It’s certainly not easy playing defense in a tight situation where a snap decision can make all the difference in regards to saving the day or blowing the game.
Many questioned why Wade was even in the game to begin with. Luke Voit hit a triple in the bottom of the seventh and manager Aaron Boone opted to take him out to have Wade pinch run with one out. It kind of made sense, but many would agree it wasn’t totally necessary.
That caused a defensive shift, with Wade going to second base and DJ LeMahieu going to first in the top half of the eighth. Jonathan Loaisiga relieved Gerrit Cole and started off the inning by giving up a single and a double, which put runners on second and third with no outs.
A grounder up the middle forced Wade to his right and he had to fade away to make the throw to first. It was a fine toss on a hop, but LeMahieu couldn’t have played it worse. A run scored to tie it up.
Then Loaisiga got a huge strikeout with runners on the corners. OK! Double play ball gets us out of it. And that’s just what Jarrod Dyson gave the Yankees … until Wade decided to throw home???
Tyler Wade’s defensive lapse at second base may have cost the Yankees.
We’re not going to sit here and pretend we would’ve made the right decision 10 out of 10 times, but why in the world are you not going for the double play there? It would have negated the run even if Carlos Santana had scored before the throw to first! All Wade had to do was tag the runner coming his way and flip the ball to LeMahieu.
Instead, he double-clutched, was a half-second late on the throw, and the Royals notched two more singles to extend the lead to 6-3.
But then came life in the bottom half of the inning. LeMahieu slugged a two-run homer to make it 6-5 and then Aaron Judge ripped a double with one out to put the tying run in scoring position. Wait a second, why are we excited?
Remember Boone’s genius decision to remove Luke Voit? That affected the defense and then forced him to pinch-hit Rougned Odor for Wade. Odor swung at the first pitch he saw with Judge on second base and popped out to first. Then Giancarlo Stanton stepped into the batter’s box. Nobody has confidence when he does that in a tight situation. He saw four pitches and grounded out after going down 0-2 in a flash.
They had a chance in the bottom of the ninth, too. Gio Urshela led off the inning with a single. Then Gleyber Torres struck out (his fourth of the night). Then Clint Frazier struck out (his third of the night). Then Gary Sanchez was intentionally walked so they Royals could face Brett Gardner … who popped out to end the game.
This one’s not exactly on Wade because there were so many other issues with the offense as well as Loaisiga putting the Bombers in a terrible spot from the jump in the eighth, but if Wade can turn two on that grounder and DJ goes deep the next inning, this one’s over.
Another deflating loss that should have been a win. Gerrit Cole was right not to quite believe in the “turnaround” just yet. They lost yet another one of his strong starts.