Saturday, July 15, 2017

Chapman & Girardi Gift Scum Walkoff Win

The Yankees opened the 2nd half of the season last night, losing to the Boston Red Sox, a.k.a. The Scum, at Fenway Park. This was a game the Yankees could not afford to lose, as the Red Sox are in 1st place, and we're not.

Jordan Montgomery was the starting pitcher. He didn't do well, but 3 runs on 4 innings at Fenway isn't terrible. He got the backing of the Yankee bats, including a home run by Gary Sanchez in the 5th inning, his 14th of the season.

But because Joe Girardi is an idiot who does not know how to handle a pitching staff, he took Montgomery out after 4 innings, having thrown 96 pitches.

It appears that 95 is the magic number for Girardi: Less than that, and you're fine; more than that, and, no matter how well you're pitching, he takes you out.

Damn it, Joe, we just got out of the All-Star Break! He had plenty of rest! The least you could have done is let your starter pitch 5 innings. Better yet, 6. He's 24 years old, Joe. He's not a child. He is a man.

You see, instead of Montgomery going only 4 innings, Chad Green pitching the 5th and the 6th, Adam Warren the 7th, Dellin Betances the 8th, and Aroldis Chapman the 9th, we could have had Montgomery going 6, Green pitching the 7th and the 8th, and Betances the 9th, with Warren not pitching at all (which he shouldn't be doing in the major leagues anyway, because he stinks), and saving Chapman for if the game is tied, goes into extra innings, and then we get a lead.

The Yankees had the lead going into the bottom of the 9th, 4-3. Bringing the closer in for the 9th inning may have seemed like the right idea at the time. But a manager who understands Fenway Park should have known that things happen there, and it was probably wiser to keep Chapman in reserve, in case such things did happen.

Here's what did happen: Chapman allowed Mookie Betts and Dustin Pedroia to reach on infield singles, then they executed a double steal, then Ronald Torreyes made an error on a ground ball by Xander Bogaerts, allowing the tying run to score, and loading the bases with nobody out.

It doesn't matter how fast your fastball is if they hit it. It also doesn't matter how fast it is if you don't get it over the plate. Cliche Alert: Walks can kill you.

Chapman walked Andrew Benintendi, to force home the winning (and losing) run. Red Sox 5, Yankees 4. WP: Robby Scott (1-1). No Save. LP: Chapman (2-1).

Chapman's ERA is now 3.92. This is not what we got him back for, is it? Of course, if Girardi had made the right decisions, Chapman might not have come in for the 9th inning.

Now, the Yankees are 4 1/2 games out of 1st place, 3 in the loss column, and have fallen into 3rd place, behind the Tampa Bay Rays.

There are 16 days left before the trading deadline. We need at least one more starting pitcher, more likely two of them.

But, more than that, we need a manager who won't act like a starting pitcher throwing at least 100 pitches is the end of the world.

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