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Yankees beat Orioles on Nick Swisher's two-run walkoff blast

Sep 8, 2010, 4:30 PM EDT

Yankees fans wanted Joe Girardi's head when he failed to pinch hit for Frankie Cervelii in the seventh. Shockingly, however, Girardi had a reason.

Quite an ending in the Bronx this afternoon, as the Orioles were two outs away from sweeping the Yankees, leading 2-1 in the bottom of the ninth. But then Alex Rodriguez reached on a single and two batters later Nick Swisher homered off of Koji Uehara to win it 3-2.

Yankees fans were not so ecstatic two innings earlier when the Bombers managed to get runners on first and third with two out. That brought Frankie Cervelli and his anemic bat to the plate. Rather than pinch hit for Cervelli — which every Yankees fan on Twitter was screaming for Joe Girardi to do — Cervelli hit for himself, grounding out and ending the rally.

We learned immediately after the game that Girardi — shockingly — had better information than those of us sitting at home: Jorge Posada has concussion symptoms after taking a foul tip to the noggin last night. That rendered him unavailable, and rendered it far more difficult a call for Girardi to take Cervelli out with two innings still to play. I probably could look this up to be sure, but I think Butch Wynegar is the third option behind the plate there.

But all’s well that ends well, as they say. The Yankees salvage one, Nick Swisher gets one of those silly pies to the face and Joe Girardi is revealed to not be as dumb as every single Yankees fan likes to think he is when the team is behind late in a game.  

  1. The Common Man - Sep 8, 2010 at 4:44 PM

    Good for Girardi. The Yanks are playoff bound anyway, and Posada’s going to be a big part of whether or not they win it all. Keep him safe and sound, and protect his short term and long term health

  2. Mr. Heyward - Sep 8, 2010 at 5:00 PM

    WTF! I’m starting ARod, Tex and Gardner in my fantasy league and the one Yankees player I truly loathe hits the walk off? BAAAHHHHH!! Not only that, Tex and Gardner compile half the Yankees’ strike outs, and Gardner gets a GIDP. Then ARod gets on base in the ninth and they pinch-run him so I don’t even get his tying run! FAAACK!

  3. The Rabbit - Sep 8, 2010 at 5:04 PM

    LOL…I feel your pain. I’m starting Cano, ARod, and Gardner this week. Had Youkilis at first and you know how that turned out.

  4. Mr. Heyward - Sep 8, 2010 at 5:47 PM

    Tough luck w/ Youk. I guess that can happen on a given day w/ three of the same team’s players. Nothing better than a big rout the following day to make up for today though…

  5. Professor Longnose - Sep 8, 2010 at 6:31 PM

    Forty-man roster and only two catchers?

  6. RickyB - Sep 8, 2010 at 7:27 PM

    Three catchers — Chad Moeller was available, but the issue was whether or not Girardi wanted to risk something happening to Moeller and then being without a catcher. The Yankees are making the playoffs, and while home-field advantage would be nice, he’s not going to put another position player at risk by putting them behind the dish to get that right.

  7. Professor Longnose - Sep 8, 2010 at 7:40 PM

    Obviously, he shouldn ‘t have played Posada, given the injury. But I don’t see why he shouldn’t have pinch hit and then put in Moeller. Then if something happens and you’re out of catchers at that point, you throw the game away. But you don’t throw the game away before you have to.

  8. The Rabbit - Sep 8, 2010 at 7:41 PM

    I’m actually leading my league in points.
    Had Luke Scott at first for awhile after Youk’s injury and substituted Logan Morrison the last couple of weeks. I also have Vernon Wells and Carl Crawford in the OF, Vlad’s my DH, and Posey is catching.
    Not a bad team at all.

  9. Ditto65 - Sep 8, 2010 at 8:19 PM

    There were two innnings left – far from throwing game away.

  10. Professor Longnose - Sep 8, 2010 at 8:35 PM

    True, be he decreased their chances of winning.
    OK, I didn’t originally see what RickyB was getting at. If they put in Moeller and he gets hurt, then they have to play a position player at catcher and risk having that position player injured because he doesn’t know how to catch. But the off chance of that happening, and with first place on the line, and with a 40-man roster, I don’t buy it. I think the odds favor playing Moeller.

  11. RickyB - Sep 8, 2010 at 9:27 PM

    If the wild card didn’t exist, I would certainly agree with you. But I can also understand Girardi’s unwillingness to possibly end up in that situation with a playoff berth all but locked up. Keep in mind that Posada got tossed last week as a pinch hitter for Cervelli, putting Girardi in the situation of having Moeller catch with no safety net. That sinking feeling may have been fresh in Girardi’s mind and caused him to stick with Cervelli.

  12. Professor Longnose - Sep 9, 2010 at 8:05 AM

    That might have been Girardi’s motivation, but the odds still say it was a bad idea. You’re giving away a significant improvement in your chance of winning the game, in return for avoiding a much smaller possibility that you will have to give the game away later.

  13. Jonny5 - Sep 9, 2010 at 8:42 AM

    I don’t know. I always find amusement in the fact that some people think they know the game better than a guy who’s lived the game, and continue to live the game daily. On top of that, they think they know the players better than the guy who spends every single day with these guys, studies these guys, knows when they’re in the dumps, and when they have a cold. Sure, some are better than others. Sure a decision can look like a mistake when sitting in your armchair, or the stands. But in every situation in baseball, success equals being successful a third of the time, and that makes it easy to make any decision look like a mistake. And more so from your armchair because you really only know what YOU see. As if the Yankees won’t make the playoffs ?

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