On Thursday, the Yankees swept the AL West-leading Rangers by winning 3-2 in extra innings. The Bombers won on a walkoff single in the 12th by substitute Brett Gardner — key word being substitute. This is the second game in a row Joe Girardi has omitted Gardner from the starting lineup due to the opposing pitcher being left-handed. It’s also something we’ve seen the overmanager due on multiple occasions this season. And it’s rather insane.

Point blank, Brett Gardner is one of the best players on the team. He’s 5th in WAR (2.0), but if you break it down by plate appearances, he has the 3rd-highest WAR/PA on the club (behind only Granderson & Arod).

Additionally, when you look at Gardner’s career platoon splits, he’s managed to get on base versus LHP 35% of the time. Even if his platoon split sucked (which it doesn’t), his defense is so elite that he should be in the lineup anyway.

And then there’s this quote:

Andruw Jones started in left as usual with a lefty going. But Brett Gardner came on in the ninth and had two singles in extra innings against lefty Michael Kirkman, including the walk-off hit in the 12th.

“I never worry about him against lefties,” Joe Girardi said. “I’m just trying to keep Andruw going.”

What?

Further proof of Girardi’s descent into the darkness.


Has Joe gone mad?