As per LoHud, tonight's Yankee lineup apparently includes Jerry Hairston in right field in place of the struggling Nick Swisher and A.J. Burnett's personal caddy and offensive black hole Jose Molina.
I don't necessarily disagree in theory with giving a guy like Swisher a break, considering how horrendous he's looked at the plate, but I'm not certain Game 2 of the World Series is the time to do it, especially down 1-0. According to LoHud, Girardi "liked Hairston’s history of success against Pedro. He has eight hits in 24 ABs and a .907 OPS."
This has Enrique Wilson written all over it, and I don't like it one bit. Additionally, everyone assumed the Jose Molina experiment was finally over, given Burnett's miserable 1st inning in Game 5 of the ALCS. It's bad enough the Yankees' eight other batters in the lineup are hitting like Jose Molina; now we get to have a full Molina nine.
I sure hope I'm wrong on this and Girardi's questionable tactical moves actually pay off, but a 7/8/9 of Melky, Jerry Hairston and Jose Molina tonight with the team about to head to a National League park for three games and the Yankee offense sucking like its late October/early November 2001 does not exactly inspire a world of confidence.
Maybe Hairston and Molina prove me wrong and end up being cogs in a key rally tonight, or maybe the big Yankee bats that are supposed to be responsible for producing runs actually do some real damage and the starting of Hairston and Molina in this game ends up going overlooked. Girardi is most certainly hoping for the latter outcome, but these still seem like needless risks that shouldn't even be taken in the first place, especially with a weaker Pedro Martinez on the mound and an offense (that should include Jorge Posada and Nick Swisher) ready to break out.