baltimore chop to essentially take the bat out of Martin’s hands. He was unintentionally intentionally walked to get to Gardner, who managed to work the count full before popping out to end the threat and the inning. Two men were also left on base in the tenth inning with Eric Chavez flied out to right.

Overall, the Yankees stranded seven runners and went 1-for-7 with men in scoring position. Three other potential rallies were killed with a double plays. It’s easy to pile on Gardner, and his -.181 WPA was far an away the worst but any New York hitter in the game. If it wasn’t for his defense in left, he’d be completely and utterly useless to this team. Why he wasn’t pinch-hit for in the sixth, I’ll never quite understand.

The Rare Meltdown

It happens a few times a season, but you never expect it. Rivera had his first bad outing of the year in this game, blowing a two-run lead in the ninth inning on four hits and a walk. The tying run scored on a perfect squeeze play by John MacDonald, which is pretty much what it takes to beat Mo. He was pitching for the fifth time in eight days and clearly wasn’t sharp, which isn’t a total surprise for the 41-year-old. Every so often Rivera will remind us that he’s human, which is what happened here. I have a hard time getting worked up over it, just sucks is all.

(AP Photo/The Canadian Press, Chris Young)

Ugly A.J.

After three encouraging starts, A.J. Burnett reverted back to his old ways on Tuesday, and he has his bullpen to thank for the fact that his ERA actually went down. Burnett allowed a first inning homer to Jose Bautista, another run on a sacrifice fly in the third inning after he botched a rundown, and then another run on a double down the line in the sixth. He walked five guys, and four of those free passes went to players hitting in the bottom third of the lineup. You just can’t walk Jose Molina, Corey Patterson, and Jayson Nix (twice) and live to tell about it.

After walking the bases loaded in the sixth, Burnett gave way to David Robertson who was easily the star of the game for New York. With zero margin for error and a one-run lead, Robertson struck out Yunel Escobar and Travis Snider to strand the bases loaded and preserve the lead. If it wasn’t for that masterful work, Burnett would have allowed a lot more than three runs in 5.1 innings. I suppose the silver lining is that A.J. struck out six batters and got 17 swings-and-misses out of 105 pitches (which is a freaking ton), but he did not pitch well tonight at all. Leaving the game with the lead had far more to do with Robertson and his offense than anything else. Hopefully this is just a hiccup, but who knows with Burnett.

Leftovers

I have no idea what the hell is going on in this picture. (AP Photo/The Canadian Press, Chris Young)

The game was predictably lost when Ivan Nova marched out of the bullpen in the tenth inning for reasons unknown. Why keep guys like Hector Noesi and Lance Pendleton around as long men if they’re not going to be used in long man spots? Nova gave up a leadoff single to Edwin Encarnacion, then retired Nix and Escobar on a pair of fly balls to the warning track before Snider ended things with a double into the gap. The Toronto left fielder was the worst player on the field (0-for-5, three strikeouts) before Nova left a 1-0 fastball out over the plate. In his last 6.1 innings, the Yankees’ supposed number four starter has allowed nine runs on ten hits, six walks, and a hit batter. The blush is well off the rose by now.

I’m not sure what the point of having Boone Logan warm up in the tenth was if he wasn’t going to be used to face Snider. Robertson and Joba Chamberlain threw a combined 22 pitches, but hey, at least they know what inning they’re going to work when they’re both available for tomorrow. This is part of what I was talking about yesterday; why couldn’t Robertson stay in for the seventh after throwing 11 pitches in the sixth? Bullpen specialization really jumped the shark when Girardi married a reliever to seventh (!!!) inning.

Every batter not named Brett Gardner reached base at least once in this game, including multiple times for Curtis Granderson (two-run homer and a single), Mark Teixeira (two-run homer and a walk), Nick Swisher (single and three walks), Chavez (two walks), and Martin (double and a walk). The Yankees drew seven walks as a team and struck out just three times, and over their last four games they’ve struck out fewer times (12) than they walked (16). That’s a span of 145 batters, which is phenomenal.

Oh, and man, Martin was in Beast Mode behind the plate. Dude was blocking all those 55-foot breaking balls like nobody’s business. It’s already been established that he’s far exceeded expectations in the first few weeks, but his athleticism and defensive prowess was on full display in this one. It won’t show up in the box score, but he really did a masterful job behind the dish.

Obvious statement is obvious: The Yankees have to start getting some more length out of their starting pitchers to take some heat off the bullpen. We knew the starting rotation was going to be a problem coming into the season, and that has proven to be very true over the last three weeks.

Very nice having the old David Cone-Ken Singleton announcer duo back, ain’t it? They’re the best combo YES can put together, in my opinion.

WPA Graph & Box Score

That sucks. MLB.com has the box score and video highlights, FanGraphs the other stuff.

Up Next

Alright, enough complaining for one game. It’s baseball, and every team is going to have nights like this one. Time to just suck it up and move on. These same two teams will wrap up this short little two game series tomorrow night when Bartolo Colon makes his first start of the season. Brett Cecil goes for Toronto.

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A fine night of pitching on the farm
2011 Draft: Damaged Goods
  • Dino Velvet

    I blame Girardi.

    He had the bases loaded in the 6th and he let the .130 slup/dump Gardner bat, instead of pinching hitting for him.

    We could have broke it out right there and then.

    But, nooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo Girardi had to let mr. gritty and his anemic bat blow a perfect scoring opportunity.

    If only Steinbrenner was still alive.

    • First time lawng time

      I think the guy who blew the 2 run lead in the bottom of the 9th is to blame.

      • http://www.riveraveblues.com Mike Axisa

        The entire team is to blame. Mo, Gardner, Chavez for not getting the guys in in the tenth, Burnett, pretty much everyone. Assigning blame is pointless.

        • First time lawng time

          Yeah but I think Mo had the greatest impact on the loss.

          • Gonzo

            I agree. What does WPA say?

            • First time lawng time

              IDK what WPA is lol

            • Esteban

              M Rivera -.402 WPA. yup.

      • Dino Velvet

        Blasphemy

    • Esteban

      If Mariano saves the game, would you have said any of this?

      And seriously, George Steinbrenner had a terrible mind for baseball. He was a ‘good’ owner because he spent tons of money on the Yankees.

      • First time lawng time

        He had a must win mentality which I think is good.

        • Esteban

          And that got the Yankees people like Raul Mondesi, Gary Sheffield over Vlad Guerrero, and Randy Johnson over Carlos Beltran. When George had lots of power, lots of terrible moves were made.

          • First time lawng time

            How many championships did he win?

            • Esteban

              What do you mean? How many championships did the Yankees win while he was alive? I guess seven, but how do you give the owner all the credit for the championships? The Yankees championships in the from 96-2000 were set up by personnel moves made while Steinbrenner was banned from baseball. 2009 he almost certainly had nothing to do with.

              • First time lawng time

                I’m just saying he had a must win mentality that caused him to sign good players (among bad ones, too, I’ll admit) that helped win games. The players win games not owners, but he does have an impact. I mean think of crappy teams and why they’re bad. Their owners aren’t willing to build a solid team.

                • Esteban

                  Right, like I said, he spent a lot of money.

                  Back to the original point: What the hell would Dino have wanted George to do after tonight’s game?

                  • First time lawng time

                    Fire Girardi. DFA Gardner. Trade Montero, Banuelos, Cano, and Peena for Hernandez.

                    • Esteban

                      Ha, that would be a typical George move.

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

                The Yankees championships in the from 96-2000 were set up by personnel moves made while Steinbrenner was banned from baseball.

                Meh, that’s an MSM boversimplification. Stein’s fingerprints were all over those dynasty teams. The length of his removal from power was overstated and most of those players on those teams were acquired under his watch.

                http://riveraveblues.com/2009/.....ent-390298

      • Dino Velvet

        If Mariano saves the game, would you have said any of this?
        ————————————————————

        I said it as it happened.

        http://riveraveblues.com/2011/.....nt-1901743

        http://riveraveblues.com/2011/.....nt-1901976

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

      I blame Girardi.

      That’s because you want to, not because it’s the correct thing to do. The correct thing to do is to blame Mo. Actually, the truly correct thing to do is blame nobody, because one single loss of an April 19th road game in Toronto isn’t blameworthy. It’s baseball, shit happens. Sometimes, the best closer in history doesn’t have it. Move on and win the next one.

      He had the bases loaded in the 6th and he let the .130 slup/dump Gardner bat, instead of pinching hitting for him.

      Because we already had a two run lead and had 4 great relievers still available to close that lead out, something they do the great majority of the time. And he had a first place team playing solid baseball that frankly, can afford to lose this game if disaster strikes and one of those great relievers uncharacteristically implodes. With that big picture information in hand, he chose to let Gardner have the opportunity to get a hit to possibly break him out of his slump, because Gardner righting himself helps this team in the long term more than winning this single game in Toronto on April 19th would do.

      We could have broke it out right there and then.

      And we could have pinch hit Jones for Gardner and he could have popped out as well, thus also not breaking the game out right there and then. Or Jones could have delivered and we could have broken the game out right there and then and given it all back the next inning and still seen a Mo implosion and an extra-inning loss. Or Gardner could have come up with a big hit and started his climb back to being a productive and valuable everyday player, thus strengthening the Yankee offense for the rest of the year.

      Lots of things could have happened there. Considering all of them, including the things that happen AFTER this single win or loss, that’s the job of a good manager. Keeping things in perspective and not ascribing more meaning to a situation than it really warrants, that’s the job of a good manager. Managing a 6th inning of an April 19th road game of a 9-5 team with a slim division lead like it’s Game 7 of the World Series, that’s NOT the job of a good manager.

      But, nooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo Girardi had to let mr. gritty and his anemic bat blow a perfect scoring opportunity.

      Big picture >>>>>>>>>>>>> small picture. Tack on runs provided by Jones would have been nice, Gardner getting a hit there would have been nicer. And the failure to add tack on runs by either Jones or Gardner does not extinguish the possibility of handing the ball to the best closer in history with a near insurmountable (for him) 2 run lead, which is the general goal and what actually happened.

      Big picture >>>>>>>>>>>>> small picture. 162 games >>>>>>>>>>>> 1 game.

      If only Steinbrenner was still alive.

      He’d probably want to fire Girardi, because he was a hothead, and then his baseball people would calm him down and remind him that 162 games are more important than any one game and that Girardi has a strategy that is sound and has worked in the past and likely still works now. When Stein ignored his baseball people, the Yankees were an expensive collection of superstars that didn’t win squat. When Stein listened to his baseball people, the Yankees were an expensive collection of superstars that won multiple championships.

      Stein being alive and hastily overreacting to an April 19th loss is not something that any of us really want. I much prefer the late 90’s Stein to the 1980s Stein.

    • JerseyDutch

      “The only thing I know about strategy is that whatever the manager does, it’s wrong. Unless it works in which case he’s a button pusher.” -Moe Szyslak

      Your argument is refuted.

  • BKLYN

    Brett Friggin Gardner…

    • dave

      You mean Brett “I can’t hit the ball out of the infield” Gardner.

  • It’sATarp

    We’re DOOOOOOMED…KAHNNNNNN!!!

  • Nemesis

    Noesi should of been in there instead of Nova, I mean why is he up here if you are not going to use him in that situation?

    • It’sATarp

      He’s in for Colon tomorrow if anything happens

      • Gonzo

        Good point. Colon might be toast after 80 pitches.

  • Dino Velvet

    AAAA Gardner: 6 for 47, .128

    Carl Crawful: 9 for 63, .142

    • Chris

      People were saying this offseason that Gardner would give you 80% of the production at 5% of the cost…

      • Gonzo

        Well, wrist injuries take a little bit longer to fully recover. And Crawford has to play in Boston.
        It’s a wash.

  • ZZ

    Nova didn’t pitch well because he wasn’t previously informed that he was the Tenth Inning Guy.

    • http://Facebook.com/andrewjcalagna Drew

      +1

    • Klemy

      TCWA. lol

  • meier

    why use Nova ,there have three arm on bullpen

  • First time lawng time

    People can blame Nova, Girardi, Gardner all they want. Bottom line is it’s Riveras job to come in get 3 outs to close the game. He had a 2 run lead and blew it. End of story move on. I would probably bet that he’s gotten over it already.

    • http://www.twitter.com/tomzig Tom Zig

      He probably has, and I bet he stood there and answered questions at his locker after the game.

  • BigBlueAL

    Can never get mad when Mo blows a save.

    Only disheartening thing though is this pitching staff is based on having a lockdown bullpen yet they have already blown leads and lost 2 games when leading going into the 8th inning and they have only played 15 games.

    Of course the real problem is the bullpen has won or saved (or done both) for all 9 wins. The Yankees have to get more innings from their starters and/or start getting some more insurance runs and getting some easy wins because if not this bullpen is going to be running on fumes by the summer.

    • jsbrendog (returns)

      remember the last couple yrs when the bp blew a lot more games than this in april/may? enjoy this.

  • First time lawng time

    2011 NYY through 15 games: 9-6
    2009 NYY through 15 games: 9-6
    I’m not saying this means were going to win the WS. I’m just saying that were not in that bad of shape. If a championship team can get off to an okay start, then we won’t automacially have a bad season.

    Also 2009 was about to go on a 4 game lose streak at this time which included a sweep by Boston.

  • First time lawng time

    I do think we need to bench Gardner for a few games. He looks terrible.

    • ND Mike

      Agreed. Let’s see what Mr. Jones can do.

  • First time lawng time

    Dude was blocking all those 55-foot breaking balls like nobody’s business.
    it’s too bad he couldn’t block that one pitch that led to a run.

    //half serious

  • Will

    Sucky loss, but it happens. Not much to worry about re: Burnett, at least from what I saw. He’s a terrible matchup against the Jays anyway, due to their team hitting philosophy (see fastball, swing as hard as you can), and added to that he had absolutely no fastball command tonight, AND the changeup wasn’t working. He pretty much got through a rocky 5.1 innings on the threat of a decent curveball. Last year, that would have been a 2in, 7er affair. The thing to watch is if AJ’s command is better in his next outing.

    Don’t have the stats to back this up, but it seems that Mo really doesn’t pitch well in the Rogers Centre, at least over the last few years. And again, he is also a bad match for the Jays’ lineup, as it is righty-heavy and murders fastballs.

  • jorge brosada

    Girardi’s bullpen management is very frustrating to watch.

  • Chris A

    Nova was the strangest part of this game for me… I don’t understand the sub at all.

    • http://www.twitter.com/tomzig Tom Zig

      Well Girardi was in a lose-lose situation there. He already used the best 4 relievers he had. All he had left was Nova, Pendleton, Noesi, and Logan.

      Logan has been horr-awful all year.

      Pendleton has 3 ML innings to his name. Can’t bring him in here.

      Noesi, had he pitched would have been making his ML debut. You don’t have the kid make his ML debut in the 10th inning on the road.

      So really Nova was his only choice.

      Maybe you criticize Girardi on his new assigned roles bullpen approach. (I don’t agree with it.) Maybe if he let DRob pitch the 7th, Joba is available in the 10th. But DRob could get lit up the next inning and Joba has to pitch anyway. Never know.

      All what it comes down is the failure to tack on runs. This game shouldn’t have needed an appearance by Mo.

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

        All what it comes down is the failure to tack on runs. This game shouldn’t have needed an appearance by Mo.

        No, what it comes down to is the failure of Mo to get the job done. Gardner’s (or anyone else’s) failure to add tack-on runs prior to that is a much smaller failure. The team scored 5 total runs, which is plenty, and handed the game to Mo with a two-run lead, which is plenty. Those aspects of the team did the job they were collectively supposed to do, according to our organizational strategy.

        Mo failed. It happens, even to the inhuman Mo.

        But that failure is the biggest and most significant contributing factor to that loss, and attempting to shift that failure blame from Mo to anyone else (Gardner, Girardi, etc.) is disingenuous spin borne out of emotional attachment (and detachment).

  • http://twitter.com/unfixed unfixed
  • http://www.twitter.com/tomzig Tom Zig

    AJ Burnett has a 5.84 ERA vs the Blue Jays. Not including today’s performance.

  • Kiko Jones

    Mo had to do what Mo does and didn’t, unfortunately. No big deal, especially in April with the Yankees still remaining in 1st place and up by 2 games.

    However, early in the game I was joking w/a bud that if it got close Joe G should pinch-hit A-Rod for Gardner. When this scenario actually came to pass I was seriously hoping to see Andruw Jones pick up a bat…How is it that purported lead-off man who’s not a slugger or even a solid hitter doesn’t know how to bunt. Do they need to fly in Tim Lincecum and show Gardner how its done? Ugh. Dude needs to get benched tomorrow and with a day off on Thursday maybe he an get back on track.

  • http://www.twitter.com/tomzig Tom Zig

    Mo blew a save, in April. It happens. Although usually it is vs the Sox.

    Gardner was at least in the right spot in the batting order. Keep him there until he hits again.

    The double plays need to stop though. They’ve grounded in 20 DPs in 15 games this year. Although 6 of those came in 1 game. But still 14 DPs in 14 games is a good amount.

  • Kosmo

    It would be a prudent move on Girardi´s part if he sat Gardner for a few games and let Jones play in his place.

    I mentioned recently Rivera is being overworked.He´s on pace to appear in 100 games.
    Yankee starters must be averaging less than 6 innings a start .They have to do better.Even a solid bullpen like NYs can´t endure that game in game out.

    • http://www.twitter.com/tomzig Tom Zig

      Only CC Sabathia has pitched a full 7 innings this year (once). AJ Burnett is the only other starting pitcher to record an out in the 7th inning this year.

      Damn you Cliff Lee!

  • mbonzo

    Girardi should have just put in Aceves… oh yea.

    Anyway, the 10th inning should have been Lance Pendleton. He’s a little bit more accustomed to relieving than Noesi or Nova, and he looked fantastic in his last outing in long relief. This is not retrospect, but anyway Nova comes in and Boone Logan is ready in case he runs into trouble. If you ask me, giving up a lead off single and 2 balls to the warning track is trouble when you faced the matchups he did. Logan has to pitch to Snyder after that, I don’t know why else you warm him up, but he doesn’t and the Yanks lose.

    Girardi really screwed that up, it was seriously stupid.

    Anyway, you can’t blame anyone for losing the game except for Mo. He just didn’t have his stuff today and the Yankees lost. It’s gonna happen sometimes, but we should be happy it happens as infrequently as it does. Anyway, I hope Girardi learns how to use this bullpen one day, and that the Yankees keep playing like they have the last 3 weeks.

  • Wil Nieves Number 1 Fan

    I’d rather have Nova lose this game than Boone Logan. I don’t care if pitching Nova makes sense or not; if Logan would have lost this game I would have gone bonkers.

  • LarryM.,Fl.

    Yes, it was a complete failure by most members of the team. When you consider Girardi’s moves which have become predictable after 15 games of the season, I have some concerns.

    Gardner has to be given more leash to straighten himself out. He can be a valuable tool. But not be able to deliver a bunt time and time again for sacrifice attempts or hits is unforgivable in my estimation.

    Girardi’s bullpen management has little or no flexibility. Mo is 41 years of age with our rotation in distress at best, will girardi pitch Mo everyday along with Joba and Soriano. Nova is already proving that he maybe AAAA at this time. But its one game and team personalities change from year to year so we’ll give Girardi some slack to learn his team. Its a good team but is flawed and Girardi has to learn how to get the most out of it.

  • Matt :: Sec110

    I did it, and I was tricked! I was never a Gardner guy, always saying he was a 4th OFer…but I let last season cloud my judgement.

    I realize we’re 15 games in, but Gardy has regressed to what he is…a 4th OFer.

    That being said, do I think he’ll be this bad all year? No way. But he’s also not gonna be the guy he was last year.

    • Mike HC

      I never bought into the WAR led narrative that Gardner was one of the best players in the league last year, because he was not, and I am not now buying into the narrative that Gardner is now a 4th outfielder, because he is not. Patience. He is a supreme defender, a mediocre batter, and one of the fastest people in the world. He is an excellent piece to have starting for your team. The expectations for him this year were frankly far too high.

  • The Tenth Inning Stretch

    We need a caption contest for that bizarre picture of Teix and Grandy.

  • Monteroisdinero

    At this point in a season, almost every team has a starter mired in a slump that everyone is down on.

    Thank you.

    /Austin Jackson

    • http://www.blogs.thetenthinningstretch.com the tenth inning stretch

      Co-signed!

      /Carl Crawford

  • http://www.yankeeanalysts.com/ Matt Imbrogno

    Is it odd that I’m not upset about this at all? I just find it hard to get up in arms about this loss. Anyway, I am annoyed at the fact that the Yankees can’t seem to get a starter to the 7th and that’s starting to take its toll on the bullpen, but I’m not devastated. There wasn’t that much bridge jumping on Twitter last night either, which was refreshing.

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

      I never get upset about a Mo blown save loss, because they’re such aberrations. As frustrating as it could be, I’m always instantly calmed by the knowledge that this only happens like twice in a calendar year. Easy to write off and forget about.

    • Mike HC

      Maybe it is because expectations are just lower. Personally, I don’t really look at this team like an unstoppable juggernaut. We are trying to “scrap” together our starting rotation, and even if Jeter rebounds a bit, his days of being one of the best players in baseball seem all but over. I don’t see how you can just overcome and overlook all that stuff.

      Team is still good. And entertaining to watch for the most part, but this seems to be a tad of a transition year. Lets hope to make the playoffs, and catch a hot streak.

  • Stevis

    I just do not get what Joe Girardi is thinking about!
    I was(probably like most of you) yelling at the T.V.(like they could of heard me)begging Girardi to have a real Major League hitter pinch hit for that incredible turd Gardner… for crying out loud the man cannot hit!!Its time for the Yanks to do something about Brett…maybe like AAA or better yet AA… that a place where he be a star…….. really enough is enough.
    With the Sox and the Rays stumbling shouldn’t we go all out to take advantage of the situation.
    Oh, lets not forget Nova…. He looked like what he is…lost in the bigs
    Plz…Joe wake the F#@*k up!!!

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

      With the Sox and the Rays stumbling shouldn’t we go all out to take advantage of the situation.

      No. Because nothing we do can bury the Sox and Rays. Only the Sox and Rays can bury the Sox and Rays.

      We should just keep focusing on being a great baseball team, like we’re doing. And yes, letting Brett Gardner hit for himself with the bases loaded and a 4-2 lead in the 9th inning with your four best relievers still in the bullpen IS focusing on being a great baseball team.

      Am I really the only one who sees the big picture in all this? Who gets why you don’t pinch hit for one of the guys you’re counting on this year on in that situation on April 19th?

      • Kosmo

        Gardner is mired in a 1-23 slump.He really isn´t getting it done.He´s not contributing in all facets of his offensive game.What is Girardi going to do shatter Gardner´s fragile ego by pinchhitting for him or benching him for a few games ?

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

          What is Girardi going to do shatter Gardner´s fragile ego by pinchhitting for him or benching him for a few games ?

          It’s less shattering his ego and more giving him more chances to get hits. The less PAs he has, the less chances he has to snap out of it.

          I’ve got no problem with giving him a day or two to clear his head, but leaving him in there to hit in a game he’s already started makes perfect sense. Especially in the 6th inning.

          Bottom of the 9th and you want to pinch-hit him to get the winning run of a game where the outcome hinges on nothing but that PA to determine win or loss, fine. Top of the 6th with a 2 run lead and your four best relievers still available, the situation is not so dire that you can’t afford to gamble on Gardner there.

          • Mike HC

            When you are up two, with supreme pitchers ready to come in, you don’t take out maybe your best defensive player. You are trying to protect the lead at that point, not open up the offense in spite of your defense. Granted, Jones is a solid defender, but not on Gardner’s level at this point.

      • First time lawng time

        1. I agree about what you say about Bos and TB; we should worry about our team, only they can bury themselves. But i think it’s important to win games now, because any distance you can get will only benefit.
        2. I also understand what you’re saying about Gardner; let him bat to show you have confidece in him, if he gets hit that would be great. And in a game in which you’re leading by 2 runs withMo coming up is not a situation that is imparative of run insurance. Mo usually won’t blow a save like that. In that situation it was more important to show faith in Gardner than get insurance runs. However, if the game was tied or we were losing, I’d have pinch hit.

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

          However, if the game was tied or we were losing, I’d have pinch hit.

          And so would I, and I wouldn’t have a problem with Girardi lifting Gardner for a pinchhitter in the 9th or later of a tie/losing game.

          Lifting Gardner for a PH in a win/lose situation, fine. Don’t lift Gardner just for insurance runs in the 6th when you still have RoJoSoMo sitting in the bullpen.

          • First time lawng time

            There’s also no guarntee that his pinch hitter would have gotten a hit.

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

              Unpossible. When you second guess the manager with an alternative strategy, your strategy always works out. Always.

              Andruw Jones would have hit a 6-run homer in that spot, I guarantee it.

      • Pat D

        What is this “big picture” of which you speak? Is that something that requires one to not look at everything just in the moment and evaluate each game as just one of 162?

        I can’t do that. I have to get worked up about everything.

        In all seriousness, this loss really does suck just because Mo blew it the way he did and because the Blue Jays really, really get on my nerves.

        • First time lawng time

          We had such a hard time beating them last year too.

  • Brian

    Martin is like a bad goalie. Yeah he blocks balls but they’re all over the place….the dude never squares up on them. He reaches too much for the ball as well. Several of these wild pitches are very receivable. Nonetheless….better than what we had last year, which is great. I think we’re just used to watching bad catching and comparing accordingly. He’s not bad, but he’s not great back there. Let’s not overhype his defensive ability so far.

    • Mister Delaware

      The Tim Thomas of catching?

    • LarryM.,Fl.

      Brian, you can’t be serious. Those pitches are bouncing at or just before home plate. Martin is getting pounded. I think he’s giving his body a beating by calling AJ to throw his 58′ curve ball. Thus, getting the hitters to think about another pitch and not sitting on AJ’s quite hittable fastball.

      Maybe when I played baseball throwing the curve ball in the dirt everytime meant the pitcher had no control. Today he has great stuff according to Singleton and Cone. Cone would make a very good pitching coach he tells it like it is AJ losses his head and doesn’t throw with conviction. If AJ has great stuff than his 4+ ERA blew by me.

      Can you image Posada calling for fastball after fastball because he won’t take the abuse.

  • Kyle

    If our pitchers continue to leave early in games our bullpen will rapidly deteriorate.

    Sounds like an LSAT puzzle.

  • First time lawng time

    I had a dream about this game last night, but Jorge was catching. It was ugly.

    I’m actually serious, too.

  • JerseyDutch

    Anyone else think it’s odd that after every loss someone with a new handle shows up with the same talking points: Girardi’s mismanagement lost the game, get rid of Gardner, Jeter’s too old, etc.

    Todd Gaak, then Jake Jarmel, now Dino Velvet. It’s very suspicious.

    (I wonder if it’s Cashman trying to drop some hints.)

    • First time lawng time

      What I don’t understand is how this loss could possibly be blamed on Girardi.

      And trust me, I hate Girardi.

  • Mister Delaware

    Anyone know if Sabathia is available tonight if the game goes extras? I’m pretty sure he’s pitched on 2 days rest before.

  • First time lawng time

    The reason I get so frustrated after a Mo loss is that it usually never happens, so it feels like it’s a game that we should have won.

  • Monteroisdinero

    Nice article on Martin in today’s WSJ. He can curse in French and not get thrown out of the game. Advantage Russell the muscle.

    • Pat D

      Unless an ump speaks French.

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

        I don’t trust most of these umps to even speak English or Spanish, much less French.

        • Pat D

          Hmm. If they don’t speak English or Spanish, what do they speak? The hybrid language known as “Ozzie Guillen?”

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

            Maybe they speak “Self-important schmuck”.

            • Pat D

              I wish I could learn that language. Something tells me it would instantly qualify me for a ton of jobs for which I’d normally have no chance or qualifications.

    • Mike HC

      I never quite understood that. I know part of the reason you curse is to let off steam, but I think the far greater reason is to let the other person know how you feel. If you do that in a language he does not understand, it really misses the entire point of cursing at someone.

  • Dick Whitman

    Not really sure how the run down was entirely A.J.’s fault. His throw wasn’t perfect, sure, but Jeter can’t have hit foot cemented to the bag in that situation.

  • Pat D

    Oh and by the way, Phil Coke had an immensely terrible start against the offensively challenged Mariners last night.

    Just wanted to make sure everyone knew that.

  • BavarianYankee

    well, tough loss, sometimes you take one of those.

    btw: did Robertson always have a cutter in his arsenal? I think I’ve never seen him throw one before. It sat at 92-93, that’s a pitch hitters certainly don’t like.

    • First time lawng time

      I’m sure a lot of the pitchers in our BP pick up the cutter after awhile, what with Rivera in there and all.

  • Kenny Faust

    I do not like Girardi’s managing. I blame him any chance I get. Thus, he gets the blame for this one. Nova? Really? And Gardner? Love him, but at some point, he’s gotta sit or go down. Right now, he’s killing too many chances to score.

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

      I do not like Girardi’s managing. I blame him any chance I get. Thus, he gets the blame for this one.

      Anti-intellectualism FTL.

  • Martin

    How is it that AJ and D-rob got the memo about Snider not being able to hit curveballs but Nova didn’t? Shouldn’t that have been expressed to Nova by Rothschild when he went out to the mound before Nova faced Snider? I’m confused as to why Nova then threw two straight fastballs.

  • Alfredo

    who in their right mind will blame anybody else but the man that blu the game. stop talking about gardner and admit that mariano absolutly looked terrible out their. it all on mariano. hopefully they don,t sweep us today.

    • LarryM.,Fl.

      Yes, Mariano was not good but I blame Girardi for running him out there practically everyday. If Cashman doesn’t secure pitchers who can go 6 innings then the handwriting is on the wall for this season and the demise of our bullpen.

  • Alfredo

    it was a tough loss i did Not sleep happy and woke up mad. what a horrible lost. atleast boston lost. can Arod please be back today. we need to stop losing these games ( Twins up 4 in the 8th with soriano., blue jays up 2 in the 9th with mariano.) we should be 11-4, but we are 9-6. JUST WIN TODAY PLEASE. AND SWEEP THE ORIOLES.

  • Mike

    Every year Mariano blows a save in April & everyone starts proclaiming the guy is finally starting to show his age. Relax, he will be fine. Also, the Yankees still have the most potent offense in baseball & will make a trade for a starter at some point. There’s no way they will go through an entire season with the rotation constructed as it is. This season is way too young for some of the panicky reactions I am hearing today.