One of the many jobs a Major League manager has is to put his team in a position to win every day.
Last night, Joe Girardi did not do that.
In fact, he put his team in position to LOSE...and they did.
With the game tied in the 9th, Girardi summoned Mariano Rivera from the pen to hold the tie, and he did.
The Yankees put runners on base in the bottom of the 9th, but could not score...we go to the 10th.
Since Rivera only used 18 pitches to dispatch the Rays in the 9th, one would figure that the pitch count obsessed manager would use his only reliable reliever in the 10th and give the Yanks a chance to win in the bottom of the inning.
Nope. In comes unreliable Phil Coke and TWO pitches later its 4-3 Rays as Carlos Pena deposits a meatball into the mostly empty right field seats.
After the game when asked about using Rivera in the 10th, Girardi offered this:
"It was not a situation you ask Mo for three more outs."
Why not? He only threw 18 pitches! Girardi said it was too early in the season to ask Rivera for 2 innings.
If that is so, why did he bring in Rivera with 2 outs and a 2-0 count on a Boston batter in the 8th last week?
Also, lefties' average against Rivera is 173 points lower than righties'.
Pena is a leftie.
Girardi later added:
"Every day we do the best we can to prepare our club, and every move we make is to win the game, and that's what I focus on."
You didn't last night, Joe.
You set them up to fail and fail they did.