Daily Archives: March 4, 2012
Coming into today’s game, fans were interested to see how Alex Rodriguez would adapt to the plate. The last time Alex Rodriguez faced a major league team, he made the final out of the 2011 ALDS which ended the Yankees 2011 season. There was no turning back from today’s game. Alex Rodriguez knew this was it.
After the Phillies took a 2-0 lead in the top of the 1st, Rodriguez connected on the first pitch from Roy Halladay to cut the Yankees deficit to 2-1. Rodriguez went 3 for 3 with 2 RBI’s and 2 run scored on a breezy 65 degree weather day where the ball was flying out of the park.
Freddy Garcia got off to a slow start, giving up a 2 run homer to Hunter Pence. Pence also hit a 2 run homer off of Ivan Nova in yesterday’s game. Garcia was able to tame the Phillies in his second inning of work before handing the ball to the bullpen.
Yesterday the Yankees Achillies heel was errors (even though they won the game). Today was the Phillies turn for errors. There were 4 errors in the game, including a ball that should have been a fly out for Mark Teixeira & a Corban Joseph fly ball that Dominic Brown dropped out of his glove.
WHAT’S NEXT: Michael Pineda will make his Yankees debut in Clearwater tomorrow in the series finale vs. the Phillies. Brett Gardner, Curtis Granderson & Nick Swisher are slated to be in the starting lineup while David Robertson will make the trip to Clearwater and is slated to pitch.
Joe Girardi has definitely learned to relax more since his 1st year as Yankees manager when the Yankees missed the playoffs. He was way too uptight, testy with the media, and had to many rules. That attitude got him canned in Florida despite winning manager of the year, although you can blame that more on the craziness of Marlins owner Jeffrey Loria than Girardi. Entering his 5th season as Yankees manager he has improved greatly in these areas. He still constantly tweaks with player rotations during the season , which can get irritable. However, due to the age of the team he is managing he doesn’t have much choice.
Girardi has a great bench and should utilize it. He has to utilize it because he has guys on his team that need days off. Alex Rodriguez and Derek Jeter definitely need lots of rest during the year so they are fresh and healthy for the stretch run. Eric Chavez and Eduardo Nunez are great options off the bench to replace them. In the outfield Andruw Jones is a great 4th outfielder and you are not loosing a whole lot when he is in the lineup. Joe Torre did not have the bench towards the end of his tenure that he did at the beginning so he did not use it often. Girardi has a great one so why not utilize it? It is a 162 game season and you can’t just put the same lineup out every game. In the bullpen Girardi is a by the book or in his case by the binder manager. He will very rarely go against what the matchups in his binder say. I think he does need to go with his gut more often and what he his eyes tell him about what the pitcher is doing. However, I think managing the bullpen is probably his greatest strength as a manager. He will never pitch a guy until his arm falls off like Torre did. Torre pretty much killed the careers of Scott Proctor, Tanyon Sturtze, Paul Quantrill, and Tom Gordon by pitching them until their arm’s almost fell off. Girardi will never pitch a guy more then 2 days in a row. It is good that he has such a deep bullpen that it is easy for him to do that. Girardi is willing to trust everybody in his bullpen while Torre only trusted a selective few. This not to suggest Girardi is in Torre’s league as a manger don’t get me wrong, but it is one thing he did better. There is nothing wrong with Girardi’s in season competition. It should keep everybody on edge and make everybody raise their game. If players do not raise their game when challenged by another player then it is on them and not on the manager.
I am a bigger Girardi fan than a lot of fans are. People do not realize that managing the Yankees is a difficult job and not anybody can do it. Sure you are handed an extremely talented team last year but managing the egos, media, fans, and expectations can be really stressful. You try being the person to tell Derek Jeter he needs the day off or the one to bench Jorge Posada last season. I think Girardi does a really good job. Sure I and pretty much everybody else would like to see him make more decisions based off feel for the game but nobody is perfect. It will be intriguing to see how Girardi continues to evolve as a manager.
Derek Jeter, SS
Robinson Cano, 2B
Alex Rodriguez, 3B
Mark Teixeira, 1B
Andruw Jones, LF
Francisco Cervelli, C
Chris Dickerson, RF
Dewayne Wise, CF
Justin Maxwell, DH
Freddy Garcia (0-0, 0.00 ERA) vs. Roy Halladay (0-0, 0.00 ERA)
— The Yankees are undefeated during 2012 Spring Training. Of course, the Yankees have only played 2 games so far.
— Phil Hughes isn’t nervous about HGH blood testing and says it’s just like taking a physical…just don’t ask him to draw blood before he’s about to pitch.
— Since the Yankees are at home today, there is no group that stays and goes, but Girardi released which players will go to Clearwater tomorrow for the series finale vs. the Phillies.
Pitchers: Pineda, Robertson, Burawa, Cabral, Cedeno, Marshall, Miller, O’Connor, Pope, Stoneburner
Hitters: Gardner, Granderson, Swisher, Ibanez, Martin, Chavez, Nunez, Pena, Gil, Molina, Murphy, Sanchez, Adams, Berneir, Hall, Joseph, Laird, Nix, Vasquez, Almonte, Curtis, Maxwell, Mesa
— The Pitchers that are scheduled to pitch today are: D.J Mitchell RHP, Boone Logan LHP, Corey Wade RHP, Clay Rapada LHP, Chase Whitley RHP , Kevin Whelan RHP
Enjoy the game everyone!