LADY AT THE BAT: Yankees Lose As Girardi's Quick Hook Backfires

Wednesday, June 1, 2016

Yankees Lose As Girardi's Quick Hook Backfires

If looks of fury and wrath could make Major League managers wither, Joe Girardi would be a puddle in the visitors dugout at Rogers Centre right now. And that’s just accounting for the narrowed eyes and mean scowls of Yankees fans. Add in the displeasure of CC Sabathia and Girardi might as well be an Italian ice on a hot summers day.

To be clear, Sabathia did not show up his manager on the mound after being pulled in the 7th inning after a one out double. However, he was upset after having pitched his way out of trouble throughout the game but not being given the opportunity to do so yet again despite a pitch count of 80.

His face showed as much but he dutifully handed the ball to his manager and stayed in the dugout while Dellin Betances, who did not look right from the very first pitch, proceeded to not only let Sabathia’s run score but also two of his own.

Sabathia stared stoically ahead as the three runs scored, likely thinking that he could have done the exact same thing and surely, surely, he had earned the right to blow his own game. He said nothing, though, and that’s in keeping with being a good company man.

And, to be fair to Girardi, if he’d left Sabathia in the game and the same scenario had unfolded, he likely would have been second guessed there as well. Every time Sabathia pitches well, there’s still some surprise from most corners so, if he’d spit the bit, Girardi would have been called out for leaving him in the game.

Better, though, for that to have happened sticking with Sabathia. Despite how rough his past few years have been, Yankees fans still remember the guy that pitched the Yankees to the World Series in 2009. The guy who pitched on short rest to get them to the World Series in the first place.

Somehow, despite it all, it seems that he deserves better than being pulled in the 7th inning while he still had some gas left in the tank.

Hence the withering glances and the raised eyebrows. Girardi has gotten into a bad habit (I think) of pulling his starters too early and relying on his bullpen. That’s all well and good until one of them has an off day as Betances, who I’m surprised didn’t hurt himself falling off the mound, did on Tuesday.

The real story of Tuesday night’s game should be the abysmal offense that is, yet again, hanging its pitchers out to dry. Girardi’s actions, however, are what will linger. On one hand, his quick hook can be seen as a strong vote of confidence in the three guys at the back end. On the other, however, it can be seen as a complete lack of faith in his starters.

Ivan Nova, Nathan Eovaldi and CC Sabathia may say all the right things about trusting the manager and feeling comfortable with leaving the game in the hands of Betances, Andrew Miller and Aroldis Chapman but you have to believe they have stronger feelings about the subject.

For now, they are staying silent. There may come a time when Girardi needs them to speak up, perhaps on his behalf. He’ll just have to hope they won’t stay silent then.

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