Since the New York Yankees plowed through the Tampa Bay Rays in game one, they’ve lost two consecutive matchups in the ALDS.
Pitching remains the Yankees’ biggest weakness and most prevalent liability. Their inability to hold down teams has been apparent for the regular season, and that same streak has followed them into the postseason. In game 2, the Yankees took an odd approach that resulted in a devastating loss that completely shattered their positive momentum.
Former Yankee Alex Rodriguez had strong words for Brian Cashman, who clearly meddled in their game plan.
“I’m still scratching my head,” Rodriguez said. “You’re the New York Yankees. You’re the biggest, most successful franchise maybe in sports. You’re number one in payroll with $240 million. You have to play your game. You’ve done it for over 120 years. You have 27 championships. You’ve done it as an alpha. You’ve done it the old-fashioned way.
“You get to Game 1, you do it the old-fashioned way,” A-Rod went on. “Great starting pitching and you get nine outs from the bullpen. And then to Game 2, the front office wants to get involved and then you start getting gimmicky. To me, the Yankee roster has to bail out Brian Cashman and the front office. And they’ve done some wonderful things. Game 2 was a mistake, and it was a mistake for about 20 different reasons.
“The players start saying, ‘What are we doing?’ You start spending so much time trying to figure out how to outsmart the Ivy Leaguers over there. That’s not your game. Don’t play Jeopardy!, play baseball. Players win championships.”
Out of all of Rodriguez‘s takes, this is a decent one. The Yankees tried to take a strange analytical approach that backfired significantly. Instead of taking the old fashion route that relied on their starting pitching, they injected young arm, Deivi Garcia, into a must-win game. His one run in the first inning gave the Rays momentum that allowed them to crush JA Happ immediately after.
“I’m sorry for ranting here, but we used to say, ‘If a manager can stay out of the game, that’ll be great.’ Now we have to say, ‘Front offices have to stay out of the game.’ Frustrating,” he said. “That last thing I’ll say is it’s unfortunate that Aaron Boone has to sit there and explain to the media what he’s doing.
“I would love the smart Ivy Leaguers to come down – the front office – and explain to us why that was a smart move for the New York Yankees and that fan base.”
While people will blame Aaron Boone for this mishap, this goes much deeper into the front office. The Yankees need to rely on their guns and listen to the people they evidently pay to make these decisions.
Cashman needs to stick to his job and begin looking at free agents to bolster the starting pitching rotation. With the Yankees down 1-2 in the series, game 4 is essential, and they are banking on Jordan Montgomery to bring his A-game.