Thursday, April 30, 2015

The Didi Dilemma: Why don't we have anybody to pinch hit?

Yesterday, in the tenth inning, this awful thing happened.

As you can see, the game was on the line. The Evils had two men on base, and up comes Didi Gregorius, who on a good day is batting over .200. In the dugout, the Yankees have Brett Gardner, Brian McCann and the increasingly irrelevant Garrett Jones. Earlier, they had pinch-hit Stephen Drew - for what reason I cannot instantly fathom. Thus, they have no one to play infield. So here you go, Mudville: Game on line, Didi at the bat. And he... pops it up.

Two innings later, this awful thing happens:
Listen: I realize that extra inning games stress a lineup. But how many pitchers do the Yankees need? It's a bullpen, Mr. Cashman, not a Cecil B. DeMille battle scene. And what's the good of having pinch-hitters if you can't use them for your worst batter?

The answer, of course, is Jose Pirela - the poor guy who a month ago hit the CF wall in Tampa like a bug on a windshield. Theoretically, in a Rob Refsnyder way, Pirela could play SS. He certainly can hit more than Didi. (Kate Upton can hit more than Didi.)

Final note: This is the retching of a fan after a game is lost. If somebody had homered, and the Yankees won, we wouldn't be going through this horrible self-flagelation. But it's also a sign of an unbalanced team. If we've learned anything thus far on the season, it is that Gregorius will be lucky to hit .240 - and he's more likely to finish near .200. If our game plan is to pinch hit Drew - batting .167 - well, good luck with that.


KD said...

but, but.. Drew hit a pinch-hit grand slam! dude is clutch, man. FOREVER! That freak event will live forever in Joe's binder. Count on it.

John M said...

Right, KD. The binder knows all. The bind sees all.

As for pinching for Dee Dee, see, you can't afford to maybe put a guy at the plate who will win the game for you at that point, because then who would play SS in the next inning that doesn't happen?


joe de pastry said...

Baseball rosters are so overloaded with pitchers that teams don't have enough bench players to pinch-hit. Either they need pitchers-both starters and relievers-who can stay in a game longer or they should expand the rosters to 27 players. I'm sure Hal and his country club buddies can afford it.

jdrny said...

Let's not forget Mr. .240 BA Headly swinging into the shift with a man on and no out. Punch to third and you have 2 on and no out in 12th inning.
Headly is no Miguel Cabrera. He should learn how to bunt for a single.