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Jason Giambi erased an 0–5 from our minds with one swing of the bat in the top of the twelfth inning tonight. He took Lenny DiNardo deep for the deciding blow in the Yanks 4–3 win over Oakland.

Dramatic, yes. Satisfying, somewhat. Troublesome, youbetcha. It’s nice to see the Yanks climb back to .500. It’s great to see the Yanks pull one out in extras. It’s troubling to see the way Joe Torre is handling this pitching staff.

I’ve never been one to jump on Joe. In fact, I’ve backed him every step of the way in his tenure with the Yanks. How can you not? But this season, he’s made some questionable moves. Tonight, Darrell Rasner was brilliant. He gave up three un-earned runs in the first inning, and nothing after that. With one out in the fifth inning, Rasner was officially cruising. He’d only thrown 78 pitches, and wasn’t showing any sign of letting up. The Yanks were coming off an extra-inning game in which the pen had to account for 5 innings, and a game on Tuesday when they had to pitch 7. Why pull Rasner there?

I’m not sure if Joe has reached the point where he’s shocked when a starter gets into the fifth and immediately shuffles out to the mound regardless of the score, or if he’s more concerned with Rasner’s psyche than the overall state of the pitching staff, but either way, it needs to stop.

This isn’t a “Fire Torre” post. That’s asinine. This is a “what the f is Joe thinking” post. Full disclosure: My last “what the f is Joe thinking” post was yesterday, when I railed against Torre for failing to steal bases against the A’s and Jeff Kendall’s weak arm. Tonight, the Yanks tried thrice to steal second, and were caught every time. I guess that’s why Joe’s the manager.

Game notes:

  • Darrell Rasner threw a great game. There’s no caveat, he was impressive. 5.1 innings, 5 hits, zero walks, 78 pitches.
  • Jeter needs to get his act together on defense, two more errors.
  • Two days in a row for “F’ing Four Eyes” (Kyle Farnsworth), Torre said he wasn’t going to do this in Spring Training, we’ll see if it comes back to haunt him.
  • Proctor may have righted the ship, 1.2 scoreless innings.
  • Maybe Posada should’ve started (2 for 3 after entering the game in the seventh). I wonder if he starts tomorrow afternoon.
  • Rasner gave up 3 unearned runs in the first (Jeter’s first error), but it would’ve been 4 if Hideki Matsui was playing left. Melky gunned out Bobby Crosby at home with a sick throw.
  • Doug is pitiful. Currently riding out an 0–23 slump. He did reach base in the final inning, when he leaned into an errant pitch. Yay Doug!
  • Robinson Cano is looking like a complete hitter. Coming in to Friday’s game, Cano hadn’t walked once the entire season. Since then, he’s walked 4 times, and picked up 4 hits to up his average to .333.
  • Melky hit the ball much better tonight, but didn’t have much to show for it, finishing 1–6. He did, however, come up with a clutch RBI single.
  • It’s a good thing the Yanks scored in the top of the twelfth, because either Bruney was going to pitch until his arm fell off or we were going to see Miguel Cairo on the mound. Torre used seven pitchers out of the pen tonight.
  • Brian Bruney continues to lead the Yanks in strikeouts (11).

Player of the Game: Brian Bruney. Tough luck loser Friday night, well-earned win tonight.

by Brian on Apr 15 2007