Over-managing. That’s the only word that could describe this game. Joe Girardi decided to intentionally walk Josh Hamilton on three occasions. The move proved to be successful in the third inning, as Vladimir Guerrero popped out to Robinson Cano. However, intentionally walking Hamilton for a second time in the fifth inning proved to be deadly. Guerrero made Girardi and Phil Hughes pay. He laced a double into the left-center field game, plating two runs, giving the Rangers a 3-1 advantage. David Robertson came on to face Nelson Cruz and was rudely greeted with a two-run home run. Colby Lewis gave the Rangers eight strong innings as the Rangers advanced to their first World Series in franchise history.

While the Yankees were only able to muster three hits, a lot of the blame in this game is on Joe Girardi. Tonight was another classic example of Girardi over-managing. Josh Hamilton is a great player. We’ve seen him crush home runs all series long. However, he is still human and he has a future Hall of Famer protecting him in the batting order. After all of these intentional walks, I knew that Guerrero was going to make the Yankees pay. Robinson Cano has definitely been Hamilton’s equal during the series and the Rangers felt no need to put him on-base. I just don’t understand intentionally walking a player in a tie game, in the third inning. That’s Barry Bonds 2002 type of treatment, not 2010 Josh Hamilton. Girardi put Phil Hughes in a hole during that fifth inning with his moves, which ultimately cost the Yankees their season.

Other than that, Colby Lewis was excellent, giving way to only one run on three hits. That one run, was very controversial as well. With A-Rod on third with Nick Swisher at-bat, a ball in the dirt hit Swisher on back leg and skid away from Bengie Molina. Molina feverishly argued that the ball hit Swisher to no avail. That measly run pretty much exemplified the Yankees during this series.

Josh Hamilton took home MVP honors and he definitely deserves it. Hamilton has been through hell and back in his life. This is definitely a moment he’ll never forget.

Now that the 2010 season is over, the Yankees have questions heading into next season. Derek Jeter, Mariano Rivera, Andy Pettitte, and Joe Girardi are not under contract. Will Pettitte return after watching the Yankee season end from the dugout? What about free agency? Trades? A lot of questions need to be answered.

Congrats to the Rangers though. They were the better team in this series.