|Anything Goes: A Weekend in Cleveland|
Written by Adam Adkins (Contact & Archive) on June 01, 2009
I saw two Yankees-Indians games this weekend.Â I thought Iâ€™d share my opinions of the experiences.
Friday: Yankees win 10-5 W-CC Sabathia, L-Fausto Carmona
Remember when Carmona was good?Â Indians fans do too, but he has apparently removed such thoughts from his mind.Â Carmona was a dominant pitcher in 2007, almost as good as Sabathia, and the two carried the Indians to the seventh game of that yearâ€™s ALCS.Â But, the next year, the Indians forgot how to hit, they dealt Sabathia, and Carmonaâ€™s walk rate exploded and his strikeouts exited stage left.Â What once was a 97 win team quickly became an also-ran.
What about Sabathia?Â Since 2006, heâ€™s been among the very best pitchers in baseball, and he still is now.Â The Indians had to deal him before losing him to free agency, and they did well.Â Matt LaPorta is a heck of a hitter, and should be their DH or corner outfielder for a long, long time.
The Yankees beat up Carmona to the tune of 4 innings, 8 hits, 7 runs (4 earned), 3 walks and 2 strikeouts with 2 bombs.Â Tomo Ohkaâ€”I know, Tomo freaking Ohkaâ€”came in and didnâ€™t exactly shut the door.Â The Bombers bashed in 3 more off him.
Sabathia was wonderful.Â 7 innings, 5 hits, 3 runs (all earned), 3 walks and 8 strikeouts, with one homer served up to the now DLed Grady Sizemore.
Jorge Posada and Nick Swisher both hit homers, Teixeira doubled once and Matsui twice.
Saturday: Indians win 5-4 W-Kerry Wood, L-Phil Coke
This loss doesnâ€™t fall on the Yankees pitching, which all in all was fine.Â Phil Hughes wasnâ€™t bad in his 5 innings of 3 earned run ball.Â Chien-Ming Wang was excellent in his 3 shutout relief innings.Â Phil Coke struggled, and David Robertson allowed a walk-off.
But that loss is not on Coke or Robertson.
It falls squarely on the shoulders of manager Joe Girardi.Â Letâ€™s look at the situation entering the bottom of the ninth.
The Yankees had just missed a golden opportuinty to take the lead after getting Matsui to third and the speedy Brett Gardner to first.Â With one out, Jorge Posada grounded into a double play after Gardner blew the signal to steal.Â They had Kerry Wood on the ropes, but missed out on a run.Â Not good, obviously, but still, the game was tied going into the bottom of the ninth.
In this situation, there is no reason, at all, seriously, please name one, to not pitch Mariano Rivera.Â Listen, all of this â€śsave situationâ€ť stuff is such garbage.Â Let me make this real clear: IF THE INDIANS SCORE IN THE BOTTOM OF AN INNING FROM THE 9TH ON, YOU LOSE.
Okay, we understand this?Â You cannot wait to get a â€śsave situationâ€ť when every inning could be your last.Â Pitching Mariano Rivera was the only logical move there.Â Donâ€™t play for an inning that might never exist.Â Girardi made a tactical error against a manager who thinks a player with a sub .700 OPS is a worthy choice for the three hole in his lineup.
Girardi put in Phil Coke, a man who for some reason Girardi loves, to face Trevor Crowe, who sucks beyond words.Â What did Coke do?Â Walked him.
Freeze frame.Â Youâ€™ve already made a colossalâ€”and firing worthyâ€”error.Â Why the hell donâ€™t you have Coke throw to first a gajillion times, have Posada walk to the mound a million times, have A-Rod talk to Coke, do whatever it takes to give Rivera the time he needs to get ready.Â There is absolutely no reason to let Phil Coke, the man who couldnâ€™t get Crowe, he of the .262 OBP, out, face Asdrubal Cabrera.
But, Girardi did, and Coke managed a ground out, sending the winning run to 2nd.Â Okay, by now, Rivera would be ready to go.Â Bring him in, he can easily take down Ben Francisco and the Legend that is Jhonny Peralta.Â I remember thinking â€śfinally, you moronâ€ť when Girardi walked out to the mound.
I stood up in anticipation of seeing my favorite pitcher, Mariano Rivera, trot out to put out this fire and allow Jeter-Damon-Teixeira to face whatever sludge Eric Wedge brought out from the bullpen.
But it wasnâ€™t #42 that came out, it was #31, David Robertson.Â I fell into my seat, shocked and amazed.Â Joe Girardi is an idiot.
Iâ€™ve liked Girardi in the past, but what he didâ€”obviously choosing the incorrect optionâ€”is a firable offense.Â Listen, managers donâ€™t do much.Â The players play, the managerâ€™s job is to just put them in the best position to win.Â That means not putting Jorge Posada at shortstop, or batting Derek Jeter fourth, which Girardi has been good about, he fills out a decent lineup.Â However, Girardi is awful with his bullpen, and the mistake he made Sunday afternoon cost the Yankees a win, and such a thing cannot be tolerated.Â I donâ€™t care if the Yankees hire Whitey Herzog or get Don Mattingly or whatever.Â Joe Girardi should be fired.
Robertson allowed Francisco to walk and then Peralta singled in Crowe to win the game.
Iâ€™m still mad.
A note or two about the stadium.Â Progressive Field is really nice, far nicer than the Redsâ€™ â€śGreat American Small Parkâ€ť, or the â€śHardly Even Mediocre American Ball Parkâ€ť, or the â€śHey, Itâ€™s Not As Trashy As The Manager Ball Parkâ€ť, or, my favorite, â€śAt Least Itâ€™s Not So Bad That You Notice How Bad The Team Is, Ball Parkâ€ť.