I have obviously been on Girardi a lot and this started before the playoffs last year and has continued on. I think he has really done a poor job. I will try and curtail my objection to the way he handled the 6th inning yesterday because it was not horrible, it was just against the way I like to manage. The score was 1-1 and Toronto did get their run via a HR from Bautista (who has been great this year). There was a batter on 2nd base with nobody out. I understand walking him has some logic, but my opinion is that at worst you would be down is 3-1 and I don’t want to create a big inning by giving free passes with 44% of the game still to go. I would go at Bautista (and I will describe how I will do that in a moment) and make good pitches. Girardi decided to walk him and setup a double play. The part I do not think Girardi thought through was what happens next (Girardi is playing checkers when he needs to be playing chess). The batter behind Bautista is the SS and a bunt was the obvious play. So now it is 2nd and 3rd with 1 out, so what do you do? Rivera is an average hitter for his career (about a .780 OPS), but has been poor this year (.650 OPS). Girardi decides to walk him as well. My issue is that you are giving the chance for a huge inning rather than just pitching to Bautista with an open base. Now you have taken a leadoff double and turned it into bases loaded and 1 out situation by YOUR choice…which would you rather have? As it turned out, Girardi’s decision was clearly the wrong one…
Getting back to Bautista, I am not sure why the Yankees are not throwing inside on him and jamming him and not allowing him to extend his arms? They are not even trying to establish anything inside? Why not throw the 2 seamer tailing into him? Anything to at least make the outside pitch harder on him. Poor plan in my opinion.
For example, Toronto setup ARod so well that when they threw the right, pitch but still missed their spot, ARod was still out in front of it. They kept coming inside hard on ARod and even a little in for a ball. Then they threw a changeup for a strike (it actually leaked back over the plate) ARod was ready to turn on the inside pitch and was too quick on the changeup. THIS is exactly why I get into the detail of every pitch because it is such an important part of the game and to lunatics like me a lot of fun.
Two other points: Gardner got a stand up double that some guys might have been thrown out on. Jeter turned on a hanging change and just missed a HR. I was kind of surprised he didn’t hit it out as it was setup perfectly, but he must have just gotten it off the end of the bat even though he did strike it solidly…either that or he has no power at all (possible)