Friday, June 23, 2017

Girardi Panics and Blows It Again

Me, yesterday afternoon: The 7-game losing streak is over, and Joe Girardi no longer trusts Tyler Clippard. Maybe he's finally learned a lesson.

Girardi, last night: Hold my beer...

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For the 1st 6 innings, things went pretty well last night against the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim. Luis Severino allowed a leadoff home run to Cameron Maybin, then settled down, and retired the next 7 batters. He ran into trouble in the 3rd, and allowed 2 more runs, then retired 7 of the next 8. He allowed another run in the 6th.

Angels starter Jesse Chavez walked Aaron Judge and Matt Holliday in the 1st, and Starlin Castro singled Judge home to tie it at 1-1. The Yankees small-balled a run home in the 2nd, and then Judge a monumental blast -- pun intended: It went over Monument Park, 425 feet. (To do that at the old Stadium, it would have had to go about 470.) 5-1 Yankees. It was still 5-4 Yankees going into the 7th.

The right thing to do would have been to let Sevy pitch the 7th, Dellin Betances the 8th, and Aroldis Chapman the 9th. Simple, right?

In fact, it was so simple, even Caveman Girardi figured it out. But Cliff Pennington led off the inning with a hit, and Maybin hit a grounder that Castro should have fielded easily, but he didn't. Certainly, Sevy can't be blamed for the error; and Castro had produced one of the Yankee runs, so we shouldn't be so hard on him. But now, it was 2nd and 3rd, tying and go-ahead runs in scoring position, with nobody out.

The game could have been saved.

But because Joe Girardi is an idiot who uses a binder instead of his eyes to decide what to do with pitchers, and Severino had thrown 99 pitches, and the next batter, Kole Calhoun, is a lefthanded hitter, he panicked, and turned to his binder, and took Severino out, and brought in the lefthanded pitcher Chasen Shreve.

Calhoun flew to center, scoring Pennington. Tie game. Well, that's not really Shreve's fault. He did, after all, get an out, and now, there was no longer a man on 3rd with less than 2 outs, meaning a ball out of the infield would no longer be enough to score a run. The right thing to do would have been to leave Shreve in, hope he could preserve the tie, and save Betances for the 8th.

But because Joe Girardi is an idiot who uses a binder instead of his eyes to decide what to do with pitchers, and the next batter, the legendary Albert Pujols, is a righthanded hitter, he took Shreve out, and brought in the righthanded Betances.

Maybin tried to steal 2nd. Gary Sanchez tried to throw him out, and made a bad throw, and Maybin got to 3rd. Now there was a man on 3rd with less than 2 outs. Pujols singled him home to give the Angels the lead. Betances walked Yunel Escobar. He threw a wild pitch. He struck Luis Valbuena out, then allowed a 2-run double to Andrelton Simmons.

Domingo German allowed 2 more runs in the 8th, and the Yankees had just 1 baserunner over the last 5 innings. Final score: Angels 10, Yankees 5. WP: Yusmeiro Petit (2-0). No save. LP: Severino (5-3).

The loss really belongs to Girardi. That's 8 of our last 9 lost, and he is directly responsible for 6 of the 8.

The Yankees go into the weekend tied with the Boston Red Sox for 1st place in the American League Eastern Divison, albeit a game ahead in the all-important loss column.

Here's the pitching matchups for the weekend series, home to the Texas Rangers:

* Tonight, 7:05 PM: Masahiro Tanaka vs. Yu Darvish in an all-Japanese matchup. Can Tanaka snap out of his struggles?

* Tomorrow, 1:05 PM: Luis Cessa vs. Austin Bibens-Dirkx. He's a 32-year-old righthander from Oregon, who just last month made his major league debut, in his 12th season in the minors. A fine example of persistence, sure. But the proverbial "pitcher the Yankees have never seen before." And the game is on Fox. So you know what that combination means. It means the execrable Joe Buck will enjoy himself, and let us know it.

* Sunday, 2:05 PM: Michael Pineda vs. Nick Martinez. The game starts an hour later than usual, because it's Old-Timers' Day. And the Yankees have this nasty habit of embarrassing their legends.

Are we looking at 11 losses in 12 games? Oy vey...


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