I know it's a long season. I also know that we have some players on the Yanks who are not exactly 'spring chickens.' Joe HAS to do a better job, however, of picking the spots to rest players.
Last night Melky and Jose Molina sat in favor of Damon in center and Stewart behind the plate.
In theory, sitting Melky once in a while is not a bad idea. Last night was terrible timing for it though. Not only is Melky one of our hottest hitters, but degrading the defense in center field on a night when a struggling youngster is pitching is just plain dumb.
The defensive part of the equation played out in the first inning. With runners on 2nd and 3rd a flair was hit to center; a ball I believe Melky catches, but Damon could not. The runner from 3rd scored. Then, to compound the problem, the runner at 2nd scored because of the 9 year-old-girl-like strength of Damon's arm. Melky would definitely saved 1 if not both of the runs that scored in the 1st inning last night.
Also, we are less than 30 games into the season and Melky is 23 years old...do you really think he's tired? We had far too many left handed hitters in the lineup last night as it is...sitting the switch hitting Melky only made that worse. Sitting Giambi against the lefty would have been a far smarter move if Joe simply HAD to rest someone.
Phil Hughes is one of the more important long-term pieces of the Yankee puzzle and has been struggling mightily. How can you justify pairing Hughes with the Yankee debut of Chris Stewart? A veteran major league catcher, Jose Molina may have been able to help take charge of the situation with Phil last night and maybe help him with his confidence. Having Stewart catch Pettitte is not a problem; making a 21 year old trying to find his way pitch to what is essentially our 5th string catcher is plain stupid.
I'm a big Girardi fan - there is little excuse for last night's bad decisions, though.