8 Mistakes Across the Diamond From Last Nights Game:
Last night’s game was a prime example of a bunch of things that are important to note about this team. Ethan Semendinger breaks down 8 things he noticed that the Yankees should’ve realized and executed from better.
1. While Gerrit Cole was at 109 pitches (and I’ve been critical of Boone’s long leash this season) I think that he should’ve let Cole finish out the inning. He was getting hit during the game (6H) but this is a prime example of Boone not ever having a true ACE pitcher and not knowing what to do. You don’t remove your ACE in a situation like that after he strikes a guy out. You could tell Cole was ticked about this after he was removed and after the game still. I love that fire he brings to this team.
2. Bringing in Zack Britton to relieve Cole was an okay move, but I would’ve much rather had a different pitcher come in to get that final out of the 7th. In the best case I would’ve rather it be Cole, but if he was going to be removed there are other bullpen arms that should be able to come in and get an out. Hindsight is 20/20 but he should’ve saved Britton (as with bringing in the other top relievers) to start the next inning.
3. Speaking of Britton, it was obvious he didn’t have his stuff last night. This may seem to contradict my first point, but Britton should’ve been pulled after 3 batters. Cole was dealing, he should’ve stayed in. Britton was missing spots across the plate. Gary Sanchez would line up on one side of the plate and the ball would end up on the other side.
4. Gary Sanchez made two big mistakes to help the Rays take the 4-2 lead in the 8th. First, it’s fundamental baseball that the catcher heads down the line to assist/back-up on a play that the first baseman makes. They weren’t going to get the out, but his not being there allowed Diaz to easily get into scoring position, and eventually to third with a passed ball.
5. Gary also set himself up for the passed ball with his new catching stance. With a guy like Britton, given how his stuff puts lots of pitches into the dirt, Gary should not be kneeling but should be on his toes (when there are runners on at the very least). I like the how it has helped him so far, but with runners on it’s okay to sacrifice framing for protection. Try it yourself and you’ll see how much harder it is to move around and get into a blocking position when you have a knee on the ground versus when you’re on your toes.
6. Pinch-hitting for Clint Frazier with Mike Tauchman was a completely backwards move, especially if Boone considers himself to be an “analytics” manager. Ryan Thompson (RHP) was in the game for the Rays and Frazier in 2020 he has actually hit RHP better (1.418 OPS) than Tauchman (.978 OPS). While you can argue small sample size, Frazier has undoubtably been a top hitter for the Yankees recently, and this move also sacrificed the bench in a situation where he didn’t need to do so.
7. Pinch-hitting for Mike Tauchman with Miguel Andujar was a completely backwards move, especially if Boone considers himself to be an “analytics” manager. Chaz Roe (RHP) was in the game for the Rays and Tauchman in 2020 he has hit RHP better (.978 OPS) than Andujar (.282 OPS). If the goal is to get Andujar at-bats then that is one thing and he should be DH’ing every night, but with his getting minimal at-bats a week bringing in a cold bat in that situation was only going to go poorly.
8. The Yankees had a situation built up perfectly to win (or at least tie) in the 9th. Gleyber and Gary both walked to start the inning and set-up a speedy guy who was batting .180 at the time with the perfect situation to bunt them over. While it was obvious that was a potential move (the Rays had the 3B playing in) a situation with both runners in scoring position with 1 out is a huge advantage. In those situations a team needs likely just one hit, with two opportunities left, to get into the outfield to get both runs across and tie up the game. With runners on 1st and 2nd they’d need a miracle hit or two good hits to score the runners. Bunting them over also would have removed the option of a double-play to end the game if a batter was unable to get under the ball. It’s the small things like this that need to be done and the Yankees haven’t done so.
Article By: Ethan Semendinger
Date Published: August 20th, 2020