"We still have two more games in a row," Girardi said. "And we’re down three. If we got it down to two, we were going to make a change. Being down three runs and you know what Valverde has done all year long, we decided to go to Ayala."Luis Ayala performed ably throughout the regular season - his peripherals suggested a league-average pitcher, but he was able to slay the luck dragon and maintain a nice looking 2.09 ERA. With a rested Robertson and Soriano, however, it seems curious to hand the ball over to a pitcher twenty-four hours removed from allowing two inherited runners to score and three days removed from handing the Rays the Wild Card.
I will not call this move indefensible, as Valverde has been very good this season. It would also be false to suggest that this move truly hurt the Yankees, as even an illogical use of the predetermined outcome has them losing the game 4-3 (assuming Robertson or Soriano would have escaped the inning unscathed). That being said, it is difficult to defend Girardi's logic here, and I never want to see my team's manager all but welcome defeat.
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