If we learned anything from this weekend series against the Tampa Bay Rays, it's that the New York Yankees have no quit. While the entire roster top to bottom has showed resilience against the AL East leaders, perhaps no player embodies this more than Harrison Bader.
After the Yankees stormed back from a 3-0 deficit to take a 4-3 lead in Sunday's matinee, Clarke Schmidt found himself in some trouble in the top of the fifth. Before you could blink, the Rays had loaded the bases with noted Yankee killer Randy Arozarena looking to restore Tampa Bay's lead.
Sure enough, Arozarena smoked a breaking ball to left center that looked like a bases-clearing double off the bat. That was until Harrison Bader, who got a great jump on the ball, came flying in to make a diving grab.
The catch was heroic from Bader, but the celebrations were sadly short-lived after Aaron Boone pulled Schmidt for Albert Abreu, who promptly gave up a grand slam to Taylor Walls after throwing three straight changeups.
Yankees' Aaron Boone spoils Harrison Bader's web gem with Albert Abreu gaffe
Did anyone seriously not see that coming from a mile away? Abreu's struggles in high-leverage situations are no secret. And yet, with ample bullpen arms to choose from -- including budding fan favorite Ian Hamilton -- Boone went with Abreu and ravaged Bader's heroics in the process.
Still, Bader's catch was THAT good that it's worth another look.
This deserved to be the story of the game in potentially another Yankees come-from-behind victory. Alas, New York is trailing 8-4 and all of the energy and momentum from Yankee Stadium has been sapped after the grand slam.
Good thing Boone saved all of his prized arms for later in the game, right? He couldn't possibly have brought one of them in with the game hanging in the balance. Nobody's claiming Boone's job is easy, but the manager walked straight into (another) obvious gaffe by calling Abreu's number with the bases loaded.
We wouldn't rule out another late-inning Yankees rally, but four runs is asking a lot from a team that erased a 6-0 deficit 24 hours ago.
Time for Bader to put his superhero cape on again and reinvigorate the dugout and stadium because Boone isn't helping the Yanks win this one.