Seriously, is anyone out there shocked
? Joe Girardi picked this crucial game to get Johnny Damon a night of rest, and he's also apparently decided that Jason Giambi won't face any lefties, regardless of their stats, from here on out. At least that's my assumption, I can't see why he'd sit him against a lefty who's allowing lefties to hit .338 if he's going to play him against another lefty.
Here's the lineup the Yanks could've sent out there tonight, with their avg/obp/slg vs lefties:
- Damon (CF) - .288/.373/.423
- Jeter (SS) - .279/.365/.388
- Abreu (RF) - .291/.349/.440
- A-Rod (3B) - .276/.398/.571
- Nady (LF) - .325/.433/.525
- Giambi (DH) - .247/.402/.517
- Cano (2B) - .307/.362/.449
- Sexson (1B) - .338/.421/.600
- Pudge (C) - .289/.349/.368
Instead, Girardi found a way to work Christian into the lineup and keep Melky in there. It's no shock that the Yanks couldn't manage more than four hits. It's just a little troubling that Joey Jr. would choose a game as important as this one to trot the C lineup out there.
One other point. In the top of the second the Yanks had first and third, no one out for Pudge, then first and second no one out for Melky. The game was scoreless and let's be honest here, there was zero chance either of those guys was going to hit a three-run bomb. Why not try a squeeze? Seriously, I mean what's the downside? Maybe you have confidence that Pudge will plate the run, even if it takes a double play to do so. But when Melky came up, why not try it? Was Girardi hoping for a three-run bomb in that situation from Melky? I don't know what he was thinking, but as soon as Pudge popped out I knew how the inning was going to end. This team doesn't have a clutch bone in its body, maybe at some point the manager will realize this and start trying to force the action. A-Rod realizes it, that's why he tried to steal third yesterday, and that's why it was a good play.
I have a long post percolating, and I think it's going to come out this week, possibly after tomorrow's game. It's not one I've been looking forward to writing, but the time is just about upon us.Player of The Game: