Players, not Girardi, cost the Yankees the game

As I see it, there are three obvious alternatives to how Girardi managed that inning, and all of them have obvious flaws of their own.

  1. He could have left A.J. Burnett in.  I’m kind of sympathetic to the people arguing Girardi was too quick to pull his starter, but on the other hand Burnett was hardly at his best, throwing 97 pitches and walking a batter per inning through 5 innings against the Mariners and their inept offense. I can hardly blame Girardi for not wanting to push Burnett any further last night.
  2. He could have used David Robertson or Joba Chamberlain to start the 6th, but this seems like the worst kind of second-guessing to me. If you don’t think you can trust anyone but your best three relievers to start the 6th inning against the league’s worst offense, then you need to get rid of everyone else in your bullpen and start bringing up people from AAA, because you’re basically saying you think those guys are totally useless. And I have a feeling most of the people taking this position now would have been mocking Girardi for overreacting if he’d actually done this last night.
  3. Robertson could have come in with the bases loaded. This one probably makes the most sense given that Robertson is striking out more than 14 batters per nine innings and probably would have given the Yankees the best chance to get out of the inning with the lead in tact, but it has its drawbacks too. To wit, pulling Logan and Ayala after three batters faced and no outs would have pretty much forced Girardi to lean on D-Rob, Joba, and Mariano Rivera for 12 outs which, while doable, would have left him with a taxed bullpen for the next few games. Ultimately, this is the ultimate frustration of the 162 games schedule; your second tier relievers are simply going to have to get some important outs from time to time.

Ultimately, the real embarrassment of this game is that the Yankees allowed 6 hits and 6 walks to the worst offense in the American League (with a HBP thrown in for good measure), and the offense managed to get just 3 baserunners and no runs in 4 innings against the other team’s bullpen. When your players perform like that, it’s pretty hard for me to start the finger pointing with the manager.

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.

One thought on “Players, not Girardi, cost the Yankees the game

  1. Some problems:
    1) AJ had thrown 97pitches and had 5 walks but ~52 of those pitches and 4 of those walks came in the first 2 innings. He seemed to have settled down and worked through the last 3 innings on ~45 pitches and 1 walk. The 2 runs scratched off Burnett were not exactly a bunch of rockets… two opposite field hits ( one a groundball between 1st and 2nd and one a ~200 foot Ichiro slap double) and 2 groundouts. And the 2 out walk to Cust was not a bad one… he and Smoak are the only guys who can hurt you with power in that park with a HR.

    2) 2 of the first 3 batters of the sixth were left handed, so why not leave Logan 3 batters? That first single off him was a weak one with the batter reaching out and as usual Girardi plays for/againsst the 1 run at the risk of giving up/yielding a bigger inning. Ayala ended up facing 3 lefties that inning, including walking a rookie lefty (who Burnett incidentally had struck out twice) which loaded the bases and pretty much setup the inning.

    3) If this plan worked… clearly Girardi empties the bullpen on the first day of a road trip. Had Ayala gotten out of the sixth, Robertson -7, Joba -8, Mo-9 and you've used everyone but your long men on the first day of a road trip. Assuming a couple of these guys are needed with Nova going tonight you already are wearing out guys 2 days into a road trip.

    4) I think Girardi was treating this game as a need to win and is effectively conceding the loss to Felix tomorrow. and will consider it a bonus… He probably was going to burn the bullpen knowing if he ges this game, well tomorrow's just a bonus. I would not be surprise to see Cervelli and Dickerson in the lineup today.

    While Girardi didn't lose the game, his moves yet again are moves just to make moves and didn't IMPROVE the chances of winning the game… why make moves just to make moves? The problem for the most part is he's making moves that he doesn't have to make as opposed to downright bad ones. He's suppose to manage the game not win the game… the players do the winning and losing but he feels like he can have some massive impact on that by making a bunch of maneuvers