Monday, October 19, 2009

What was Joe Girardi thinking???

I knew that Joe Girardi's handling of the bullpen was going to eventually bite the Yankees in the ass and that's exactly what happened tonight. I didn't expect the Angels to go quietly into the night, but Girardi handed them Game 3 when he inexplicably took Dave Robertson out in favor of Alfredo Aceves. Robertson has been brilliant during the playoffs, pitching out of several jams. But he wasn't even in trouble this time, dispatching the first two hitters with relative ease.

I'm watching the post-game interview and Girardi hasn't given a good explanation of the move. He said he was comfortable with the matchup with Ace, but he didn't say why exactly that was the case. Robertson has better stuff, it doesn't make any sense.

His bullpen manuevering might have lost him the game in the previous inning when Phil Hughes gave up a double and then he brought Mariano Rivera into the game. If you're bringing in Mo, why wait until Hughes gives up the run? Why not bring Mo in to start the inning? Then maybe you don't have the drama of the Angels getting first and third, requiring Mo to perform a magic act to get out of the inning.

But it's not all Girardi's fault. The Yankee offense, mostly notably Nick Swisher, could not get a base hit with runners in scoring position. The four solo home runs were great, but you need to be able to play small ball in the postseason and the Yankees didn't do it.

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