I have not been able to write much but I have been watching the games. Nothing that was so critical to write on, but I did notice Cano in one of his I am going to swing at everything modes for the past games. I am writing this before the end of the game because I am watching on tape. It is the 6th inning and the Yanks have a 3-1 lead. Hughes was not looking good last inning, but he was throwing a better slider (moving right to left) rather than his curve that is more down. Looks like he is just changing the break angles because the speed is the same. It is better though. Anyway, Hughes started the 6th with a walk and he was throwing 88-89 and not throwing well. Then grooving a pitch he allowed a single. Right there Hughes should have been out of the game. Girardi sleeping at the wheel allows Hughes to throw another batting practice pitch for another single. Surely after allowing a HR to Reynolds earlier, now Girardi would have to take out Hughes? Nope, he grooves a breaking ball and the Orioles take a 5-3 lead…Now Girardi felt it was a good time to take him out???? Absolutely horrible job by Girardi…unacceptable and absurd. Hughes had almost 100 pitches at this point. I am so ticked I had to write this before even watching the end of the game.
UPDATE AFTER GAME: Well, as expected, Girardi sucked the life out of the team with a mind boggling non move. His response after the game was, “I thought that was Hughsie’s guy to get out, and he didn’t do it…my other choice is to bring (Cody) Eppley in there, and then to bring in Booney for the left-hander, and then I have to bring in another right-hander. I felt better leaving Hughsie in against Reynolds than what I would have done after Booney. If it’s one out, it’s a different story. But there was nobody out.”
OK, please allow me to respond to these quotes. First, is it really necessary to address everyone on our team with some sort of a pet nick name by putting a “ey” or an “ie” at the end of everyone’s name? I don’t think he has every called Robinson Cano…Cano, he is always uses Robbie, yet he uses the last names of Hughsie and Booney…Cody Eppley must be his favorite name as he doesn’t have to think.
Sorry, to take you down that road, but it is kind of childish all the time…
Now let’s look at what he said…first he throws Hughes under the bus saying it was his job and he didn’t do it. There are times for that and sometimes a lefty or right specialist or even the guy holding down the 8th inning or the closer just need to do their job. However, and I have said this hundreds of times, the managers job is to put the players in the best position where their skills have the best chance to succeed. They won’t always succeed, but that is your job. For example, have Jeter face a lefty instead of a righty, have Rapada almost never face a righty (and use him frequently), etc…
So after Hughes looked terrible in his first batter walk of the 6th inning and you even noticed it enough to get the bullpen up, why in the world didn’t you slow the game down to ensure that someone could come in to face Wieters if the 2nd guy in the inning got on base and Hughes continued to look bad? The score is 3-1 and you have a ton of pitchers in the pen because of September call ups. You don’t need to worry about using 6 guys as you have far more than you need. Wieters is better against lefties so I would have used a righty like Cory Wade as his changeup is good against lefties and he has done well against lefties even when he was struggling. I was afraid to leave Hughes in there against Wieters and I would have made a move right there. But after he grooved another pitch to Wieters and lines a single, there is NO excuse to leave Hughes in there against a guy who already homered off of him. I would have gone to Eppley or any of the other righties. Another game on Girardi’s hands. Keeping Robby Thompson as 3rd base coach is enough of a reason to question Girardi, but yesterday was a joke. Then his lame excuse of if there was one out it would be different??? WHAT? You have 12 outs to go and you only need 6 outs to get to Robertson and Soriano and I am not sure if my math is right, but you have at least 6 pitchers to get those 6 outs.
Back to reality as I have been watching too much fiction on TV lately.
It was great to see Chris Dickerson get called up and play well. If you remember back to pre season, I was a big supporter of keeping him over Ibanez because I felt they could similarly, but Dickerson had a little upside to only downside for Ibanez and Dickerson is a far better defender and also could be a decent pinch runner. Ibanez got off to a much better start than I thought (and I on numerous occasions stated such), but he has been awful lately. Further, while his glove has not been tested much and has not been the liability I thought it would be in costing us games; his arm is one of the weakest in the league and teams routinely take extra bases on him that they wouldn’t off of 99% of the league. Our corner OF positions of Ichiro, Jones and Ibanez all have OPS’s in the .700 - .730 range…that is very weak. Ibanez since August 1 (just over a month) has an OPS of about .600! Jones is even worse at around .480!!! Ichiro has been mediocre, but he hasn’t SB’s in a helpful way and his defense has been just OK (I hate how long he takes to get rid of the ball even if he has a strong arm). The other issue and this is why people who complain about homers don’t understand, is that these guys have a combined OBP of about .300. This kills innings!
The other part that has me upset (do you see a theme), is when Cano has a batting average of .303. I know his OPS is good and that is all that really matters, but we are talking about a guy who could go down as the greatest 2nd baseman of all time. Seriously, he is that great…and while some of the reason is that his defense is phenomenal, it is also that he is the best hitter on our team. If he could just slow down that “I am going to swing no matter what” mentality he should have an OPS over 1.000. He also needs to get his AB’s against lefties better as he has huge splits – a terrible .620 OPS against lefties and a great 1.101 against righties.
We need ARod to come back and hit well. Give us a mid .800 OPS or better. We really need him.
All this being said, I am not panicked as we are banged up and we should be able to get ourselves straightened out when we get ARod, Tex and Pettitte back. We are a flawed team, but the competition is at least as equally flawed.
If the season ended today, Oakland and Baltimore would be the wild card teams.