View Full Version : Girardi's dumb move not pulling Colon

05-14-2011, 02:57
It's tough to argue my point on twitter, especially when I am such a long winded person, so tweeting back and forth with Adam "The Bull" was like nails on a chalkboard to me. Even calling the Bull last night on WFAN is torture because I have a few minutes to explain what I mean and I always leave out so many points that would bolster my argument, that I get a little crazy after hanging up. Thankfully Adam gives me a few extra minutes here and there, but even with Adam's kindness it's never enough time for me. So I am writing this article to explain my reasoning as to why I thought Girardi's decision was moronic when he started Colon in the 7th.

First this is not 2nd guessing, because I did not care what the outcome was. Even if Joba stopped scoffing down hamburgers long enough to pitch well, I would still be writing this article.

I hate the pitch count, but if you are a manager who will continually relies on it to make your decision to pull or not to pull a pitcher then you have to be consistent.

Colon was pitching well in last nights game against Boston. Entering the 6th inning Colon had thrown 83 pitches, and unless he had a tough inning I believed he would start the 7th. Colon got the first two outs throwing a quick 4 pitches to bring his total to 87. Now I really believed that Colon would start the 7th around 92 pitches, but after 2 singles and a 7 pitch effort that ended with a Crawford pop out, Colon ended the 6th inning having thrown 100 pitches, (which for some dumbass reason is the magical number for pitch counts)

As a manager I base my decision on pulling my pitcher on a few things:

#1- is the pitcher capable of making it through the next inning based on a 15-20 pitch effort?

Colon was capable of doing it, but just barely. If you take into account that the Yankee pitching staff is very, very thin, and Colon only had a few starts so far in 2011, and ZERO innings in 2010. If I am the manager I would be cautious with a pitcher who has had so many arm problems the past few years.

#2- Did he have an easy previous inning?

Colon LOOKED like he had an easy inning, but in fact he had a tough inning, Yes, Boston had two seeing eye ground ball hits, but it took Colon only 4 pitches to get the first two outs , and 13 pitches to get the last one. Add in the fact that with 2 men on if Colon had lost Crawford, Girardi would have pulled him immediately

#3 - How was his pitches in the previous inning? Was his curve-ball high? Did he throw a lot of balls? Are the same pitches that were swing and misses, now being fouled off?

All these questions tell me if the pitcher is tired, or he still has something left. Watching Colon in the 6th throw all 4-seam fastballs told me he was getting tired, because his 2 seam which was darting all over the place the first 4 innings lost some movement in the 5th, and he basically abandoned it in the 6th. Most people believe your not tired if you are still throwing the ball fast, and that's idiotic. The first things you lose is movement, and control, Speed is one of the last things you lose when you tire. In the 6th during his 7 pitch battle with Crawford, Colon still throwing in the mid 90's but he went with all 4-seam fastballs because Colon knew from the 5th inning that his 2-seam fastball lost all it's movement and was now flat and hittable.

#4 - Do I put my pitcher in a position to get a loss if I pushed him one more inning?

If my #3, #4 or #5 pitcher gave me 6 great innings against a top team, and he is not my ace, as a manager I don't ever want to hear "He pitched great, and he deserved better" No matter what anyone says a loss is still a loss and a starting pitcher has to sit there 5 days before he gets a chance to redeem himself. If I know my pitcher has better odds of not finishing an inning, than finishing, or I am "Hoping" for a quick inning, then I would rather pull him, knowing he pitched well, and while he won't get the win, he will not get the loss either. Yes, Hosts and reporters will say "You pitched great" but the bottom line is you were the losing pitcher, and just like a bloop looks like a line drive in the next days box score, When there is an "L" next to the your name, in a few weeks you won't read Colon is 2-4 BUT he pitched well enough to win in one of those games. It's all BS you are what your record says you are.

#5 - Is my bullpen rested? or is this gonna be a tough week and I need to stretch my starter a little further in an effort to save the bull pen for the upcoming week?

Since Joba had not pitched in 3 days, Soriano just having a week off because of some minor elbow problems, and with Mariano only having pitched 14 pitches 2 games ago, Girardi had his big three all set to go for that game and for Saturday's game as well.

So with all that said. Girardi was an idiot for sending Colon out there to start the 7th inning. It all comes down to what had a better chance of happening? Colon at 100 pitches throwing a quick inning or pulling him with runners on base, and the heart of the Boston line-up coming to bat?

Now if Girardi left Colon in after he let up the lead off base hit, then I would not be writing this article at all, because that would signal to me that Girardi felt Colon had a lot left in the tank. When Colon threw 3 pitches in the 7th and let up the base hit Girardi was quickly out of the dugout and signaling Joba into the game.

What this quick hook told me was Girardi knew Colon was at the end of his rope at the end of the 6th, and he was hoping that Colon would somehow get through the 7th inning. If you have to "Hope" then pull the pitcher, and let Joba start the inning with nobody on in a tie game. No pitcher likes coming into a situation that they did not create, ask any relief pitcher and 99.9% of them would say I would rather start an inning with no one on, because you can now use all your pitchers to see what is and what is not working.

Yes reporters may not think it's a big deal coming in with a runner on with no outs, or starting an inning fresh with no one on, but it is a huge difference for a pitcher. The problem i really have is, Joba was already warmed up, so if Colon somehow made it through the 7th, and with the game tied in the 8th, Girardi would have brought in Soriano, since we all know Soriano is the "8th inning guy" Now if Soriano made it through the 8th and the game was tied in the 9th Mo would have been brought in since you can't get a save at home in extra innings, most managers use their stopper in the 9th, knowing odds are you will have basically a free shot to win it in the 9th. So if Colon somehow managed to get through the 7th, Joba would not be used till at least the 10th and he would have to warm up all over again. With Joba warming up twice and if he had a slightly tough outing and threw say about 25-30 pitches he had most likely not to be able to pitch on Saturday.

Pulling Colon after the 6th, and using Joba in the 7th, Soriano in the 8th and Mo in the 9th most likely would have kept the game tied till at least the 10th inning, giving the Yankees a much better chance at winning. Bringing Joba in with a man on with no one out changes everything. It may seem like nothing to a lot of people, but it's amazing how many times Mariano comes into a tie game and blows it. No one can explain the mind set of a relief pitcher, but sometimes entering a game with a man on screws you up.

This was not a "2nd Guess...Monday morning quarterback" article. Once Colon started the 7th inning I already planned to write the article. The only thing I had to wait for was to see exactly when Girardi pulled Colon. The games out come did not matter at all.

It was a dumb idea to start Colon in the 7th, but what else can you expect from an moronic manager.

Dominick Mezzapesa
Twitter @dmezz1120
Email mezz1962@gmail.com