We’ve tweaked Girardi for suboptimal leveraging of his bullpen parts. But, Girardi is doing a much better job than most managers in being swayed by small sample sizes when it comes to the pen.

In Sunday’s game against the Twins, the Yankees were ready to relieve Sergio Mitre after a fine 5-inning performance. It was a key situation: The Yanks were up two with one on, one out, and Mauer & Morneau coming up. Most managers in that situation wouldn’t even consider going to a guy who had posted an ERA over 10 on the season. We would have heard how that guy is “pressing right now” and how he needs a “bit of a mental break” before being thrown into a high-leverage situation.

But, Joe eschewed the 9 and 2/3′s hard luck innings that David Robertson had pitched this season in favor of professional track record that says DRob is an effective reliever. Bully on you, Joe!

By the way, Girardi was also 100% right to bring in Mo with 2 outs in the eighth with bases loaded, despite the unfortunate outcome. It was the first time this season Joe had used Rivera for more than 3 outs, and we’d like to see more of it in high-leverage situations.