On Monday night, the New York Yankees endured their most agonizing defeat of the season against the Cleveland Guardians, a game that seemed destined for victory. Holding a 2-0 lead since the bottom of the third inning, the Yankees had starter Domingo German in control throughout the match.
But victory eluded them.
The ninth inning commenced with German striking out a batter, only to subsequently permit a single to Steven Kwan. Manager Aaron Boone then decided to withdraw German from the game, despite his pitch count standing at a mere 88.
Clay Holmes, who has struggled with consistency of late, entered the fray. An error and a single later, the bases were loaded. Longtime Yankees adversary Josh Naylor landed the first blow with a game-tying single. A few batters later, with Wandy Peralta pitching, Mike Zunino walked with the bases loaded, securing the third and decisive run.
The Yankees’ offense failed to counter closer Emmanuel Clase, resulting in a 3-2 loss.
Boone’s decision to remove German, with 88 pitches and right-hander Amed Rosario up next, may well come back to haunt him.
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Did Boone’s choice cost the Yankees this match?
While he should not be singled out as the sole source of the team’s current issues (those constructing the roster hold greater culpability), Boone does bear some responsibility for the franchise’s present condition.
He did, however, shoulder some of the blame for his Monday night decision to pull German.
“Some of that falls on me,” Boone conceded, as reported by The Athletic.
As reported by Brendan Kuty, Boone cited several reasons for his decision. Firstly, he believed Holmes could secure the win. Secondly, he was uneasy about German facing Rosario for a fourth time. Lastly, he expressed concern over German’s declining fastball velocity and the seven home runs he has already allowed this year.
“Just thought it was the right decision to do that there,” Boone remarked. “Obviously, it didn’t work.”
He further explained, “I just didn’t want (Germán) to be in a situation where he wasn’t going to do anything but win that game. I felt it was the right decision to make in the moment.”
The Yankees are likely to reflect on this game for a long time. However, it is crucial that they move past it and continue pressing forward.
Admittedly, the defeat was difficult to witness.