Things were looking up for Aaron Boone and the New York Yankees over the course of the previous week and change, as the squad swept the rival Red Sox at Fenway Park while they took two of three in Toronto against Cy Young favorite Robbie Ray and a powerful Blue Jays lineup.
The night before, Boone had blown a potential win by leaning on Domingo German and Albert Abreu to get pivotal ninth-inning outs. After letting Jordan Montgomery and Michael King flounder in what was a pummeling at the hands of the Rays, the fans showed how they have had it with Boone’s decisions.
With Montgomery getting smacked all around Yankee Stadium this afternoon, chants of “Fire Boone!” rained down from the fans. While the Yankees will be guaranteed at least a Game 163 in the Wild Card race, they have choked away a golden opportunity here.
At least Gleyber Torres and the rest of the lineup managed to pick up the slack, right? Oh, how wrong you are.
With Tampa’s collection of situational pitchers again shutting the Yankees down, a Torres strikeout and passed ball to end the inning was punctuated with him getting thrown out at first by jogging down the line. This has been just a cataclysmically bad day.
The Yankees’ loss today falls on Aaron Boone.
While it might not be Boone’s direct fault that Montgomery was handing meatballs down the middle of the plate to Brandon Lowe and the Rays, the fact that they came into a must-win game with a lack of energy and a deflated bullpen can be traced back to the manager.
The Yankees’ season may not end today, and Boone may have sabotaged the pitching staff a bit today due to his actions last night, but the fact that the team came out with a complete lack of energy and showed no fight from the first pitch can be traced back to him.
Torres ending up on first base would almost certainly have had no impact on the final score of this game. That doesn’t change the fact that refusing to run balls out given the situation the Yankees find themselves in with their playoff race is not a good look for anyone. Torres has disappointed this year, and this won’t help him win some fans back.
It remains to be seen if the Yankees will make the playoffs and/or retain Boone next year, but today was not the best showing.