4. Aaron Boone Doesn’t Learn from Past Mistakes
A significant problem is that Boone doesn’t learn from past mistakes and tends to repeat them. The Yanks’ bullpen core has been outstanding in 2021…except for Justin Wilson. He has lacked consistency and has failed to get on track. The Skipper admitted this following the game.
Including the Friday night game, Wilson has allowed nine earned runs in 13.1 innings in 15 appearances. Wilson now has a 6.08 ERA in 2021. To say the least, his performance on the mound has been unpredictable throughout 2021. Hmmm, does he sound like a closer to you? He’s got the third-worst FIP of any reliever in the league.
Boone knows Wilson’s record. Then why bring in the left-hander with the game on the line?
Boone could have asked Chapman, who is now arguably the best relief pitcher in baseball, whether he was willing and able to pitch another inning and close out the game after recovering from a “bug.”
Maybe he was saving Chapman for games two and three of the series, both of which they lost and in which he never appeared. A game in hand is always better than two in the bush.
Or, rather than bring in Chad Green earlier in the game, why not use Wilson before the end of the game and employ the much better Green as the closer?
There were other options, but Boone chose to go with his most erratic relief pitcher in a high-leverage spot. Perhaps he was trying to elevate his confidence level – well-intended but questionable timing to accomplish this.
Unfortunately, Wilson was placed on the IL with a left hamstring strain, his second stint this year, immediately after the game. Did Boone know about this problem before he brought Wilson in to pitch on a chilly night? It seems he did; he spoke about it “nagging” in previous days. Did the injury officially occur on the last pitch of the game? After the game, the Yankees manager said he still has faith in Wilson. We’re glad. Some things never change.