The Yankees used 11 pitchers on Wednesday night -- none of them nicknamed So-Ro-Mo. They led the Rays 7-0 going into the eighth, but manager Joe Girardi opted not to use Rafael Soriano, David Robertson or Mariano Rivera to finish Tampa off.
The Red Sox, of course, wish Girardi had. If So- ... Ro-Mo, they’d probably be in the playoffs right now, with the Rays on the outside looking in.
“What I was trying to do there was I was trying to win the game,” Girardi replied when asked if there was a method to his mixing-and-matching madness. “I had three left-handers. They had a number of left-handers together, and it worked very well until the eighth inning. That’s when it seemed to unravel, when we hit a few guys and we walked a few guys.
“As I said, with only the one day off, the Robertsons, the Sorianos and the Riveras, I was not going to pitch, because you’re talking about you may ask them to go multiple innings at any point in these first two days, you would be pitching them three out of four days if they get in both games. And that’s not something I can jeopardize. My first responsibility is to our team. We did everything we could to win the game. It wasn’t like I stuck a rookie in there and just left him in there for seven innings. He got through two innings and then I went to work mixing and matching the rest of the game. So we did everything we could to win that game.”
Except, of course, utilize his three best relief pitchers -- arguably the best shutdown trio in all of baseball. Which makes Girardi’s “we did everything we could to win that game” argument an odd one.
Granted, his argument for not utilizing Soriano, Robertson or Rivera is a sound one.