With the game tied at four in bottom of the ninth. two runners on-base and two out, Binder Joe elected to intentionally walk Nick Markakis (effectively loading the bases) to get to Adam Jones. Rafael Soriano, who is dealing with a chipped finger nail (boo hoo), was a bit erratic, but that didn’t slow down the BoF. Girardi liked the righty-on-righty match-up of Soriano vs. Jones–and Soriano recorded a game saving strikeout.
On the surface, this move was very, very unorthodox and a combination of things could have ended the game. Namely, a passed ball, any hit, a walk, balk, error, etc. could have ended in. I didn’t like the move at the time, but hey, it worked out and Girardi is going to live and die by the BoF.
Nick Swisher delivered with a mammoth two run, home run in the Top of 10, propelling the Yanks to a sweep of the Birds. Swisher’s hit made Girardi’s decision look brilliant and gave the Yankees a lot of momentum as they head home to take on the Angels.
The BoF wasn’t good to Joe in his first game against the Rays (Carlos Pena says hello), but heading home with a 3-3 record isn’t the worst thing in the world.
Going forward, Yankee fans are going to have a love-hate relationship with the BoF. Baseball is a game that is completely predicated by statistics and Girardi has made it clear that he will live (and die) by those numbers.