Yankee Manager Joe Girardi has really evolve into a great coach. You could clearly notice Girardi's good decision making in game 2 of the ALDS.
Fact No. 1 : Burnett-Molina Battery
Yankee fans ignited in anger when they heard the news that Girardi is starting back-up catcher Jose Molina to catch for AJ Burnett. The fans know that Molina is not hitting and they want Posada's post-season experience and his batting prowess. But being a former catcher, Girardi knows very well that pitchers need to have a comfort zone and rhythm to perform well. Burnett is performing better with Molina as his battery mate. And Girardi knows in order to win game 2, Burnett has to be effective. The result, Burnett gave New York 6 innings with 1 earned run. Not bad! Would you imagine what it would be like if Posada is catching Burnett?
Fact No. 2: Not starting Brett Gardner
Again many Yankee fans are demanding to let Gardner start in center field since the speedster has so much to offer than Melky Cabrera. Gardner's speed can be an asset through 9 innings offensive and defensive wise. But Joe Girardi knows how valuable pinch running is in late games. The result, Gardner came in to pinch run for Posada. Gardner stole a base and almost scored a run if only Damon was able to hit the ball to the outfield. Gardner is good in creating havoc by stealing base and hustling. Another good call by Girardi.
Fact No. 3: Having 3 catchers on the ALDS roster
What? 3 catchers? Yes, that is also my first response. But if you really analyze the Yankees strength and weakness, having a 3rd catcher might come in handy. Girardi choose to have 3rd back-up catcher Francisco Cervelli in the play-off roster than having a 2nd pinch runner like Freddy Guzman or another arm in the bullpen. The result, when Burnett was relieved in the 6th inning, the services of Molina is no longer needed. Posada substituted for Molina for offensive purposes. And when Posada was able to hit on the 10th inning, pinch runner Gardner replace Posada for a potential to score a run. The Yankees won't have that kind of a luxury without having a 3rd back-up catcher. A brilliant choice for Girardi in placing another catcher in the play-off roster.
Fact No. 4: Joba in the bullpen
Most people say that Joba is done! His season is finished. Let Chamberlain rest his arm and prepare him for next season. But wait! Girardi has a few magic tricks under his sleeves. Girardi manage to still use Joba's services by putting him in the bullpen. Girardi's plan is to use Joba for one inning per game in order not to abuse his arm and save it for next season. And to help the other guys in the bullpen to bridge to gap to Mariano Rivera. The result, a superb performance from Joba in games 1 and 2 of the ALDS. Having Joba in the bullpen gave the opposing batters another intimidating presence. Brilliant tactical move by Girardi.
What else are in store for Girardi in the following games? Watch and learn!
Posted On Friday, October 9, 2009 at at 8:39 PM by Francis Isberto