Monday, June 28, 2010

The Genius Maker #63

Man, what a game! I will fast forward through the poor defense by Pettitte and the important 2 run homer by ARod to close the lead to 5-2 to get to the 8th inning. I was really annoyed in the 8th inning when Joba had a guy on 2nd base with 2 outs and an 0-2 count on the batter. The runner kept getting huge jumps to steal and the batter kept fouling off pitches. I could not believe that Joba refused to alter his timing to home and instead of just holding the ball which would have led to an easy step off pick off, they Yankees called a pitchout that would not have thrown the guy out even with a perfect throw! The jump the runner had was far too big. This seemed to be a fundamental stupid call to me. It was as if the Yanks said, he is stealing so let’s pitch out and throw him out rather than understanding the guy was timing Joba every time? Very disappointing. Of course the next guy knocked him in for what appeared to be the insurance run to nail the game shut.

Now, what is very interesting is that Torre went with Broxton, their closer, with a 4 run lead as he was prepared to come in with a 3 run lead. I don’t really think that is a big deal, but after the Yanks started to get a few hits and Posada had a fantastic 10 pitch AB culminating in a single, the Yanks were in business against a very tired pitcher (who had thrown 1.1 innings the night before). After a good walk by Granderson, rookie Chad Huffman came up and delivered a huge 1 out single to close the game to 1 run with 1st and 3rd and one out. The other rookie, Colin Curtis was now up and he had a good AB, although he ended up grounding out to 1st base. Fortunately for us, Loney didn’t throw home immediately as Granderson would have been out; instead he got a little greedy and got the out first and then threw home late and allowed the tying run to score. Girardi then went to the Genius Maker who had very good movement on his pitches and he shut down LA to send the game to the 10th. After a 2 run homer by Cano the Yanks were in business for Rivera to pitch his 2nd inning and he didn’t fail us. Going back to my comment on being very interesting; Mariano Rivera earned his nick name the Genius Maker basically because he made Torre look like a genius all the time regardless of the odd things Torre did. Nobody questions the manager when the team wins. But, now that the Yanks came back and beat Broxton and the Dodgers, the questions about leaving Broxton in there to throw the most pitches in one game as well as back to back games will come up, especially in a non save situation. Meanwhile Girardi brought in Rivera who pitches 2 shut out innings and Joe looks like a genius…THE GENIUS MAKER!

BTW, after the game Torre said Loney could have done two things with the grounder that scored the tying run.
"He could have gone straight to the plate or he could have gone for the double play," he said. "Unfortunately, once he stepped back, he lost his momentum to the plate. It was just one of those things."

Really Joe? What about the fact that if he stepped on 1st base he has now setup a tag play at the 2nd (the force is off) and Granderson would get to home before Huffman got to 2nd because Granderson is faster? The ONLY play was to throw home immediately if you wanted to stop the run from scoring.

Other Notes:
I don’t have the exact numbers, something like an ERA of 11, but Burnett now has the worst ERA of a starter that threw at least 5 games in a month for any Yankee pitcher…ever! Think about how bad that is? He has put up the worst month of any consistent starter for the Yanks in their history…wow that is bad.

Boston is really getting banged up now. Buckholz hurt his knee, Pedroia broke his foot and now Martinez broke his thumb. Meanwhile TB has been arguing with each other as BJ Upton jogged after a ball and Longoria and he exchanged a lot of words.


  1. I think maybe what Torre meant about going for the double play was 3-6-3 DP, not step on 1st and go to 2nd.

    I know Rivera only threw 10 pitches in the 9th, and Monday was a day off, but I felt in my gut that it was the wrong move to send him in for a second inning. No doubt that Mariano was the best man for the job, but that's twice in one week that Rivera went 2. I don't think that's what Girardi should be doing in June with a 3 game lead. Let one of the other guys have a save attempt; they will probably do the job, and if they don't, well, it's a marathon, not a sprint.

  2. From Steve Wigdor...You may be right about what Torre was thinking but the way that ball was hit, throwing to SS and then back to first would have been very unlikely, especially with a lefty up.

    You are also right conceptually in regards to using Rivera for 2 innings twice in a short span, but the game situation dictated Rivera going back out after throwing so few pitches and I would have been OK with him throwing up to 20 more pitches. The difference is that unlike Torre's abusing of Broxton, there is no way you let him throw too many pitches regardless of what happens. I was really surprised Torre let Broxton stay out there so long, especially because he wasn't that sharp. Of course people who read this blog know that I felt Torre's managing of the pen was always VERY poor.