Garcia was pitching great all night painting the corners and changing speeds. He had 82 pitches…82! Why did Girardi feel the need to take him out in a 1 run game? I was watching with my father in law and I said this is the type of decision that Girardi makes that drives me crazy. We have a good chance of winning the game with Robertson and Rivera closing it out but in a 1 run game anything can happen so why go to the bullpen where it is possible one of them won’t have “it” this night…or maybe one just allows a run somehow and then you have a weak bullpen for extra innings. Why not let Garcia pitch the 8th and maybe he even goes the distance? If he uses too many pitches in the 8th you can go directly to Rivera for the 9th and if Rivera blows the save you then have Robertson for the 10th.
In the last 3 innings, Garcia faced the minimum 9 batters. You simply do not take him out pitching so well and with such a small amount of pitches. What is the reason to take him out after 82 pitches? Robertson struggled walking 2 batters, but got through the 8th. Rivera actually had good movement, but I didn’t like the location Martin was using with Rivera. He walked Bay with 2 outs by not throwing a single pitch inside. Then after a single that was fought off into RC there was 1st and 3rd. Here is where I was really ticked off at the pitch selection. Rivera got ahead 0-2 after an outside fastball was taken for a strike. I wanted another pitch in the same location but another 5 inches outside. Instead they decided to come inside. I hated the call and said so at the time. As it turned out Rivera made a good pitch that was just low but was taken for a ball. Then he went outside again but for a strike and the batter went with it for an easy single. I think they blew their chance to throw the same pitch and then they could have come inside. Hard to know how it would work, but I was sure enough I made a big deal about it (as my father in law was probably looking at me like I was crazy).
Then came the odd situation where Pena decided to all of a sudden forget he was a good defensive player (and probably sealed his minor league trip Monday). He simply missed a groundball and luckily completely missed it, but instead of the game being over Gardner charged hard and made a good throw home and Martin made a very good tag keeping the game alive.
The offense didn’t get it done and with Robertson already spent we had our only lefty in the pen left and our secondary relievers. Girardi decided to go to Ayala who committed the crime of walking the leadoff hitter. After a sacrifice, Ayala hit the next batter. Girardi made his first correct move since starting Garcia and that was to bring in Logan who has pitched well of late. Logan didn’t disappoint as he struck out Beltran, looking very sharp throwing a 95 MPH heater and some breaking balls to keep him off balance. Logan then turned his attention to Murphy. Again Logan was looking good and Murphy defensively hit a weak ball to SS that Pena goofed up again loading up the bases. Very odd for Pena, but he simply messed it up.
Now Girardi went to the mound and my comment was if he takes Logan out Girardi deserves to lose this game. Why take out a guy who is looking very sharp? I like Noesi and think he will have a good future, but he is the 2nd to last guy in our pen right now (mitre), why take Logan out? Even if Noesi gets out of it, now you have nobody left? Just stupid.
Just to see if there was something crazy I was not aware of I looked at the splits and while Bay has been much better against righties this year, he is almost dead on even for the previous 3 years so probably not a difference. However, Noesi has been torched by righties this year and been good against lefties, so there was no logic, just idiocy. Bay knocks in the winning run and Steve ends up being ticked off all night.
Let’s recap (just as I did all night). Taking Garcia out…stupid and this causes the chain of events to unfold…Then Pena screwed up…then Girardi pressed the wrong button in Ayala, but did take him out after a walk and a HBP to bring in Logan who was razor sharp…so Girardi took him out so we could lose the game.
A couple other points:
I have no idea why Izzy threw Granderson a fastball after 2 straight curves and allowed Grandy to hit a sac fly and get Gardner home after his triple. I was glad though.
I still think Martin has not called good games with Rivera and I have not seen the numbers but I wonder if Rivera has done better with the other catchers?
The strike zone box seemed like it was too far to the left most of the night; meaning a fastball to the lefty that was inside looked like a strike on the box. It seemed better in the later innings.
Boston won so we are 1.5 up