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Poll: What was Joe Girardi’s biggest mistake last night

Oct 20, 2010, 11:30 AM EDT

Joe Girardi, Boone Logan

There isn’t much disagreement that Joe Girardi screwed something up last night. People just can’t agree on what the biggest screwup was.

I’m partial to “stuck with A.J. too long,” but others think the intentional walk was the biggest problem. Others still smart over the fact that Sabathia wasn’t starting on short rest. No one seems all that happy with the bullpen management, though maybe this is a bigger Game 3 than Game 4 complaint.

I have no idea, really, so let’s allow democracy to decide!

  1. Chris Fiorentino - Oct 20, 2010 at 11:35 AM

    You probably need an “All of the above” for this poll…they all were equally big. Starting AJ started the chain reaction that led to the intentional walk, the home run, and the bullpen sucking once again so I voted for that one. Had CC been in, the Yankers would have had themselves a 3-1 win and a series tied at 2. Maybe the Rangers play a little tighter with the series tied. Now they are about as loose as can be with a 3-1 lead.

    • madaozeki - Oct 20, 2010 at 1:43 PM


      1. CC allowed 3.5 runs per 9 innings this year (including unearned runs, since the defense is part of the equation)
      2. CC allowed 5 runs in 4 innings in Game 1 of this series against the Rangers
      3. The Rangers are an above-average offensive team,

      …a much more likely result would have been a 6-3 loss instead of a 10-3 loss, presuming 6-7 innings of CC, and some combination of ineffective relievers. Yankees need to figure out how to score some runs.

  2. marmour - Oct 20, 2010 at 11:44 AM

    How about: Girardi managed just as everyone else would have managed, but the Ranger players are outplaying the Yankee players? There is human tendency to think that if only the teams had our wisdom and character we could change the outcome on the field. But we can’t. The players decided 99% of the games, and they do things we can’t do. Let’s just watch.

  3. fndan9 - Oct 20, 2010 at 11:44 AM

    Yeah, I mean AJ hadn’t won a game in something like 80 days, and hadn’t beaten a team with a +.500 record since May 25 vs Minn. I think it was just too much of a roll of the dice to run him out there in such a critical game in a 7-game series. I know that would screw up the rest of the rotation because they didn’t want to have to use Petitte and Hughes on short rest, but I think the Yankees would much rather have faced those issues tied 2-2 in the series. After Lee’s dominance in Gm 3, Girardi should have realized that he had to do everything possible to avoid a situation where he HAS to beat Lee in a Gm 7, and now they’ll have to do that (if they can somehow win Gm 5 & 6). But, Girardi can at least start over in Chicago next year….Ooops, nevermind.

  4. yankeesfanlen - Oct 20, 2010 at 11:45 AM

    If I were Girardi I would have been worried about the offense on or about September 1. The anemic play of the last month of the regular season was a precursor to the problem now.
    Go for the Division win, not Wild Card, Joe. Rangers have a head of steam now, and the rest between ALDS and ALCS was too long.
    Ah, revisionist history. Joe won’t be around much longer. Make way for Willie Randolph (hey, Torre managed the Amuzins before the Universe)

  5. Mr. Jason "El Bravo" Heyward - Oct 20, 2010 at 11:52 AM

    I still think no credit is being given to the Rangers’ line-up. Especially to the MVP Josh Hamilton. Girardi didn’t make a mistake here as much as the Rangers batters are showing up and playing better than the Yankees batters, and Hamilton is leading the charge. How about some credit where it’s due…

    • Matthew Flint - Oct 20, 2010 at 12:00 PM

      I couldn’t agree more. Everyone is acting like the Yankees are losing, but I see it as Ron Washington and the Rangers winning. They are playing outstanding baseball right now.

    • Jonny 5 - Oct 20, 2010 at 12:28 PM

      DA MAN! Good observation there “buddy”. There is no blame. Texas is plainly playing better ball. Look what they did to the other “best team in the AL”, the Rays. The fact is NY is doing everything in their power to win and can’t. And using CC on short rest does not mean the Yankees win. He probably gets runs scored on him, they probably go to the pen, then they probably lose anyway. CC is NOT an automatic win.

  6. heiniemanush - Oct 20, 2010 at 12:15 PM

    Managers can only do so much. Really, this series hasn’t been close at all and save one great half inning it would already be over.

    • Jonny 5 - Oct 20, 2010 at 12:29 PM

      One lucky come from behind win. outplayed? Totally.

  7. hnirobert3 - Oct 20, 2010 at 12:28 PM

    I would’ve just let the guy finish his taco.

    • Mr. Jason "El Bravo" Heyward - Oct 20, 2010 at 12:42 PM

      Good comment, yet I think you meant to put quotes around the word “taco” since no one is sure what exactly that thing is…

  8. Adam - Oct 20, 2010 at 12:28 PM

    I don’t see how pitching to Bengie Molina is a mistake. I mean, HE’S BENGIE MOLINA.

    The Bengie Molina with the .240/.279/.320, 60 OPS+ stat line.

    If he doesn’t believe AJ can get Bengie out he never would have started him in the first place.

    • JBerardi - Oct 20, 2010 at 1:21 PM

      Yeah, that’s baffling to me too. Bengie Molina is one of the worst hitters in baseball. These decisions should be evaluated based on the circumstances at the time, not the outcome. It’s like poker; you can make all the right calls on the probabilities and still get beat. But just because your opponent gets lucky and hits the one card that he can beat you with, or Bengie Molina hits a home run, that doesn’t mean your original decision was wrong. There’s just a element of randomness in the game, and even if you do everything right, you can still get some bad breaks and lose. That’s what happened to Girardi, at least as far as the decision to pitch to Molina goes.

  9. roforfl - Oct 20, 2010 at 12:55 PM

    two mistakes. #1 not bunting Texeira with first and second, o outs, 3-2 lead. result grounder to third Tex lost for season. one runner in scoring position for ARod or Cano, instead of two. #2. AJ pitched 5 2/3 decent innings. If you’re worried about Murphy in that spot send in Logan to pitch to him. thats what you did all season and it usually worked. You had plenty of rested guys in the bullpen to get those last 9-10 outs.

    • JBerardi - Oct 20, 2010 at 1:26 PM

      Bunting in the second is like kicking a field goal on first and ten. In the first quarter. When you’re down by ten. And it’s a 75 yard kick. Seriously, it’s that dumb.

      • Kevin S. - Oct 20, 2010 at 1:30 PM

        And the guy you’re having kick the field goal is actually an All-Pro quarterback.

    • Jonny 5 - Oct 20, 2010 at 1:58 PM

      Tex bunt? LMAO!!! He probably hasn’t done that since he was 15!!! No one in their right mind would have Tex bunt. Joe probably doesn’t even know if he can do it or not. He has a better chance of successfully hitting a bomb there than laying down a good sac bunt. Just saying…..

      • schlom - Oct 20, 2010 at 2:13 PM

        I think he was joking because of the ensuing injury.

  10. schlom - Oct 20, 2010 at 2:15 PM

    Lost in all this (because of the Yankee second guessing) is the horrible fielding of Michael Young. He got lucky in fielding that ball with the bases loaded last night using the same technique (the ole) that led to the Game 1 loss. If he actually got in front of the grounders in Game 1 this series would have been a sweep.

  11. yankees1996 - Oct 20, 2010 at 2:30 PM

    Girardis’ decisions were not that bad honestly. AJ looked better than he had over the last month of the season, he may have been left in too long but that was about it. Pitching to Molina was not that bad of a gamble either. Molina himself admitted in the post game press conference that he is not having a great season and to be honest he has never been known as an offensive threat.
    The Yankees have been flat in this entire series and the offense has just completely disappeared. If it was not for a Texas bullpen failing in game 1 the series might well be over. The Yankees need some serious cheese to be thrown by CC tonight and then they need to tap into some serious never say die attitude. The loss of Tex hurts bad on the defensive side but he is definetly part of the problem offensively, I am not sure the answer is Lance Berkman however. The rest of the guys need to get it in gear Cano can’t do it all by himself. If Girardi is not harshly honest with the guys in the locker room about their offensive output that would be his biggest mistake, he needs to tell them that offensively they are stinking up the joint!

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