Game 23. Yanks lose strange game, 7-4, in 11.

Yankee Stadium Frieze

This was a strange one. Adam Warren wasn’t available. The Yanks ran through their bullpen. The game went extra innings, so Joe Girardi tried to buy innings by pitching Aroldis Chapman while using Bryan Mitchell at first base, then bringing Mitchell back to the mound. It didn’t work. By doing that, Girardi also lost the DH.

Eventually, the Yanks lost in 11, 7-4, to drop them to 15-8 and into a first place tie with the victorious Orioles as April comes to an end.

The Yanks scored first, as Matt Holliday crushed a HR (4) in the first inning.

Baltimore tied it in the third, but the Yanks went up 2-1 on an RBI single by Headley in the same inning.

I like this Montgomery kid. He needs a nickname, maybe the General after the British general, Bernard Montgomery (or, the Viscount). Anyway, he went into the sixth, where he walked the first two batters. The Orioles would get three runs that inning.

The Yanks got a 2-run single from Didi in the bottom of the ninth to tie it, but here is where I have to go back earlier in the game with a criticism of Girardi.

He never bunts. Never squeezes in a run. Ever.

In the third, the Yanks had runners on second and third with no one out. Higashioka, who was 0 for 11 in his major league career at that point, was at bat.

Now I ‘d like as much as anyone else for Higashioka to finally get his first MLB hit. But 0 for 11 is 0 for 11. He is now 0 for 14. I would like for him to get that first MLB hit before Sanchez comes back and Higashioka goes back to SWB.

He struck out without ANY sign of a squeeze bunt being put on. I put the play on, take it off if necessary. Girardi doesn’t have the play in his playbook. He never calls one.

I like the way Girardi manages the bullpen. I like him as a manager. But when it comes to asking a player to bunt or squeeze, I have major issues with him there.

So a guy 0 for 11 (and who still, after the game is over, doesn’t have his first MLB hit) isn’t called upon to squeeze a run home is allowed to swing away and strikes out. Gardner and Hicks each struck out after Higashioka.

2nd and 3rd. No out. No one scores. You lose in extra innings. Think that didn’t help decide the game?

I wish Joe would be more aggressive in bunting runners in or over, like a Billy Martin would have been. That is my only criticism of Girardi.

In making some lineup changes (and with Adam Warren unavailable), Girardi had to get creative at the end of the game. After Didi tied the game, he brought in Chapman for the 10th, but if the game went longer, he didn’t have a long man. So he put Mitchell at 1B for the inning, in order to bring Mitchell back to go multiple innings if necessary, but in so doing, lost the DH.

It would have worked if the Yanks had scored in the bottom of the 10th. They had the bases loaded with one out but Castro hit into a forceout at the plate and Judge stuck out.

Meanwhile, Mitchell, in going back to the mound after an inning at 1B (where he got an error on one popup but caught another) lost it and gave up three runs.

Joe, squeeze sometimes. Esp. someone 0 for 11 in his MLB career. Hear me, Joe?

Not bunting or moving runners up cost the Yanks today. They left 16 men on base.

Montgomery 5+ IP, 3 R, 3 H, 4 W, 7 K. 4.15
Holder (BS,1) 1 IP, 1 R, 2 H, 1 W, 0 K. 3.38
Clippard 1 IP, 0 R, 1 H, 0 W, 1 K. 1.86
Betances 1 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 1 W, 3 K. 1.13
Mitchell (L, 1-1, 6.35) 2 IP, 3 R, 4 H, 1 W,  1K
Chapman 1 IP, 0 R, 1 H, 0 W 2 K 0.96

Remember Mitchell’s innings were non-consecutive.


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