Yankees: Win over Phillies proves why New York doesn’t miss Joe Girardi

Phillies manager Joe Girardi (Photo by Carmen Mandato/Getty Images)
Phillies manager Joe Girardi (Photo by Carmen Mandato/Getty Images) /

Joe Girardi took out Phillies star Aaron Nola and then the Yankees feasted.

It’s safe to say the one thing that drove New York Yankees fans absolutely crazy when Joe Girardi was the manager in the Bronx was his penchant for overthinking when making pitching changes. His 12-inch-thick binder that guided his strict decision-making hardly made anyone happy.

Whether it was yanking a starter too early or constantly playing matchups with the bullpen, Girardi’s ways were very much an inexact science. And how can we be surprised one of his pitching changes on Wednesday night helped lift the Yankees to victory against the Phillies?

He wasn’t burdened with such a task in Game 1 of the doubleheader since the Phils racked up 11 runs, but in the evening matchup he decided to take out ace Aaron Nola, who was absolutely shredding the Bombers, after the sixth inning. (However, it’s important to remember doubleheader games are now only seven innings).

STILL! Nola was only at 88 pitches and managed to fan 12 batters in the best lineup in baseball. It’s understandable that we’re in a shortened season and many players still need time to build up their game-speed strength (most notably starting pitchers), but Nola has had plenty of rest given the Phillies’ recent hiatus due to COVID-19 and (we’d like to assume) he kept pace with his throwing program since last pitching on July 24.

If he was able to throw 88 pitches in the intense manner he was on Wednesday, why not trot him out for the seventh? If things go wrong, you can always pull him quickly. Aside from Luke Voit’s home run, the Yankees had no answers for the right-hander.

Instead, Girardi went with reliever Tommy Hunter for the final frame in the seventh and he got absolutely shelled. The right-hander allowed two earned runs on four hits and didn’t record an out. Adam Morgan had to come in to finish the job, but it was too late. The Yankees’ two runs ended up being the difference in the 3-1 victory.

It’s hard to believe we’re (possibly) THIS concerned about risking pitchers’ health. One more inning or 10-15 more pitches won’t cause anyone’s arm to fall off (unless you’re fresh off surgery or, like, 110 pitches in). The Phillies would’ve been in tremendous shape if they could’ve pulled off the two-game sweep over the Yanks on Wednesday and it was clear Nola would’ve been the only reason that had happened. Let’s face it, Philly wasn’t getting to New York’s bullpen.

Instead, the Yankees feasted on Hunter’s low-90s fastball and inferior movement, captured the win, and called it a night. Thanks, Joe!