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.