The Yankees had another one of their lackluster, didn’t hit was runners in scoring position debacles in losing to Toronto 3 to 2 today at Rogers Centre this afternoon. The Orioles nipped the Red Sox tonight leaving the American League East tied with 4 games to go. You’ve heard my complaints all year in this space about this ballclub. Despite the many flaws, the countless injuries, the complete lack of clutch hitting, and inconsistent pitching this team should still win the division. Yet its biggest impediment is now coming from the manager’s office. Joe Girardi must stop making so many bad moves or the Yankees will be playing in 5 days on Wild Card Friday.
I can go on all night about how the Yankees managed to blow a 10 game lead to a inferiorly talented Orioles team. Yes, it is despicable but that is baseball and the eb and flow of a 162 game season wears on teams. New York righted the ship these last few weeks winning 14 of 20 after that putrid run they had through late July and August. This week has been a microcosm of Joe Girardi being the ugliest wart on a team full of them. The inexcusable happened Tuesday in Minnesota. The Orioles had lost and the Bombers had a 3 to 1 lead entering the bottom of the 7th against the Twins. 9 defensive outs and the lead in the East was 2 with 9 to play. The Yankee skipper did not have the bullpen up to start the 7th with the maddeningly inconsistent Phil Hughes on the mound with a pitch count over 90. That in itself is incompetant. Hughes naturally allowed the first 2 runner to reach. He then got a pop up which be promptly followed up with a walk to load the bases. Hughes then stuck out Pedro Florimon and was about to face Denard Span whom he had dominated all night. Girardi couldn’t help play the percentages in is binders and had to meddle in the outcome of the game. He brought in lefty Boone Logan to face the lefty swinging Span and Logan instantly blew the game. Treating Hughes like he’s David Cone circa 1996 and then like he’s the 39th man on the roster is too dumb to comprehend.
Which brings us to this afternoon. Toronto started lefty Ricky Romero so naturally Girardi played automatic out Andruw Jones. To compound the continuous mistake he batted strikeout machine Curtis Granderson in front of Jones. Leading 2 to 1 in the 3rd New York loaded the bases with no one out for the 2nd time in 3 innings. Unlike the first inning they couldn’t make even solid contact as Granderson popped out and Jones whiffed. Eduardo Nunez hit a liner that would have cleared the bases but it found the glove of Adeiny Hechevarria. Girardi’s endless loyalty to Jones will lead to his downfall. Girardi clings to the stats in his binders yet the stats say Jones is hitting just .205 against lefties this year. He has no business playing against them but Girardi plays him because of past success. Jones is clearly washed up and his past success needs to be forgotten yet Girardi refuses.
Yankee GM Brian Cashman needs to order Girardi to play his best lineup from here on out and stop tinkering. The Yankees are tied for the division with 4 games left. It’s time to cut it out. Girardi’s only concern should be when to remove pitchers at the appropriate times. The Yankees face Henderson Alvarez Sunday who is a scrub in every sense of the word, but of course has his 2 highest strikeout totals of the season against these same Bronx Bombers. Joe needs to DH Alex Rodriguez and play Eric Chavez at 3B and get a win. When Mark Teixeira is activated Monday he needs to get Raul Ibanez onto the bench. To take that a step further if Brett Gardner is capable of hitting next week he needs to be in there. At that time Nick Swisher can DH and A Rod can go back to 3B. No more playing hunches or instincts. Go with your best or get lost. It’s up to Girardi to make sure he doesn’t lead this team into the abyss.
About the Author
Written by Brendan Sennott
I was born in the heart of the AL East in the late 70's and am a huge Yankees fan. (Don't hate) I have moved around to a lot of solid baseball markets in my life(Boston, Chicago, Detroit) and was a part-time reporter, producer, blogger, and on air personality for WDFN Radio Sportsradio 1130 The Fan in Detroit. I still live in the "D" and am married with one beautiful 9 month old daughter. My girls are my life. In my media career I've interviewed players, managers and executives in the sport and would love to get back in the business full time. Baseball is my passion. I look forward to shooting straight about the Yanks and M.L.B in my new blog and getting your feedback.