14 Oct 2012
First off, Ron Darling should take some criticism for his reaction to Jeter’s play in the 12th. It was obvious to anyone that he was anything but ok, yet Darling claimed the opposite. I’m sure that some fans in New York will equate the fact that Darling usually calls Mets games with an anti-Jeter bias. I don’t want to think like that so I will assume that Darling, like the rest of us, was simply stunned to see Jeter not get up.
If you haven’t heard the news, Jeter has broken his ankle. He is obviously out for 2012, but Joe Girardi said the actual recovery time should be three months and it will not threaten his career. That means he should be ready to go in 2013. Not that that matters much at this moment.
The Yankees not only have to deal with that loss, but they have to deal with the fact they lost a very winnable game and had to do so in extra innings. I don’t really understand the way Joe Girardi managed this game. I don’t understand the decision to turn to Derek Lowe in the 7th (though it worked) or stick with him into the 8th (It didn’t). I really don’t understand pinch hitting for A-Rod in the 8th. It was 4-0 at that point and there was one out, why put more focus on Alex? And finally, I don’t understand bringing Phelps in for the 12th with Joba in the pen. Phelps has been great, but asking him to pitch to Cabrera and Fielder in extra innings of a playoff game seems like a tall order. Why not let Joba pitch a couple of innings and see if the offense can score there?
But Girardi isn’t swinging the bat and that is what ultimately lost this game. They failed once again to hit in the clutch. Robinson Cano has completely disappeared. Swisher was better with the bat, but that isn’t saying a lot. The Yankees need to execute when they have runners in scoring position and they simply haven’t done that most of 2012.
So, now the Yankees face a tough road. They need to win later today or face the prospect of heading to Detroit down 2-0 with Justin Verlander on the mound. They can’t do anything about Saturday’s game and they won’t have Derek Jeter anymore. Desperate times call for desperate measures and I say that means it is time to turn to Eduardo Nunez. We have seen hints of his offensive abilities while being scared by his defensive liabilities. Jason Nix is really a AAA player so why not put Nunez in and see if he can spark the offense? Yes, he might bobble a ball or two, but I would still let him show us what he can do.
One final note. We saw Joe Girardi physically carry Mariano Rivera and Derek Jeter and escort Andy Pettitte off the field this year. I have no idea how the 2012 season will end, but I have a feeling Brian Cashman will note that and redouble his efforts to make this club younger in the future.