It’s not what you want. Just when you think the Yankees might turn a corner, they go and waste an absolute gem from their ace and lose 1-0 to the Orioles in ten innings. After CC Sabathia’s terrific outing last night, Masahiro Tanaka followed suit throwing eight shutout innings with seven strikeouts. Tanaka was so dominant, he didn’t allow a runner past second base all night. He now has a 2.29 ERA to go with his 1-0 record. Tanaka hasn’t allowed more than two runs in any start this season and yet he has just one win. That tells you just how pathetic the offense has been.
When you get eight shutout innings from your starter, you better win that game. That’s exactly what the Orioles did. The Yankees decided to throw it away. Baltimore’s starter Kevin Gausman was terrific as well tonight, but the Yankees had their chances. In the third inning, Starlin Castro hit a leadoff double and then moved to third on a flyball. Runner on third, less than two outs: the Yankees’ weakness. Mark Teixeira grounded out to first and Carlos Beltran popped up. Yet another wasted chance in a game where one little run gets you a win. Then in the ninth inning, Castro is at second with two outs and Brian McCann at the plate. What happens? Castro gets picked off. Inability to score runners and bonehead mistakes. This is what Yankee baseball is right now, sadly.
Off to the bottom of the ninth we go and Dellin Betances enters. Tanaka was at 102 pitches. Bringing in Dellin was a no-brainer. After walking Mark Trumbo, Matt Wieters sent a towering fly to right field. Novice right fielder Dustin Ackley made one of the plays of the year as he leaped high against the wall and robbed what would’ve likely been a game-winning double. He then doubled off the runner at first and ended the inning. At this moment, I was thinking maybe this is the play that sparks the guys and really turns this thing around. Nope.
It’s no secret I’m not a fan of Joe Girardi as a manager. I disagree with him all the time and hate his managerial style. Tonight he got ejected in the fourth inning arguing with the umpire over a balk of all things. I looked at replays and I didn’t see a balk so I have no idea why he was so irate. The frustration finally boiled over and he would manage the rest of the game from the clubhouse. Bench coach Rob Thomson took over in the dugout and eventually it was their decision-making that would cost the Yankees the game.
First off, why the heck is Chase Headley pinch-hitting for Ronald Torreyes to leadoff the ninth inning? Headley is hitting a buck fifty with ZERO extra base hits this season and has looked lost at the plate. Torreyes meanwhile has hit well in his limited playing time and is a great candidate to get a single and start the inning off well. Instead Headley hits a weak grounder to second on the first pitch. That move made absolutely no sense whatsoever. However, it was the second bad decision that would ultimately doom them.
Girardi and/or Thomson decided to bring out Johnny Barbato to start the bottom of the tenth. Ummmm? I like Barbato but you do know you have Andrew Miller and his 0.00 ERA in your bullpen right? Girardi said he wanted to save Miller for a lead. Ya. How’d that work out for you? After Barbato allowed a pair of singles to start the inning, they went to Miller anyway. Just have him start the inning. Who cares if you bring your closer in for a tie game on the road? Better than losing the game…
Or why not just leave in Betances who threw six pitches last night and only ten in the ninth inning? According to Girardi’s “can’t pitch three days in a row” rule, Betances is likely unavailable tomorrow. 16 pitches in two days, not bringing him back out for another inning and probably won’t pitch tomorrow. Just brilliant. I’ve avoided blaming Girardi this season because he isn’t the one failing to get hits with RISP or the one with a bloated ERA, but tonight was unacceptable. That was horrific managing and sadly it’s nowhere near the first time that’s happened.