53° Good Afternoon
53° Good Afternoon

Yankees-Rangers Game 6 in review

Man, the Yankees just got smoked, eh? As I wrote in my column, this was a case of collective failure.

Got a flight coming in a few hours, so just some thoughts off the top of my head:

--Another bad game for Joe Girardi. Every instinct didn't work: The second intentional walk of Josh Hamilton to go after Vladimir Guerrero, staying with Phil Hughes as long as he did, replacing Hughes with David Robertson.

Girardi said he wanted to wait until the sixth inning before turning to Kerry Wood. But don't you have to adjust there? You should plan to use Hughes, CC Sabathia, Wood and Mariano Rivera in that game. Anyone else should come only in an absolute emergency.

I'd say that's the one lesson that Girardi could learn and apply moving forward: He shouldn't be so rigid in his approach to game management. He needn't drop his notorious binders; it's good for him that he values information so much. But sometimes, you have to take a deep breath and have a better feel for situations and players, IMO.

Any talk that Girardi deserves to be fired is utter nonsense. He's a good manager who had a few bad games.

--There was some talk in the Yankees' clubhouse about the team being "flat" for the entire series. It did feel that way, for sure. But how much of it was the Yankees' flat offense, and how much of it was the Rangers pitchers executing their game plans put together by smart scouts? Texas does have one of the game's best pitching coaches in Mike Maddux.

Nick Swisher had a brutal ALCS, and one team official expressed his frustration with Swisher's postseason in general. We're talking about a sample that is still pretty small, but I do think there's a pinch of truth to the notion that he gets overexcited.

Yet as we've discussed in the past, this is anything but an unconquerable issue. Besides, if he's a postseason choker, then how do you reconcile his horrid ALCS with his great AL Division Series?

--Tough outing by Phil Hughes. Maybe he was just tired from the long season, but he definitely appeared unnerved. When he threw the wild pitch on the first intentional walk to Hamilton, and when he was late covering first base on Mitch Moreland's grounder to second, on what turned out to be the winning run.

--We're from New York so of course we're going to focus on the Yankees, but the Rangers deserve a huge amount of credit. They thoroughly outplayed the Yankees. They shrugged off that potentially crushing Game 1 loss like it was nothing. 

The very first World Series games for the Rangers should be a great deal of fun.

--We'll have plenty of time, going forward, to discuss everything about the Yankees' offseason. Frankly, though, I think this'll be one of the more elementary ones: Re-sign Girardi, re-sign Derek Jeter, re-sign Mariano Rivera, wait on Andy Pettitte, pour a truckload of money on Cliff Lee.

If Lee chooses the Rangers, then the winter will get interesting. But I'll believe that one when I see it.

--Here's the rest of our coverage. Have a great day.


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