Girardi: Phantom warmup 'within rules'

Girardi: Phantom warmup 'within rules'

MINNEAPOLIS -- Yankees manager Joe Girardi wasn't apologizing for his strategic stalling in the ninth inning of Wednesday's 3-2 victory over the Twins, even though it apparently irked Minnesota manager Ron Gardenhire.

After Nick Swisher's solo home run gave the Yankees the lead in the ninth inning, New York needed time to get closer Mariano Rivera up for his second save situation of the day.

Girardi sent starter Andy Pettitte out to throw his warmup pitches, which he did more slowly than usual. When home-plate umpire Brian O'Nora tried to hurry things along, catcher Francisco Cervelli briefly pretended to have something in his eye before Girardi finally made the pitching change.

"That was kind of tired, to tell you the truth," Gardenhire said after the game. "You don't normally get that long between innings to do all that, but we know what's going on there. That's a situation Major League Baseball needs to take care of when stuff like that happens.

"You don't have a guy ready in the bullpen -- if your starter goes out there, he should have to face a hitter. That's just the way it should be. If you don't get a guy up, that's the way it should be, unless the other team makes a change."

Pettitte had no intention of coming back into the game after eight innings and 94 pitches, and Girardi said that as long as Rivera got ready, Pettitte's night was over.

"It's within the rules," Girardi said. "I have that option to send a starter out there to get my closer ready. It's the second game, and I wasn't going to warm [Rivera] up unless we were going to use him. That's within the rules, and I played within the rules."

The Yankees have been criticized this year for slow play, notably by umpire Joe West, but Girardi thought that taking time to get Rivera loose should be acceptable.

"It's two minutes," Girardi said. "Managers throw over all the time to get the guys ready, or send the catchers out. ... It would be silly to get Mo up and say, 'Be ready,' and then not use him. It doesn't make sense. It's a different story if he didn't pitch three hours before, but whatever I did was within the grounds of what I'm allowed to do."

Rivera retired the side on three ground balls, and even Gardenhire seemed to believe that having Pettitte toss a few extra times couldn't be a pinpoint reason for the game's outcome.

"That's not what lost the game for us," Gardenhire said. "That's stuff that just gets old right there."