Like any manager, Joe Girardi is familiar with the concept of being second-guessed, and if he has any memory of last year’s ALCS, he’s used to getting second-guessed in Anaheim for how he uses his bullpen. Usually, though, Girardi isn’t the one doing the second-guessing.
Trailing 5–4 with runners on first and second and two outs yesterday, Girardi called for an intentional walk of Kendry Morales, who’d already collected six hits in nine at-bats in the series. After Damaso Marte threw the first intentional ball, Girardi walked out of the dugout to bring in David Robertson to finish the intentional walk — and, no, we don’t understand that timing, either — but then he changed his mind. And not only did he decide to let Marte remain in the game, he decided to let him pitch to Morales, already ahead in the count 1–0. Marte threw two more balls, and on 3–0, Morales drilled a three-run homer to extend the Angels’ lead and put the game out of reach. They’d go on to win by that 8–4 margin.
After the game, Girardi admitted he “screwed up” — his words — saying he should have stuck to his instincts to walk Morales in the first place, and that he should have reversed course once again and walked him when the count got to 3–0. “Not everything I do is going to be right,” he said. No arguments here.
Not to be forgotten, however, is yet another terrible outing by Javier Vazquez, who this time allowed five earned runs in three and two-thirds innings. At 1–3, Vazquez has exactly one-half of the Yankees’ losses. In this instance, his teammates had given him a 3–0 cushion, which if nothing else meant that when he imploded, they’d at least still be in the game. Which is exactly what happened. Not that it ended up mattering.