I'm not going to recap tonight's game, I am just going to rant about the decisions Girardi made. Pettitte pitched pretty well, going 6.1 innings and allowing only three earned runs and threw 95 pitches before he was removed. This was when I started to question Girardi's bullpen management.
In a tie game, Girardi chose to go with Joba Chamberlain in relief of Pettitte in the seventh inning. I immediately questioned this decision, and wondered why Girardi was going with Joba. Joba's results have been fine out of the bullpen, but he has not done anything to deserve being trusted in a tie game when the rest of the bullpen is available. After this move, I was planning on comparing 2009 starter Joba versus 2009 reliever Joba, but then Girardi made two more bullpen blunders.
Instead, I'll just say that the relief Joba I've seen this year doesn't look much different than the Joba I watched start all season. This isn't 2007 or 2008 Joba, and he should be treated as such. I'll do a full-on analysis of this tomorrow, but I would have Robertson, Aceves, and Hughes come in during a tie game before going to Joba.
After Joba failed and gave up a run, Girardi went to Marte to face Chone Figgins. I was fine with this move, and Marte got Figgins out on one pitch to end the inning. Bobby Abreu was leading off the next inning, and I was perplexed by what Girardi did. He took Marte out and replaced him with Coke. What? Yes, you read that right. Girardi took out a LOOGY(lefty one-out guy) for another LOOGY.
I would guess Girardi knows this, but the LOOGY is not a rule. In fact, you are allowed to use a lefty specialist for as many batters as you so choose. Girardi must have forgotten this and removed Marte from the game for Coke. Now, if you don't think Marte is good enough to get an out, why bring him into the game in the first place? This move just made no sense at all to me.
It didn't hurt the team, but the move didn't make any sense. Now, the third move was probably the most confusing. David Robertson started the 11th inning and retired the first two batters on 11 pitches. With Howie Kendrick coming up to the plate, Girardi turned to Alfredo Aceves. This left Chad Gaudin as the lone reliever left in the bullpen.
Here's the problem with this move: David Robertson is a better reliever than Alfredo Aceves. He had just gotten two outs and needed one more to retire the side. How do you take him out at that point. During the postgame, Girardi said, "We liked the matchup with Ace better, and it didn’t work."
Girardi probably wasn't solely referring to this, but Kendrick was one for two in his career against Robertson and had never faced Aceves before. I hope that wasn't the reason, because two at-bats means practically nothing. Aceves went on to give up the game-winning run to the Angels. It may sound like these are a bunch of second-guesses, but none of the moves made sense at the time.
It's a dark day when a manager does something so nonsensical that I agree with Tim McCarver, Joe Buck, and Michael Kay, and that is exactly what Joe Girardi did.