Isn’t It Ironic?

In the end, it wasn’t the pitching that killed the 2011 Yankees, it was the hitting. An offense that scored runs by the bushel, couldn’t get a hit when it mattered in Game 5 and now the Yankees are done for the year.

I had an uneasy feeling as I sat in my seat at the Stadium last night. The place was rocking and I think I saw only two Tiger hats the entire game. But, as I settled down in my seat I realized I was sitting, purely by chance, almost directly across the aisle from the seat where I had watched Opening Day six months ago. I wondered at that moment if I would see the start and end of the season from the same vantage point?

The crowd was great last night. Most of the time we were standing and yelling, trying to coax a big hit that never came. There were a number of moves that struck me as odd. Pulling Hughes to bring in Logan, virtually guaranteed CC would pitch and I don’t know why the Yankees were so desperate to get him in there. If they had won Game 5, they would have wanted CC to start Saturday night and by bringing him in to relieve, they were asking him to do something he had never done before. Hughes threw 21 pitches, why not leave him in there for 50 or so?

And the late inning bullpen choices confused me. Start with Soriano. He looked great and needed only 16 pitches to get five outs, why pull him? Same thing with Robertson. By pulling Robertson after 13 pitches and going to Mo, Girardi left himself dangerously exposed if the Yankees had tied the game and sent it to extra innings. Sure, we would have seen Mo in the 10th, but Girardi managed the 7th-8th and 9th as if the Yankees had the lead or were tied, which they were not.

But ultimately, this falls on the lack of hitting. Personally, I would have hit Montero for Martin in the 8th. Martin looked absolutely lost at the plate and one of his swings in the 4th or 6th (I forget) was about the worst swing I have ever seen. I understand why Girardi didn’t and it probably would not have made a difference, but wow.

The thing that I feel worst about is that Jorge Posada didn’t have an “O’Neill” moment. Remember in Game 5 of the 2001 World Series when the fans kept chanting his name? When Posada grounded out in the 8th, some of us stood up to cheer him one last time, but I don’t think anyone believed that the season would be over later that night, so the fact that that was probably his last Yankee at bat was missed by most of the crowd. I can’t see anyway the Yankees bring him back, nor do I think they should, but it would have been nice for him to have one last moment.

The Yankees did do a good job honoring someone who is retiring. After the final out, the scoreboards around the stadium were lit up with a message of “Thank You Gino”. It will be very strange next year to look in the dugout and not see Gene Monahan there.

And now the winter begins, a bit too early for all of us. I’ll start looking at the upcoming decisions next week leading off with the GM choice and then the Sabathia choice. Thanks for joining me for another season and here’s to a good offseason.