New York Yankees: J.A. Happ speaks after failed appearance as the bulk reliever

Andres Chavez
New York Yankees, J.A. Happ

In a surprising turn of events, New York Yankees‘ manager Aaron Boone decided to use Deivi Garcia as an opener and J.A. Happ, a veteran starter, as a “piggyback”, bulk-inning guy to follow him. The move was meant to take advantage of lefty splits, in concordance with the Tampa Bay Rays’ lineup.

It didn’t quite work out. Garcia allowed a run in his inning of work and Happ conceded four in 2.2 frames. The Yankees were in an early hole, as the strategy backfired. After the game, the veteran southpaw declined to give too many details, but did own up to his part of the blame.

“I didn’t get into a groove,’’ Happ said. “I wish I could have performed better, for sure.”

“I’ve been here for two years and if anyone has heard me make an excuse for my performance in two years, they can speak up,’’ Happ said according to the New York Post. “It didn’t happen. I’m not gonna make an excuse.”

It was clear that Happ wasn’t a happy man with the piggyback strategy. But when asked about what he thought about the plan, he said: “I’ll let Aaron [Boone] speak to that [strategy].’’

He put the Yankees in a hole

It was disappointing to see the Yankees’ lefty getting rocked by the Rays, especially when he finished the regular season on a high note and registered a 3.25 ERA even when his first two starts were completely forgettable.

When all was said and done, Happ allowed a couple of two-run shots to Mike Zunino and Manny Margot.

In the end, the Rays ended up beating the New York Yankees 7-5 in a game they dominated from the very beginning. The American League Division Series is now tied 1-1, and both clubs will face each other tonight. Charlie Morton will take the ball for Tampa, while Masahiro Tanaka will be charged with the responsibility of giving the Yankees a 2-1 edge going into Thursday.

The Houston Astros are up 2-0 in the other series against the Oakland Athletics. The winners will meet in the American League Championship Series.