Might be hard to lose a game in the 1st inning and some may say the Yanks came back to take the lead so it didn’t matter, but Girardi allowing the big inning by an idiotic move was the play of the game. 2nd and 3rd with 2 outs Girardi decided to intentionally walk to get a favorable matchup. At the time I was saying how dumb this was and you should not walk him…here is why:
- It is the 1st inning; it is a long game and you don’t intentionally walk a guy.
- The only time you might consider walking a guy is the guy up is great and the guy on deck stinks and it is a good matchup…again might consider as it is the first inning
- The guy was Scott Rodriguez; this is a player with a .674 OPS and a .680 last year; so he actually is not a good hitter
- CC was not sharp with anything at this point in time and he could easily make a mistake to a guy who has a lot of power on deck.
- CC now has to make sure he is throwing strikes because the bases are loaded and you can’t walk the batter (this ties into #4). Of course, this likely scenario played out and CC grooved it for a HR.
Anytime Rivera blows a game it is hard to take, but his location wasn’t very good, and some spotty location/calls put him under. It started on the 1-2 pitch to Jennings. Mariano threw a high strike that Jennings took a strike and looked bad on higher fastball, but then they cam right back with another outside fastball that he extended on and hit it up the middle. I thought the pitch should have been inside so he couldn’t extend. Then once on, if you notice (and it was pointed out by Cone), Rivera slide stepped and made a pretty poor pitch to Zobrist who found a great spot. Once in the jam and the game tied, I thought walking the bases was a good move. Rivera got the big K and now was facing Pena, the pitch selection seemed odd to me. Instead of using the cutter inside on Pena, he didn’t even come inside at all. I was ok with the first fastball away strike. I was also ok with the next two away pitches which made the count 1-2. But the next pitch had to be inside and use his best pitch. When I saw Martin outside, I said no this pitch should be inside (and I had already called the pitch to be inside before he setup). Very frustrating as he made Pena’s job easy.
When Gardner was on 1st base with two outs in the 3rd inning, I said that Jeter must take the first pitch unless it is a hit and run. After about 3-4 throws to 1st, Shields was struggling and Jeter swings at the first pitch. Just not smart baseball when pitcher is on the ropes and throwing a lot of pitches and even some to first base. Make him throw more and give Gardner a chance to steal the base. Kind of selfish baseball if you ask me.
Maddon did a masterful job of matching up his pitchers against the Yankees and didn’t allow a hit after the 5th inning. Maddon did ask Molina to bunt with 2 strikes on him on a squeeze which was questionable, but outside of that he outcoached Girardi.
BTW, I need to point out that I was very critical of the Ibanez signing and he smacked a 3 run homer that gave us the lead; please make me wrong – I still don’t think I will be, but I hope I am.
ARod had an excellent game both in the field and at the plate; that is a good sign.
The ump really blew a 2-1 pitch to Pena that changed the AB dramatically and on a 3-1 pitch Pena drilled a single setting up 1st and 3rd with nobody out, but Robertson pitched out of it.
Girardi was bad last postseason and a lot of the season and he starts out with a rookie mistake; very disappointing, he simply isn’t very good. He has a great team and they may bail him out, but intentionally walking a week hitter is dumb in the 1st inning (even if it did work it would have been dumb).
I won’t post for until later next week.
Enjoy the holiday!