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Monday, May 1, 2017

Pitchers are not players. Bryan Mitchell pitched, played first, pitched again ... and lost the game.

In yesterday's game at Yankee Stadium Bryan Mitchell:
- pitched the 9th
- played first in the 10th while Aroldis Chapman came in to pitch
- pitched again in the 11th ... and lost the game.

The five basic tools remain:
- hit
- hit for power
- run
- field
- throw.

Pitchers only need to be able to throw. They are not baseball players. If they could hit, they would and play a regular position, instead of being in there part time.

Yankee manager Joe Girardi used up all but one of his many relief pitchers and when his players inexplicably rallied again in the bottom of the 9th to tie the game with two outs and force extra innings, Girardi decided that he didn't trust Bryan Mitchell to pitch in the game once it was tied. Girardi then had these choices:
- replace Mitchell with a "starter"
- replace Mitchell for one inning with Aroldis Chapman
- replace Mitchell for one inning with Aroldis Chapman but keep Mitchell in the game at another position.

For the 10th inning Girardi moved Mitchell to first base, replacing Chris Carter and losing the designated hitter (DH), Matt Holiday, who had homered in the first inning.

The Yankee announcers were beside themselves over such a radical move. The first batter hit a foul pop up between home and first that Mitchell missed for an error. Mitchell looked like a soccer player. The batter then singled but Baltimore did not score.

The Yankees failed to score in the bottom of the 10th and Girardi removed his one inning wonder Chapman and returned Mitchell to the pitcher's mound from first base, replacing him at first with Greg Bird.

Note: When there is a rain delay managers do not want to bring a pitcher back if the delay is too long and the pitcher stiffens up. Wouldn't Mitchell have stiffened up standing at first base and not throwing?

The first Orioles batter in the 11th fouled out to first baseman Greg Bird. That's the play that Mitchell failed to make when playing first in the 10th. But then Mitchell gave up some hits and three runs. Yanks lost 7-4.

Obviously, Girardi should have simply removed Mitchell from the game when he brought Chapman in to pitch the 10th and then for the 11th, either extended Chapman or used one of those good for nothing starters, who just take up roster spots when they do not start.

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