Saturday, July 21, 2012

Girardi Loses Another One

Sometimes, you're the windshield. And sometimes, you're the bug. But you know what? The windshield isn't exactly a winner in that situation, is it?

Last night, against the Oakland Athletics, the Yankees got good pitching from Ivan Nova (6 2/3 innings, just 2 runs), Boone Logan (last out in the 7th), David Robertson (scoreless 8th) and Clay Rapada (1st out in the 9th).

Coupled with home runs by Russell Martin in the 8th (his 10th of the season, not bad for a struggling hitter) and Robinson Cano in the 9th (his 22nd), the Yankees were tied with 1 out in the bottom of the 9th, after Rapada had gotten the 1st out of the inning.

There were 2 things that Joe Girardi could have done at this point that would have made sense:

1. Leave Rapada in. Never mind the handedness of the batters coming up: If a pitcher is cruising, you leave him in.

2. Take Rapada out, and bring in your best reliever. With Mariano Rivera not available, Girardi has determined that the best reliever on the club is Rafael Soriano.

Girardi did neither of these things. He decided not to bring in Soriano, since the game was tied, and therefore it wasn't a save situation. But he decided he had to take Rapada out.

So he brought in Cody Eppley. And this is what Eppley did:

* Gave up a single to center to Yoenis Cespedes.

* Gave up an infield single to Jonny Gomes, sending Cespedes to 2nd.

* Gave up a single to right to Brandon Moss, scoring Cespedes with the winning run.

A's 3, Yankees 2. WP: Ryan Cook (4-2). No save. LP: Eppley (0-1).

But the real loser was Girardi. He was doing it "by the book" again.

"The Book": How to Baby a Pitching Staff, Lose Games and Alienate People, by Tony LaRussa.

I am a civil libertarian. I am a firm believer in the First Amendment: Freedom of speech, freedom of the press, and freedom of expression. So, normally, burning books makes me sick.

Joe, burn that fucking book!

So the Yankees can do no better than split this series. The next game is about to get underway: Phil Hughes starts for the Yankees, Jarrod Parker for the A's.

The Red Bulls won this afternoon, beating the Philadelphia Union 2-0, both goals scored by the Australian forward Kenny Cooper.

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