The only question anybody wanted answered after the game was why the Yankees decided to pitch to Manny Ramirez in the sixth inning.
Joe Girardi went with what Mike Mussina wanted to do. The Moose was more comfortable going after Manny than facing the ever-selective Kevin Youkilis with the bases loaded.
â€œIâ€™ve been pitching a while, so he asked me what I felt like doing,â€ Mussina said. â€œI told him what I thought.â€
The ultimate decision was Girardi’s and he took responsibility for it.
â€œItâ€™s a decision I made and I have to live with it,â€ he said. â€œYou donâ€™t second guess.â€
As good as Youkilis is, you have to walk Manny. A few numbers for you:
* He’s a .356 career hitter with runners on second and third.
* He has more RBI in his career against the Yankees than any other team.
* He’s third among active players in RBI, trailing only Ken Griffey Jr. and Frank Thomas.
* He’s hitting .456 against the Yankees since the start of the 2006 season.
Beyond that, he had homered off Mussina in his previous at-bat, crushing a ball off the Volvo sign over The Wall in left.
But Moose got what he wanted and Manny got what he wanted, a fastball that was too high and too far over the plate.
Girardi handled the questions calmly (see Sam Borden’s column tomorrow) and never got defensive. If he’s going to be a successful manager in New York, it’s a drill he has to get used to.
It was an interesting baseball decision and it didn’t work out.
Here’s a little audio of Girardi talking about his call. The sound is bad because at ultra-modern Fenway Park, we talk to the manager out in the concourse because his office is the size of a closet.