SAN DIEGO – Aaron Boone’s mistake, arguably the biggest of his career, could end up costing the Yankees a shot at the World Series.
To be clear, much more has to go wrong after the Yankees’ 7-5 defeat to the Rays in Game 2 of the American League Division Series at Petco Park. They’re not done yet, not with a best-of-five set at 1-all and a chance for redemption on the way.
Of course, the Yankees have the bats and a very competent starter Wednesday in veteran Masahiro Tanaka against solid Charlie Morton. It̵
Instead, it exploded in Boone’s face and the Yankees spent all night trying to recover.
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Garcia made it through the first inning and gave up running. And after a day of pretending that the club was trying to provide Garcia to provide length, Boone pulled the old switch-a-roo, bringing Happ.
By the end of Happ, a 1-1 draw had turned into a 5-1 lead for Raggi and nine of the 17 batters he faced had reached base.
Meanwhile, Rays starting pitcher Tyler Glasnow was better than ace Blake Snell the day before, scoring 10 in five innings. Glasnow gave up four runs and the Tampa Bay bullpen melded for four innings of a run. Nick Anderson’s seventh and eighth inning were crucial.
Not even Giancarlo Stanton’s two volleys could save the Yankees. Stanton has five home runs in four post-season games and it was his first multi-homer game since September.
It didn’t help that the Yankees have beaten 18 times, the most in a nine-inning game.
They had given hits and their best hitter, DJ LeMahieu, had one in six. Aaron Judge and Luke Voit hit three times each. The Yankees had arrived overnight after scoring 31 points in their first three playoff games, the most in MLB history at that time.
The Yankees had quite a problem with CB Bucknor, riding him for all game calls for strike to the point that he nearly bubbled in the ninth on a high strike against Gleyber Torres, who would walk onto the next field to put the runners first and second. no out against Pete Fairbanks. After Clint Frazier and Gary Sanchez were eliminated, DJ LeMahieu chose a run and the Judge went to third base to finish.
The first hitter that Happ faced, Joey Wendle, scored, and then two outs later the # 1 hitter. 9 Mike Zunino crushed a two-run shot to put the Rays at 3-1. In the third inning, a one-out from Ji-Man Choi preceded Manuel Margot’s double homer on the center wall of the field. When he got over the fence, center back Aaron Hicks’ head fell off and his hands went to his knees. This made 5-1 Rays.
But the second Stanton bomb arrived in time. After a single from Aaron Hicks in the middle and a walk from Voit, Stanton dunked a 458 foot left of the field. It landed just above the last row of seats on the second deck and reduced the Yankees deficit to 5-4.
The involvement of Adam Ottavino and Jonathan Loaisiga also didn’t help. Though Piccolo pulled the Yankees out of a two-on-two jam in the fourth, he accompanied Wendle, and then Kevin Kiermaier pushed him with a single gut on Loaisiga’s first pitch. Loaisiga would also pull off a solo shot at Austin Meadows, who was out injured for the Wild Card, to a 7-4 Rays lead.
In the seventh, the Yankees choked with two men in and no outs, with reliever Diego Castillo blocking them.
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