LADY AT THE BAT: Girardi Makes Moves, Yankees Still Fail To Sweep O's

Monday, August 29, 2016

Girardi Makes Moves, Yankees Still Fail To Sweep O's

Joe Girardi, or, more likely Joe Girardi and his brain trust, made three decisions regarding Sunday’s game. One regarding the rotation and the other two regarding the line-up.

It was the right idea switching Michael Pineda and CC Sabathia in the rotation, so that the veteran lefty faced off against the Baltimore Orioles instead of the up and down Pineda. It was the right move given the struggles the Orioles have had this season against left handed starters and, with the off day on Thursday, it made sure that Sabathia pitched on regular rest.

It didn’t work out, as the Yankees offense that put up 27 runs in the first two game of the series, managed exactly zero in the Sunday finale, and Sabathia gave up 3 ERs over 6.2 IP. (Adam Warren, who replaced Sabathia, allowed 2 inherited runs to score.)

As with many of Sabathia’s starts, this one included a quirky play/defensive miscue that led to the bulk of the damage. There’s no one to really blame for that bad hop to second base, it’s just one of those baseball things, but it did cost the Yankees.

Not that it mattered, since the Yankees went 0-for-6 with RISP and left seven runners on base. After the barrage of home runs in Friday's and Saturday’s games, the Yankees were kept in the park in Sunday’s matinee.

It wasn't due to Girardi's second decision, though, because his faith in playing Ronald Torreyes over Chase Headley wasn’t misplaced. "Toe" went 2-for-3 on the day. His season average, albeit in limited at-bats, is at .298.

So far so good for Girardi. His last decision, however, is not quite as easy to assess. Girardi left Jacoby Ellsbury on the bench in favor of Aaron Hicks, the young outfielder with potential and promise to dream on, but who, up until this month, has done little to justify the faith of either Brian Cashman in trading for him or Girardi in continuing to find playing time for him.

Hicks went 1-for-4 and, while there's no telling what Ellsbury would have done, there's something to be said for sticking with the CF who is signed through 2020.

I get it. I do. Youth movement and all that. The hope is that Hicks will be a part of that and now is a good time to find out. I get it.

But the Yankees are 3.5 GB in the Wild Card race. There is a chance, no matter how slim, that the Yankees could make the playoffs. Yes, that chance will probably disappear in two weeks, especially as the Yankees continue their trek through the A.L. East. Until that happens, though, I’d really like the Yankees to keep up the pretense. Would love it actually.

I want to hold onto the hope I had going into the season that I thought had disappeared on August 1. Even if just for a little while longer. And, to do that, the Yankees need to start playing with some urgency. As blogger Chris Carelli pointed out, the Yankees will need a sweep or two (or three) if they really want to make a push.

Two out of three ain’t bad, Girardi. But, right now, at this point in the season, it ain’t good enough either.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I still need someone to explain why Headley is consistently the odd man out here. "Toe" plays multiple positions, including outfield. Our current every day RF is batting .209, so why is he run out there every day? Some say it's the youth movement, yet Tyler Austin has seen minimal playing time. Why has no consideration been given to sitting Judge, at least occasionally, putting Torreyes in RF, and allowing Headley to play? I wish someone would ask Girardi about this.