In Which I Second Guess Joe Girardi

27 thoughts on “In Which I Second Guess Joe Girardi

  1. Curtis

    I'm confused here. Bringing in a lefty-lefty matchup is what you do in that situation. I thought if we are down a run, we bring in joba, robertson, or leave wood in. It was unfortunate how that panned out but brien you are second guessing our manager. You'd be doing the same if girardi brought in mo and he got shelled because he'd have to pitch on wednesday which is where i'm assuming your prediction reigns true (don't get me wrong i think AJ will be lights out and we'll be in a good position for game 5 and 6) WHY you bring in mo is beyond me however great he's been, but honestly, our bullpen has been the strength of our staff so not having faith in robertson is beyond me. I have faith in logan/robertson to get 3 outs in one inning. If not, then what the hell are they doing on the staff in the first place. This is a rant , not so much directed at you but at everyone who second guesses a manager when things go wrong. Yes, Mo in that situation might have been lights out and we get to face Lee in the 9th down 2. This again assuming Mo, the same mo before game 1 that had blown a save (or 2) don't remember the numbers and i'm not looking it up, for a chance at getting to a guy we hadn't hit all night. Why waste the arm really for a shot in the dark. Again based on your base belief that we lose the first 2 of 3…

    • Well first, I'd never criticize anyone for bringing in Mo just because Mo didn't pitch well (unless it was his 5th day in a row pitching or something crazy like that).

      But secondly, the main point here is where you are in the lineups. Why don't you use Logan to get Hamilton? Because it's Johs Hamilton. It's Texas' best hitter(s), so you go get your best reliever to make sure you hold the deficit. Mo hasn't pitched since Friday night, there's an off day Thursday, so unless he throws 35 pitches you don't have to worry about wearing him out.

      But just as importantly, if you hold the lead you're coming back to bat with the top of your order, and if one guy gets on base, you've got the tying run on base in the person of Swisher, Tex, or A-Rod. Every one of those guys is capable of tying the game with one swing in that scenario. Get two guys on and you make Tex, A-Rod, or Cano the winning run at the plate. Unlikely? Sure. But stranger things have happened, and it's not *that* unlikely that you hold back your Hall of Fame closer with the other team's best hitters up.

  2. Curtis

    Fair enough. I do understand your reasoning. I get a little heated second guessing. It makes perfect sense to bring in mo. I just like to have faith in the other guys in the pen because that's what they are there for. Get the outs because they are major league pitchers. Maybe i have too much confidence in our pen. No matter who's at the plate.

    Side note — i've been doing a lot of AJ defending tonight, maybe to make myself feel better about tomorrow or maybe the fact that i live in GA and finding hardcore yankees fans where i'm at is tough so i've just been on the defensive all night. You guys do a great job here. Not my or the yanks bats/pen's best night or fellow yankee fans for that matter.

    • It's not really about "having faith" in anyone, it's just about wanting to see the best reliever pitching against the other team's best hitters in a close game in the 9th.

      To re-frame this a bit, if the Yankees had been *up* 2-0 and Girardi brought in Logan/Robertson instead of Mo, would it make any sense to anyone? Of course not. So if you'd use him if you were winning, why not use him when you're down but still very much in the game in the final inning?

  3. For the record, I'm not really ragging on Logan or Robertson. I like both of those guys just fine. But neither of them are Mariano Rivera, and that seems like a pretty banal observation to me.

  4. brian

    I don't know what you saw over the past 27 innings to say the yankees should be favored to win the next three?

    • Tommy Hunter had a worse year than A.J. Burnett, and he's a contact pitcher. I'm pretty confident that we'll get a much better version of C.C. in game 5, and I think the Yankees will knock Colby Lewis around seeing him for the 2nd time in a week.

      • misterd

        We should have knocked him around the first time.

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  6. brian

    Possible, I woundn't count the yankees out… but lets not pretend the past three games is going to plan. Hunter is solid but not great and somewhat inconsistent and I would expect the yankee bats to wake up eventually. CC is better than CJ and I would think he has to rebound with a quality start. I do know that the yankees have to win the next three because they WILL NOT beat Lee in game 7.

  7. misterd

    I agree you try to hold the game when you can, and if Joe had called Mitre or Gaudin to the mound, I would agree with the criticism. But Logan has done his job for us since being recalled, and D-Rob has been very effective in these situations. Given that Joe might need every hand on deck for tomorrow's Burnett game, I can't fault him for trying to hold back some of his better relievers.

  8. jon

    I rarely agree with you, Brien, but this is one case where I'm with you a hundred percent. As close as the game was, with the top of our order coming up in the bottom of the ninth, two up, and Lee on the bench – WHY BRING IN BOONE?!@#

    I know – lefty matchup. But get real. As you've been saying for the last few months – bring in your closer in the high leverage situation. Had Wood given up a couple in the 8th, had we been more than a couple runs behind – sure, run up the white flag. But our only chance to keep things close was to bring in Rivera.

    And we didn't. Joe is going to "save" Mo until we're out of the playoffs. Then he'll have plenty of time to rest his back, side, and anything else that might be nagging him. We (ok- everyone at my place) were all screaming at the tv when BOONE LOGAN came out.

    If this is the best he can do, I hope the Cubs give him an offer he can't refuse.

  9. dcarnagey

    You are absolutely right that Mo should have been brought in. Having said that, the Yankee offense has been horrible. The first two nights of bad pitching have just masked that. With the exception of the game 1 8th inning, they have not scored enough in any of the three games to have beaten Lee tonight.

  10. jon

    At least one good thing came out of this – it should shut up the Bozo (who on his own blog, linked to this site!) was proposing and suggesting a bullpen by committee start for tonite's game – instead of running out AJ. That sure looks like a good idea, doesn't it?

    +1 on the lack of offense. Hitting like we have been, we couldn't beat the Orioles. Or anyone else.

  11. TZig

    (Full disclosure: Ranger-fan respectful of your blog) I was surprised to see anyone but Mo in the 9th. Managers in general seem to fall into the trap of only using closers to save games. I agree with what was said above, for the 3-4-5 hitters, THAT is exactly the time to use your closer. Hold the game at 2-0, and take your chances with one of the best lineups in baseball.

    I have no idea how the series will turn out. I think many people are stunned right now. But the look on the Rangers' faces are that of a group who don't look surprised. There's something different about them from teams that I've watched in the past (I've seen close to 40 years of Ranger baseball.)

    To me, Colby Lewis is the key. He has flown under the radar for most of the year because most of his numbers don't just jump out at you. But these: 8.8 K/9, 1.19 WHIP, and 7.8 H/9 are all top 10 (and 3.02 K/BB is just off.)

    For Ranger fans, this is obviously territory that we have never ventured into. I have to apologize to Yankee fans, though, as the trash-talking that I saw/heard going on for Game 1 was uncalled for and I did my best to be an ambassador for the game by congratulating any Yankee fan that I saw afterward. It was still a great game, despite the outcome (from my perspective.)

    The Yankees are definitely winners and professionals. I may not root for them, but I have always respected Jeter, Posada, and Rivera. From all accounts, they appear to be classy individuals. It's easy to tell why so many great teams have been built around them.

    Good luck the rest of the way.

    • TZig,

      Thanks for the well-crafted reply. Colby Lewis has been very good this year, no question. I was there last night and even from 350 feet away, Lee was incredible. He quieted the crowd as the K's piled up. The Yanks offense looked terrible, though I am sure it looked a lot worse on HD TV.

      As for the trash-talking against the Yanks, we're used to it. What we're not used to is other fans trying to be nice and apologetic about it! Thanks for coming by and stick around, we'll try to make it interesting.

  12. Guest

    Awful post. You can't bring in Mo Rivera down 2 runs in game 3. You clearly know nothing about baseball strategy. Second guessing at its worst…

  13. TZig

    Really "Guest"?

    You heard the reasoning that favors it.

    Please tell me about your "baseball strategy."

  14. For whatever it's worth, RAB is on your side here, Brien:
    http://riveraveblues.com/2010/10/sometimes-you-go

  15. Joel

    Check the schedule. Yanks play 3 straight days (Mon – Weds). Unheard of this day and age for the ALCS. Girardi didn't want to have to use Mo 3 days in a row (especially in a non save situation) if he didn't have to. If he uses Mo last night and then Weds Mo gives up the game you criticize Girardi for using him in a non save situation on Monday.

    • You know, I don't really mind criticism or disagreement at all, but I find it really irritating when people tell me what I would write in X situation without actually, you know, asking me what I would think about it. Especially when they're just flat out wrong about what my opinion would be.

      The workload issue is a legitimate concern, but here's my retort; if the Yankees went into the top of the 9th up 3-0 in all 3 of these games, would any other reliever be out there to finish the game? Of course not. So there's not really *that* much concern about Mo pitching 3 days in a row. And that makes sense. He didn't pitch Saturday or Sunday, and one way or the other, he'll have another off day on Thursday at the latest. Squeezing out 3 games in a row doesn't seem like asking him to do too much, assuming he doesn't throw 30+ pitches in any of those games.

  16. And as to the criticism of second-guessing, if anyone just generally finds criticism-in-hindsight distasteful, you can check my Twitter feed to see that I was saying the same thing in real-time.

  17. Dan

    I agree with your idea about bringing in Mo in this spot. However, you are assuming that Lee was done after 8 innings. If the score is still 2-0, I think that Lee stays in to finish the game.

    • Well, then you make him throw a lot of pitches..

    • dcarnagey

      Actually, it would be even more important to go to Mo if Lee was coming back out. Yankees might get 2 runs on him, but probably not 3 or 4.

  18. Sabrina

    he should have stuck with andy for game two and put hughes in game three…we could have been up 2-1 instead down 1-2

  19. So glad Mariano Rivera was saved for Game 5 and 6 in meaningful situations. (rolling eyes)

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