He asked me who I felt better with and I said I feel the same with both guys. Youkilis usually gets good at-bats against me, and if I walk Manny and load the bases, I'm putting myself in a tight spot where I have to throw strikes.If Mussina fell behind, then he'd put Manny on base intentionally anyway and deal with Yook. Mussina's first pitch was not low and away -- it tailed back over the plate and Ramirez bashed it for a two-run double. It gave Boston a 3-2 lead, Ramirez scored three pitches later, and the Red Sox went on to win 4-3.
Results always make you second-guess. If Youkilis had gotten the hit, we would have still been standing here having the same discussion, wouldn't we? The strategy wasn't necessarily wrong; I just made a bad pitch.At least two writers compared Girardi's "mistake" in not intentionally walking Ramirez immediately to the worst managerial blunder in Red Sox history.
Jim Donaldson, Journal:
What in the name of Bill James was Grady Joe Girardi Little thinking?Michael Silverman, Herald:
Two out, two on, and first base open in the bottom of the sixth inning, his New York Yankees clinging to a 2-1 lead over the Red Sox, Manny Ramirez coming to the plate, and a tiring Mike Mussina on the mound.
What to do?
You walk Ramirez, of course.
Unless, that is, you are Grady Joe Girardi Little. ...
The decision by Mike Mussina, manager Joe Girardi and whoever else offered their two cents in deciding to pitch to Ramirez with first base open, runners on second and third and the Yankees up by one run, will go down as one of their worst all season.Whaaaaaa? It was the 12th game of the season, not the next-to-last inning of Game 7 of a heated ALCS.
Doesn't anyone remember Grady Little around here anymore?
The decision backfired -- as decisions sometimes do -- and now both clubs are 6-6. With 150 games remaining in the regular season. If that was truly one of the Yankees' worst decisions of the season, the Red Sox's chances of winning the AL East are in serious trouble.