Late Friday evening, the New York Yankees dropped a decisive game five against the Tampa Bay Rays in the ALDS to be eliminated from the postseason. Many things went wrong for the New York Yankees, but maybe most importantly was Aaron Boone. Some of his decisions may have cost the Yankees the series, going back to game two.
Game two is when Boone pulled Deivi Garcia after just one inning and put in JA Happ. The goal was to flip the Rays lineup with lefty vs. lefty matchups, but Happ isn’t dominant against lefties. Batters had a .250 average off him from the left-hand side in the regular season. Happ would give up four runs in 2.2 innings, taking the loss.
The decision to pull Garcia in game two may have cost the Yankees a win in that game, and in that case, the team wouldn’t have even needed game five.
However for the Yankees, there was a game five. In the eighth inning, Boone pinch hit Mike Ford for Kyle Higashioka, resulting in a strikeout. Ford had just a .135 average in 2020, making Boone’s decision look skeptical. They should’ve either left Higashioka, who did an incredible job behind the plate this series, or pinch-hit Clint Frazier. Frazier bats a career .260 against right-handers, and would’ve been facing one of the toughest Rays right-handers in Diego Castillo.
And finally, Boone called on Aroldis Chapman in the seventh inning to try and get the final seven outs, mind you the game was tied. Chapman threw 23 pitches the night before, and was likely a bit gassed. Yet, Chapman is blamed for giving up the game-winning home run in a poorly managed game while the Yankees had just three hits. This isn’t Chapman’s fault.
Throughout the ALDS, the Yankees dealt with some inconsistent offense and poor umpiring. But ultimately, it may have been poor decisions from Aaron Boone and the Yankees that led to the team’s elimination.