May 17, 2008
After a game 1 rain out last night, Game 2 was on at 1 p.m. against the Mets. It was the battle of the offseason, with Santana vs. Pettitte. Neither team's starting pitcher decided the game though, as Pettitte gave up only three, and Santana let in four. This one was left to the offense, and the coach.
Girardi stuck with his initial change made in Tampa two days ago having Abreu hit second with Jeter hitting third—and it proved successful. Abreu went 2 for 4, with a homer, RBI and run scored. Jeter did one better, and went 3 for 4, 2 RBI, a run scored, and a homer.
The Yankees started with a 2 to 0 lead in the third, and Pettitte gave up three runs in the fourth. Farnsworth then took a step back as he gave up another three runs in the 7th. It was 6 to 3 afterwards.
Giambi brought the stick again too, as he went 2 for 4, 1 run, 1 RBI and a homer. The Yankees edged back trailing 6 to 4 in the 9th with Joba coming in while trailing, which is another difference between Girardi and Torre.
Torre never used his benchmark bull penner's while trailing with which I disagreed. Give the team a chance to win. Joba gave up one run making it 7 to 4 going into the bottom of the 9th, once again proving he is not lights out in the pen, so he should start instead.
Girardi substituted Gonzalez's bat, hitting 257, opting for Duncan's 194. Duncan didn't hit, and stranded 2 runners in the 9th. Then Girardi put in Ensberg's 214, in place of Moeller's 247. Again: try to give the team a full chance to win.
Ensberg struck out, and the Mets won by three (7-4) leaving "the pinch hitting mistakes" both hitless. Why opt for lesser hitters in this situation? I agreed with starting Moeller, he has a better bat then does Molina right now, and plays a great defense.
Gonzalez started at third over Ensberg, and rightly so, as he has a better average too. But with the game on the line and two runners on, with the tying run at the plate, twice in the bottom of the ninth, Girardi went back on his gut feeling. He pinch hit both of the better bats. The result of this mistake was yet another loss.
Play the best offense while not totally sacrificing the defense. What is so hard about this? Play the better, better, and that does not mean sit Giambi, like yesterday. He now has 4 less RBI than the team leading Abreu, but with 51 less at bats, and leads the team in home runs.
Matsui, Damon, and Giambi all play. Abreu DH's since his fielding is lacking, and the continuous misplays cost the Yankees runs. Take, for example, the JD Drew homer off of Abreu's glove. He didn't jump for the ball. Then, against Kansas he pulled up on flies, and made two errant throws to the plate, and then played a bad defense against the Tigers.
Billy Martin turned over in his grave as Abreu has taken over right field, and plays much like Reggie Jackson, who Martin pulled in the middle of a game for "lolli poppin' it out there," and then suspended him as well.
Moeller is hotter and just as good behind the plate as Molina. Gonzalez is hotter than Ensberg, with good defense too. All bats are in, and the defense is better in trying to keep the runs down.
Abreu could then DH, and Matsui would play right instead. Matsui won't pull up on fly balls, isn't afraid of the wall, and will make it to fouls which are no more than routine cans of corn. Easy outs save runs. Maybe the Yanks could use a smarter, smart.
The Yankees do need a bench, just like the 1990's formula which included bats like Justice, Fielder, Strawberry and Raines all on the bench. Later, it was "Ru-bang" Sierra. When A-Rod, and Posada are back, the Yankees will only have Ensberg, Duncan, Moeller and Gonzalez to chose from—not smart. Nowhere near the likes of Strawberry, or Sierra.
Cashman said of Bernie Williams, "He had a good 2006, but Joe played him instead of others, which I didn't want to see again." Well, consider our offense since Williams left. 2007's post-season offensive stall, and now this; last place. Bernie had a good year, so the Yankees didn't want him! Mind boggling.
Hank, the team requires a clutch bat on the bench to pinch. Bring in Bonds already, and solve the offense altogether. It is just business.