The New York Yankees were on cloud nine coming into their ultimate series against the rival Tampa Bay Rays at home, as Aaron Boone and the squad swept the rival Red Sox at Fenway Park and followed that up by taking two of three from the Blue Jays in Toronto. The offense could not be stopped.
Unfortunately, as is often the case against Tampa, their array of complimentary pitchers shut the offense down. The Yankees were down 2-1 entering the ninth inning before Boone made some egregious decisions that completely ruined whatever chance the Yankees had of making home the win.
Despite the fact that Domingo German hadn’t pitched in weeks, Boone saw fit to throw him out there in the eighth inning and the start of the ninth. Rather than bring in Chad Green, Aroldis Chapman, or someone he incorrectly used earlier in the game in Jonathan Loaisiga, Boone turned to Albert Abreu, and it immediately backfired.
Abreu couldn’t come through in the clutch, giving up a two-run single to Rays phenom Wander Franco that put Tampa up by three. New York rallied with all of their might, but they were unable to pull off the victory.
Boone somehow stated that Abreu did a good job of pitching, with Wander’s chopper through the hole being chalked up as bad luck by the third-year manager. Abreu and German should have never been out there, plain and simple.
Yankees manager Aaron Boone needs to use his bullpen better.
The Yankees managed to pull off a bit of a ninth-inning rally against Andrew Kittredge, as Joey Gallo and Brett Gardner both knocked in runs before Rougned Odor struck out. What could’ve been had the Rays entered the ninth up 2-1 rather than 4-1…
It would not be hyperbolic to say that the final two innings of last night’s game were the most important of the season. Green and Chapman were waiting in the pen, and while they haven’t been prime Mariano this season, they’re better than what Boone tried.
Heck, even Lucas Luetge would’ve been a better option if we’re being honest. This move puts the Yankees under even more crushing pressure in the next two games.
While Boone will almost assuredly be back next season if they make the postseason and don’t soil themselves, he should still be held accountable for moments like this when he takes both common sense and data in his hands, crumbles them up, and throws them away.
German and Abreu might have roles on this team, but pitching in a one-run game in the ninth inning during a heated Wild Card race is not what their job description should entail.