Tag Archives: Girardi

Game 123. Houston beats Yanks, 7-4.

At this stage of the season, and given their situation, the Yanks can’t afford to give games away.

Unfortunately, I feel that is exactly what they did last night in losing to Houston, 7-4. I really have to question some plays and decisions made in this game.

Brian McCann gave the Yanks a 2-0 lead with his 14th HR of the season in the fourth inning.

Chris Capuano pitched well for four innings, but gave up a run in the fifth. It was apparent to me that he was losing it. But with the Yanks up 2-1, Capuano started the sixth. He didn’t finish it, giving up three runs. I don’t feel he should have started the inning at all.

Secondly, Girardi brought in Adam Warren to relieve Capuano. Warren hadn’t pitched in a while and in his last nine outings, Warren had a 9.82 ERA. He gave up a huge hit which let a run score (and a second run scored when Ichiro made an error on the play). I wouldn’t have used the slumping Warren in such a spot.

Capuano 5 1/3, 4 R, 8 H, 2 walks and 8 K. Overall ERA 4.35.
Warren 2/3 IP, 0 r, 1 h, 0 walks and 1 K. 3.49.

Martin Prado tied the game at 4 with a 2-run double in the bottom of the sixth.

And as far as decision-making, here is where I really was shaking my head. I hate roles. If a pitcher is doing fine, and his pitch count is OK, leave him the hell in. Ride the hot hand.

Shawn Kelley pitched the 7th. 1 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 0 walks and 2 K. 4.46.

So instead of him going an extra inning (stretch out your relievers?) Girardi brought in Betances for the 8th.

Betances 1 IP, 0 R, 1 H, 0 walks and 2 K. 1.46.

So does Girardi leave Betances in for a second inning? No. He brings Robertson into a tie game to start the ninth.

I don’t like bringing in closers into tie games. I also don’t like burning Kelley and Betances for only one inning each when each did well.

Mixing and matching and using too many pitchers means that sooner or later, you will find the pitcher who doesn’t have it that night. Too many cooks ruin the broth. Too many pitchers blows you a ball game.

Which is what Robertson did, giving up a 3-run HR in the top of the ninth to blow the game, 7-4. Not only that, he grooved a 3-0 pitch. Chris Carter got the green light and launched it. Just b/c you want the strike on 3-0, you still can’t groove the pitch.

Robertson (L, 1-4, 3.06) 1/3 IP, 3 R, 2 H, 2 walks, 0 K.

Rich Hill finished up. 2/3 IP, 0 R, 1 H, 1 walk, 2 K. 4.50.

In the eighth, Jacoby Ellsbury singled, stole second on a Teix strikeout and went to third on an error. Houston brought the infield in. Carlos Beltran couldn’t hit a fly ball for a go-ahead SF. He grounded it to short. Ellsbury should have held, but ran on contact. He was thrown out at the plate easily.

To me, some bad decisions were made in this game, and it cost the Yanks.

Earlier in the day, a hit given to Jeter was changed (correctly) to an error. It knocks Derek down to 3435 hits for his career.

Forget the division, even though they are in second place, the Yanks are 8 behind the Orioles. At 63-60, they are four back of Seattle and Detroit for the final wild card spot. That is the concern.

Four out of a playoff spot with 39 games left. You can’t afford to give any games away. You have to play, and manage, smart.

Like I wrote, too many pitchers, too many mix and matches, is like too many cooks. It spoils the broth.

Game 114. It’s easy being “Greene”. Yanks win squeaker, 1-0.

To Kermit the Frog: It IS easy being green(e).

Shane Greene, that is, who outpitched Rick Porcello Thursday afternoon, 1-0.

Greene went 8+, 0 R, 5 H, 3 walks and 5 K in improving to 3-1, 2.89.

The only run of the game came in the fourth. With two out, Beltran and Headley singled and Stephen Drew blooped an opposite-field ground-rule double down the LF line.

Things got a bit hairy in the ninth. Surprisingly, Girardi let Greene start the inning instead of going right to Betances or Robertson. Greene gave up a leadoff hit to Ian Kinsler, then exited in favor of Robertson, who walked the first batter he faced, Victor Martinez.

That brought up PH Miguel Cabrera, the defending 2-time AL MVP. Robertson got Cabrera to bounce into a DP, Kinsler taking third.

Robertson then picked up his 31st save (ERA 2.62) by getting Don Kelly on a weak pop-up to short.

Robertson 1 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 1 walk and 0 K.

We’ll see what happens later today. The win puts the Yanks at 60-54.

Derek Jeter had the day off. He remains at 3429 hits, one behind Honus Wagner for 6th all-time.

Game 110. Drew, Gardner lead Yanks past Boston, 8-7.

Brett Gardner’s HR broke a 7-7 tie, and Stephen Drew drove in four runs as the Yanks bounced back from 3-0 and 7-4 deficits to beat Boston 8-7 on Sunday night.

Gardner had 3 hits and 3 RBI in the game.

The Yanks improve to 57-53 with the win, and are in third place in the AL East, five behind Baltimore. They are 1 1/2 games behind Toronto for the final wild card spot.

David Phelps started and struggled badly. He lasted just two innings, giving up 5 R, 6 H, 2 walks and 0 K. His ERA went to 4.24.

After the game, manager Joe Girardi stated that Phelps has been dealing with elbow inflammation for 3-4 weeks, had an MRI a few weeks ago. May miss his next turn in rotation. He’ll be reevaluated this week in NY.

The Yanks, down 3-0, tied the game in the top of the second. Stephen Drew had an RBI forceout, and Brett Gardner doubled in two runs.

Boston got two in the bottom of the second on a Pedroia HR to go up 5-3. The Yanks bounced back with a run in the fourth on a double by Drew. Ortiz’ 2-run HR in the bottom of the fourth put Boston up 7-4, but then the Yanks’ bullpen shut the door.

The Yanks tied the game in the fifth on an RBI double by Headley and a 2-run single by Drew.

Gardner’s HR (15) in the sixth broke the tie and was the final run of the ballgame.

Derek Jeter got one hit, #3426, to creep within four hits of tying Honus Wagner for sixth on the all-time hits list. Meanwhile, Jacoby Ellsbury is in a tough slump, while a hot Carlos Beltran has raised his average to .250.

After Phelps was pulled,

Whitley 2 IP, 2 R, 2 H, 1 walk, 2 K. ERA to 5.06.

Newcomer Esmil Rogers got the win and was a star of the game. (1-0, 6.08). 3 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 1 walk and 3 K.

Betances 1 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 0 walks and 2 K. 1.49.

Robertson picked up his 29th save. 1 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 1 walk, 0 H, 2.74.

Game 62. Yanks shoot themselves in foot in 2-1 loss.

I’d rather lose 9-0 then lose this way.

The Yanks went 1 for 17 with RISP in losing to KC 2-1. They fall to .500 (31-31) with the loss and are 2-6 this month.

Hiroki Kuroda went 7, 2 R, 5 H, 2 walks and 3 K as he fell to 4-4, 4.12.

Adam Warren pitched a scoreless 8th, 1 Ip, 0 R, 0 H, 0 walks and 0 K. 2.38.

It had to be painful for Kuroda, who pitched well, but who watched his offense shoot themselves in the foot time and time again. 1st and 2nd, two out in the first, nothing. In the second, the Yanks loaded the bases and couldn’t score as Johnson struck out, Gardner grounded into a 3-2 force and Jeter struck out. They wasted a leadoff double by Ellsbury in the third.

In the fourth, a one-out double by Roberts. Nothing. They finally got their run in the sixth when Solarte doubled, went to third on a PB and scored on an Ichiro groundout.

A one-out triple by Gardner in the 7th. Surely they would tie the game. But, remember, Girardi NEVER ******* squeezes. He doesn’t bunt guys over or in. It’s what I don’t like about Girardi (who I do regard as a good manager). With Jeter up there, he should have bunted. Jeter isn’t Jeter anymore. He’s only 2/3 of the Jeter we remember, if that. Heck, (and I hate to say this), Jeter shouldn’t be hitting 2nd anymore. He should be hitting 8th. He’s hitting .254, OPS+ 72. Just seven of his 54 hits are for extra bases. Jeter grounds out, runner can’t score. Ellsbury strikes out. In the 9th, Ichiro singled and went to 2nd on a WP. Tying run on second, no out, nothing.

So it went.

I hate to say this, but Jeter was a major culprit today in the Yanks losing. Derek isn’t Derek anymore. Not even close. Look at what I wrote above. Bases loaded, two out, he whiffed. Man on third, one out, a weak grounder that can’t get the run in. He and Gardner each left five on, Johnson four, McCann three.

It was like Chinese water torture. They would get guys on and leave them there.

A painful loss.

If the Yanks continue like this, I’d consider some major changes. Once Cervelli comes off the DL, I’d look to trade him. Go with the kid, Murphy. I’d also look to dump Soriano, Ichiro, Johnson and Roberts, as well as good-field/no-hit Brendan Ryan. Go with a youth movement. You are using a soon-to-be 40 year-old SS in Jeter, a 36 yr. old 2b in Roberts, Beltran is 36 (and on a 3-yr. deal), Soriano 38 and Ichiro 40. The age is showing.

Obviously, Jeter is going nowhere.

Some things I’d consider if I were in the Yanks’ front office:

Replace Roberts (.239-2-13, OPS+86) with Rob Refsnyder, 23, 2B, currently hitting .340 or so at AA. RHB

Replace Johnson (.216-4-14, OPS+ 85) with Zelous Wheeler, 27, mostly 2B/SS/3B as another utility man (He’s played a little OF as well). Hitting .298 at AAA, RHB.

Replace Ryan (.238 career hitter, .217 2010-2013) with Pirela, who has played 2B/SS/LF (gives you an OF in an emergency, 24) currently around .333 at AAA.

Replace Ichiro with Almonte, a switch-hitter and 25 this week and see what you have in him. You won’t know unless you play him. Bringing him up and not playing him, or playing him once every seven games or so, does nothing. In 105 AAA games, Almonte is .293-14-66 with 8 SB. Over a full season, he would be .293-21-99 with 12 SB. You don’t know how that would translate to the majors, but I’d rather lose with a 25 year old, seeing what he has and what he could offer, than a 38 year old Soriano and/or a 40 year old Ichiro. Yes, I know Ichiro is hitting .320, but he’s not your future, and only four of Ichiro’s 33 hits are for extra bases. Maybe you get some power, as well as some consistency, if Almonte plays every day instead of once in a blue moon when you bring him up.

Replace Soriano (.229-6-20, OPS+ 78) with Kyle Roller, a legit 1B (instead of Johnson) who is a lefty power hitter. 26, and between AA/AAA, .343-14-38 this year. Maybe he could be like Kevin Maas when Maas first came up in 1990 and you catch lightning in a bottle with him as he takes advantage of the porch as a DH and 1B sub for Teixeira.

Couldn’t hurt. I’d rather be .500 with youth who could develop than washed-up has-beens, no matter how much I love what they did in their prime.

Maybe it sounds harsh, but this game was the 10th in a row in which the Yanks scored four runs or less. You can’t just keep going on this way.

Some changes may need to be made. I just made a few suggestions.

Game 55. D-Rob fails in 9th, Yanks lose 7-2.

It looked like Chase Whitley would get his first MLB win. The Yanks had a 2-1 lead entering the ninth, but one day after throwing 27 pitches in getting a save, David Robertson had nothing and the Yanks lost to the Twins, 7-2. Two recent ex-Yanks, Phil Hughes and Eduardo Nunez, helped beat them, Hughes getting the win and Nunez picking up a big two-run double.

Whitley in four starts this year hasn’t given length, 14 IP in four starts, but his ERA is 2.37. He still has no decisions.

The Yanks got two runs on three hits in the fourth, as Gardner tripled, Jeter singled him home (3367), Ellsbury singled, McCann walked and Jeter later scored on an Ichiro SF.

But those three hits were the only hits the Yanks got all game. With no Beltran for a while (and a while longer), no Teixeira, Soriano slumping (and he was benched for Ichiro today), there isn’t any power in the lineup other than McCann.

Once again, can you say Kendrys Morales? The 5th can’t come soon enough. (If the Yanks sign Morales before the 5th, they lose a draft pick. After the 5th, he is fair game). In the NY Post today, Kevin Kernan wrote what I’ve been writing about. The Yanks need to sign Morales, especially with the uncertainty regarding Beltran and Teixeira.

Betances was awesome. 2 IP, six up, six down and 5 K. 1.38. 56K in 32 2/3 IP now.

Warren 1 IP, 0 R, 1 H, 0 walks and 1 K. 1.71.

…and here is why I hate roles on a team. Robertson comes in… why? Because he is the “closer,” that is why. But Warren pitched a scoreless 8th, and Robertson threw 27 pitches yesterday. Granted Warren threw 20 pitches in the 8th, but why not leave Warren in and save Robertson, who threw a lot of pitches yesterday? Maybe Warren shortens the bridge by getting an out or two, or closes it completely with a two-inning save. I remember the days when Lyle and Gossage would get saves of over one inning.  They may have gone 2 2/3. You don’t see that anymore. Managers complicate matters for themselves by creating roles and making closers one-inning guys. Keep it simple. If the guy is hot, ride him. No need to bring in a closer just because he is the “closer.” I believe that if you start mixing and matching and bringing in too many pitchers, eventually you’ll find the guy who has nothing, just like in the saying “too many cooks spoil the soup.” D-Rob had nothing. First batter, a game-tying HR, and it got worse, because the Twins scored six in the top of the 9th to win it.

Robertson (L, 0-2) 2/3 IP, 5 R, 2 H, 3 walks, 2 K. ERA balloons to 4.50. (One friend of mine suggested making Betances the closer. Nice sentiment, and I could see it. But that won’t happen. Not yet, anyway.)

Daley one batter, and he gave up a hit. That batter later scored. 0 IP, 1 R, 1 H, 0 walks, 0 H. 3.86.

Thornton got the last out, but gave up a big hit first. 1/3 IP, 0 R, 1 h, 0 walks, 0 K. 4.50.

Use the KISS method, Joe. Keep It Simple, Stupid. Guy’s hot? Leave him in.

That’s my theory, anyway.

The Yanks fall to 29-26, 3 1/2 back of Toronto now.

Start getting that contract for Morales ready, Hal and Cash….

Game 50. Yanks beat Cards, 6-4 in 12.

Chase Whitley pitched his third MLB game, and once again did a decent job. It took the Yanks 12 innings, and a game-saving catch to rob Yadier Molina of a HR, but the Yanks won 6-4 to improve to 27-23. It was the Yanks’ third straight win.

Each team scored in the first. The Yanks got a walk by Gardner, a hit (3363) by Jeter and a hit by Ellsbury. St. Louis got a leadoff triple, followed immediately by a double to tie the game and you thought it wouldn’t be Whitley’s day.

Instead, he settled in and that was all he gave up… until the sixth.

The Yanks had gotten two in the fifth on a Johnson single and Gardner SF. After five, Whitley had gone the 5 and went 81 pitches. Frankly, I wanted Girardi to pull him then, since that was the longest Whitley had gone in the majors. Instead, he stayed in and the Cardinals tied the game. But the Yanks bullpen (with help from Gardner) shut down the Cardinals.

Whitley 5+, 3 R, 8 h, 0 walks and 2 K. 2.57
Claiborne 1 1/3, 0 R, 0 H, 0 walks, 0 K. 2.87.
Thornton 2/3, 0 r, 0 H, 0 walks, 0 K. 4.66.
Betances 2 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 0 walks and 2 K. 1.48.
Aceves (W, 1-2, 5.28) 2 IP, 0 R, 1 H, 0 walks and 0 K. Beneficiary of Gardner’s game-saving catch. Gardner was repaying Yadier Molina, who became the first catcher to catch Gardner stealing.
Robertson save #11, ERA 2.40. 1 Ip, 1 run, unearned b/c of a Jeter error. 1 H, 0 walks and 2 k.

In the top of the 11th, Roberts got a bases-loaded single, PH Soriano got a SF and Ryan singled in another.

Games 42 and 43. Yanks split.

Game 42. 1st game of DH.

The Yanks hung on to win 4-3. Hiroki Kuroda (3-3, 4.61) gave up a HR to the second batter of the game, but the Yanks came back in the bottom of the first with three runs. Teixiera had a two-run single, and McCann drove in the other. They made it 4-1 in the second on an RBI double by Gardner.

Kuroda went 6, giving up 3 runs (two in the fifth), 5 h, 2 walks and 7 K. He gave up 2 HR.

Daley 2/3, 0 R, 0 H, 0 walks, 0 K. 6.00

Thornton 1/3. He struck out the only batter he faced. 5.14

Warren 2/3, 0 R, 1 h. 0 walks and K. 1.44

Robertson the four-out save. 1 1/3 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 0 walks and 3 K for his 8th save.

Jeter got hit #3352. He got #3353 in Game 2 as a PH.

Game 43 2nd game of DH.

I like how Girardi builds a bullpen. I don’t like the fact that he never squeezes. In the first inning, Gardner got a leadoff triple. Roberts didn’t squeeze, but grounded out, Gardner having to hold at third. Ex-Yankee C Chris Stewart picked Gardner off third, then drove in a run with a single in the top of the second (a run aided by two Yankees’ errors. Stewart hurt the Yanks in this game. He had a SF later.). With Gerritt Cole pitching for the Pirates, and the Yanks resting people and using a diminished lineup (Gardner, Roberts, Teix DH, Kelly Johnson?! 1B (Johnson cleanup?), Solarte, Almonte, Suzuki, Murphy and Ryan) which had McCann, Jeter, Ellsbury and Soriano all out of the lineup (all ph later, Jeter getting that hit), you aren’t trying to squeeze in a run? Yes, he is playing for the big inning, especially early in the game, but with Cole out there, that big inning may not come. I give Cole his due and try to squeeze a run home there. Nuno vs. Cole? I try to get a run and help out Nuno a bit.

But what happens in the bottom of the second? Finally, a squeeze! … and the Yanks get a run. Solarte singled to open the inning, and then after two out, Murphy came through again with a single (which, at the time, put him at .429!). A two-base error on the play enabled Solarte to score and Murphy to go to third. Ryan then bunted for a hit (which, at the time, made the weak-hitting, good defensive SS 3 for 3 for the season) and RBI and went to second on the error. I can’t remember the last time the Yanks squeezed a run home. Hooray!

The Pirates had a man on, two out in the fifth. Double, but the runner stopped at third while the batter kept going. Oops. A great break for the Yankees.

Nuno went into the sixth, the longest he’s gone all year. For 5 2/3, all he gave up was one unearned run. But then with two out in the sixth, he gave up a 2-run HR. Nuno 6 IP, 3 R, 2 ER, 1 walk and 5 K. 5.82. He did pitch well in this one.

Solarte tied it in the bottom of the sixth with his 5th HR.

But Aceves gave it right back. Aceves pitched great in his first outing since returning to the Yanks, but not so well in three outings since. He gave up a HR and took the loss. 1 2/3, 1 R, 1 H, 0 walks, 1 K. Loss, 0-2, 6.35.

Thornton 2/3, 1 R, 1 H, 0 walks and 0 K. 5.87. I don’t know what to think of Thornton yet. Part of me wishes Boone Logan were still here instead of Thornton.

Claiborne 2/3, 0 R, 0 H, 1 walk and 0 K. 2.19.

The Yanks now head to Chicago for a whole week. They are off Monday but then play the Cubs Tuesday and Wednesday and the White Sox Thursday through Sunday.

The Yanks are now 23-20, and in first place by half a game over Baltimore.

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