WASHINGTON (WUSA) -- The baseball world is still buzzing from last night's epic American League affairs -- featuring ninth inning comebacks from both the New York Yankees and the Oakland Athletics.
However improbable the A's continued success has been in 2012, it was the Bronx Bombers thriller which will stand out more in a historical sense.
Yankee skipper Joe Girardi benched one of the greatest baseball players to ever play the game, Alex Rodriguez, in favor of 40-year-old journeyman Raul Ibanez. Surely by now you've seen the clips of Ibanez and his two home runs -- a kick in the teeth to Baltimore Oriole fans.
Girardi's gutsy judgement call may have saved the Yankees season, or also could've gotten he and his team burned by the national media. Don't expect Davey Johnson to follow suit in making any drastic changes to his ball club.
"I still think even a slumping star has the best chance," Johnson said to the media Thursday before a possibly season-ending NLDS Game 4. "But that was obviously a great move in New York."
Diehard Nats fanatics and some members of the media have been jockeying Johnson to pull out all the last stops and do something drastic to kickstart his lethargic baseball team.
Steve Lombardozzi has been a suggested replacement for Danny Espinosa (1-for-9) at second base. Soon-to-be Rookie of the Year, Bryce Harper, is a liability at the plate. What about starting Roger Bernadina in center and pulling Harper off the bench later in the game? Number six-hitter Ian Desmond's stats -- he's tied for the MLB lead in postseason hits -- must warrant some consideration to be moved further up in the lineup, right?
"That's the toughest decision a manager has to face," Johnson said in regards to hitters struggling in the postseason. "I've never really [pinch] hit for the middle of my lineup. There's times maybe I've thought about it but I haven't pulled the trigger."
Why does Johnson seem so entrenched in his ways of riding out the storm? Johnson's World Series title with the Mets in 1986 was defined by a legendary game six comeback against the Boston Red Sox.
"The thing that jumps to my mind is '86, two runs down, two strikes, two outs, bottom. We come back and score three runs," recalled Johnson.
Maybe Johnson needs a refresher on how that exactly happened. With Davey's courageous lineup changes in the 10th.
Johnson went with rookie pinch-hitter Kevin Mitchell, then 24, over other veteran bats on the bench. Remember, this was with two outs in a do-or-die World Series game. Possibly the most pressure-packed situation any rookie athlete could ever be in. The result? Mitchell singled up the middle and eventually scoring the tying run. Here's the box score if you are looking for proof.
Sometimes, a manager has to step-in and put his fingerprints directly on the game. It's hard to second-guess Johnson because of his track record. But if the Nats find themselves down early again, Davey Johnson needs to get trigger happy. He can't manage scared. Subbing Tyler Moore for Michael Morse is not crazy decison at this point.
If not, Washington D.C. will spend much of the winter playing the 'what if' game regarding the 2012 Nationals.