LADY AT THE BAT: Rain and Ineffective Bullpen Spoil Night For Yankees

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Rain and Ineffective Bullpen Spoil Night For Yankees

Tuesday night’s game was a reminder to me that it’s easy to be magnanimous and high-minded when your favorite team has a 5-0 lead against a pitcher whose number they seemed to have on a humid night in Yankee Stadium.

Gary Sanchez, who has seemingly cemented his position as a major league catcher, had 2 HRs in his first 2 ABs, and Didi Gregorius was en route to another consistent offensive and defensive game. So when the game became official before the rain came down as the bottom of the fifth inning started, I was initially thrilled. An early night and some rest for the players.

Then I thought about how I’d feel if I was a fan on the other side. Four innings to go is still plenty of time. If at all possible, I’d want the game to continue. So I patiently waited, forgetting, until Yankees fan and Twitter follow-ee @FinnGirlJess reminded me, just how badly the Yankees had been treated by a rain delay earlier this year.

I hoped I wouldn’t live to regret my sentiments.

Of course, just one inning later, that’s exactly what I was doing. After the game resumed, the Yankees put up a sixth run in the bottom of the inning and I exhaled thinking the rain did them no harm. Then Michael Pineda didn’t come out for the top of the 6th inning. Anthony Swarzak did. And gave up four runs. Then, in the 8th inning, Adam Warren came in and gave up four more runs in just 0.1 IP. He was followed by Chasen Shreve who also gave up four runs. In 0.0 IP.

By the time the Yankees new bullpen (that the YES Network replayed video of Joe Girardi praising during the rain delay) was done pitching, the Toronto Blue Jays had scored 12 unanswered runs. TWELVE.

It was like watching a horror movie with the Yankees pitchers serving as the victims desperately searching for somewhere (anywhere) to hide, while the Toronto Blue Jays were the unrelenting chainsaw wielding maniacs determined to silence the Yankees aspirations for good.

As Girardi said in the postgame conference seen on YES, it was the “tale of two games.” I don’t blame Girardi for pulling Pineda. He is fragile enough as it is and, as the Yankees have given up on the season anyway, why risk it?

This one is squarely on the bullpen. Sure, they are going to have off nights, that’s just the nature of the game. But twelve runs in 2.0 IP is beyond ridiculous. That can’t happen again.

Thanks to masterful pitching by Chad Green and timely hitting by Aaron Judge in Monday’s game, the Yankees go into Wednesday with an opportunity to still win this series against a division rival, so all hope is not lost. Tuesday’s game, though, was definitely a lost opportunity.

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