Yankees starter Jaime Garcia‘s line score for Wednesday afternoon’s start against the Rays at Citi Field looked fine: one run allowed, five hits, one walk, four strikeouts. There was just one issue: he lasted only 4 2/3 innings, something he wasn’t happy about.
Garcia got two quick outs in the fifth, but Lucas Duda singled to keep the inning alive. Manager Joe Girardi went out to the mound and removed Garcia at just 78 pitches. Garcia didn’t make eye contact with Girardi when he handed him the ball, and the two were later seen in a face-to-face argument in the dugout.
The move worked, as Chad Green got the final out of the fifth, then pitched a scoreless sixth by striking out the side. The Yankees went on to win 3-2.
Per MLB.com’s Bryan Hoch, Girardi said after the game, “I understand if he’s still mad. I’m OK with that.”
In Girardi’s defense, his team is involved in two very important battles: the club is 3.5 games behind the first-place Red Sox in the AL East, and leads the Twins for the first AL Wild Card slot by 3.5 games. Garcia hadn’t exactly been lights out since joining the Yankees, yielding 18 runs (14 earned) in five starts for an unsightly 5.11 ERA. That also includes a mediocre 20/16 K/BB ratio in 24 2/3 innings.