OK, Now I’m Upset

Walking Daniel David Murphy

I hate intentional walks. Absolutely hate them. They almost never make any sense, and one of only 2 exceptions to the rule only affects the National League. Giving David Murphy a free pass is just asking for trouble, and sure enough, Bengie Molina made sure to make them pay for it. The baseball gods were not pleased.

Leaving A.J. Burnett in Too Long

This one I don’t really feel like expounding on, but suffice it to say that, from the look of my Twitter feed, everyone in the world other than Girardi knew that it was time to take Burnett out after the 5th inning. John Flaherty just said it best on YES; Girardi managed this like a regular season game, trying to squeeze one more inning out of his starter rather than trying to get the lead to Mariano Rivera. And that brings me too…

Bringing in Sergio Mitre

To put this as diplomatically as I can; everything else on this list annoyed me, this one flat out infuriated me. Yes, the Yankees were down by 4 runs. It’s still within the margin of a home run, but it’s not really close. Still, it’s game 4 of the ALCS and you are down 2 games to 1! Bringing in Mitre here is tantamount to giving up on the game, and you simply can’t afford to do that in this situation. If you don’t want to needlessly use Mo here, that’s semi-understandable. At some point there’s not going to be a tomorrow to worry about, but down by 4 it’s understandable enough to want to be able to use Mo to the max tomorrow. But if that’s the case, then bring in Kerry Wood and go in to tomorrow planning on only using 2 pitchers for the entire game if you have to. But do not punt game 4 when you’re down in the series.

I’ve defended Joe Girardi basically since he’s been in New York. I defended him in 2008, last postseason, and this September. But now, in the first real test of his tactical acumen, he’s failing miserably. This whole series has been a disaster from a managerial standpoint. On some level, I’m willing to chalk that up to a bit of a learning curve for the guy who is managing in his first really tough postseason series. But tonight, I watched Joe Girardi all but literally give up on a playoff game with his team trailing in the series. That is totally inexcusable, and Girardi is stretching even my patience with moves like that.

About Brien Jackson

Born in Southwestern Ohio and currently residing on the Chesapeake Bay, Brien is a former editor-in-chief of IIATMS who now spends most of his time sitting on his deck watching his tomatoes ripen and consuming far more MLB Network programming than is safe for one's health or sanity.

19 thoughts on “OK, Now I’m Upset

  1. His named is David .. not Daniel, might help if you knew who the players were. I'm guessing your upset and thats why you screwed up the name of the guy that was walked who more then likely cause the end of the Yankees season. A little respect for David Murphy !

  2. I agree w/ your pitching points totally. And Jorge should've pinch hit w/ 2 on base in the 4th. Roberston should've stayed in. Last night he gave up how many runs b4 he was taken out? Then he gets to quick outs and they yank him asap!? I know its for the match up, lefty righty w.e. But screw all that, 2nite made me almost sick. I hope I'm not attending a funeral 2morrow in the BX @ 4. Keep faith in the pinstripes though, Maybe this is our 8th inning again

    • I almost mentioned that, but meh. D-Rob threw a lot of pitches last night, Logan has been good against lefties, etc. Considering how many other bad decisions were made tonight, that barely merits a second guess.

  3. Gotta give Joe a little slack. I'm sure that he was distracted once he heard that the Cubs pulled the trigger on their new managerial hire today.

  4. Managers only make a difference at the margin. There's just nothing a manager can do when the team doesn't show up to play. The Yankees are 3 for 24(!!) with runners in scoring position over the last 3 games. The pitching has been utterly atrocious aside from Andy Pettitte (and sadly, you have to wonder if we've seen the final start of his career. Okay, probably not, but maybe.)

    The Rangers gave the Yankees chance after chance for big rallies, and the Yankees again and again let them off the hook. They had the following opportunities and results:

    Bases loaded, 1 out = 1 run
    1st and 2nd, 0 out = 0 runs
    Bases loaded, 1 out = 0 runs

    Impossibly, the Rangers scored more runs in one inning without getting a ball out of the infield than the Yankees scored in all of those chances combined.

    I hated the start for Cervelli, and really hated letting him bat in the 4th. The walk to Murphy raised the Rangers' run expectancy slightly, but Molina is horrendous against righties. Was AJ left in a batter too long? Probably, though again, Molina is terrible.

    By the time Mitre came in (why is he on the roster over Nova anyway?) the game was pretty far gone. The Yanks' win expectancy was maybe around 1-2%. I agree a lot of these moves were questionable. I also don't know if they make any difference at all the way the team has been playing.

    AJ gave us what we expected: garbage. Going in, we knew Tommy Hunter was very hittable, and that we'd almost certainly need a good offensive day to tie the series. The Rangers really really tried their best to help us out, but we just would not accept their offer. This wasn't a nail biter where the smallest differences were gonna swing the outcome. This game was determined by a freak 3run bomb to a hitter with a .275 wOBA, and a tourette's inducing refusal to string together rallies. Toss in some bloop hits and seeing eye singles for the Rangers, and boom, another loss.

    It ain't over yet, but we're probably looking at something like a 10% chance of pulling off a comeback. On the upside, we have our best three going the rest of the way on full rest. Would it really shock any one if Sabathia pitches a gem, and our offense finally busts out of a funk to back up Hughes?

    But yes, it WOULD shock me if we managed to beat Lee.

    This series has been like the final 6 weeks of the season distilled into 4 games. Inconsistent pithing + ineptitude with runners on base.

    • I completely agree as well. I put this less at the feet of Girardi as I do at the hands of the Rangers, who are flat out kicking our tails in every aspect of the game.

    • Don't get me wrong, the Rangers are clearly outplaying the Yankees, and Girardi isn't losing the series, I'm just saying that some of the things he's done this series are fairly indefensible (leaving Cervelli in to bat with runners on), while the decision to bring in Mitre is just downright inexcusable. It's the latter that still has me pretty angry. Mitre has now pitched in 3 straight postseason games, which is basically to say that Girardi has given up on 3 straight postseason games. At some point you have to start counting on small miracles.

  5. Giradi made the mistake from making Andy pitch game three and not game two. Instead of neutralizing Lee, we neutralized a win from Andy..instead of being up 2-1..we are down 1-3 with another crap performance from AJ. Even if we make it to game 7, how do we beat Lee? He was unbeatable on monday, i was unfortunately there to witness the Yanks crash and burn. Right now, the yanks are so bad..im actually rooting for the giants..at least that is one ex new york team with fight in them!

  6. For some reason the Mitre thing bothers me more than the rest, just from what it basically signifies to the team 'this is over, oh well.'
    How is that meant to provide the rest of the team with any confidence or get up and go? What ever happened to playing until the final out, because you never know?

    Burnett,? Yeah, given how long it had been between starts, and that the bullpen should be one of our strengths, it was a pretty hedge your bets call.
    The intentional walk got almost universal 'what are you doing? You don't walk on the go ahead run.' replies from my Twitter followers.

    I really do struggle to see them bouncing back Tuesday. These weren't just losses, they were beat downs.

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  8. You're getting all excited over the wrong stuff. If it makes you happy, good – but c'mon. Cervelli is hitting as well as Jorge – when he did come in to pinch hit, what did he do? One strikeout, 1 man LOB.

    Burnett garbage? I guess – but in that universe, would have to also say Hughes- garbage, and Sabathia – garbage. Ok – I can live with it – of our three "good" starters, two of them pitched like they'd never been there before. And, before the intentional walk, AJ actually had us ahead. Something none of the other pitchers managed.

    AJ was fine. – and Mitre? Why not? The game was over – I'd given up, ,many fans had already left – why not throw in the towel officially and let Mitre close? Might as well try to keep someone to finish out CC's game today – which, if he pitches like he did in Game One, will be another L.

    The way the Yankees are playing, Joe and the team deserve each other.

  9. The fact that he went Robertson/Logan in game 3 and then repeated that combo albeit in a different order in game 4 is inexcusable. Kerry Wood should have pitched an extra inning in game 3. Christ, I would have taken Javi in relief over Logan, Chamberlain or Mitre. The managing in this series has been a joke. It hasn't been 1 or 2 small mistakes, its been a poorly managed ball club. WTF is Swisher doing batting 2nd? Why not combine AJ for 5 innings and Javi to get you to Mo? WHY LEAVE CERVELLI IN THE ENTIRE GAME?!?! UGH.

    • Ok, let's not get crazy here. You can't not use 2 of your 4 best relievers just because they had a rough outing the night before, although I question why you'd go to your LOOGY to get Hamilton, who is clearly having no trouble with lefties this series. And the idea that Javy should be in the bullpen over Logan or Joba is pretty ridiculous. Logan and Joba were good relievers down the stretch, Javy wasn't even good enough to be called awful.