Put Another L In Girardi’s Column

April 27, 2010 – 10:50 pm

Baltimore 5, NYY 4. Once again, Joe Girardi’s poor bullpen management cost the Yankees a game. Phil Hughes, although admittedly without his good stuff, was nonetheless cruising in the sixth inning when Girardi inexplicably pulled him and went in to full La Russa over-management mode. Up to that point Hughes had given up all of two hits, had retired the last seven hitters he’d faced, and had retired 12 of the last 13 batters. Yeah, he was at 109 pitches, but why not let Hughes face one more batter and hopefully get through the sixth, so that he could then bring in Aceves to start the seventh? Heck, Hughes had already thrown 109 pitches in an earlier start, so another 4-5 pitches wasn’t going to push him all that much. But Joe just can’t help himself, and so five batters later a 2-1 lead was turned in to a 4-2 deficit, and that was that.

That’s now three losses so far this season that were a direct result of Girardi mismanaging the bullpen. That’s almost half the losses to date. This nonsense has got to stop.

If there was any good news in this one it was that Hughes did manage to pitch more than well enough to win, even though he clearly was struggling with his control all night, and wasn’t able to put away hitters like he has in his earlier starts. In his first two starts he had 16 Ks to just 7 BBs, but tonight the ratio was reversed with just 2 Ks to 4 BBs. But still, he managed to give up only one run on two hits. If that’s what we get on Hughes’ off days, I’ll take it.

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