Brain Freeze in 5th Leads Yanks to Loss

One thing that makes baseball so great is second guessing. It happens almost on a nightly basis, some situations prove to be more vital than others. During last night's Yankees-Reds game, this was a case where the situation being second guessed cost the Yanks the game.

Over at Peter Abraham's Yankees Blog he breaks down the situation. As always, Peter tends to provide us with information that helps us better understand certain situations.

Situation: It was 1-1 with two outs and a runner on third.

Jay Bruce: The rookie had driven 12 runs in his first 23 games and was 7 for 19 with RISP. However, Bruce was 8 of his last 43 with one RBI as he came to the plate. He had yet to be intentionally walked. He was 1 for 2 against Mussina in the game, hitting the ball hard both times.

Jolbert Cabrera: He was 2 for 2 against Moose to that point and 3 for 5 in his career. One of the hits last night was a bunt, the second a clean single. But he had only 15 ABs against RHPs all season. He had not yet had an AB with RISP.

Other factors: Bruce is a lefty. Lefties are hitting .235 against Mussina this season. Cabrera is right-handed. They are hitting .308 against Mussina.

The decision made was to let Mussina walk Bruce to get to Cabrera, who was already 2 for 2 on the night. The problem was Moose didn't get to decide what to do in this situation.
“I didn’t get to choose. It was the path they chose. That was it,” Mussina said. “You saw what I saw. Held up four fingers; I throw four balls.”

Earlier in the year, the infamous Manny Ramirez at-bat during a Saturday afternoon game at Fenway, Mussina was given the choice to pitch to a red-hot Manny or to walk him. Mussina chose to pitch to Ramirez and that decision led to a Yankee loss. Last night's decision also led to a Yankee loss. Seems like Joe Girardi doesn't have the right touch yet.

It's also interesting to note that Johhny Damon misplayed a line drive in left field to start the rally. It was a ball that appeared he could've caught, it did hit off his glove. But Moose decided not to place blame on that. In any event, the Yanks and Girardi will learn from their expirences and hopefully led them to making the right ones down the stretch.

I feel that the right move goes according to the gut feeling you have in that situation. Girardi, who is a by the numbers kind of guy will no question go for the intentional pass. Right move, but when you're in the heat of battle, you have to look at the situation. If Girardi looked at the numbers above then I don't think he calls for the intentional walk. I understand it's probably impossible to have those numbers on the spot like that but the fact that Bruce is a rookie and struggling and Cabrera was hot last night, it should've made it a no brainer. I'm not faulting either Girardi or Mussina for what happen, but sometimes you should go with your gut (if only I went with my own advice....).

Good job by Peter Abraham for the breakdown, bad job by the Yanks in that situation. What do you think was the best thing to do in this situation?
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