Aaron Boone just may have ruined Game Three of the ALDS for the Yankees. The skipper refused to employ a quick hook on struggling starter Luis Severino, and as a result, the Bombers find themselves trailing the Red Sox by nine runs in the fifth inning.
The red flags presented themselves early for Severino. The first pitch of the game went for an out, but it was a loud, deep fly ball to center field off the bat of Mookie Betts. It felt like he got away with a mistake. And although the right-hander navigated through the rest of the inning, it was clear he didn’t have his good stuff.
Consider how the third inning played out:
A mound visit finally occurred after the Xander Bogaerts single. Lance Lynn and Stephen Tarpley warmed up, but Boone let Severino finish the inning by himself. It felt like a miracle that he escaped with only two runs allowed.
For reasons unknown, Boone insisted on sending Severino back out for the fourth inning. The right-hander loaded the bases on a pair of singles and a walk before being lifted in favor of Lynn. The the wheels completely fell off and the Bombers found themselves down by double digits. It’s really hard to fathom how Boone allowed the game to get this far out of hand. Sevy had nothing from the get go. He should have been pulled in the third inning, but instead he got left high and dry.
The unbelievable thing is that this is something that Boone was guilty of all season. All season he left pitchers out too long. He did this with Severino multiple times in the second half. Even when Sevy was struggling and needed a confidence booster, Boone would try to squeak an extra inning out of him instead of letting five be good enough. Then he’d give up a couple of runs and have to be pulled from the game. Everyone defended him saying that it was a long season and he couldn’t keep turning to the bullpen, and that he obviously wouldn’t do that in the postseason. Well, he did, and now the Yankees are in a 10-1 hole, and will have to win Game Five in Boston to advance.
Boone’s poor managing tonight is reminiscent of Joe Girardi in Game Two of the ALDS last year. While the team denied it, that mismanaged game probably weighed heavily on their decision to part ways with Girardi. It’s not likely that the Yankees will dismiss Boone because he failed to grasp managing a bullpen, but rumblings may stir. Monday night’s negligent handling of the pitching staff, at the very least, deserves close scrutiny.