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MUST WIN TUESDAY – Perspectives

Well, that was UGLY. Last night’s Yankees game was one of the worst I have seen in a long time. It was UGLY. Here are some perspectives:

There will be a links post up at 10:00 this morning. In reading some articles this morning (and last night) it seems that there is some debate over whether or not Luis Severino truly knew the correct time to begin warming up prior to last night’s game. The TBS broadcast noted this before the first pitch and showed coverage of Larry Rothschild seemingly scolding Severino by stating the game’s start time. The YES Network even questioned this The Yankees, of course, downplayed this by stating that he had enough warm-up time. It seems strange though that others would be questioning this if these actions were part of Luis Severino’s typical routine. If he, in fact, did not properly warm-up, for whatever reason (seemingly not knowing the game’s start time), that is inexcusable. That falls directly on the player, the coaches, and the manager. (I have felt, all season long, that there were too many times when this team just did not seem or look prepared. I hope that wasn’t the case for one of the biggest games of the year.)

Last night’s game was a total disaster. It was clear from the first pitch that Luis Severino did not have his good stuff. It was also apparent that Aaron Boone stuck with him far too long. In last night’s game Aaron Boone stuck with his pitcher until the game got too far out of hand. It was a terrible job managing. On top of this, when he went to the bullpen, with the bases loaded and no outs, he went to the wrong pitcher – Lance Lynn. In that spot, the Yankees needed some strikeouts – it was their only hope to stay in the game. The correct call, fourth inning or not, was Dellin Betances. Keep the game close and hope the bats come alive. Boone didn’t do that and the game become a blow-out. Hopefully he learned from this, but this is something we have also seen all year long.

Also, there was no reason to waste Chad Green for 29 pitches, and, as a result, making him unavailable today. By the time Green was brought in, the game was way out of hand. At that point, Boone should have been saving all of his best pitchers for Game Four. With Game Three already lost, you have to save Green for the next day. I know the question raised is “then who pitches?” And that’s fair. With the game already lost, it’s not out of the question to say to Lance Lynn, a starter, “Hey, pal, you’ve got to save the pen for tomorrow. You’re staying out here.” The game, at that point, was already over.

Again, I’m not sure if Luis Severino knew or didn’t know the starting time for the game, but as a fan, the fact that each game’s starting time is different is confusing. This is one of baseball’s big problems. Different start times leaves everyone confused. Another problem I see is putting the games on networks that didn’t broadcast many games during the season and, along with that, using different announcers for the post season. As a fan of a team, you get used to the coverage and the announcers. To take them away for the playoffs makes watching always somewhat “awkward.” I know that I am always thinking, “YES would show a replay there” or “YES would show the pitch speed there” and I find myself seemingly watching a different game – one that is lacking the very graphics and angles and such that I became accustomed to all season long. Tools the fans come to rely on for their enjoyment and understanding of the game (because they are part of the daily broadcast all year) are suddenly taken away. Fans also don’t get to hear the perspectives (in real time) of the announcers that were with them for the entire season. To me, this is a stupid approach. Give the home teams in the playoffs their announcers and regular coverage. Please.

The umpiring last night at first base was as bad as it has ever been. That umpire, Angel Hernandez, will now be behind the plate for the crucial Game Four. I hope he sees things better tonight.

I have long advocated Major League Baseball just hiring a fifth umpire who sits in a booth and automatically reviews every close play. This umpire would communicate with the home plate ump to state if a play is being reviewed to hold the pitcher from throwing a pitch while a play is reviewed. This would save real time – lots of real time. Rather than a team having to review the play themselves to determine if the play should then be reviewed by the umpire booth in a city far away, that fifth umpire would already know the correct call (as the team reviewing most often already does). How silly is a process where the fans in the stadium and at home on TV know the correct call while the umpires do not? Having a fifth umpire who reviews the plays would also eliminate coverage of people standing around with head sets on. Everyone watching already knew the correct calls long before the reviews started. This would also eliminate the dumb replay rules regarding which plays are “reviewable.” Just review all the close plays to get them correct. It can happen in an instant. There is no reason not to do this.

Lost in the disaster last night was a bad play by Andrew McCutchen. In the top of the third, with the game not yet out-of-hand, McCutchen threw to the wrong base and his decision allowed the Red Sox to score their third run. Mookie Betts led off the inning with a single. Andrew Benintendi then singled to left. The ball was hit in such a way that it was all but certain that Betts would reach third easily – which he did. The throw in that situation should have gone to second base to keep Benintendi at first. Instead McCutchen threw to third and Benintendi advanced to second where he was able to advance and score on a fielder’s choice. THat was the Sox’s third run.

I said this last night, and for much of the season, but this year, more than any other I remember, ever, I saw the Yankees lose games that by all rights, they should have or could have won (Last night’s game not withstanding). I also saw more games that got out of hand where most people watching knew what to do while, it seemed, the manager didn’t. Tonight was an example of that. This game didn’t have to be a blow out so early. This is frustrating. It’s one thing for a team to lose. Fans get it. It’s another to lose ugly or in ways that seem to defy logic. So much of last night’s game defied logic.

I hope CC Sabathia has his BIG GAME stuff tonight. I hope the bottom of the line-up hits again. I hope Aaron Hicks is healthy enough to play. And, Gary Sanchez, who it seemed was back, didn’t build on his big game as he went 0-for4 with two strikeouts. The Yankees need every player to be at the top of his game, and the manager too (and the umpires) tonight and on Thursday. There is no tomorrow.

Let’s Go Yankees! (Don’t let it all end tonight.)


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