Well, it didn’t take long for me to start calling for Joe Girardi’s head. Yes, the offense disappeared after the third inning and Mo blew it in the ninth, but Joe pretty much gift-wrapped the Rays five of their seven runs.
In the first, with two outs, he opted for Sabathia to intentionally walk righty Sean Rodriguez, a career .229 hitter, to load the bases for lefty Carlos Pena. The move backfired as Pena launched a grand slam into the right field bleachers.
This is a move that Girardi for some reason likes to do, going with the matchups. The most notable example would be Game 4 of the 2010 ALCS. With the Yankees clinging to a one run lead, Joe elects to have AJ Burnett walk lefty David Murphy with two outs and a man on in the fifth. The move also backfired, as Bengie Molina launched a three run shot to put Texas ahead for good, in what would be the pivotal game of the series
The Yankees would get to Shields quickly after, ending with them taking the lead with Raul Ibanez’s 3-R HR. The scoring would stop there, the offense fell asleep, going two for eleven with runners in scoring position and twelve men left on base.
Blowing so many opportunities would come back to bite in the end, as Mariano could not hold on, giving up a game tying triple to Ben Zobrist and the game winning hit to Pena in the ninth, despite Girardi pulling Swisher for the 5th infielder trick.
CC was not very sharp today, surrendering two home runs, Pena’s grand slam and a solo shot by Evan Longoria. He still managed to get through six, allowing eight hits and three walks, one intentional, and struck out seven.
Yankees play again tomorrow at seven, same place, same teams. Hiroki Kuroda makes his Yankee debut and Rays lefty David Price. We will likely see Andruw Jones in for Ibanez.