If you go by the numbers (and you’ll see them below), Andrew Miller should be closing for the Yanks, and not Aroldis Chapman. By acting “politically correct”, the Yanks almost blew a game last night. A review that was overturned turned out to be the last out of the game, and may have saved the game in a 5-4 Yankees win at Cleveland.
The win puts the Yanks at 42-43.
Ivan Nova gave up two homers in the third, and the Yanks were down 2-0. They tied the game in the fifth on a HR by the hot Didi Gregorius (10) and on an RBI single by Brett Gardner.
With the help of another review, the Yanks scored three runs in the sixth. Chase Headley singled in a run. Starlin Castro was originally called out at the plate, but the review gave the Yanks the run.
Rob Refsnyder got a SF to put the Yanks up 4-2. Speaking of not being “politically correct”, when will the Yanks start to play Refsnyder over Hicks? Yes, Hicks can play CF which Refsnyder can’t, but if Ellsbury needs a day, you can slide Gardner over to CF. Refsnyder can fill the corners. Refsnyder 74 AB, .297-0-10, OPS+ 106. Hicks 180 at bats, over twice as many. .200-3-17, OPS+ 52. The Yanks need Refsnyder’s bat in the lineup. You can put Hicks in for defense in the late innings if necessary. Even Sterling and Waldman are starting to mention on the radio that Refsnyder should be playing more often over Hicks.
Jacoby Ellsbury’s RBI single after Refsnyder’s SF made it 5-2.
Cleveland got two runs in the bottom of the sixth, and Girardi went politically correct and went “formula.” Betances, Miller, then Chapman.
But Chapman gave us all a scare in that bottom of the ninth. He walked the lead off hitter, never a good omen. After a strikeout, he gave up a single. Then came a line out for out #2. The next hitter hit a grounder that ricocheted off Teixeira to Castro, who threw to Chapman, and the original call was safe, which would have loaded the bases. The Yanks challenged the call, won the challenge and got the out, which ended the game. Whew.
Nova (w, 6-5, 5.18) 5 1/3 IP, 4 R, 5 H, 0 walks, 6 K. Gave up 2 HR.
Betances (H, 21) 1 2/3 IP, 0 R, 1 H, 0 walks, 2 K. 2.53
Miller (H, 14) 1 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 0 walks, 1 K. 1.43
Chapman (S, 17) 1 IP, 0 R, 1 H, 1 walk, 1 K. 2.74.
As you can see, Chapman has the highest ERA of the Holy Trinity of Smoke.
Between deciding who closes among the three, and also Hicks vs. Refsnyder, maybe Girardi should consider throwing away his book, looking at the numbers, and making some changes.
Just my opinion.
But then, if the Yanks are sellers, and trade Chapman for prospects, maybe the relief thing will work itself out on its own.