Girardi’s decisions cost Yankees game 3.
Just a few days after the heroic game 2 in New York on Saturday, the Angels and Yankees put on another show Monday afternoon. This time in Anaheim. The Yankees had the early lead, on the back of three solo home runs. After blowing a lead and coming back, the score was 4-4 as the two teams entered extra innings for the second game in a row.
After David Robertson recorded two quick outs in the bottom of the 11th, Girardi decided to bring in Aceves. Aceves then surrendered a single then a RBI double to win the game for the Angels.
After the game Girardi said that he “liked the matchup better,” with Kendrick and Mathis, the next two hitters.
Heres the problem. According to “The Book
: Playing the Percentages in Baseball
” batter-pitcher matchups mean nothing. Studies they did show that there is no predictive value to a so called “good matchup.”
To show that, they used data from 1999-2001 to find the best batter vs pitcher matchup. That matchup was Luis Gonzalez vs Andy Ashby. In 1999-2001, Gonzalez had a wOBA (weighted on base average) of .798 against Ashby. The interesting thing is that in the next year, 2002, Gonzalez hit a much lower .300 against the same pitcher. That isn’t just a fluke, because the top 20 batter-pitcher matchups all had the same result.
What does all of this mean? It means that no matter what the matchups are, you can’t expect it to withstand in any given at bat. You should always expect a batter to hit at his norm, rather than his numbers against a certain pitcher.
In this case, Aceves had never faced Kendrick and Mathis was 0 for 2 in his career against Aceves. We don’t even need any data for that. That is not even close to enough information to even argue that the matchup is better, which we just established wouldn’t mean anything anyway.
Along with that mistake came two others. Gardner pinch ran for Matsui and was caught stealing on a pitch out. I had said right before that the Angels would pitch out on the first pitch. They did and Gardner was thrown out. If something is predictable, don’t do it. More recently in game four, Jeter was running on the first pitch and was picked off. Girardi has become to predictable.
All I am saying is that some 15 year old kid (that’s me) should not know more than the manager of the New York Yankees. If I were the manager, that game would not have ended in that inning, and who am I? It’s debatable how much influence a manager really has. But one thing is for certain: It takes a great manager to make a bad team win, and a really, really bad manager to make a good team lose. And Girardi is a really, really bad manager.
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