That deficiency reared its ugly head early in Game 3 of the ALDS, as it also did early in Game 1 of the ALDS. Funny how deficiencies tend to rear their heads, and funny how those heads are absolutely always ugly!
After Steven Kwan poked a double inside the line into right field and José Ramírez blooped a single into right field, a hobbled Josh Naylor poked a ball in on his fists somewhere in the vicinity of short.
It wasn’t hit particularly hard, and with Naylor battling a lower leg issue, it should’ve been converted into a force or double play by any competent shortstop.
When the camera cut to Isiah Kiner-Falefa, though, he was lying prone on the ground as the ball rolled under his body and into the outfield. Not sure how. Not sure why. But it didn’t take long in this game for the Yankees to be stung by a weakness they maintained on purpose, all year long.
Yankees “shortstop” Isiah Kiner-Falefa botches double play vs Guardians
Though Luis Severino worked his way out of the inning after passing the 30-pitch mark, allowing only the one run, the Guardians never should’ve dented the scoreboard here.
Instead, they have the early lead for the second time this series out of three tries.
Perhaps Game 3 will reverse course the way Game 1 did after Sevy shrugged off the defensive disasterclass and retired Oscar González before whiffing Andrés Giménez. Who can say? But if Oswald Peraza had gotten the chance to start after the All-Star break, he probably wouldn’t have collapsed on top of a lightly-hit grounder as if he were trying to smother a grenade.
Some Yankees postseason failures are unpredictable and frustrating. This is not one of those. Everyone saw it coming.