Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Girardi & Cashman Blow Another One

Last night was the low point of the Yankees' season thus far.  Maybe not in terms of the final score, or for style of play, but in feeling.

It wasn't just that they lost.  Or that they lost to the Kansas City Royals, a team that hasn't come close to the postseason in 28 years, at home, 5-1.  It isn't even just how they lost.  I'll get to what it really is later.

After 4 innings, the Royals led, 2-0.  Then the rain came.  When the rain let up, Joe Girardi took starter Phil Hughes out, thinking Hughes had gotten stale waiting out the delay, and put in Adam Warren.

Hughes hadn't pitched badly.  He allowed a home run and an RBI double in the 2nd.  Other than that, he was fine.  Certainly, he didn't deserve to be taken out on merit.  And he absolutely did not deserve to be patronized by a manager who, as a former catcher, should have known better.

And it wasn't even that Warren pitched poorly.  He did allow another run, going into the 8th.  Preston Claiborne had his worst outing as a major leaguer, allowing 2 runs in the 9th.  But he wasn't the problem, nor was Warren, nor was Hughes.

Girardi should have let Hughes back in for the 5th.  Not the 9th, the 8th, the 7th, or even the 6th.  He wouldn't let his starter, who needs all the confidence he could get, back in for the 5th.  If Hughes had blown it in the 5th, it would have been bad.  But it would still have been a better move than taking him out.  You have to think long-term.

Not that it mattered, because the Yankees were pathetic with the bats again.  Aside fro Lyle Overbay hitting a home run in the 7th (his 10th of the season), the Yankees got no runs on 8 hits.

In the bottom of the 8th, with 1 out, and the score 3-1 Royals, Zoilo Almonte singled.  Robinson Cano walked.  1st and 2nd, 1 out? At least 1 of those runs should score.  But Travis Hafner grounded into a force play.  Now it was 1st and 3rd, 2 out.  And Vernon Wells grounded out.  (I can't fault him much, though: He had 2 hits earlier in the game.)

In the bottom of the 9th, with the score 5-1 Royals, Overbay led off with a walk.  Luis Cruz singled.  Chris Stewart singled to short center, and Overbay, quick with the bat but slow with the legs, could not score.

No problem, right? Bases loaded, nobody out? We're gonna score within the next 3 at-bats.  Indeed, a home run would be a grand slam, and would tie up the game.

Raul Ibanez hit his 22nd home run of the season.  Unfortunately, because Brian Cashman is a damn fool, Ibanez hit that home run for the Seattle Mariners, not for the Yankees.  (Fortunately, he hit it off the Boston Red Sox, beating them 11-4, so the Yankees didn't lose any ground.)

Nick Swisher might also have been a good player to come to bat last night, as he had 2 hits.  For the Cleveland Indians.  Because Cashman is a damn fool.

So you see how both the manager, Girardi in the game, and the general manager, Cashman in the off-season, combined to blow this game for the Yankees.  That's what it was: Not just failure on the field, but stupidity off it.

Bases loaded, nobody out in the bottom of the 9th? Here's what the Yankees did with it: Eduardo Nunez, who belongs in the major leagues less than any current Yankee (even Boone Logan), struck out; Brett Gardner took a called 3rd strike; and Almonte struck out on a foul tip.

WP: Jeremy Guthrie (8-6).  SV: Greg Holland (21).  LP: Hughes (4-8).

It's being said that the Yankees shouldn't rush Derek Jeter and Alex Rodriguez back.  Well, we need hitters. Having Eduardo Nunez at shortstop and Alberto Gonzalez at 3rd base doesn't work.

The young George Steinbrenner would have canned Girardi and Cashman by now.  When will Hank and Hal accept that it isn't working anymore?

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