Oakland 5, NYY 4

July 23, 2012 – 1:39 pm

I bit my lip Friday when Girardi went to his “OOGY” bullpen management philosophy Friday in the bottom of the ninth, even though it possibly cost the Yankees a W in the series opener. I kinda understand the “OOGY” approach when you are protecting a lead late in the game and and are simply doing whatever you can to get it to the point where you can then turn things over to your “eighth inning” guy (“EIGY”) and then your closer. But in a tie game, where you have no idea how many relievers you are going to use before you can get to your “EIGY”, then this idea of using one pitcher for just one batter is insane. And sure enough it backfired Friday, as Clay Rapada came in and struck out the one batter he faced, and Girardi then replaced him with Cody Eppley who promptly gave up three straight singles which was the old ballgame. When you are playing percentage matchups, particularly when those percentages are only a few points and often based on small sample size, you are playing with fire. Best stick with one guy who seems to have good stuff and is striking out batters.

Anyway, I’m not biting my lip this time, as Girardi made pretty much the exact same mistake again Sunday, and thus cost the Yankees yet another game. It’s one thing when you’ve got these relievers who are only used to throwing one inning or less (a whole ‘nother complaint I have), but this time you’ve got David Phelps pitching in an extra-inning tie game, and all he’s done is retire the 2-6 hitters in order, including 3 Ks, one of which was against Yoenis Cespedes who has been killing Yankee pitching all weekend — and you pull him for an OOGY???? WTF is going through his head? Phelps is a starter in waiting, is stretched out, and can easily give you 5+ innings, probably more. And the way the Yankees are hitting, you are probably going to need as many innings as you can possibly get before they are going to put a run on the board. But Girardi pulls Phelps, starts running through the OOGYs and sure enough, five batters later the game is over and the Yankees are swept.

The good news is that they came in with a huge 10-game lead over the Orioles, and so in spite of this disaster the lead is still 6 games. But they need to right the ship, and quickly. And Girardi needs to get out of the way of his relievers, and stop over-managing the bullpen.

Team 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 R H E SO BB
Yankees 0 0 3 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 4 11 1 12 3
Athletics 0 0 0 0 2 1 0 0 1 0 0 1 5 11 1 14 1
WP: J. Blevins (3-0)   LP: C. Eppley (0-2)
QS: NYY – C. Sabathia (7 IP, 6 H, 3 R, 3 ER, 1 BB, 6 SO, 2 HR)
HR: NYY – C. Granderson, OAK– B. Inge, S. Smith, K. Suzuki
LOB: NYY 11, OAK 7   RISP: NYY 3-for-11, OAK 1-for-6

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