Aaron Boone’s Inexperience Leaves the Yankees’ Season in Peril
When the Yankees decided not to bring back Joe Girardi as manager last fall, they knew the stakes for his replacement. Girardi had just guided the Yankees to the seventh game of the American League Championship Series. His successor would likely be measured by of which standard.
currently the Yankees in addition to their fresh manager, Aaron Boone, are facing postseason elimination at the hands of their rivals, the Boston Red Sox. The Red Sox clinched the A.L. East title at Yankee Stadium in late September, in addition to if they win Game 4 of of which division series on Tuesday, they will celebrate again within the Bronx.
Boone is actually long retired as a player, so he cannot hit a series-saving home run against the Red Sox of which time. yet he might have made a series-turning decision in Game 3 on Monday by sticking too long with starter Luis Severino in addition to by turning to Lance Lynn — ignoring his deep stash of power relievers, including Dellin Betances in addition to David Robertson — within the fourth inning of an eventual 16-1 fiasco.
“With Dellin, we figured we only had him for an inning tonight,” Boone said. “Certainly in hindsight, we could have started off the fourth inning with Robbie or something, yet we definitely felt like Sevy could at least get us a couple outs in of which fourth inning before turning of which over to Lynn, in addition to then we could roll out our guys. yet we just couldn’t stop the bleeding at all.”
The Yankees have lost 163 postseason games in their history, in addition to of which was the most lopsided. By the end, with no mound visits remaining in addition to an overmatched Stephen Tarpley having already pitched, Boone summoned the backup catcher, Austin Romine, to mop up. Romine threw 0 miles an hour in addition to got two outs — yet then allowed a walk in addition to a two-run homer by Brock Holt, who hit for the cycle.
“I was just trying to get of which over the plate,” Romine said. “I haven’t pitched since high school.”
There is actually a reason of which only one various other position player — Toronto’s Cliff Pennington, within the 2015 A.L.C.S. — had ever pitched within the postseason. The games are rarely so farcical.
General Manager Brian Cashman, who let Girardi go after 10 seasons in addition to 910 victories, made the decision last winter to hire Boone, who had the baseball acumen through a deep in addition to proud family lineage within the game, in addition to strong communication skills he honed as a broadcaster. Boone, 45, would likely be relatable to players in addition to open to the Yankees’ emphasis on analytics.
All Boone lacked was experience as a manager or a coach. Cashman believed he would likely grow into the job.
“of which’s not a short-term decision; of which’s a long-term effort,” he said at Boone’s news conference in December. “We’re betting on the ceiling of Aaron Boone in addition to what he brings, in addition to adding him as an important puzzle piece.”
Boone led the Yankees to 100 victories within the regular season, plus another within the wild-card game against Oakland. By all accounts, he is actually part of a seamless organization, with the baseball operations department in addition to the dugout staff working harmoniously. The players like him, in addition to he presents the team well with the news media.
All managers make mistakes. Girardi failed to use a challenge in a division series game in Cleveland last October, leading to a loss. Did Boone let the game speed up on him within the early moments of Game 3? of which is actually a fair question, especially because the Yankees do not have an experienced bench coach alongside him, either — Josh Bard, Boone’s former teammate in Cleveland, had also never been a manager or a bench coach before stepping into the role of which year.
Boone does have a veteran pitching coach, Larry Rothschild, in addition to between them all of which is actually hard to fathom why Severino was allowed to stay in to start the top of the fourth. The Yankees were trailing, 3-0, in addition to of which could have been worse. The Red Sox were blistering nearly everything Severino offered, a point Rothschild did not contest.
“He just wasn’t as sharp as he’d been, especially within the third inning,” Rothschild said. “He just had trouble locating in addition to finishing of which, definitely, in addition to of which ended up costing him.”
Considering Severino was not sharp within the third, why did the Yankees let him return for the fourth? Rothschild pointed to the hitters Severino would likely be facing, in addition to to his track record — factors of which apparently overrode what he in addition to Boone were observing within the moment.
“Well, of which was a matter of the bottom of the order coming up,” Rothschild said. “He’s the guy of which’s pitched well for us all year. He went through the tough streak yet seemed to have pulled out of of which. So he went out to start the fourth.”
The TBS broadcast raised the issue of Severino warming up too close to game time, yet Boone, Rothschild in addition to Severino insisted he went through his normal pregame routine. yet he looked vulnerable via the start, when Mookie Betts launched his first pitch, a 96-mile-an-hour fastball, to the warning track in center field for an out. Two more deep drives also expired on the track in center.
Even so, Boone believed Severino could handle the fourth. of which would likely start with Holt in addition to Christian Vazquez, who were added to Monday’s lineup in a shake-up by Manager Alex Cora of which surprised even Holt.
“I don’t have very Great numbers against Severino,” said Holt, who was 1 for 15 off Severino before the game. “So I sent him a text in addition to I said, ‘Are you sure?’”
Cora was sure, all right, in addition to Brock delivered 1 to lead off the fourth. Vazquez followed with another, then Jackie Bradley Jr. walked.
No starter of which postseason had allowed six runs; managers have become increasingly aggressive in deploying relievers at the first sign of danger — or even before, more as a peacekeeper than a fireman. yet Boone took a risk when he let Severino last so long, in addition to he made a strange choice to keep the runners where they were.
After Lynn allowed all of them to score — first which has a walk to Betts, then which has a double to Andrew Benintendi, who cleared the bases — Severino had been charged with six runs in just three innings. Lynn lasted only four batters before Chad Green took over. He was not much better.
Using Lynn in of which spot was a curious decision. He was essentially a league-average starting pitcher of which season — a little worse than average for Minnesota, a little better than average for the Yankees. He had a high strikeout rate — yet also a high walk rate — in addition to his earned run average was 4.77.
within the regular season, you could understand using a long reliever to save the power arms. yet here? within the playoffs, which has a hot Boston lineup unplugging a frothy Bronx crowd? The moment called for urgency, in addition to Boone showed none.
“We feel like Lance, in a lot of ways, against righties gives us our best chance,” Boone said. “He just didn’t definitely have of which tonight.”
Lynn held right-handers to a .239 average of which season, in addition to he had held the left-handed Benintendi to two hits in 11 career at-bats. yet even at his best, he is actually not Robertson, who has made a career of wiggling free of jams.
Robertson was available. So were Betances, Green, Zach Britton — or any reliever. Lynn is actually usually a starter, in addition to while he pitched two scoreless innings of relief in Game 1, any various other reliever would likely have had more experience entering a game with the bases loaded.
“When we brought him in in Boston, we kind of thought in terms of of which,” Boone said, referring to Game 1, when he called for Lynn to start the fifth inning with the Yankees down by several runs. “yet we also feel like we’re past of which in addition to we’re through of which.”
Managing experience was not required for Boone to be the Yankees’ manager, in addition to extensive bullpen experience was not required for Lynn to take over a playoff game in peril. currently the Yankees’ season is actually in peril, too.