Maybe it is just as well Mike Wilner was 'given the weekend off', he or Cito would be dead after they talked this one over.
Everything that mattered happened in the top of the 8th. All things you could question Cito about.
First he decides to stay with Brandon Morrow (who had pitched a great game) to start the 8th even though Morrow had thrown 104 pitches at that point. I'd have gone to the pen. Only up by two, you'd like the first reliever not to come in with the tying run at the plate. I don't see the up side in keeping Morrow in, He wasn't going to finish the inning unless we were going to leave him in beyond 120 pitches, which would just be stupid.
So Morrow hits the first batter. In comes Scott Downs, now with the tying run at the plate. Downs hits Brett Gardner. Bad luck, just came inside and got the hands on the bat. Downs gets to 2 strikes on Derek Jeter but Jeter slaps one down the opposite line for a double, scoring one and putting the tying run at third.
Jason Frasor comes in and strikes out Swisher, getting Swisher to whine, yet again and gets Girardi ejected.
Then Cito decides to intentionally walk Mark Teixiera. This move falls somewhere between 'I wouldn't do it' and 'just the dumbest move ever'. You can pick where on the scale it fits. Tex is hitting a big .211 and Alex Rodriguez is hitting behind him. I hate walking a guy to load the bases. Is just a bad move. You force the pitcher to go after the next guy. When the next guy is ARod it isn't fun. Frasor did strike out ARod, but still I hate the move.
There was also a wild pitch in there that scored the tying run. The wild pitch came because Frasor needed to perfect to ARod, with 2 strikes he had to throw something that ARod couldn't hit that could set up the next pitch and he bounced one. Molina blocked it but it bounced away.
So we get ARod but the wild pitch gives us runners on second and third again and Robinson Cano is up. Now we walked a .211 hitting Mark Teixeira, to set up the right vs. right match up. Surely we will walk Cano, batting .363. Nope.....Cano singles, drives in 2 and we are behind. This is the other reason the first walk was stupid, because if ARod doesn't hit into a DP we have to face Cano. Who would you rather face a .211 hitting Teixeira or a .363 hitting Cano?
We did try to get back in the game, Jose Molina lead off the bottom of the 8th with a double. Fred Lewis singled him home. Aaron Hill fouled off one bunt attempt, then hit into a DP. I don't like the bunt, I would rather have had Lewis try to steal but anything would have been better than the DP.
A neat moment came after that, the guy filling in for Joe Girardi went to pull Joba Chamberlain for Mariano Rivera but put up his left hand instead of his right, Cito pointed that out and they had to put in the lefty Marte instead. Rules I never knew. Have to raise the proper hand, apparently. Didn't matter, Marte struck out Adam Lind.
Other than all that, Morrow had another great start, 7 innings, 4 hits, 1 earned, 1 walk, 8 strikeouts. We aren't hearing from the Morrow haters any more, which is nice. And Vernon Wells hit his 15th home runs, a 2 run shot and our first hit of the game. He now has a 14 game hitting streak going.
Jays of the Day are Morrow (.367 WPA), Wells (.143) and Molina (.132). Suckage: Downs (-.384), Hill (-.281) Frasor (-,266) and Alex Gonzalez (-.108).
Tomorrow is an off day. Tuesday we start a series in Tampa Bay.
The end of the game wasn't fun but we won the series and we showed we can play with the best teams in baseball. We have great team to watch.