If you're an expert at slicing and dicing up Blame Pie to its proper proportions, then Sunday was a conundrum wrapped in an enigma for you.
Which of the Yankees' 15 Star Losers deserve the most scorn for a sack full of fumbled opportunities on the road against Colorado? Which overswinging star or incorrect hustler should bear the brunt of it? Whose baserunning blunder was the most disastrous? When the entire offense fails to hit the 109th-best starter in the National League in the woods, does our criticism even make a sound?
And what of the man pulling the strings, Aaron Boone? He can't be held entirely accountable for the players' play. At a certain point, it's on them to perform. But when the team he stewards is this forgetful, sloppy, and slapdash, that falls on him a bit. When the Yankees are going on Year 6 of being underprepared and underwhelming, he bears responsibility.
When there are nearly five years between "Luis Severino forgets start time of pivotal ALDS Game" and "Aaron Boone loses chance to challenge extra inning play because he was too slow," then the questions are warranted.
At least Boone didn't bring in left-hander Nick Ramirez to close in extras against powerful lefty bat Nolan Jones yesterday, despite Ramirez's current .959 OPS against lefties and .524 OPS against righties. Surely, he didn't watch Ramirez allow a game-tying blast, then record the next two outs ... only to be removed in favor of Ron Marinaccio, who entered the game without a PitchCom (the team ran out of 'em in the 'pen). Those would be poor, flummoxed decisions indicative of a man in over his head. At least none of that happened.
Yankees manager Aaron Boone forgot to challenge Harrison Bader's mad dash, ran out of PitchComs
Harrison Bader, to begin the top of the 10th inning for the worst road extra-innings team in baseball, sprinted towards third on a chopper back to the pitcher. Was he safe? Out? Tough to tell. Either way, the 10th inning is the perfect time to take a look at it! Boone hesitated. Anthony Volpe, the very next batter, chopped one up the middle that would've scored Bader. Bummer.
Marinaccio lost the game in the 11th, of course (after Ramirez had already bungled it). His right arm deserves the blame. Boone wasn't the one jogging in from the bullpen, without a sign-communicating device tucked behind his ear, causing an unnecessary delay before the game ended on three pitches.
But when a fan's postgame reaction to learning the team ran out of equipment in the 11th inning after making a two-out pitching change with the bases clean is, "Yeah, that makes sense," it's an indictment on the Boone Era. Slop is the word.