Cano’s play on the popup over his shoulder was sick, but the immediate turn and throw made it Willie Mays like. With his lack of hustle running out balls can be frustrating, he is such a good player.
Romine continues to show that he should be the starter and Stewart should be the backup. His calling of the game has been very good of late. Even when catching Mo, he moved back and forth at the right times. I am curious to keep watching if that continues. Obviously he has been swinging a pretty hot bat since the All Star Break. In 47 AB’s his OPS is .929! (.340/.418/.511) Romine needs to play a lot more while he is hot and Girardi has only started him 2 of the last 6 games. Romine had the game breaking hit yesterday and in the month of August (33 AB’s) he is hitting .400. His defense is not as good as Stewart, but Romine is fine defensively and Stewart has not been playing his best (he may be tiring out as well because he is not used to playing this much (92 games is almost 40% more than any full year he has had).
Last year in the playoffs I mentioned a strategy that I am surprised is not used more against heavy platoon teams; it is to start a pitcher and let him go until the first sign of any trouble (that could be one guy on or maybe 2) and then switch to a pitcher of the other hand and either make the other team switch over and lose a lot of depth the rest of the game or enjoy good matchups. In last night’s game this happened. Girardi probably didn’t plan it but the rain delay allowed it to happen and it worked great. Huff has been good, but his stuff is pedestrian. The one thing he has done is throw strikes and he did a pretty good job of spotting his pitches. He would still scare me in a big spot though. Either way, great job today.
BTW, the other idea I floated a few years ago was to get your specialists (LOOGY and righty specialist) to learn to play the OF (they do shag flies a lot). Then get your specialists to rotate RF and the pitching mound in key spots late in the game. If the opposing manager made a move just swap the guys and your matchups outweigh the negative in the field. I think it could work better if the guys are athletes as well. Meaning you can’t CC play the OF, but you could have a guy in shape like Robertson and some lefty specialist who is in shape do it. I am surprised this has not happened or isn’t used more?