29 Jun 2012
I don’t think there is a Yankee fan out there who agreed with the way Joe Girardi handled the 9th inning last night. But, if Clay Rapada makes that throw, it probably would have worked. Not letting Robertson start the 9th obscured what I found to be a more curious decision by Girardi, his use of Boone Logan in the 8th. Let’s go back and take a look at the final two innings.
With a 2-1 lead, Ivan Nova gives up a single to start the 8th and then a wild pitch let’s the runner move to second. Nova strikes out Youkilis, bringing up the lefty, Adam Dunn, with the tying run on second.
Now going to a lefty here is an easy call, but with the righty, Paul Konerko on deck, you are probably only going to use the lefty for one batter. That’s what made the pitching change of Nova to Logan so interesting to me. When it happened, I figured Joe was going to keep Logan in there to finish out the 8th, something I wasn’t thrilled about. Instead, Logan got Dunn and then Girardi switched to Eppley to face Konerko.
So, Girardi used up Logan, who hadn’t pitched in four days, after three pitches. Why wouldn’t he use Rapada in that spot? The only answer that makes sense is he was going to use Robertson to start the 9th.
And I think that was his plan. Eppley would face Konerko and assuming he got him out, Robertson would pitch the 9th. But, Mark Teixeira hit a homer in the 8th and with a two-run lead, Girardi gambled. He figured that Eppley and Rapada could match up with the first two guys and then bring in Robertson to get (hopefully) the final out. Funny thing is, it almost worked.