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The Tuesday Discussion: The Turning Point of the Game (Game 1)

We asked our writers to identify the turning point of last night’s game…

Mike Whiteman – The turning point in last night’s Yankee game was in the fifth inning when Gerrit Cole struck out Manual Margot on a 100mph fastball with the bases loaded with Rays, preserving the Yanks’ then 4-3 lead. Moments like this are why the Yanks went out and got Cole this past offseason.

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Ed Botti – The turning point is not necessarily the game winning hit, or defensive play. In my view it was the 9 pitch first at bat of game, base hit up the middle by DJ. That told me Snell didn’t have it, and yankees approach was right.

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Patrick Gunn – The turning point in last night’s game was Tyler Wade’s walk against John Curtiss. Wade obviously played in the game for his defense, so his walk, in front of Giancarlo Stanton’s grand slam, set up that inning. Also, Rays Manager Kevin Cash decided to leave Curtiss in the game after the walk. Curtiss had already allowed a run while throwing 20 pitches. He should have had another reliever ready for Stanton, but Cash left Curtiss out to finish the inning. That backfired. (Honorable Mention: Cole striking out Manuel Margot with two-outs and the bases loaded in the top of the fifth. Cole shuts down a Tampa Bay rally right after the Yankees retook the lead).

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Paul Semendinger – I think the turning point came when Kyle Higashioka hit the home run that quickly tied the game at 3-3. The Rays had just gone up. It didn’t seem like Gerrit Cole had his stuff. The Yankees could have folded there, but Higgy’s homer lifted them up. Aaron Judge soon homered to give the Yankees the lead. (Honorary mention were the two great plays by Gio Urshela in the second inning that prevented the Rays from taking charge of the game.)

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Andy Singer – While the offensive explosion will be the story on Tuesday, the turning point in last night’s game was Gerrit Cole’s strikeout to end the 5th inning. Cole struggled with the consistency of his stuff and command throughout his start, and things really could have gone South in a hurry with the Yanks clinging to a 4-3 lead and the bases loaded. Instead of crumbling, Cole did what aces do and dialed up his best stuff when he needed it most, striking out Manuel Margot on 4 pitches, the last a 100 MPH fastball up in the zone. You got the sense that the Yanks weren’t going to lose once Cole got out of the 5th inning unscathed.

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Owen Hetherington – The turning point of the game for me was Kyle Higashioka’s home run in the top of the fifth that tied the game up at three runs a piece. From there on, it was smooth sailing for the Bombers.

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James Vlietstra – The game was very much a back and forth affair until Giancarlo Stanton hit the the grand slam.

I consider that the turning point because the Yankees pulled out to a comfortable lead and pulled away from there.

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Ethan Semendinger – The turning point in last night’s game came with the decision from Kevin Cash to keep in John Curtiss when he was obviously struggling in the 9th inning with a 1-run lead. Cash kept bringing in his good, not great, relievers in a tight game after Snell was removed and he was showing his hand that he wasn’t confident in his team late in the game. He let his team give away a game they could’ve come back and won by hoping to steal some outs. It’s something I’ve been annoyed with Boone during his tenure and it’s not how a good manager wins important games in October.

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