QUITE FRANKLY: Joe's Gotta Know Better

The Yankees blew a huge game on Thursday afternoon and I'm not so sure we can blame the offense for this one. I have to place blame on Joe Girardi. I have to second guess a move he made last night that impacted today's loss.

Last night while everyone focused on the 8 runs and 9 straight hits in the 3rd inning off of David Price, I was left scratching my head as Girardi elected to bring in Dellin Betances with the score 8-3 in the 9th. Now, Betances had the previous 3 days off so he was well rested BUT why bring him in when you might need him the following day for multiple innings or in successive days? The Yankees are at a point where every game is crucial, especially Thursday's game with the Detroit Tigers, a team that's in front of them in the Wild Card race. I knew the move would come back to bite the Yankees today, I just knew it.

With the score tied at 2, going into the bottom of the 9th inning, Girardi could've gone with Betances for another inning OR his closer David Robertson who hasn't pitched since Sunday. Joe did neither and went with Shawn Kelley. While good at times, he's not the guy I want out there with the game and "season" on the line. If Betances doesn't pitch last night, he easily stays in for the 9th. Ok, so he didn't, but why not bring in your most trusted guy in the bullpen to a game you NEEDED to win? Robertson is well rested and you could've used him for 2 innings if need be. If you're in the 11th and then need to use your second tier relievers, then do so, but use your "A" squad when you have so much at stake.

 Girardi said it “wasn’t a consideration” to use Dellin Betances for two innings tonight, and he indicated that it had nothing to do with using Betances last night. “You feel good about (Kelley) on the mound, especially the way he’s been throwing the baseball,” Girardi said. Kelley’s past five games leading into this one: 4.1 IP, 3 H, 1 ER, 1 BB, 7 K

Kelley gives up a double to Victor Martinez to lead off the 9th. He allows another runner to get on base and proceeds to strike the next two guys out. And after all that hard work and maneuvering and strategy, on one pitch, the game, the series, and ANY positive momentum the Yanks could've had is all GONE. When a team has lost two of three in a tight wild card race, a one-run loss feels like rock bottom.
“That’s about as bad as I’ve felt walking off a mound in my career,” Shawn Kelley said. 

I'm emphasizing a lot tonight because that was how important this game and series was. Giradi mismanaged this one, a time he could ill afford to do so. So the Yanks leave town dropping a game in the Wild Card instead of gaining one. The Yanks head into Toronto answering questions of "what now" and "what ifs" instead of keeping the focus on the positive momentum they had to begin the week. The window is closing on the 2014 season and there is very little room for error. On Thursday afternoon, Brian McCann came within inches of hitting his 2nd go-ahead 3-run homerun of the week and putting the Yankees ahead for good, but almost doesn't count because Giradi failed in planning for a win.
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