Joe, Joe, When Ya Gonna Learn?

June 6, 2009 – 9:37 pm

Tampa Bay 9, NYY 7. How many times do we have to go over the fact that Mariano Rivera just doesn’t pitch as well in non-save situations as he does in save situations? Surely Joe Girardi is aware of this, no? And yet with CC Sabathia at a pitch count that would easily allow him to pitch the 9th inning, Girardi chooses instead to go with Rivera. And sure enough, Mo gets clobbered and the Yankees lose.

We’ve been over this before. Here are Rivera’s stats so far this year:

Situation Games ERA Record
Non-Save 10 5.58 0 W, 2 L
Save 13 1.98 12 SV, 1 BS
1-Inning Save 11 0.00 11 SV, 0 BS

Who knows why this is? But it is what it is. When will Girardi ever learn — you don’t use Rivera in non-save situations when the game is on the line and you’ve got other alternatives.

The questionable management decision aside, this loss was particularly ugly because of the fact that Tampa Bay did everything in their power to give the game away. The Rays committed 4 errors and walked 7 Yankees. When a team plays that poorly and you let them off the hook time and time again…. well, you just can’t do that. Very disappointing loss.

Update: Most of the talk in the media is about the decision to give Longoria the intentional walk and pitch to Upton. Sheez, what’s so controversial about that? Longoria’s numbers are .322 /.394 / .614 compared to Upton’s .220 /.320 /.325 — Upton’s SLG is the same as Longoria’s BA! How is pitching around Longoria in order to get to Upton controversial? Makes no sense to me.

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