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Postgame notes: One decision that didn’t work out

Posted by: Chad Jennings - Posted in Notes, Pinch hitters on May 23, 2011 Print This Post Print This Post | Email This Post Email This Post

Joe Girardi said his sixth-inning trip to the mound was about telling, not asking. He knew he had a strike-throwing, ground-ball pitcher on the mound. He knew the next three hitters in the Blue Jays lineup were 0-for-6 with four strikeouts. Girardi decided to walk Juan Rivera before he stepped foot on the field.

“I told Alex to tell the manager that we would do whatever he wanted to do,” Bartolo Colon said.

Colon intentionally walked Rivera, then gave up a single, walk and game-breaking, three-run double. That’s when the game turned. The Yankees have come to trust Colon, and tonight’s game hinged on his ability to get one of those three batters out.

“They had a lot of runners in scoring position,” catcher Russell Martin said. “Bartolo did what he normally does, throw a lot of strikes. We loaded the bases and got in a situation where we needed a ground ball to turn two. We got the ground ball we wanted, just not in the right spot. Sometimes things like that happen.”

The ground ball was Aaron Hill’s go-ahead single. The more unexpected outcome was the four-pitch, bases-still-loaded walk to Eric Thames. Colon was trying to work away, getting Thames to roll over a routine grounder. He missed with four straight pitches. Then came the J.P. Arencibia double.

“He was throwing fastballs,” Martin said. “That’s his best command pitch. You get behind in the count, you still don’t want to make a mistake over the plate and with one swing they have a big lead. He was missing with fastballs away, then the next hitter came up and he’s in a situation where he doesn’t want to throw another ball. He threw a four-seamer over the plate and he put a good swing on the ball.”

Here’s Girardi.

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• No one asked about the decision to intentionally walk Jose Bautista earlier in the sixth. At this point, that’s gotta be a no-brainer, right? Especially with Yunel Escobar hitting behind him. Can’t let the game’s best hitter — right now — beat you in that spot.

• Girardi on not using Nick Swisher to pinch hit for Jorge Posada late in the game: “I’m thinking about we need a couple base runners. I’m saving Swish (for) if we get closer.”

• Girardi on Robinson Cano, who did drive in every run tonight, but still hasn’t been quite the game-changing hitter we saw last year: “He’s not swinging the bat as well as he was earlier on this year. Last night, he has a big RBI, tonight he has (all) of our three RBI, so he’s still being productive. Maybe you’re not seeing the long ball as much as we did earlier, but he’s still being productive.”

• Carlos Villanueva held the Yankees to one earned run on two hits. This was his first start of the season — and first since 2009 with Milwaukee — and he got the win. He retired nine of the first 10 batters he faced. “We haven’t seen him too much,” Derek Jeter said. “Try to make adjustments every time you face someone, but if you can make pitches, you’re going to beat the hitters, and today he made some good pitches. He mixed it up pretty good.”

• The Yankees were 2-for-15 with runners in scoring position.

• Brett Gardner had two stolen bases and Curtis Granderson stole one. Three stolen bases was a season-high for the Yankes.

• Granderson scored all three Yankees runs tonight. According to the Yankees media relations department, he’s on pace for 123 runs, which would be the most for a Yankees center fielder since Rickey Henderson scored 130 in 1986.

• Alex Rodriguez has three straight multi-hit games. He’s quietly pushed his batting average up to .289.

• Chris Dickerson said the leadoff double in the sixth hooked more than he was expecting, which is why he took a funky route toward it. Dickerson said, even without the bad first step, he’s not sure he could have actually caught the ball. Hard to say how much that would have changed the inning, but I can’t get too worked up about that play considering the eight more Blue Jays came to the plate that inning.

• Bautista has 16 home runs in his past 26 games. He has 10 in the month of May, putting him two shy of his own franchise record, which he set last season. “He’s been doing it for, what, a year and a half now,” Jeter said. “It seems like every time he comes up he looks like he’s in a 3-0 count and is trying to hit a home run. It’s pretty impressive to do, but we don’t like to see it.”

• Colin Curtis was in the clubhouse after tonight’s game. When I walked up to say hello, he said, “Watch this,” then held out his right hand. He was able to actually squeeze my during a handshake, something he’s only been able to do for three days. Never tear your labrum almost completely. It’s a pretty nasty recovery.

Associated Press photo

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53 Responses to “Postgame notes: One decision that didn’t work out”

  1. Niblick May 24th, 2011 at 12:13 am

    Girardi really is stupid. Time to get a manager with a brain instead of a binder.

  2. jacksquat May 24th, 2011 at 12:22 am

    I support walking Rivera. Good decisions don’t always lead to good results. Colon just didn’t pitch well in that situation.

  3. MoRings42 May 24th, 2011 at 12:29 am

    Hey Girardi, just let the guy pitch and stop trying to micro manage the game. That’s 2 back to back starts now.

    Don’t you believe in this guy yet?

  4. MoRings42 May 24th, 2011 at 12:30 am

    *Colon Starts

  5. Bronx Jeers May 24th, 2011 at 12:34 am

    Somehow I don’t think it’s as simple as black and white. They did get the groundball they wanted.

    It’s hard to believe there’s so many teams within a few games of .500.

  6. Rich in NJ May 24th, 2011 at 12:37 am

    I suspect that Girardi is afraid of offending Posada again. I basically like him as a manager, but if that’s the situation, he isn’t the right man for this job, especially in the years ahead, if/when it’s time to ease out the other aging veterans.

  7. Bronx Jeers May 24th, 2011 at 12:45 am

    Then theYanks shouldn’t have hired a guy that once played with the players he needs to “demote”

    It’s certainly not an ideal situation. Then again Cashman could always step in with his hatchet.

  8. RSM May 24th, 2011 at 12:48 am

    I’m not a big fan of intentional walks. Seems like they rarely pay off.
    That said, it’s hard to fault Girardi in this case. Bottom line is Colon didn’t make his pitches.

  9. Captain Clutch May 24th, 2011 at 12:49 am

    “I’m thinking about we need a couple base runners. I’m saving Swish (for) if we get closer.”
    ————–

    What an awful excuse. There is no one else in the lineup who would be pinch hit for so who is he saving him for??? Great so now you have the players running the team because the manager is scared to hurt someone’s feelings again.

  10. Mikhel May 24th, 2011 at 12:52 am

    How often do we get to see a game where a manager is criticized by doing things “old school” like in sunday’s game vs the Mets, men on first and second, a bunt to advance them and force the other team to either pitch with 1st base open or load the bases, increase the pressure in the pitcher and face the next batter with just one out… and then the cards are reversed and the next game that same team faces the same situation only that this time THEY are pitching?

    In sunday’s game it worked for the Yankees as they went on to score 6 runs (they had just tied it). Tonight… it worked for Toronto as they went on to score 5 runs. Strategy most of the time, if done right, will pay.

    Yesterday’s bad move was by Toronto by not facing Teixeira who’s batting average is deplorable, and chose to face ARod who has been hitting well.

    Tonight’s bad move was by JoeG (surprised? LOL), who chose to go against Hill instead of Rivera and his 0.228 AVG (don’t be surprised if he kills the Yanks in one of the next two games).

  11. Mikhel May 24th, 2011 at 12:55 am

    *sorry meant to say:
    Yesterday’s bad move was by THE METS by not facing Teixeira who’s batting average is deplorable, and chose to face ARod who has been hitting well.

    etcetera.

  12. jacksquat May 24th, 2011 at 12:58 am

    Rivera had hit the ball hard twice off Colon, the next two batters had gone 0-for-6 with 4 strikeouts. Colon doesn’t usually have problems with control. It sets up the dp or a force at home. Really the only negative is if the pitcher does not execute, it can become a bigger inning.

  13. Mikhel May 24th, 2011 at 1:01 am

    By the way… are there players in the NYY minor leagues that could replace Posada/Swisher in the DH/OF-Bench in the big leagues?

    Its like every season they just call up mediocre batters and the good players are left to rot in the minors. Last season there were a few players whose numbers in the minors were sub-par and got the call… this year the Yankees could benefit from ‘el chato’ DH’ing and in the bench and with Montero replacing Cervelli’s weak batting average/OBP, with the glove and throwing Cervy is not very good so that would not be an issue.

    Or is my imagination that by using the current NYY bench the yanks show one of their big weaknesses and are left with worse hitters to use in a pinch hit situation? I mean… they bench Swish because he is not hitting and plays Andruw who is not hitting but at least can field a LOT better than this year’s version of Swisher.

    They bench Posada because he is not hitting and plays… who? a position player to give him “half a day off”, use a good hitting replacement player who can’t field without making errors (Núñez), and by the 7th inning with one move by JoeG he is left without bench and with the potential to lose his DH.

  14. stuart a May 24th, 2011 at 1:07 am

    2 for 15 with RISP is all that matters the rest is noise and talk show hosts needed something to talk about.

    when a tea mconsistently cannot hit with RISP, you lose many a game you should win.

    if jorge keeps this up thru June it is time to let him go… THe yanks ose him zippo. they pay him a ton of money and he needs to play better…

  15. Bo knows May 24th, 2011 at 1:14 am

    Girardi really is stupid. Time to get a manager with a brain instead of a binder.

    ——————————————————
    Yep, engineering degree, a long baseball career as a defensive specialist, game caller, Manager of the year award, Pena his bench coach is more of the same. 3 mil a year salary for the top baseball organisation. Stupid all right.

    Blither much, you anonymous keyboard warrior.

    What is it with you people? Do you really feel that this spate of inanity contributes?

    The other day in Baltimore, Buck was looking at a binder before making a decision. You use things like notes to refresh your memory. Is this simple thing beyond your comprehension?

    It’s vicious, it’s contemptible and it’s cowardly.

  16. AldotheApache May 24th, 2011 at 1:18 am

    REPOST
    Carlo says:
    May 23, 2011 at 11:27 pm
    Getting reyes in 2012 is tops on my wish list.

    ———-

    IF … IF they needed a SS anytime soon, Nuñez would do just fine.

    Reyes brings a lot of baggage and serious question marks. Not the least of it is having a guy at a crucial position who once admitted to not paying attention on every pitch (cause there’s so many in a game).

    Pass.

  17. Rich in NJ May 24th, 2011 at 1:40 am

    Obviously, Girardi isn’t stupid, but the idea that an engineering degree or an award necessarily means that you are a good manager, or even the right manager for a given set of players, is absurd.

  18. ron May 24th, 2011 at 1:44 am

    Why put rivera on intentionally with a line of .225/.315/.331 & pitch to hill,trying for a double play when hill is one on the most extreme flyball hitters in the league?

    Imo the mistake was putting rivera on.

  19. RS May 24th, 2011 at 2:02 am

    The bigger issue might be that Girardi loaded the bases because he thought so little of the Yankees chance of coming back to score multiple runs.

    By loading the bases with one out, you have a better chance of getting out of the inning scoreless because a groundball can turn into a force out at home, or a DP. Of course, you also increase the chance of a big inning, but Girardi’s goal was to get out of there unscathed.

    In 2009, I’m not sure Girardi would have made the same move. Letting Colon pitch to Rivera with second and third one out would be conceding a run, but that’s okay if you have confidence that your offense can score one run with 4 innings left. This year’s offense doesn’t leave you with much confidence, however.

  20. Bo knows May 24th, 2011 at 2:28 am

    Obviously, Girardi isn’t stupid, but the idea that an engineering degree or an award necessarily means that you are a good manager, or even the right manager for a given set of players, is absurd.

    ———————————————————
    Oh boy, now we’re going to tailor managers to a player set. Sounds silly doesn’t it? Where are you going to find this paragon, Lou Piniella? Posada and Jeter are old in baseball terms. Go ahead manage them. Icons. Jeter was piqued that they they answered his agent in the paper. Posada threw a hissy fit and Jeter publically backed him up. Up and down the team players are 50 to 70 % points off their career stats. So you can wreck the team by showing up Posada or you wait another month and then retire him in private without creating a shtstorm

    Girardi was acknowledged a great defensive catcher and game caller. That’s where his baseball smarts come from.

    20 posts at a time calling Girardi a moron to binder Joe is beyond absurd.

    Every player as he ages has to adjust his swing to compensate for slower reaction time. Jeter wasn’t comfy with that so he reverted and he’s batting an empty 265 and leadoff. Swisher is a head case, Martin has caught the Swisher disease. Witness tonight

  21. Bo knows May 24th, 2011 at 2:45 am

    Rivera had hit Colon hard in the two previous at bats. Stats are history and meaningless as forecasts. Colon did get a ground ball. It’s called luck of the draw. If it works great, if it doesn’t, it’s baseball. Over and over there will be a man on second and the hitter grounds out to the SS by rolling over on an outside pitch. Go ahead, manage that. Good luck benching Jeter, he believes he’s an icon. Rules don’t apply to him. Teixeira, Mr Popup, makes 23 mil, he’s a star, anyone will tell you that. The only one of the stars that’s performing is Alex, hitting singles while he adjusts his swings. Players are sporting averages under 200 with runners in scoring position – last night 2 for 15 and Giradi is a moron.

  22. Gary May 24th, 2011 at 6:24 am

    Morning, well another tough one. 6 hits just isn’t going to get it done. Lots of debate about one inning again, but what gets lost in the conversation is the fact that the offense is placing so much pressure on the pitching that it requires prefection almost every game from the ptichers. It was pretty to watch the game fall apart though in the 6th inning, just knew the team wasn’t going to come back from that.

    Posada continues to kill us every game, and Joe the logic of saving Swisher for something later in the game that might not happen just seems like bad baseball. Of course Joe might have been thinking about the possible tantrum Jorge throws if he gets PH for.

  23. Gary May 24th, 2011 at 6:29 am

    was > wasn’t

  24. Rich in NJ May 24th, 2011 at 7:00 am

    “Oh boy, now we’re going to tailor managers to a player set.”

    It has been done in sports forever.

    Young players often need a disciplinarian.

    Older players often need a laissez-faire approach.

    Often times, a tough manager follows a laid back manager (or coach) and vice versa.

    Sometimes it gets even more specific. If you have a fast team that lacks power hitters you may hire a manager that is willing to play aggressively rather than the Earl Weaver approach that typically waited for the three run HR.

    Now, some managers (or coaches) are adaptable to the talent on the team, but not all are.

    “Sounds silly doesn’t it? ”

    No offense, but you do. Because what I have posted is common knowledge.

    “20 posts at a time calling Girardi a moron to binder Joe is beyond absurd”

    I have already said that he’s not stupid, but that neither degrees nor IQ necessarily equates to being a good manager.

  25. Mike Ri May 24th, 2011 at 7:11 am

    Everytime we lose .. some on here always blame Girardi … its so aggravating,, We lost because Colon Sucked last night . . . . it happens .

  26. Wang IS Taiwan May 24th, 2011 at 7:19 am

    It’s true, Colon lost it in the 6th, but walking Rivera was certainly not a sure shot. I don’t walking batters in general, although walking Bautista is understandable.

  27. Wang IS Taiwan May 24th, 2011 at 7:36 am

    *I don’t like walking batters…

    no, I don’t proofread before sending

  28. Shame Spencer May 24th, 2011 at 7:50 am

    I know I’m late on this but… Wow, Fred Wilpon. Just… wow.

  29. Wang IS Taiwan May 24th, 2011 at 7:51 am

    As far as not PH for Posada with Swish: Well, I’m not exactly confident in Swisher’s ability any more than I am in Posada’s — esp in critical situations. He has never shown us anything in the playoffs when the stakes could not possibly be higher.

    We sure miss Chavez.

  30. Wang IS Taiwan May 24th, 2011 at 7:53 am

    Wilpon? Yeah, no kidding.

    I loved Pelfrey’s comment to a reporter about how Wilpon should probably join their next media relations class when the players are instructed how to handle the press.

  31. Shame Spencer May 24th, 2011 at 8:05 am

    Just checked it out, Wang. Pretty funny stuff.

    Via the NY Times: “I think guys will be upset,” pitcher Mike Pelfrey said. “But we’re all a family: ownership, coaches and players. Sometimes people say things they regret. It’s a mistake and you learn from it. Maybe next spring when we have our media workshop for the players, Fred can come and sit in on it.”

  32. Triple Short of a Cycle May 24th, 2011 at 8:14 am

    Wang IS Taiwan,

    Maybe Pelfrey should concentrate on his pitching instead of worrying about Wilpon. Wilpon is the owner and can say whatever he wants to

  33. 108 stitches May 24th, 2011 at 8:25 am

    Between errors leading to losses, stranding so many runners, and decisions by Girardi, these Yankees should have at least another 6 wins or games that could have been easily had. Too many situations of beating themselves. No timely hitting, few situations when scoring was done with 2 outs, and come-from-behind or walkoff wins.

  34. Rich in NJ May 24th, 2011 at 8:26 am

    “As far as not PH for Posada with Swish: Well, I’m not exactly confident in Swisher’s ability any more than I am in Posada’s — esp in critical situations”

    v. LHP?

    2011

    Posada:

    .000 .194 .000 .194

    Swisher:

    .333 .396 .385 .780

    even Jones:

    .189 .231 .378 .609

    As LGY said during the game thread:

    LGY May 23rd, 2011 at 10:01 pm
    What in the world is Andruw Jones doing on this team if he is not pinch hitting for Po there?
    __

    And that has been my point. Girardi was willing to risk alienating Posada by batting him 9th until Posada pushed back, and ever since, Posada seems to have won the battle.

    What does that say about Girardi?

  35. Mell May 24th, 2011 at 8:31 am

    Bottom line is Colon didn’t make his pitches

    =======================

    Can’t really take issue with Hill’s single. You’re looking for a groundball there and he got it. Just wasn’t at or near someone. The walk to Thames was unforgivable though. Once that happened, he was really in a bad spot with Arencibia.

  36. Erin May 24th, 2011 at 8:35 am

    Maybe next spring when we have our media workshop for the players, Fred can come and sit in on it

    *************************

    :lol:

  37. MTU May 24th, 2011 at 8:39 am

    Bottom line.

    Bartolo lost controlo.

    ;)

  38. Rich in NJ May 24th, 2011 at 8:40 am

    No politics intended, but here’s a link to a video of Fmr. Pres. Bush (II) dodging a foul ball:

    http://www.myfoxorlando.com/dp.....ident-bush

  39. GreenBeret7 May 24th, 2011 at 8:44 am

    Yes, the unispired Andruw Jones and his .189 BA against left handers is a dazzling number. Give me more of that.

  40. Rich in NJ May 24th, 2011 at 8:49 am

    Last I checked, .189 > .000, and as LGY said, if not, why is he on the team?

  41. GreenBeret7 May 24th, 2011 at 8:53 am

    At least Posada tries to hit the ball. For Jones it’s just a way to collect a paycheck. Why is he one the team? It’s a question that the Dalai Lama can’t answer, either.

  42. GreenBeret7 May 24th, 2011 at 8:54 am

    Why is he ***on*** the team

  43. Mell May 24th, 2011 at 8:55 am

    Yes, the unispired Andruw Jones and his .189 BA against left handers is a dazzling number. Give me more of that

    =====================

    That is 189 points better than the .000 that Posada is offering, but it seems Swisher would have made the most sense in that situation. Girardi’s reasoning for batting Posada and saving Swisher for later was “I’m thinking we need baserunners”. That was illogical on several levels.

  44. Erin May 24th, 2011 at 8:55 am

    GreenBeret7 May 24th, 2011 at 8:44 am
    Yes, the unispired Andruw Jones and his .189 BA against left handers is a dazzling number. Give me more of that.

    ***********************
    talk about a waste of a roster spot

  45. tyanksfan36 May 24th, 2011 at 8:57 am

    The Clearwater Threshers and Jupiter Hammerheads played a 23 inning game last night with Jupiter walking off in the bottom of the 23rd. It ended around midnight.

    Oh and I saw our 2010 first round draft pick at the Tampa Yankees game last night.

  46. Wang IS Taiwan May 24th, 2011 at 8:58 am

    Hey Rich — are those stats on Swish vs. LHP this year’s? He doesn’t seem to be able to hit anybody this year…but perhaps it’s just my impression. That, combined with his flubs in the outfield have been too much for me.
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~

    “And that has been my point. Girardi was willing to risk alienating Posada by batting him 9th until Posada pushed back, and ever since, Posada seems to have won the battle.

    What does that say about Girardi?”

    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    Rich, My guess is that Girardi’s waiting for “the right time” (in his mind) to make the tough calls, but “too late” comes around faster than you think. I keep dreading all those away games we may lose and how some of these home games were winnable…if only…

  47. Wang IS Taiwan May 24th, 2011 at 8:59 am

    MTU — good one! :)

  48. Erin May 24th, 2011 at 9:02 am

    New Post- Swisher: “I’m going to keep grinding, keep fighting”

    :arrow:

  49. MTU May 24th, 2011 at 9:02 am

    Wang-

    I like GB’s line even better.

    Not even the enligthened Dalai Lama knows why Andruw Jones is still on the Yankees.

    :)

  50. GreenBeret7 May 24th, 2011 at 9:04 am

    Jones is a total waste of oxygen. He has little to no interest in making an effort on offense or defense. He’ll be gone by June.

    As far as Swisher goes, he’s not exactly ripping much of anything and I’m not overly happy to see him strike out and walk back to the dugout smiling. His wife may be worth smiling about, but, his production is another story.

  51. AldotheApache May 24th, 2011 at 9:37 am

    Congratulations to Fred Wilpon for having the fortitude to voice out loud what the entire baseball world knows about some of his key players.

  52. NYY fan in NH May 24th, 2011 at 9:49 am

    If Beltran proves to stay healthy, I wouldn’t be against the Yankees making a run at him. A switch hitter who can DH and play RF. Can you think of any better options? Swisher may not turn it around. It shouldn’t cost the Yankees that much in terms of prospects.

  53. DocTodd May 24th, 2011 at 10:57 am

    Our DH has been Definitely Horrendous…..this is a position that should be filled with a guy who specializes in hitting…..may as well let the pitcher bat for himself…

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