I agreed with the decision to start Deivi Garcia in game 2 of this ALDS. Less pressure on the rookie (the youngest Yankee to start a postseason game), and especially less pressure after the Game 1 win.
But I was shocked when I saw that Aaron Boone only planned to use Garcia as the opener, pitching just one inning, before bringing in J.A. Happ. I didn’t like that move, and that move backfired when Happ reverted to the Happ of earlier this year and of 2019 in a 7-5 loss to Tampa Bay that evened the series at one game apiece.
Who knows if Garcia, who gave up one run (a HR) in the first inning would have settled down? Happ, a starter his whole career, isn’t used to coming out of the bullpen. I didn’t like the move, still don’t, and the results speak for themselves.
Yankees’ pitching gave up four HR last night in the loss. After getting a couple of flyouts, Garcia gave up a HR, hit a batter, then got a groundout. I don’t know what Boone’s plans are for Garcia for the rest of the series, but who knows if the kid would have settled down after that and had given you four, five or six good innings after that?
In the top of the second, a red-hot (homers in four straight postseason games) Giancarlo Stanton homered to tie the game at one.
But in came Happ, who gave up a 2-run HR in the bottom of the second, then another two-run HR in the bottom of the third and after three innings, the Yanks were in a 5-1 hole they couldn’t get out of.
We won’t know what Garcia would have done because in going the “opener” route, Garcia was never given the chance. While he was pitching and getting the first two outs, Happ was already warming up. Sometimes you just outthink yourself, and maybe Boone did that here. How are you going to inspire confidence in the kid when you do that? Boone talks about the kid’s maturity and confidence but then does that?
This is just my opinion, and I haven’t read the NY Post, MLB, ESPN or anything but I’d be interested in reading some reactions to Boone’s move on those sites. Also see what the fans think.
As or me, I didn’t like it.
So, after Boone brings in Happ, who made the deficit 5-1, Stanton tried to get the Yankees back into the game with a three-run bomb of a HR in the top of the fourth that cut the Rays’ lead to 5-4.
But the Yanks showed little offense other than Stanton. They struck out 18x, a postseason record for a 9-inning game.
One problem the Yanks have had all year is that their bullpen is letting inherited runners score, and not shutting down the inning then and there. After Adam Ottavino walked the leadoff man in in the bottom of the fifth (who then stole second), and got a groundout, Jonathan Loaisiga gave up a run-scoring single before getting a DP (great play by D.J. LeMahieu) to end the inning.
Loaisiga gave up a HR in the sixth and it was 7-4.
The Yanks got a couple of walks to lead off the top of the ninth, but then two strikeouts. D.J. LeMahieu kept hope alive with an RBI single, but Aaron Judge grounded out to end the game.
Let’s hope Tanaka brings his A game tonight. At least we know he won’t be used as an “opener.”
Sanchez was 0 for 4, 3 strikeouts, PB. Maybe just stick with Higashioka?
Stanton 2 HR, 4 RBI
Garcia 1 IP, 1 R, 1 H, 0 W, 0 K. 1 HBP. Gave up 1 HR.
Happ (LOSS) 2 2/3 IP, 4 R, 5 H, 3 W, 2 K. Gave up 2 HR. Made an error.
Ottavino 2/3 IP, 1 R, 0 H, 1 W, 0 K.
Loaisiga 1 2/3 IP, 1 R, 2 H, 0 W, 1 K. Gave up 1 HR.
Holder 1 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 0 W, 1 K.
Nelson 1 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 0 W, 2 K.