Sergio Mitre made a bad pitch that Reid Brignac hit out to right. That part was pretty easy to explain.
Joe Girardi used his long relievers because he wanted to give his reliable setup men an extra day off. Girardi’s explanation might not have satisfied everyone, but he had his own reason for bringing Mitre into the game.
The turning point of last night’s game that was pretty much unexplainable was Brett Gardner’s decision to try to steal third base with two outs in the 10th inning.
Gardner said he didn’t think Joaquin Benoit was going to pick over to third base. Evan Longoria was playing far off the bag, and Gardner thought he could make it. He said he wanted to make Benoit less likely to throw a slider to Austin Kearns, but even Gardner seemed not-quite-sold on his reasoning.
“Looking back on it, I guess it was kind of unnecessary,” he said. “I’m sorry for that… If I got thrown out stealing second, I wouldn’t beat me up about it, but that’s a situation where you can’t get thrown out stealing third.”
There’s no way of knowing how the Kearns at-bat would have finished, but with Gardner’s speed, he would have scored on any sort of base hit. Getting to third might have slightly changed Benoit’s approach, and it would have allowed Gardner to score on a wild pitch or passed ball, but it was far too little gain for such a big risk.
“I screwed up,” Gardner said. “And I take full responsibility.”
Here’s Gardner’s postgame.
Associated Press photo