Swisher out, Hairston Jr. in

October, 29, 2009
10/29/09
7:22
PM ET
So, Joe Girardi's given in to the pressure: Nick Swisher's out. And who's in? Read it and weep, Yankee faithful:
    Jerry Hairston Jr. replaced Swisher in right and was batting seventh. Hairston is 10 for 27 in his career against Phillies starter Pedro Martinez, but hasn't faced him since 2004. It also was Hairston's first start in right since July 21.

    "He's had a lot of success off of Pedro," Girardi said. "We also like the way they kind of match up against each other, and that kind of shows up in the numbers."

    Swisher went 0 for 3 in New York's 6-1 loss in Wednesday night's World Series opener. He is batting .114, with no homers and 12 strikeouts in the postseason.

I've been defending Girardi for most of the last two seasons. Mostly because everybody else has been ripping him, but also because he plays chess and seems like a reasonable sort of fellow.

I'm having a tough time with this one, though. Unless Swisher's injured, there's simply no good reason to bench him for Hairston. Those 10 hits Hairston has against Pedro? Three of them were ground-balls singles; none of them were home runs. Granted, not many hitters have managed a .370 batting average against Pedro, whether with power or not. On the other hand, we're talking about only 10 hits, all of which happened more than five years ago.

Hairston's never really been a good hitter, and now he's an old non-good hitter. He's also a right-handed hitter, and yet Girardi's starting him in right field instead of the left-handed-hitting Brett Gardner, who also runs better than Hairston.

Joe Girardi can talk all he wants about match-ups, but there's something to be said for performance. But if Hairston doesn't do anything tonight and the Yankees lose, the second-guessers will have a field day. Not to mention the first-guessers.

Update: Here's one of those first-guessers I was talking about.

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