Manager Joe Girardi was not on the field, but he also contributed to the failure here. How so? Because Russell Martin clearly, absolutely, unequivocally should have been in the starting lineup against a lefty starter. If he were in the lineup, he would have hit ahead of
Of course there is no way of knowing whether Martin would have helped the Yankees score. However, I feel comfortable in asserting that having Russell Martin in the lineup would have giving the Yankees their maximum odds of winning; and maximizing the odds is a big part of a manager's job.
Martin's helped carry the inconsistent offense. This month he has 6 HRs, 16 RBIs, and a .274/.369/.562 slash line. The best lineup today clearly would have included Russell Martin.
So why would Martin have been sitting on the bench?
Since it was a day game following a night game, and since the Yanks are in the midst of a stretch of games without a day off, it was not unreasonable for Girardi to put Chris Stewart behind the plate. However, Martin could have been used as the DH; especially since the Yankees are now carrying Cervelli as a third catcher. Instead, Girardi opted to DH Jeter and use Nunez at shortstop. For 5 innings. Before the bottom of the 6th, Girardi apparently remembered Nunez has a glove of lead, and so he moved Jeter to shortstop.
Think about it - with 4 more games to go, and the Yankees clinging to a 1-game lead, we're supposed to believe it helps Derek Jeter to have 5 innings off? Ridiculous - and yet those few innings of rest is why one of the Yankees few hot hitters was not hitting in perhaps the game's biggest moment.
This is the third time this week that Girardi has managed the team as though it were a mid-season game. The days dwindle down to a precious few - except in the alternate universe in which Joe Girardi apparently resides, where it apparently is still mid-July.