Silly us! New York Yankees fans thought Monday's game against the Cleveland Guardians was locked up with the way Domingo Germán was pitching heading into the ninth inning holding onto a 2-0 lead. Forgive us for thinking it was far easier than manager Aaron Boone thought it was.
Boone let Germán come out for the ninth, but of course went with the old "the second he allows a baserunner he's out of the game" approach, which almost never makes sense. The right-hander got the first out of the inning, then gave up his second hit of the night, and was yanked at just 88 pitches.
So who would Boone go to? Michael King, who hasn't pitched since Thursday and is the team's best reliever? Nope. Come on down, Clay Holmes, who's been inefficient for what feels like almost a full calendar year now!
Holmes allowed two runs on two hits and committed an error, setting the table for a vintage Wandy Peralta meltdown in a high-leverage situation. Holmes allowed a two-run single and then Peralta walked in the losing run.
So, in summation, Boone got 8.1 innings of 88-pitch baseball from Germán (his second-worst starter), still managed to use two of his best relievers, and lost the game after blowing a 2-0 lead in the ninth. If these kinds of managerial decisions are going to plague the Yankees this early, then we might as well pack up for 2023.
Yankees lose after Aaron Boone's managerial blunders vs Guardians
In desperate need of a victory, the Yankees were failed first and foremost by their manager and then by their offense, which once again scored fewer than three runs against a subpar pitcher in Cal Quantrill. The Bombers notched just six hits and a walk.
But that's what this team is dealing with at the moment. An offensive drought. And it'll continue as long as they're limited with injuries. It's Boone's job to navigate that shortcoming and do everything he can with the power of his decision making to ensure the Yankees secure wins like these. If the other team's offense is slightly worse than the Yankees' on a given night, the Yankees will need Boone to keep it that way.
Though Holmes was well rested having not pitched since April 26, he was hardly the surefire option in this scenario based on how he's been performing since the second half of last season. And though he's gotten the job done on multiple occasions this year, he's been more shaky than not, with his control remaining a major issue.
As for Peralta, there was worry he's been battling "something" on the injury front, as mentioned by the Yankees' broadcast over the weekend against the Rangers. He also hasn't looked like his normal self just yet in 2023, but Boone went with him despite the fact he pitched as recently as Saturday. That was also the wrong choice before, during and after it was made.
In the postgame, Boone revealed that he took out Germán because of the right-hander's struggles with the home run ball. But the next batter was Amed Rosario, who's hitting .228 with a .586 OPS and one home run this year. In the end, that came down to Holmes' error, but either way, just let Germán face the righty batter and then make the adjustment for Jose Ramirez if it gets to that point, no?
Poor decision making. Explanations that don't add up. An offensively anemic team further mired in perilous situations that are inexcusably manufactured. The Yankees better get these out of their system now.