Last night, Joba Chamberlain was awful. Although he was given a 4-run lead in the first inning, he coughed it up by allowing 7 ER over 4 IP. In fact, I would argue that he delivered one of the more frustrating performances we’ve seen from Yankee pitchers this season (maybe it’s because I was at the game and watching it in person made it seem even worse). However, somehow, the Yankees managed to mount a comeback in the ninth inning. They scored 4 runs, trimming the Rangers’ lead by one (10-9), and had runners at first and second with no outs. Things were looking very good for the Yankees and, amazingly, they had a shot at winning despite Joba’s dreadful performance.
That is, until Joe Girardi overmanaged and cost the team the game. Instead of allowing Nick Swisher to extend the inning via a hit or a walk, he instructed Swisher to bunt. Why he did this, I have no idea, as Swisher popped out and failed to move both runners into scoring position. If Derek Jeter were up next, I’d probably understand it more, but when you have a slumping Melky Cabrera up next, who then promptly lined into a double play to end the game, why bunt? Swisher should have been given a chance to hit. He has earned that right this season. There was no reason to give up outs when Frank Francisco was on the ropes desperately looking for one. Why help the opponent at all? Even if Swisher got the bunt down, it wouldn’t have been the right call. I know Girardi likes small-ball, but that was ridiculous (you don’t play it that way when you have a highly capable offensive player at the plate and a lesser player following him—not in that situation).
With this decision, I ask, what do you think of Joe Girardi’s managing this season? Obviously we’re in first, so he’s doing something right. However, when he makes a mistake it always seems like it’s a big one. I was at last night’s game and everyone was pretty pissed about the decision to have Swisher bunt (and they were even more pissed about the subsequent outcome). I get the feeling that Yankee fans have never really liked Girardi all that much and I think that will continue after last night’s noticeable error in judgment.
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