Yankees: Girardi, Phelps and Ibanez Yankees: Girardi, Phelps and Ibanez Yankees: Girardi, Phelps and Ibanez
 

Yankees: Girardi, Phelps and Ibanez

English: Joe Girardi, manager of the New York ...

English: Joe Girardi, manager of the New York Yankees. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The New York Yankees went into to last night with a one-run lead over the Baltimore Orioles in the AL East.

The Yankees fought hard vs. a more complete Red Sox. And after 12-innings, the Bronx Bombers won, in walk-off fashion, 4-3.

And Yankee fans owe a lot of that win to the moves made by skipper Joe Girardi.

Girardi first right move was before the game, when he sent a struggling Ivan Nova to the bullpen and gave his start to David Phelps.

As after a shaky first inning, giving up runs to Jacoby Ellsbury and Dustin Pedroia, Phelps settled in and went a solid 5 1/3 frames. He struck out four, and walked two Red Sox, but didn’t allow another run to score.

The next move Girardi made was a game changer; pinch-hitting Raul Ibanez in the ninth inning for Eduardo Nunez.

The Yankees were down 3-1 when Girardi called on the veteran Ibanez to hit.

And hit Ibanez did, as he went deep with Granderson on base to tie the game.

Ibanez also drove in the winning run in the bottom of the 12th inning.

Can anyone say Raul to the Rescue?

Even though the Yankees won, which is all you can ask for, it does mask their perpetual issue of 2012 season. And that is stranding runners on base, which was on full display, as they left 14 in total last night. That won’t work in the postseason, as Yankee fans are well aware with after the last two seasons.

Now with the O’s winning 1-0 down in Tampa Bay, despite a 15-strikeout performance by Rays pitcher James Shields, the Yankees either need a win today, or a Baltimore lose and the AL East will be all theirs.