Blogger Template by Blogcrowds .

(Also found on Pinstripe Alley)

I've spent the last few nights lying awake trying to determine what's easier to understand: what goes through Girardi's head when faced with bullpen decisions, or how the Twins couldn't pull out a win during all of this strategic hysteria. And trying to pick one is like trying to choose between a Hamptons timeshare with either the cast of NYC Prep or The Apprentice.

Alfredo Aceves was no where near the stifling ace he's been in the long-relief role, and was pulled in the 3rd after he reached the 65-pitch watermark. Those illustrious innings were laced with 4 hits, 3 earned runs, 1 unearned, 2 walks, 1 ding, and a hit batter, for good measure. The ball was flying out of his hands like he had eaten a gallon of movie popcorn before he took the mound, and it was anyone's guess where the ball would end up. Giving him the benefit of the doubt, maybe he was taking his cue from A.J. Burnett's outing.

Francisco Liriano, not to be outdone, walked the bases loaded then walked in a run, opening up the poor man's rally for the Yanks in the 2nd. The Yanks tagged him for 6 runs on 7 hits. Only half were earned. Seriously.

I don't think it's fair to refer to any of the runs in this game as offense, though they were, indeed, offensive to watch. The Twins' scoring was no more admirable than New York's, as they put up 4 runs by way of Jason Kubel's solo (acceptable), 2 consecutive runs walked in (unacceptable), and a throwing error by Cody "Give me back my 3B" Ransom (&^!*(@).

David Robertson was put in the enviable position of relieving Aceves with the bases loaded in the 4th. Girardi is nothing if not dedicated to seeing exactly how much he can engender the wrath of each and every reliever in his jurisdiction. Robertson walked in Denard Span and Matt Tolbert to score Michael Cuddyer and Brian Buscher, putting the Yanks exactly where they wanted to be. With bases loaded, a paltry 1 run lead, with one of the best hitters in the league at the plate.

Robertson managed to get Joe Mauer to ground out, mercifully, and Mark Teixeira led off the 5th with a solo shot that significantly placated my murderous rage towards Girardi. Robertson's not bad, but he's not the guy I'd put in that situation. I'd probably go to the long reliever who hasn't let up a run since the turn of the century and who pitched for 23 seconds in the night prior.

Instead, Jonathan Albasdjkero [sic] relieved Robertson before handing it over to Coke. To everyone's great surprise, he also allowed 0 hits and struck out 2, before handing the game to Coke, who let up a hit, blanked 1.

But why so severely limit Phil Hughes in last night's game if not for this exact situation? So you have a long reliever available to take over when your other long-reliever is starting? To no one's great surprise, Hughes allowed 0 hits and struck out 2 before handing the game over to Mariano Rivera, who recorded his 23rd save to give the Yanks their 8th straight road game.

Somewhere in Minnesota, the Twins are celebrating. As bad as a 7-game sweep is, at least it means they can wash their hands of the Yankees and waste their talent on another series. Someone in the Minnesota St. Paul airport, Brett Gardner is spearheading an initiative to dump their manager in one of the lakes before heading to LA.

The Yanks are winning because the resolve of the 7-8-9 batters is stronger than Girardi's resolve to avoid at all costs conventional wisdom. The bottom third of the line-up accounted for 4 RBIs, once again delivering the lion's share of the offense to supplement to consistent hitting of the rest of the order.

Tomorrow they face the Angels, with Joba Chamberlain taking the mound. I'm starting to feel just as bad for Vegas odds makers as I do the bullpen. The inexplicable nature of the last 2 games, however, does nothing to dilute the delight of closing in on the Red Sox.

In essence, watching the Yankees play has been like seeing your buddy get 21 at the blackjack table, by asking for a hit on an 18.

1 Comment:

  1. Jason from The Heartland said...
    Thanks for linking my site, Heartland Pinstripes, to yours. I reciprocated and have a link to yours at The Heartland.

    To a degree, I agree about Girardi and over-managing. That was certainly the case last night when he pulled Hughes in the eighth to insert Mariano for a four-out save. It worked out fine, but was an unnecessarily quick hook.

    On Robertson, I think he needs to bear down and locate better than he has lately. He's walked five in his last four appearances, and did the same thing against Toronto July 4th that he did today--walk batters right away. It's a tough situation in which to enter, no doubt. But that's what middle relief entails, and he must throw strikes. Tomorrow night, so must Joba. Enough screwing around and bickering with Jorge.

    Albaladejo was terrific, and the Yanks need him to be like that as often as possible. His sinker can be deadly when he's on.

    Good point about the bottom of the order, which carried the day again for the Yanks. I love when this club turns over the lineup.

    I think a big key to the series was that the Yanks held Morneau hitless for the entire series. Mauer had five hits and Morneau had opportunities but, despite Mauer's fine work, the Yanks kept Morneau from hitting anything out, or even adding on in a meaningful way. That impressed me.

    I can't say enough about Mariano and what a privilege it is to see him operate, twice besting the tough Mauer to end games. To me, he's not just the best closer and best reliever in the history of the game. I'd say it's not a stretch to consider him one of the best pitchers in the history of the game. A power pitcher with control, a control pitcher with heat; in the clutch, runners on, all the pressure swirling, and the guy continually gets it done and makes it look easy. There has never been anyone like him, and there never will be.

Post a Comment

Newer Post Older Post Home