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The Saturday Discussion: The Turning Point in the Game…

We asked our writers, “What was the Turning Point in the game last night?”

These are their responses:

Paul Semendinger – The turning point came in the top of the first inning. The Yankees’ hitters were far too impatient and just hacked away allowing a tired starting pitcher to get through the inning on only eight pitches. The Yankees needed to make Tyler Glasnow work that inning. They didn’t. By allowing him to get through the first so easily, they allowed the Rays’ deep bullpen to be used most effectively. Going down so quickly and so easily demonstrated that the Yankees entered this game without a good plan. (What did the Rays do in the first? They wore down Gerrit Cole, and although they didn’t get to him, they made sure that he wouldn’t last as deep into the game as the Yankees needed him to.)


Patrick Gunn – Normally, I would look back to one minor moment that actually proved to loom larger over the course of the game. This time, the turning point for Game 5 of the ALDS between the Yankees and Rays is obvious. Mike Brosseau’s home run off Aroldis Chapman is that moment. He worked a 10-pitch at-bat off Chapman before crushing a full-count pitch into the left-field seats. Oh, and Chapman threw a fastball near Brosseau’s head in their previous duel in the regular season. This was absolutely the turning point in the game, as Brosseau capped the Ray’s fantastic year against the Yankees with an exclamation point.


Ed Botti – I am not not sure if you can take a cumulative event and turn it into a singular event, so instead of turning point of game, I’ll go with key to game. WARNING, I’M GONNA SOUND LIKE A BROKEN RECORD.

The Yankees did not get a single base hit after the sixth inning and had no hits in eight at-bats with men on base.

You can not win in the playoffs with a single minded approach at the plate.

Tampa beat the Yankees on a home run. The approach in that at bat was not to necessarily hit a home run, it was solid contact.

Contrast that to the Yankee at bats, and you see the fundamental difference and result.

Putting a bow on this season, they need changes at the top. Time to replace Cashman, and build around this core with ballplayers, like DJ. Not all or nothing home run derby swingers with multiple holes in their swings.


Andy Singer – The final turning point in Game 5 was when Chapman/Sanchez/Boone decided to stick with the fastball against Brosseau in the bottom of the 8th inning. It was clear that Brosseau was getting his timing closer with each fastball Chapman threw, and it made no sense for Chapman to give in. In that situation, even in a 3-2 count, Chapman needed to throw an off-speed pitch to change Brosseau’s timing. Even if the result would have been a walk, Chapman could have started fresh against the next batter. It was Pitching 101, and the Yanks/Chapman failed. That said, as bad as last night hurt, that was one heck of a game. Hat tip to the Rays. As much as I don’t like them, I hope they beat the Astros.


Tom Russo – It’s obvious. The Brosseau homer. It put the Rays on top and sucked whatever love the Yankees had right out of the stadium with it. The team looked terrible at the plate all night but after the homer the at bats in the 9th looked completely lifeless. You could tell the team had lost its fight at that point.


Mike Whiteman – The turning point of yesterday’s game was when Aaron Boone went to closer Aroldis Chapman in the seventh inning . I think we all knew that Chapman wasn’t going to be able to go the final 2 1/3 innings of the game and the Yankee bullpen was going to struggle to match up with the Rays’ deep pen afterwards. I felt a late win by the Rays was coming and sadly I was right.


Ethan Semendinger – The turning point in last night’s game came when the Yankees management- namely Aaron Boone and whoever runs the analytics department- decided to use Mike Ford as a pinch-hitter for Kyle Higashioka in the 8th inning. It took away a big strength from the Yankees with sacrificing defense at catcher even if it didn’t come back to bite them with a passed ball. This was a move where they also opted to use a guy who hasn’t had a hit since August 31st over a guy who was hitting over .300 in the postseason.

I also won’t blame the 8th inning Home Run on this move either, but…with Gary behind the dish, he did allow for Chapman to throw the fastball that would end up leaving the park. I’m not sure if Gary called for it or if Chapman shook him off until he got the signal, but it was obvious Brosseau was comfortable with the speed at that point. It is hard to argue against a manager with a 0.615 WP% over three seasons, but I think there are many moves he allows to happen that limit what this team and other teams in the past were capable of.


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