Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Protein Shake Makes His Debut

Girardi could win 100 games, he could win 60 games. No matter what he would still be the most confusing bullpen manager in all of baseball.

The Yankees entered the 8th inning of tonight's game up 4-0. Sabathia had allowed three baserunners over the course of the first seven innings. THREE! My math may be a little shaky, but the Twins are approximately 6-290 at Yankee Stadium over the last few years. 4-0 may as well have been 10-0.

In this situation, Girardi goes to his 8th inning guy. Who pitched the night before. In April, how can your 4-3 8th inning guy also be your 4-0 8th inning guy the very next night? In August of a playoff race, totally understandable. In the 5th game of the season? Prior to tonight, Girardi had warmed Dave Robertson in all four games and pitched him in one. He can't handle a 4-0 game?

According to Girardi, apparently not. Also according to Girardi, despite not being able to handle 4-0 with nobody on base, he CAN handle 4-1 with the bases loaded and two outs. That makes sense. Similarly, Mariano Rivera can't get one out with the bases loaded and two outs outs in the 8th in a 4-1 game, but can get three outs in a 4-4 game in the 9th. This makes sense.

The man does not understand leverage.

Don't get me wrong, the Yankees relievers are not blameless here. Soriano walked three guys in the 8th. But did you really need 32 pitches to figure out he didn't have it, and let it get all the way to the winning run at the plate before pulling him? Because I had it figured out about three batters earlier. Boone Logan was abominable in the 10th. But should it ever have gotten that far with the team being, in what should have been the worst case scenario, three outs away from Mariano with a 4-0 lead?

This is nothing new with Girardi. He is seemingly an excellent manager in all other facets of the game, but he is a horrible bullpen manager. 4-0 lead, against a team that has barely won at Yankee Stadium, that has had 3 baserunners all night, 3 outs away from Mariano (if he's even needed)! There is no defense for botching that situation, I don't care how bad your relievers are. Soriano shouldn't be pitching in a 4-3 game one night and a 4-0 game the next. Not in April. If you can't trust Dave Robertson with a 4 run lead against a team that had 3 baserunners through the first 7 innings, in what serious situation can you trust him? According to Girardi, you can't trust him in that situation but you CAN trust him in a far more high leverage situation. Terrible.

And let's not let the Yankees' offense off the hook. Four runs in the first two innings in each of the last two nights. No runs the final seven innings both nights. Also terrible, and seemingly complacent. Tack runs on.


Anonymous said...

Whey. It just seems that some managers have the ability to do this well and some do not. It reminds me a bit of how different coaches manage lineups in other sports in terms of giving young guys chances or getting guys back into the mix with injuries. Perhaps in the short-term it is sustainable but over time the lack of 'investment', so to speak, in the other parts of the team will come back to hurt.

I suppose the mindset here might be that with an injury or ineffectiveness in the pen the team could just trade for a guy- that's fine. However, with the race to win the division likely (as of last week) to be close, the bullpen is going to play a larger role than usual- this situation will be worth keeping an eye on.


Anonymous said...


At least the Yankees have won a game so far this season. They look like they care. They seem to care. They have players playing well.

I know that the season is very, VERY young. I also know that, what, ONE team in the last thirty years has started out 0-4 and made the playoffs? That's not comforting.

The other, bigger issue, is this--the Sox have Matsuzaka going tonight, which means there is NO WAY they break the streak tonight. No chance. So now they're 0-5. They could easily be 1-8 or 0-9 by Monday. I bet there aren't too many teams in the HISTORY of baseball to make the playoffs after a start like that.

--the Gunn

Anonymous said...

Hey Gunn,

Dice is made of harder stuff than any of these American stiffs we have in the rotation. Try growing up eating Wasabi for breakfast. Or, perhaps filming a commercial that involves chugging a beer before firing a 67-kph gyroball towards home plate.

Come to think of it, that last line might actually be the problem, and it could be either, neither, or both parts of it. 0-5.


Anonymous said...


I really hope that Daisuke gets the Sox a win tonight. I don't root against any player on the roster. But man, if he's as bad as he's been the last two years, I don't have a whole lot of hope.

--the Gunn

the gm at work said...

If memory serves me right, I went to a Daisuke/Cleveland game last year and he pitched pretty well. They're a bad team and he seems to actually attack the strike zone against guys who can't hit. So there might be some hope.

Really all I have to say is littering the area UNDER PF's post. Pretty much flipped out last night.

The line that struck the most with me in this post was the one about "did you really need 32 pitches to figure out he didn't have it?" This has driven me crazy for years.

Torre would have pitched Feliciano 5 times by now.

Patrick said...

sorry for burying you GM, i needed to let it fly. girardi is a long-term bullpen manager, and i give him credit for that. his bullpens are fresh in august and september. but he does some perplexing stuff in the short term. he's all about that binder. but we've been over all this many times before. the frustrating part is that sabathia had only allowed 3 baserunners all night and the yankees had a 4-0 lead. this would have been a good one to get as the yankees try to get out fast in front of the red sox.

the gm at work said...

No sweat. I'm also delighted that you used the Protein Shake reference after I found the "top posts" feature over the weekend.