So after managing 100 different ways of resting guys and not going to extend anyone, Girardi hits the panic button and decides to throw Hughes instead of Moselely. Of course, Hughes is the one guy in the rotation you don't want to screw around with (more than they already have), but, surprisingly, I agreed with the decision. When you can close it out, you let your guys get you the comfort as long as you don't stretch them too much; Hughes was fine to pitch as he had a full 4 days rest.
However, I disagreed with some of the decisions Girardi made later in the game.
The ump called a strike zone where strikes were called 6 inches toward the righty batters box, but pitches on the corner of the lefty box were left as balls. That was pretty odd and later in the game, I had no idea what he was calling. I don't think the players really knew either.
That being said, Jeter took 2 strikes for strikeouts on pitches that were no doubt strikes. The Yanks missed a ton of very hittable pitches by Dice K. I thought Dice threw some very good off speed pitches but he made a lot of mistakes with his fastball that the Yanks just didn't put good swings on the ball.
But, all of that was window dressing until the 8th inning. ARod had given us a 2-1 lead on his 29th HR (I remember thinking that ARod would not get to 30 this year for the 1st time in 13 years) as 30 HR's is now a strong possibility. Wood was pitching the 8th and got 2 outs but had 1st and 2nd when Girardi came in to bring in Rivera. Now, I hated this move from the beginning. I know Girardi is going for the win and if this were a playoff game, perhaps it was the right move...perhaps. But, the weather is nasty and Wood is the guy who should have the 2nd most confidence in along with the fact, I don’t want Rivera going more than 1 inning and I would have left Wood out there. Rivera did get the job done, but he still had to sit down and rest in the weather and then pitch the 9th...where he and the Yanks forgot how to slow down a running game. That was embarrassing. Stealing 2nd is one thing, but not paying attention to 3rd was absurd...and it happened twice. ARod did fail to make a play that Beltre did in extra innings, but you can't allow 4 SB's in one inning? Wake up guys.
So after Rivera threw 29 pitches (too much) the Yanks had to try and bail out the Genius Maker (who has looked his age of late)
Jeter leads off the 9th trying to get on, but goes to the plate with the mindset that he is looking for a fastball to put a good swing on the ball...he gets the fastball but hits a routine fly to RF. Swisher comes through with a single and Girardi correctly pinch runs for him. But, for some reason he uses Nunez instead of Golson??? Now, can someone shed some light on this for me? Golson is going to play RF anyway and he is blazing so why wouldn't he pinch run and stay in? Why waste the runner? From the looks of it, one would guess it was because Girardi wasn't planning on stealing so he didn't want to put Golson in that spot. I understand trying to give Tex the hole, but the only situation where you could use Golson in a stealing spot would be if Tex hits into a force out? Very stupid logic on his part because all the other situations are far more likely and nothing says you might not want him to steal or run a 3-2 pitch. Just silly. Interestingly, Nunez stoles 3rd and Girardi pinch ran for Tex with Pena on a 3-2 count? Again, why not use Golson in this spot? Why waste Pena when you might want him for pinch running for Posada next inning or something? Again, if anyone can shed some light, please do so? Interestingly, Cano singled and Robby, I get everyone thrown out at home with less than 2 outs, Thompson held Pena up on a play I thought he would send him. Posada and Berkman failed to get him home. it might have been the right call, I honestly did not see where Pena was and what kind of jump he got, but with 1 out he held him up.
In extra innings, Golson went into right so my last hope that Girardi was not a total moron was based on thinking Golson was sick or something...Oh well.
Joba gets 2 outs and then Girardi over manages to bring in Logan to face big poppy and what would have been big poppy only. In an extra inning game and nobody on and 2 outs, I am OK with Job pitching to Ortiz. Logan did his job and the Yanks pushed a run across in the 10th to win the game...Girardi managed the 10th well… asking Gardner to bunt was the right move and we caught a break on a bad throw by their catcher Martinez. 1st and 3rd with nobody they walked Jeter to pitch to Golson. Girardi decided to pinch hit with Thames (he could have let Golson hit as well and let Thames pinch hit for Miranda and I would been OK with that as well), but having the strike out person up with nobody out was fine by me as well. After Beltre made his great stop I was worried with Miranda up, but Okijima screwed up and walked us into a guarantee tie for the WC.
We are not playing well, but we still have a little time to get straightened out.