I want to go through something about game 4 before we go onto game 5.
I think it is abundantly clear that Girardi stuck with AJ entirely too long. It was one of the most illogical decisions in post season history (I am sure top 10, with Mussina being pushed back in game 4 against the Red Sox atop the list). But, the part I want to discuss was the decision to bring in Thames for Teixeira. I didn’t thoroughly expand on my reasons but I did list a few, however, the main point was this was another decision that was made by Girardi that just showed a lack of understanding of the moment.
I don’t usually post other people’s articles and I honestly don’t read too many…maybe Joel Sherman read my blog before he wrote his, but this is what he wrote after I wrote my blog (I pulled out some superfluous stuff):
“I wrote in this column about Joe Girardi’s faulty decision making in sticking with A.J. Burnett at the critical moment of Game 4. Buck Showalter always used to tell me that one of the key elements of managing is having your head comfortably hit the pillow at night. Translation: How do you sleep if you let someone you don't trust get into a situation in which trust is everything? If a player you trust fails, so be it. It is a game of human beings and failure is inevitable. But at least under that scenario you can sleep.
How does Girardi sleep? Burnett has established himself as the least trustworthy Yankee. You cannot let him decide your season. CANNOT. This was as close to an elimination game as the Yankees could play short of an elimination game. I had asked Girardi before the game about this and he said he would manage aggressively, with the sense that the game could not get away. Thus, if Burnett were in trouble in the first inning then he needed to be lifted. This had to be Girardi’s thought process. Yet, with the tying and go-ahead runs on base in the sixth inning, Girardi stuck with Burnett. Would Joba Chamberlain have retired Bengie Molina? Who knows?"
Steve comment: One could argue sticking with Burnett in the 5th was a bad move, but just because it worked does not excuse it...what it actually shows is that Girardi gambled and stuck with Burnett more than once
But the worst decision, the absolute you can’t do it decision, was leaving Burnett in. Girardi said he liked how Burnett was throwing. (Steve’s comment, he almost threw a wild pitch during the intentional walk for crying out loud) But what does that matter. Burnett does not think well under duress. So how he is pitching at this second has nothing to do with the next second…
He tried to throw a fastball away off the plate and missed inside off the plate. That is essentially a two-foot mistake at the pivotal moment of this game. Molina hit a three-run homer. Burnett, though, was just being Burnett, embracing his loser gene.
This falls on Girardi for letting him be out there to have that gene infect a whole team. It seems to me that under pressure that Girardi does not think clearly. “
NOW SHERMAN MAKES MY POINT ABOUT BRINGING GOLSON INSTEAD OF THAMES…AND WHILE HE MIGHT HAVE READ MY BLOG OR IN HINDSITE THOUGHT OR IT; I STATED IT RIGHT AT THE MOMENT VIA TEXTS AND THE PEOPLE I WAS WATCHING THE GAME WITH…GIRARDI NEEDED TO SEE THAT ALSO!
“Consider the situation that occurred the previous inning: Mark Teixeira went down with a hamstring injury. Girardi had to get a pinch-runner in and have a new first baseman in the next half inning. At that moment, the Yanks led 3-2, first and second, one out. Girardi picked Marcus Thames to run at first in place of Teixeira, which I think was the wrong move on three levels: 1) Greg Golson is faster than Thames and gives the Yanks a greater chance to score a valuable run. 2) He is a far better right fielder than Thames, who went into the game in right with Nick Swisher moving to first in place of Teixeira. Remember the Yanks led at that moment, so having the better defender in place was of great value. 3) By installing Thames in that spot, Girardi lost the ability to use his best righty bat off the bench when he wanted against a team that has four lefty relievers. So, for example, when Berkman came up as the tying run in the bottom of the eighth and had to bat from his far weaker right side because the Thames option was gone.”
I also want to quote something from Girardi that is really crazy. This is why I think the guy is out of his mind of late…This was before the CC game…
Facing elimination, Joe Girardi said he’s prepared to manage today’s game much differently than any game we’ve seen this season. He might have a quick hook if he sees CC Sabathia heading toward a repeat of Game 1, and he’s willing to go with Mariano Rivera and Kerry Wood in earlier innings — and for more innings — than usual.
“I don’t think you can hesitate to make a move,” Girardi said. “If you have to use Woody and Mo somewhat unconventionally today, you got to do it.”
Girardi went so far as to say Phil Hughes is available out of the bullpen today. “
Ok, so you stick with the guy who has been atrocious all year long and give him leeway one day earlier, yet with our best pitcher on the mound you are willing to pull him quickly to ensure we win the game???…OK Joe…yeah, that makes sense…you think you might have wanted to use the "I don't think you can hesitate to make a move" during the Burnett game???Seriously, am I the only person who is having trouble rooting for the guy?
Girardi should have managed the way he says he will for the CC game in the Burnett game.
As for our chances of winning the series, probably only about 20%, but all we need to do is win 2 games in a row and this can happen. Our offense needs to be better and be able to hit with RISP. Even for the CC game, we were I believe 2-11 and we scored mostly from the HR and a couple of bad fielding plays by Texas. Unfortunately for us Texas is swinging the bats well, they are fouling off a lot of good pitches and seem fairly locked in. A very important pitch for us will be the changeup. I was asking for more from Burnett, but when he threw it, it was extremely effective (he threw it to Hamilton on the key fly out in the 5th). Hughes will need to use it against this team.
One other note, while it is not a good thing, losing Tex might not be horrible in that he was really struggling at the plate and against a righty Berkman at 1st with Thames DH’ng might actually get us more offense. Obviously, we lose Tex’s glove, but hopefully we can dodge that bullet. Against Lee it is more of a problem because Swisher will most likely move to 1st base.
We have the players, it is time to execute…(and hopefully not our manager.)