Girardi Made The Correct Move
The Yankees had their first official bullpen meltdown of the season last night. Five different Yanks relievers walked 5 and allowed 5 runs as the Twins came back to defeat New York, 5-4 in 10 innings.
There are people out there now questioning Joe Girardi’s 8th inning decision but I’m with the skipper here.
With the Yankees holding a 4-0 lead, Girardi brought in Rafael Soriano in the 8th inning. Soriano proceeded to walk 3, give up a hit and, ultimately, allow 4 runs.
But this wasn’t Girardi’s fault. He made the correct move. Soriano is the Yanks 8th inning guy. Therefore, he should pitch in the 8th inning.
No matter what Girardi did last night, he was going to be wrong. When a team blows a 4-0 lead, it’s always the manager’s fault.
Think about it: if Girardi left Sabathia in the game, fans would have said he left the starter in too long. If Girardi would have first pitched David Robertson in the 8th – instead of Soriano – fans would have asked, “Why isn’t Soriano in the game?” If Mo Rivera would have come in with 2 outs in the 8th and then blew the game, fans would have wondered, “Why did Girardi bring Mo in that early? It’s early April.”
Girardi was trying to give Mariano Rivera the night off. Up 4-1 against a team they have owned in recent years, there’s no reason to bring in Mo. Why waste him in early April? That’s the problem with having a 41 year old closer – you need to save him and pick your spots.
My issue with Soriano is how he’s going to perform in non-save situations when he knows he’s NEVER going to get saves this year. That’s the danger of signing a guy with a closer’s mentality.
Don’t worry, the Yanks bullpen is still very strong. This is just one game – in early April.