If you listened closely during the broadcast, fans in attendance at Yankee Stadium during the top of the ninth inning were chanting "Fire Boone!" after the manager once again made multiple head-scratching decisions that nearly cost New York another game.
With reliever Ron Marinaccio cruising through 1.2 innings of work (23 pitches, 17 strikes, zero hits, zero walks and two strikeouts), Boone decided to pull the right-hander in favor of Clay Holmes to face ... Myles Straw.
The fearsome Myles Straw, who was hitting .247 with a .609 OPS and 76 OPS+ coming into this game. That's why the pitching change had to be made.
Any guesses on what happened next? Straw hit one to left field, where Isiah Kiner-Falefa was logging his FIRST CAREER GAME. IKF couldn't come up with the liner after losing it in the lights and Straw hustled into second base for a double.
Any reason why Jake Bauers wasn't in left (he started in right) and Oswaldo Cabrera wasn't in right, especially with Clarke Schmidt, who has been getting rocked all year, on the mound? Had to rest Cabrera with a day off on Thursday? The defense might not have been impacted during innings 1-8, but it sure was in the ninth!
Aaron Boone once again can't get the job done for the Yankees
After Straw's double, Oscar Gonzalez poked one into no man's land in shallow center, but it looked like Harrison Bader had a chance. Then, at the last second, IKF flew into the frame like a bat out of hell and collided with Bader, who was injured on the play. The ball fell right in between them, the run scored, the Guardians took the lead, and Bader left the game. Activated off the IL on Tuesday, fans can now expect Bader to probably miss some time based on how bad this looked.
And for good measure, Oswald Peraza injured his foot/ankle on a steal attempt in the bottom half of the inning and left the game. Keep 'em coming.
Boone achieved the trifecta of ineptitude when IKF collided with Bader, but he kicked off the winning ticket in the eighth inning after seemingly green-lighting IKF to run on contact at third base. With Anthony Volpe at the plate and one out, the rookie ripped a grounder to third. It was immediately scooped up by Jose Ramirez, who threw out IKF at the plate by five steps.
Maybe that was IKF's fault, but it seemed by design.
Thankfully, the Yankees tied it in the bottom of the ninth and Jose Trevino walked it off in the bottom of the 10th with an RBI single. New York's comeback victory gave them the series win over the Guardians, but that shouldn't let Boone off scot-free.
The more his questionable/misguided decision making throws this team off course, the more these close games are put in peril. The offense's resilience bailed him out on what could've been a much worse evening for the skipper had the team blew another game because of a ninth inning call to Holmes, who once again wasn't needed.
Tomorrow better be a day of reflection and penance for this coaching staff.