Yankees: 3 things we learned from 2019 ALCS defeat
Were the Yankees not prepared?
More than anything else, while both teams struggled at the plate, the Yankees failed miserably to get clutch hits. They certainly had enough opportunities with men on base. No more than just two or three clutch hits at the right time could have swung the outcome of the ALCS, resulting in a victory for the Yanks. Also, the Bombers struck out way too many times and didn’t bomb nearly enough.
The failure of Yanks’ players to hit Astros’ pitching, particularly in clutch situations, is in stark contrast to their impressive performance throughout the regular season. Why?
One has to wonder whether the players were mentally prepared for the challenge of battling Houston. Many of the players in pinstripes appeared to be nervous and unsure of themselves when they came up to bat (Gary Sanchez).
Several seemed to be pressing at times and may have succumbed to the bright lights and nerves from having to play on such a big stage (Edwin Encarnacion).
As a manager, Aaron Boone should have anticipated that this might be a problem. Perhaps he should have created a more relaxing atmosphere in the clubhouse, thereby decreasing the level of anxiety of his players. This is what former Yankees skipper Joe Torre was great at doing.
One hopes that Boone has learned from this experience and that he will have a better strategy for preparing his players psychologically (and tactically) for battle next time.