Wednesday, April 20, 2016

2016 Girardi Screwup Count: 1

It is true that the Yankees didn't score enough runs last night, in the opener of their home series with the Oakland Athletics. It is also true that they could still have won the game.

Michael Pineda started for the Yankees, and he pitched well. After 6 innings, he had allowed 2 runs on 7 hits and 1 walk. A manager with a clue would have let him pitch the 7th inning.

But Joe Girardi is not a manager with a clue. He is a manager with a binder. And Pineda had thrown 97 pitches. Joe Girardi's binder says that if a pitcher has thrown 97 pitches in 6 innings, you have to take him out and bring in a reliever.

At first, this looked like a reasonable move. Chasen Shreve pitched a perfect 7th. Dellin Betances pitched a scoreless 8th. Adam Warren pitched a perfect 9th. Johnny Barbato pitched a perfect 10th.

But the Yankees didn't score enough. Alex Rodriguez had an RBI single in the 1st, and Carlos Beltran had an RBI sacrifice fly in the 5th. That was it: The Yankees left a man on 1st in the 1st, wasted a leadoff double by Brett Gardner in the 3rd, wasted a leadoff single by A-Rod in the 4th (he now had as many hits in the game as he'd had all season thus far), stranded 1st & 3rd with 2 out in the 5th, stranded 2nd & 3rd with 2 out in the 6th, wasted a leadoff single by Chase Headley in the 9th (when pinch-runner Jacoby Ellsbury, in the game solely because of his baserunning, was caught stealing), and went out 1-2-3 in the 7th,the 8th and the 10th.

Barbato should not have been pitching in the 11th. At the absolute least, Pineda should have pitched the 7th, keeping Betances in the 8th and Miller in the 9th (or maybe, you know, having either pitch both innings and saving the other for the next night), then let somebody pitch the 10th. The Yankees could have used 2 or 3 pitchers in 11 innings, instead of 5.

Barbato got the 1st out in the to of the 11th, but allowed a double to former Red Sox pain in the neck Jed Lowrie. A grounder got the 2nd out, but also moved Lowrie over. But Mark Canha singled Lowrie home. The Yankees went out 1-2-3 in the bottom of the 11th, doing so for the 4th time in the last 5 innings.

A's 3, Yankees 2. WP: Fernando Rodriguez (1-0). SV: Former Philadelphia Phillies pitcher Ryan Madson (5). LP: Barbato (1-1).

Joe Girardi 2016 Game Screwup Count: 1. There were 20 last year.

The series continues tonight. Nathan Eovaldi starts against Kendall Graveman. Sounds like a made-up name for a horror movie spoof.

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