Joe Girardi’s Midas Touch

In hindsight–maybe even foresight–Joe Girardi had a bad day.

  • Girardi visits the mound during Vladimir Guerrero's at bat. It's a 2-2 count. The Yanks are up 3-1. Girardi relays a message to Pettitte via Jorge. Message sent and ball sent over leftfield fence. Game is now tied.
  • The Skip takes Andy Pettitte out of the game with no runners on and one out in the seventh. He turns to Joba who promptly gives up a hard-hit triple to Kendrick. The next batter, a small utility guy, hits a deep sac fly to put the Halos ahead by 1. The unbeatable Jeff Mathis knocks one into the gap for another hard-hit double.
  • Damaso Marte is brought in against Figgins and gets out of the high-leverage situation with 1 pitch. One pitch.
  • Marte's one pitch is too much, so thinketh Joe. So the skip brings in Coke, another lefty and another pitcher from the bullpen, against Abreu at the start of the next inning. Coke gets the out! That is, he gives up a shot that Abreu's poor baserunning turns into an out from a definite double.
  • He pinch-runs Gardner for Matsui after Hideki walks to start off the 8th. Gardner quickly gets caught stealing on a pitch-out on a pitcher's count against Posada. Jorge then hits a solo homer to tie the game.
  • Mariano Rivera has never given up a deep fly ball, or maybe even a medium-distanced flyball to left, ever. To protect against this possibility, Girardi takes Damon out and inserts Jerry Hairston (more an infielder than anything else) there, thereby losing the DH. Hunter and Vlad ground out in the infield. Mariano is the third batter in the Yanks' half of the next inning. He is taken out for Francisco Cervelli who fails to get on base via the strike out passed ball method.
  • Girardi calls on David Robertson to start the tenth. Robertson makes quick work of Juan Rivera. He does a good job of getting Kendry Morales to fly out next. During the Morales at bat, Girardi is shown on camera sifting through a large data binder. After Morales makes the out, he brings in Alfredo Aceves, who in short time loses the game.

I'm not going to say that all of these decisions were poorly thought out when they occurred. Let's just say that Joe Girardi did not have the Midas touch today.

22 comments… add one

  • the damon decision i have less of a problem with, had there been a ball hit to him there, everyone would be second guessing him about leaving damon in. The real problem i had was him pulling robertson… classic over thinking on Joe’s part there. Robertson was getting the job done and ace could have been used in the coming innings.

    sam-YF October 19, 2009, 11:19 pm
  • the damon decision is hurt by the way girardi is using gardner. use guzman as the exclusive pinch runner. gardner has more uses than just being a pinch runner. he can field and his bat is decent. there shouldn’t be a need to lose the DH spot.

    Nick-YF October 19, 2009, 11:38 pm
  • In general I’ve been unhappy with how little Gardner has played – he won the job from Melky and played well throughout the season. Yeah Melky is a sitch hitter ,but Girardi has started Melky in every game int he ALDS and ALCS regardless. Like you say, Guzman is the strict pinch-runner. Gardner is more valuable.
    And yeah, he is yanking relievers too fast.
    Having said that, as pointed out elsewhere, these guys are 5-1 in the post-season. Largely due to an insane performance by A-Rod and superb pitching it’s true, but 5-1 nonetheless. Anyone of us YFs would have signed up for a 2-1 series lead going into this series given our history against these guys. If CC can be CC on short-rest tomorrow we’re in good shape. And even if not, the team would be coming back to tbe Bronx.
    I’m still waiting for Teix to get hot, but all that really matters is that tonight’s outcome makes it more likely that Krueg gets to be there for a Game 6. I can NOT imagine in my wildest dreams that the Yankees could lose a game with Krueg in attendance. Especially in October. The players would fear for their lives. Like when Cortez burned the ships upon landing in the “New World”. No Yankee wants to slink back to a fanbase inhabited by Krueg after blowing a Game 6 at home. Won’t happen. Bank on it.

    IronHorse October 19, 2009, 11:47 pm
  • In my ideal world:
    a. the Yankees get to the World Series and
    b. they face a team there that either does not have Cliff Lee on the roster(i.e. the Dodgers or does not have a rested Lee waiting to start Game 1.
    Both hoped-for outcomes took a little hit tonight. The Phillies-Dodgers series is one of horrible bullpen performances (and clutch hitting taking advantage of it of course).

    IronHorse October 19, 2009, 11:55 pm
  • the question is: who gets more camera time for game 6? Kate Hudson or kreug?
    I think what’s bothered me about Girardi’s managing is that it’s made certain roster choices senseless. Why have 2 LOOGY in the first place? He brings in Marte in a high leverage situation for 1 pitch and then takes him out for another LOOGY. It seems wasteful.
    Why is Guzman on the roster? I mean Cervelli should not be the second pinch hitting choice off the bench. Hairston shouldn’t be the first. And come to think of it, isn’t Hairston fast? If you’re not going to put Guzman out in the field (instead choosing Hairston and ceding the DH spot) then why not “waste” Guzman in a pinch running situation. Girardi’s moves seemed to limit flexibility without any real upside.

    Nick-YF October 19, 2009, 11:58 pm
  • Hmmm, Girardi as the anti-Grady Little — overthinking vs. “thinking with your gut”?

    Hudson October 20, 2009, 5:58 am
  • normally i tend to give the manager a little more slack about moves, mostly because we can’t really know how they will turn out, or what would have happened had he not made the move…depending on that outcome, he’s smart or he’s not…however, i do have to agree with the popular opinion here that joe might have overplayed his hand last night…the moves that had my head scratching were joba being the first out of the pen, losing the dh, and taking robertson out…our problems are deeper than having a few girardi moves to second guess though…chicks still do dig the long ball, but 4 homers produced the minimum number of runs…

    dc October 20, 2009, 7:40 am
  • I think the real villain here is Krueg, for changing his name mid-postseason and angering the baseball gods.

    Atheose October 20, 2009, 7:54 am
  • hit send a little too quick…meant to include this:
    game 1
    3-12 with RISP
    11 LOB
    game 2
    0-8 with RISP
    12 LOB
    game 3
    0-8 with RISP
    10 LOB
    i realize the guys hitting the solo homers can’t control whether or not anyone is on base when they come up, but 2 games in a row where we don’t have 1 hit with RISP, 3-28 in the 3 games is not gonna win this series…credit good pitching by the angels, and ours too have shut down their offense, but unless someone starts producing with runners on base, we’re in for some nailbiters with the potential for lots of extra innings…

    dc October 20, 2009, 8:01 am
  • Agree entirely with you dc. I have not liked the Girardi pen-management in either games 2 or 3. He is very fast on the trigger and not in the usual post-season way of having a short-leash at the first sign of trouble. He’s yanking the leash back in anticipation of trouble, which is strange and gives him and the team frankly a bit of a panicky feel. But what losing last night and but-by-the-grace-of-God barely avoiding a loss Sat night come down to is what this team has had all year – contributions from up and down the line-up. The biggest issue in that regard to me is Teix only because jeter and a-rod have hit the entire time and Damon is now hitting. But it would be nice if Melky and Swish looked like they had seen a baseball bat before. And on that point I really want Gardner starting the next time they faace a righty starter.
    And with the exception of situations where LA has absolutely no choice or the game is already out of hand, I don’t expect Alex Rodriguez to see another good pitch to hit this entire series. Not until the rest of the line-up starts forcing the issue for Soscia. He is now in walk-him-with-the-bases-empty-and-no-outs-in-the-7th-inning-or-later-in-a-close-game territory. And Soscia will have no problem taking whatever heat he might get for such things.

    IronHorse October 20, 2009, 8:49 am
  • Well, Joe made some real head-scratching decisions last night for sure but CC is going tonight so we have a good shot at 3-1…
    The thing that is worrying me the most is our offense. Tex and the bottom 3 have become blackholes. Not cool. I feel like tonight should be the night that Tex goes off though. His play in the field has been amazing so at least he is contributing there…
    As far as the name change goes, that’s my bad. I should have known better than to tempt fate and actually believe we were going to win. Stupid, stupid, stupid, stupid…
    Bottom line? We suck and have no chance of winning. Up 2-0 and then another epic playoff collapse…just feels normal. F-ck.
    P.S. I don’t think I’m going to be able to get to Game 6…so bummed. I think I have the tickets but after checking the price of flights yesterday, I don’t think I can afford the flights for both myself and the Mrs…and it wouldn’t feel right to leave her home as she is a big time YF too…double f-ck.

    krueg the miserable October 20, 2009, 10:05 am
  • right on with noting that the lack of hitting up and down the lineup has cost us, with a few exceptions…you’ve pointed out the underachievers, but the most glaring is tex…this guy did so well, so clutch, all season, that he was at least in the mvp discussion…his walkoff against the twins and some amazing defense at 1b have helped take some attention off his hitting woes, but he needs to bring his bat to the next game…
    “…I don’t expect Alex Rodriguez to see another good pitch to hit this entire series. Not until the rest of the line-up starts forcing the issue for Soscia. …”
    we think alike…that exact thought crossed my mind when i saw them IBB him last night…that doesn’t bode well if tex isn’t on ahead of him, or more importantly, the guys behind him don’t pick him up…

    dc October 20, 2009, 10:05 am
  • Well, Matsui and Posada both provided good protection, it’s just that behind them they did not drive them in. Though anytime Matsui is lifted for a PR, they will probably IBB ARod..

    Lar October 20, 2009, 10:27 am
  • But ya, definitely needed to start hitting. I’ve been complaining about it for awhile, and last night it came back to bite them. Let’s not let this happen again..

    Lar October 20, 2009, 10:28 am
  • AG, can you please handle the gamer tonight? 2-0 with you, 0-1 with me. Let’s go with the hot hand.
    I do think Girardi made some interesting calls. He did so in Game #2 of the Minnesota series as well, then in Game #2 Saturday. (Which pitching wise was almost identical) It finally came back to hurt him. Not going to harp on it, but what I will harp on is the Gardner thing. When Gardner enters the game everyone knows he’s stealing. So please either go on the 1st pitch or wait until the count is in your favor as the runner. Worst case scenario YOU DON’T STEAL, like in Game #2. Don’t just force the issue. With that said, we are still in a good spot, stay positive.

    John - YF October 20, 2009, 11:36 am
  • John, if we look at the poor pen-management games that you rightly cite, it is clear that in both Game 2s (ALDS and ALCS) the Yankees got more fortunate than they had a right to expect. A-Rod came up massive with game-tying 9th-inning blasts both times and someone else got the walk-off later on. I agree completely that the team is still in a good place, but only because of these rather miraculous A-roics. A couple other guys need to start swinging.
    And I was much more annoyed that neither Gardner nor Guzman ever attempted the steals for which they were brought into Game 2 of the ALCS than I was annoyed that Gardner was caught last night. Even with the pitch-out they barely got him. I’m not disagreeing with your point of when to send him – just that I;d rather have him go and get caught than have him sit on first for 6 pitches after having taken Matsui out of the lineup.

    IronHorse October 20, 2009, 11:55 am
  • He just needs to be smarter about when he runs. 0-1 is not a good count to go, especially against a team as smart as the Angels. Saturday, same thing, the count didn’t present itself with the opportunity to run and he didn’t force it.
    Honestly, I’d like to see Gardner IN tonight’s lineup. We’ll see.

    John - YF October 20, 2009, 12:09 pm
  • All things being equal, the Yankees have not hit with RISP. At the same time, Girardi out-coached himself last night.
    It’s as simple as that. And this is the second game in-a-row he has done this, and he’s left with only one pitcher in the bullpen, except that in the previous games, it has not come back to hurt him.
    We’ll see if he uses Gaudin FIRST out of the bullpen.

    Michael Papagermanos October 20, 2009, 12:10 pm
  • has anyone seen the spit on the BDD website?

    pic October 20, 2009, 12:26 pm
  • re: gardner
    Id love to see him get a start too but I believe Melky hits kazmir well so maybe for game 5?
    re: Mo’s spitball
    quite a video, id love to know whats going on there but Id like to think if mo were gonna throw a spitter, he’d do a better job of hiding it!

    sam-YF October 20, 2009, 12:34 pm
  • I agree with forcing the issue, and if you look at my posts, I said something like that as well – Gardner better run, CS or not.
    But of course, on that next post, I said I smell a pitch out coming. If I could see it coming, he really should too. 1-1 pitch would probably be a good pitch to run on, and if they pitch out again, then fine. The 0-1 pitch was so awfully obvious..
    This Mo spitter thing is pretty stupid.

    Lar October 20, 2009, 1:08 pm
  • Surprised to see the MTei-bashing above. Hasn’t he more than contributed with his glove?

    Hudson October 20, 2009, 6:15 pm

Leave a Comment