On Friday night, Joe Girardi missed the Yankees' game away to the Tampa Bay Rays because he was attending his daughter's high school graduation.
Yesterday, he was on hand, but didn't see the whole game -- and not by his choice.
Maybe he should have made a choice.
The Mets aren't the only New York team whose "aces" aren't looking too good right now. Masahiro Tanaka started for the Yankees, and he had nothing. As late as the bottom of the 4th inning, the Yankees and Rays were tied 3-3, and things were looking all right. But Tanaka gave up a home run to Corey Dickerson in the 1st, one to Evan Longoria in the 3rd, and another to Dickerson in the 4th. He is feeding his gopher way too much.
Girardi brought Tommy Layne in to relieve Tanaka, and he got through the rest of the 4th without further damage, but he allowed another 3 runs in the 5th, and the game was essentially over.
At that point, it was over for both Girardi and pitching coach Larry Rothschild, who made a mound visit to talk to Layne, and when home plate umpire Scott Barry came up to break up the meeting, Rothschild questioned Barry's ability to call balls and strikes. My grandmother, an old Dodger-turned-Met fan, said she hated it when umpires "get too big for their britches." Barry did, and threw Rothschild out of the game. Girardi came out to protest, and also pointed out that Barry's strike zone was like Nuke LaLoosh's pitching, kinda all over the place. Barry tossed Girardi, too.
Memo to Barry -- and to Joe West, and to a few others: Nobody comes to a baseball game to see an umpire.
"Just upset," Girardi said. "If I'm going to get tossed for asking about one of my coaches, I might as well get my money's worth."
I can't disagree with Girardi on that, despite everything else on which we disagree.
Despite the 15th home run of the season by Aaron Judge, and the 4th by Gary Sanchez, it ended Rays 9, Yankees 5. It was the 1st time all season that the Yankees had lost a game in which Judge had homered. WP: Matt Andriese (4-1). No save. LP: Tanaka (5-3). He has that record despite all the home runs he's given up.
The series concludes this afternoon. CC Sabathia starts against Chris Archer. Then the Yankees come home to face the Kansas City Royals. Time to start winning again.