Saturday, April 25, 2009

It's All About The Timing

Johnny Damon just drove in two runs at the same exact moment the
Giants took Hakeem Nicks. The Boat Basin is rocking.

Game 17: I Wont Back Down

Another beautiful day, another great pitching match-up. Let's hope it turns out better than last night.

Well I know what's right, I got just one life,
In a world that keeps on pushin' me around,

But I'll stand my ground, and I won't back down.

Hey baby,
there ain't no easy way out,
Hey I will stand my ground,

And I won't back down,

No, I won't back down.

That Baseballing Contest Was Most Unpleasant To Witness!

Can anyone explain this to me? Why, why, why, why would Joe Girardi, when Jonathan Albaledejo was 0-1 on Jacoby Ellsbury, bring in Mariano Rivera for one out in the bottom of the eighth inning? Alby had already got three easy outs (one in the 7th) before accidentally nipping Nick Green on the thigh with a 0-2 two-seam fastball that moved in just a little too much. Joe let him stay on the mound, throw over to first, and even get ahead on Ellsbury. Then, to every one's surprise, he walked out to the mound, talked to Jon for a second and tapped his right arm.

I like Girardi as a manager. I was fully on board with his hiring. But all this meddling with the bullpen is not only frustrating to watch, it's costing the Yankees games.

In a 4-2 game, Ellsbury represented the tying run. This year he has TWO doubles, ZERO triples or home runs and is slugging .304. What was Joe worried about? The count was already 0-1. Why not let Albaledejo try and get through this at bat? Because even if he did get a hit, chances are it would have been a single, which would not have scored Nick Green from first.

I'm not against using Rivera for more than three outs. That's one of the many abilities he has that separates him from other closers of this era. But there is no justification for bringing him in the 8th last night to face a shitty hitter. It was at someone else's expense as well. You can see the look on Albaledejo face. He looks dejected... embarrassed, even. He was throwing well and got pulled in the middle of a fucking at-bat for no good reason in Fenway park. Can you blame him?

I can't help but wonder if Alby got that out, and Mariano was reserved for the 9th inning that perhaps this wouldn't have happened:

Maybe this comes across as second guessing, but it was mind boggling at the time and it's not the first occasion this year when his bullpen management has squandered a late lead.

After Bay hit that home run, there was sense of inevitability to the outcome. Although the home team's advantage in extra innings is only 52/48, it feels much greater. The visiting team, in effect, has to play their hand first while the home team has the chance to respond. All it takes for the road team is one mistake, kind of like the one Damaso Marte made to Kevin Fackin' Youkilis.

/punches self in face repeatedly