Things started to get weird at the end of the series opener on Tuesday night. Despite a five run lead against the Nationals, Joe Girardi used both Dellin Betances and Andrew Miller.
After that game, unbeknownst to the rest of us, Miller disclosed to Girardi that his forearm was bothering him. Shortly after that, before yesterday's game anyway, Girardi decided that Betances needed a rest.
That brings us to the eighth inning yesterday. Baby Bomber Jacob Lindgren acted like he was just that, and when all was said and done, the Yankees were handed a 5-4 loss in 11 innings, snapping their seven-game winning streak.
There is so much to process from this series of events. There are many questions, the biggest being who will take over as the eighth inning guy while Miller recovers. Not all of these questions have answers at this time, but one of them interests me the most: Why has Girardi over-used Betances and Miller?
The biggest reason seems to be that he doesn't trust anyone else in the bullpen. No one else has really distinguished themselves enough to be considered for higher leverage situations. And then there's this: Girardi may believe he will be fired if the team misses the playoffs for the third year in a row, so he's doing everything he can to avoid that, including risking injury to his players.
I don't know Joe Girardi, but I just can't see him as someone willing to risk the health (and, ultimately, the careers) of his players, just so that he can save his own skin. He's a God-fearing man, who strikes me as someone who cares for his fellow human beings.
That being said, why would he, a man known for being a brilliant bullpen manager, suddenly slack up the way he has? We'll have the answers to the other questions soon, but the answer to this one will likely remain elusive.