You hear it all the time. Why aren’t closers used more often when the score is tied? Maybe this is why. Check out the strange splits of Mariano Rivera this season:
Save situations (16 games): 17 innings, 6 hits, 0 runs, 1 walk, 17 strikeouts, 0.00 ERA
Getting some work in (6 lopsided games): 6 innings, 3 hits, 0 runs, 0 walks, 4 strikeouts, 0.00 ERA
With the score tied (5 games): 6 innings, 5 hits, 3 runs, 1 walk, 8 strikeouts, 2 HRs, 4.50 ERA
Bullpen usage has become so regimented the last 10 seasons that all relievers want set roles, especially closers. Take them out of their routine a little and unusual things happen.
* Wilson Betemit and Chad Moeller were used as pinch runners on Monday. That’s how useless the bench is. The Yankees could stand to make a few moves.
* Why does Melky Cabrera continue to slide into first base? Joe Girardi needs to address that. They broke him of that habit last season and now he’s back doing it.
* Had a chance to watch Brett Gardner on Saturday in Scranton. Hitting him ninth could help the offense. They don’t have anybody like him. The question is whether they’re ready to sit Melky or consider trading him. At some point soon, they’re going to have a make a decision on Gardner. He looks ready.