LADY AT THE BAT: Girardi's Faith In Melky Comes Back To Bite Him

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Girardi's Faith In Melky Comes Back To Bite Him

I've declared my undying support for Melky Cabrera about a dozen times here on Lady At The Bat. My anger at those who have wanted to rip the pinstripes off his back and send him off to Minnesota for Johan Santana or, now, to Cleveland for CC Sabathia, is well-documented here. But, sometimes support means taking things away from someone.

Last night, with the Yankees trailing by a run in the bottom of the ninth and nobody out, Rangers closer CJ Wilson walked Wilson Betamit on four pitches. Alberto Gonzalez came in to run for Betamit. The next batter was Melky Cabrera. As much as I love the guy, I know that he's in the midst of a terrible slump. I assumed that Joe Girardi would either pinch hit for Melky or would have him bunt. I'm sure I wasn't alone in my thoughts. Everyone and his uncle was thinking the same thing.

But no, everyone wasn't thinking the same thing. One very important person wasn't thinking it: Joe Girardi. With Derek Jeter on the bench last night, Girardi sent a slumping Melky Cabrera up to the plate. There was no bunt. Melky took the first two pitches for strikes and then hit into a double play.

Girardi later explained his reasoning: he had lefty hitters coming up after Melky and they hadn't done well against the Rangers closer in the past.

Well okay, but why not send Derek Jeter up to bat for Melky? Besides, two of those lefties were Johnny Damon and Bobby Abreu. Right now, I'd rather see Damon or Abreu up in the bottom of the ninth inning (even if they're 0-50 against a left-handed closer) instead of Melky Cabrera.

Girardi has said, "Melky is our centerfielder." But that faith in his centerfielder came back and bit him in the ass last night.

The Lady

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