It’s time we all sat down and try to understand why Joe Girardi is doing what he’s doing with emerging reliever Chad Green.
As of late, Girardi has made some questionable decisions regarding the 6-foot-3 right hander, including putting him in earlier in games and, most recently, during blowouts.
On the surface, it’s absolutely absurd. He is arguably the most dominant pitcher in that bullpen and you bring him out during an 8-1 game? What is Girardi thinking?
That is my gut reaction to this decision every single time it happens. But after more time digesting it, I came up with a few reasons as to why Girardi decided to bring out Green as opposed to anyone else.
Green has appeared in two of the last five games for the Yankees. Those two games were both blowouts, where he pitched a total of 3.2 innings.
The Yankees are entering the home stretch. They were facing Baltimore and Texas, both teams that could gain ground in the Wild Card race by beating the Yankees. That absolutely cannot happen.
The Yankees need to win every game and, as they’ve proven before, it seems no lead is safe. Why not bring in your best pitcher early to stop the bleeding before it gets any worse?
Essentially, if Girardi went to anyone else in the ‘pen, the lead might slowly dwindle away. We’ve seen it before and it’s certainly not a problem that can be fixed overnight.
Maybe Green needed to pitch in more innings? As we know, relievers need to get out there and work, even on days where the game is a complete blowout. They need to maintain their control.
So, sure, the Yankees need to win now. But at the same time, you are bringing in your best reliever and wasting his arm in a seven-run game when he could be much more effective during a nail biter the next day.
While I get Girardi’s stance, his decision doesn’t make a whole lot of sense. My biggest argument is that the pace is 100 percent different in a blowout in the bottom of the fourth than in a close game in the bottom of the eighth.
It’s not the same intensity level and Girardi knows that. Bringing in Green with that big of a lead could possibly lead to him relaxing more, thus giving up more runs because a few runs don’t really matter in the grand scheme of the game.
Because of this, he might single-handedly ruin the one good thing to come out of the bullpen this year.
I know he follows the binder but it has to stop. He did it again Monday with David Robertson, using him to stretch out innings after CC Sabathia failed to complete five innings of work. These are guys that are not everyday starters anymore. Stretching them out is okay but you have to realize they might not bounce back like they used to.
Bryan Mitchell was available in the bullpen when Girardi made the call for Green to come in and put in 2.1 innings of work Sunday. Jaime Garcia was there. They had pitchers who are more than capable of firing multiple innings and yet he still chose to work Green in a game that was all but won.
So, Girardi, I don’t get it. I tried to defend you but I just simply don’t understand. Am I missing something? Sometimes there is a method to the madness you create. But this time, I can’t even find a legitimate reason.
I think you’re going for the “win now, worry about tomorrow later” method, but it didn’t work for you. Throw away the binder and start managing with smarts. It might actually work.