It is official, Joe Torre has lost his mind. In one of the worst regular season managing jobs The Monk has seen in a long time, Torre blew the Yankees' game against the Red Sux tonight.
Bottom 7, one out, two on and Yanks up 5-2, Pettitte still sharp after 100 pitches, Torre pulls him for Proctor. Should not have done it. Proctor gets two easy outs.
Bottom 8, Yanks now up 6-2, Torre pulls Proctor for Myers to face Ortiz. WHY? If Ortiz hits one out, it's 6-3 and Proctor still has two righties in the next three hitters to mow down. Soft-toss lefties need to hit their spots, Myers didn't, and Ortiz whacks a double. Useless. Myers out, Torre brings in Vizcaino (4 ER against the Indians yesterday, 10th appearance in 15 games!) and he walks fatboy2. Drew grounds out. Lowell gets a single, 6-3. Vizcaino out, Mariano in. Yeah, THAT Mariano -- the one who was supposed to be a one-inning pitcher only for this whole season gets the call for FIVE outs.
Rivera is simply not right. His fastball is missing about 2-3 mph. He can't hit his spots. He couldn't put Varitek down after getting ahead 1-2 (he singled, 6-4). Then Coco Crisp hits a weak triple that rolls down the RF line -- 6-6. Blown save #2. After a jam-shot hit with the infield in (sound familiar -- 2001 WS, that's how the Yanks lost), the Yanks trail 7-6.
Joe is already depleting the bullpen. The relievers come in the game when the starter runs out of gas or effectiveness. Pettitte was ABSOLUTELY FINE, throwing 92, hitting his spots, only two runs coughed up and Joe pulled him. This is flat-out stupid. Joe knows he has rookies pitching tomorrow and Sunday and will need the 'pen. He has to know Pettitte is still fine. So why burn 2+ extra relievers by not having Pettitte finish the 7th? Even LaRussa lets his pitchers go farther.
This is the reason some of us (including me) thought it was time for Joe to go after the Yanks' honk last year -- he is misusing and abusing the bullpen. He mismanaged yesterday's game but A-Rod saved him. He mismanaged tonight's game and even A-Rod's 2 HR, 4 RBI and 3 runs could not forestall the flop. When the Yanks go out of Ratway Park down to 8-9, with three losses in a row and Rivera in the dumper, The Monk will again point to this game as a reason to support his belief that Torre's lost his MoJoe.