NEW YORK (WFAN) — The Yankees had a lot of stars in their American League wild-card victory over the Twins on Tuesday night: Didi Gregorius, Aaron Judge, Brett Gardner, Chad Green, David Robertson.
But Joe Girardi deserves plenty of credit, too, WFAN’s Mike Francesa said Wednesday, calling the job the Yankees manager did “tremendous.”
Francesa said there were a few pivotal moments early in the game that set up the Yankees’ 8-4 win. Girardi’s “out-of-the-box” decision to go to Chad Green in the first inning after starter Luis Severino struggled badly was key, Francesa said.
Severino was pulled with one out in the first after he allowed three runs on two homers and put two more runners on base.
“Girardi’s decision to yank Severino when he did and not go to the conventional starting pitcher in that spot to save him some innings and extend the game there, to go to a strikeout artist, to go to one of his premier relievers in that spot was an absolute brilliant stroke, not only to save those two runs because you’re staring at a 5-0 deficit, which is an enormous deficit in a playoff game, especially in a one-game setting,” Francesa said. “But on top of that, just to put some doubt into a Twins bench that was rocking.”
Green got the Yankees out of the jam in the first inning by striking out both batters he faced, as well as the first two batters in the second inning.
To listen to Francesa’s Wednesday monologue, click on the audio player above.