Tiana already outlined how poorly J.A. Happ fared in Game 2. But let’s face it, we were going to see Happ at some point in this series. He pitched well enough down the stretch to earn that opportunity. Happ was obviously bad, and as annoying as that is, you can only get so mad at a guy for not performing. What I really have a problem with are Happ’s postgame comments.
J.A. Happ said he told the Yankees we would have preferred to start tonight's game but that he was ready to pitch. Wouldn't answer when he was asked if he felt like he was put in a position to succeed.
Happ and the Yankees obviously have bad blood from when they skipped his starts earlier this season. The difference between his comments then and what he said last night is that a few weeks ago, Happ wasn’t even being given an opportunity to pitch. Happ was entrusted with pitching the bulk of a playoff game last night, but was upset because he started the second inning rather than the game itself. That’s absolutely infuriating to me.
The Yankees letting Deivi Garcia pitch just one inning and then going to Happ wasn’t a good plan. But it was still a plan. Happ wasn’t blindsided by this news. He knew he was coming into the game early. Boone gave Happ a clean inning against a lineup with multiple left-handed batters. Did Happ not starting the game cause him to groove a 2-strike fastball to Mike Zunino, walk three batters, and allow the lefties he was supposed to neutralize to go 2-7 off of him?
One of the reasons TB style of doing this works so well is the buy in from all pitchers. Happ seems to be accepting but not really buying into the role he was put in. https://t.co/vVX1uot2S4
Ahead of ALCS Game 7 in 2003, Joe Torre promised Mike Mussina that if he used him in relief, it would be in a clean inning. Well, Torre brought Mussina into the game in the fourth inning with runners on. Mussina ended up throwing three shutout innings to keep the Yankees in the game. I don’t expect Happ to be Mussina because Happ is not nearly as good of a pitcher as Moose was. Still, it’s pathetic to hear Happ suggest he wasn’t put in a position to succeed when he pitched that poorly.
At the end of the day, I blame the Yankees for even going to Happ in game 2. Garcia has a confidence on the mound that Happ does not. Despite being much younger than Happ, Garcia was better equipped for the moment. But J.A. Happ, please. Just stop talking.