Tuesday, August 3, 2010

The Genius Maker #90

I started out my last post stating that I didn't like the lineup. Last night I really liked the lineup, although I would have swapped Gardner and Jeter as I showed in my lineups.

I think we will see Swisher stay in the 2 hole after his 2 homers yesterday. The problem with last nights game was that Girardi stuck with Burnett far too long. Burnett has more starts where he has allowed no runs than anyone in the league, however, when he is off, he is way off. We knew this about him yet Girardi seems to think he will work his way out of it when he is off??? He gets in a bad rut and can't correct himself and allows huge innings. Last night his curve was not good and his fastball was only 91-93 which is pretty odd as he used to throw (last year) 95 consistently. Burnett also was doing OK until the 5th inning, but even in the 2nd inning, after allowing a HR he then allowed a walk and a single, but was able to get out of it. They usually come in bunches against Burnett...So in the 5th inning when Burnett allows a leadoff double and then a grooved fastball home run you have to get your mind thinking time to get the bullpen stirring (maybe not up as the bases are cleared). When Burnett walks Molina, I would have been out to the mound to get my guy ready for the next batter if Burnett doesn't get the next better out (Lewis). Well, Burnett allows a ripped double. That's it; Burnett has to come out right there. Nope Girardi leaves Burnett in. Maybe making me look bad, Escobar grounds out to ARod who made a heads up play throwing out Molina at the plate. I still would have had Burnett out of the game, but Joe stayed with him to allow another deep double on a bad pitch that scored 2 runs. OK, it is now 5-2 you just allowed Burnett to cough up a huge hit and he is clearly done; I am sure Joe will take him out now...right? Nope, He leaves Burnett in to face Vernon Wells (who homered off him earlier) and Wells rips a double scoring Bautista. Geez Girardi, you think it is obvious that you left him in too long...go get Burnett please. What? No, you will leave him in to face Overbay? Well, he did K Overbay so Joe still stays with Burnett...after a wild pitch (Burnett isn't close) Hill hits another double off of Burnett just about putting the game out of reach at 7-2.

Absolutely horrible job by Girardi...as a manager your job is to put the team in the best position to win a game and he allowed Burnett to put the game out of reach...I don't think I would have given CC that long of leash, but Burnett is the guy who when things go bad they steamroll so there is no excuse. I think Joe had Burnett out there allowing THREE more doubles than he should have...but there is NO way he should have had him out there to allow the last 2. As a manager you have to understand your players, and Joe simply blew it.

What made it bad was after Mitre allowed one more run to score it was 8-2 and the good Yankee offense came back to make it 8-6. By leaving Burnett in the game, Girardi ensured we would not come back. I actually felt that we would come back and beat them, but the deficit was too great...ARod is not getting the job done right now, but hopefully he hits his dinger tonight (I will be at the game).

Posada had a terrific defensive game (Haven't said that in awhile). He had a great block of one of Burnett's wild pitches with 2 guys on where he shifted his feet extremely fast and kept the ball in front of him. He also blocked in a more routine fashion a bunch in the dirt. He also made a tremendous throw off a curve in the dirt where he somehow cleanly caught the short hop and transferred the ball to his hand without pause and made a perfect throw to Cano who caught and tagged the runner at the same time...GREAT play. BTW, Cano caught that the way you should; deep toward the runner.

One last point and this is a great illustration of why Kearns was not the right guy to bring in. Girardi went to Thames to pinch hit for Granderson (thankfully) and Thames came through! Then Gardner was up in a big spot. With a lefty on the mound Girardi had a decision to make. If Gardner were swinging well, I would have left him in there, but I understand looking for a 3 run dinger there. However, this would be the perfect spot for a lefty killer (or someone similar to Thames) to step to the plate. Kearns has some power, but he is better against righties. Sure Kearns will get some hits, but your odds are less than they should be and Kearns K'd in this big spot. Now, I am not down on Kearns for striking out; even a good matchup can do that, but I am annoyed that he was our best option...


  1. Steve,

    What a frustrating game, last night. Like you, I was in distress with each batter in the top of the 5th inning once Molina walked (after starting out with an 0-2 count). Why have a 12 man pitching staff if you won't get a guy ready to come in as soon after that walk as possible? I have one question for the Elias Sports Bureau: Has any pitcher ever been allowed to stay in an inning long enough to give up 7 runs in a game with 1st place on the line?
    I have 2 other things to mention that bothered me later in the game, even though the game was already out of hand. They occurred on the 8th inning. First, in the top of the 8th, Girardi brings in Boone Logan to pitch. Even though Logan only gave up one walk in that inning, he really labored and threw pitch after pitch after pitch. He wound up throwing about 30 pitches. Is he (the only lefty in the bullpen) available tonight? I don't know who I was more frustrated with watching that inning: Logan, for not being able to put away batters, or Girardi, for not taking out his only bullpen lefty who was running up his pitch count in a meaningless situation.
    My other 8th inning frustration occurred during the Austin Kearns at bat you mentioned. Note that he was brought in to face Purcey, the second lefty to come in from the Toronto bullpen in the game (Scott Downs had already pitched). I believe they also still had Brian Tallet in the pen, making for 3 lefties. This made me think of something you have said many times over the years, which is why with all of their resources, the Yankees go through most of the year with only one lefty (who is not always even that good) in the pen? Even the low-budget Jays can carry three lefties, at least two of whom are pretty good.
    By the way, Kearns pinch hit for Gardner there. A week ago, would Girardi have lamented having 'Gardie' hit for himself in that situation? I think not. I don't think this was a terrible move, but I think he over-managed there just because he had another veteran on the bench. He didn't need a 3-run homer. A single by Gardner there plates a run and brings up the top of the order. If Jeter gets up, even though he is having a down year, I would still take Jeter over a lot of other people in that situation.

    Talk to you later,


  2. He allowed what 5 doubles a single a walk and a homer? Not sure any pitcher in the 5th inning of a start allowed that much in an inning?

    You make a good point about burning your only lefty out in a blow out game, but the issue there is more about having only one lefty which is absurd. Logan has really done well since coming back from the minors. Marte better be Ok to come back.

    You were also right about not facing Downs and I corrected that.

    Good stuff George!