Stop us if you’ve heard this one. No, seriously, please stop us, we beg of you. We don’t want to write it again. We will, because we have to, but we have less than no interest.
The New York Yankees, in a daytime playoff game at home following a rainout that took Game 2 out of primetime and removed the final scheduled rest day of the ALDS, scored two runs in the bottom of the first off Shane Bieber when Giancarlo Stanton socked a two-run home run over the porch.
They never scored again. They threatened often, but primarily on walks, and rarely put the ball in play whether the bases were empty or clogged. With runners on second and third, Josh Donaldson could’ve socked a two-out, game-changing liner to left if not for the glove of Steven Kwan.
And so the Yankees stayed deadlocked until the 10th, as Aaron Boone pulled top reliever after top reliever, from Lou Trivino to Wandy Peralta, early in an effort to preserve them for Games 3-5. Suddenly, there are no off days. Boone, who should’ve had momentum, managed Game 2 like he was the one backed into a corner. Of course, having a superstar in Emmanuel Clase would’ve helped, too.
Ultimately, the Yanks fell when Jameson Taillon, making his first relief appearance of the year to kick off extra innings, surrendered a bloop “triple” from Jose Ramirez, a bloop single from Oscar González, and one rocket to dead center.
Harrison Bader, whose defense we’ve heard a lot about, was unable to corral this deep line drive, and his bizarro world route left him in no position to hose González at the plate, who doesn’t exactly have legendary sprint speed.
Yankees lose Game 2 vs Guardians on Aaron Boone, Harrison Bader’s shoulders
Not sure what locked in Bader’s brain there, but it was probably a symptom of the same disease that froze Anthony Rizzo on a hard chopper the inning prior: the New York Yankees were participating in a playoff game with the chance to maintain momentum after a rainout. Expect the unexpected.
Boone’s quick hooks made him a victim of circumstance, but his decision to go to Taillon — his Game 5 starter, whom he just might need — instead of experienced reliever Clarke Schmidt was questionable.
It only became more questionable when Schmidt cleaned up Taillon’s mess and dominated.
It’s true that all Taillon allowed were dinks and dunks, but that’s the way the cookie crumbles sometimes in October.
The Yankees offense had opportunity after opportunity to cash in with a bloop or two of their own. It wouldn’t even have taken a blast.
Instead, Aaron Judge ran himself to 0-8 in this series with seven strikeouts, and Oswaldo Cabrera, a legend of September, struggled to make contact of any kind in his first October.
The offense, as it usually is, is the reason the Yankees lost Game 2. The defense and button-pressing in the 10th was then magnified because of how poorly innings two-through-nine went for the team’s supposedly-infallible lineup.
Sadly, though, the 10th is where the money was made. It’s the inning that’ll linger. And it’ll fall on Boone and Bader, unless this team can win in Cleveland. It’s all still (punches table) RIGHT there in front of them.