Updated: Jan 20, 2020
At the beginning of the Major League Ball postseason, the New York Yankees dominated the Oakland A’s in the Wild Card Game, to advance to the American League Division series against their rivals, the Boston Red Sox.
This series was hyped up by many heralded sports writers, and analysts were debating over which team would win the best of five game series. However when the series was over, anybody who picked the Yankees l
ooked silly, as the Red Sox made light work out of the Yankees to advance to the American League Championship Series or ALCS.
Before the playoffs started, both teams came into the playoffs with a lot of momentum. Both teams finished the year with 100 or more wins, the Yankees with 100 and the Red Sox with 108 respectively, and were looking to win the coveted World Series trophy. And while the Red Sox had a better record by eight games, many people thought that the Yankees could hold their own in a series with Boston.
Those claims seemed fair as after the first two games of the series, it was tied 1-1. The Red Sox won the first game by only one run, and the Yankees took game two by 4 runs, thanks to a two home-run game from star catcher Gary Sanchez.
The New York Yankees face the Boston Red Sox in an epic rivalry.
Both of those games were in Boston, too, which meant the series was going to transition back to New York for the next two games. This gave Yankees fans a lot of hope and lived up to the hype it was supposed to.
That all changed after the conclusion of game three, where the Yankees got steamrolled 16-1. No error there, the Yankees lost by 15 whole runs.
They wound up losing the next game 4-3, but the score did not reflect how dominant the Red Sox were in that game. This win sent the Red Sox on to the ALCS to face the Houston Astros, who had just swept the Cleveland Indians.
There were many reasons to blame for the demise of the Yankees potential filled season but the main three are the lack of converting opportunities, great play by the opponents, and coach Aaron Boone.
The first reason, might just be the most important, as the Yankees lost two of the games by one run, so if they had converted with runners in scoring position more, they could have scored enough runs to maybe win both of those games, and potentially the series.
During the ALDS, the Yankees hit a dismal 4-for-26 with runners in scoring position. That means there were only four times the Yankees got a hit with men in scoring position out of a possible 26 times. Meanwhile the Red Sox went 14-for-35 with RISP.
This lack of converting seriously hurt their offense and was a key reason the Red Sox won.
Another reason the Yankees lost was just all around amazing play from their opponents, the Boston Red Sox. Scoring 16 runs in a playoff game takes serious talent and they have one of if not the best teams in baseball, so their great play is obviously a factor and they deserve credit for their play.
The final major reason the Yankees season ended, was the horrendous managing from Aaron Boone, particularly in game three.
Aaron Boone gets a lot of unfair hate from MLB fans despite leading the Yankees to 100 wins in his first season. He even managed really great in the wild card game, but his mistakes in the Yankees 16-1 loss basically put them out of the series.
His biggest mistake in this game, was being reactive instead of proactive. In the playoffs, you need to do whatever is possible in order to win. For example, if a pitcher is struggling, you need to be proactive and take him out right away, instead of being reactive, and waiting for him to give up a lot of runs and then taking him out.
Luis Severino, the starting pitcher for the Yankees in game 3, the 16-1 loss, obviously did not have his best stuff during the game. He seemed like he was having a bad night and that was clear after the first three innings, when he had already given up three runs.
Most managers would have taken out the pitcher in a playoff game by that point, but Aaron Boone let Severino come out to start the fourth inning, where he immediately loaded up the bases before being taken out.
Even after he was taken out, Boone made another mistake with who he brought in, Lance Lynn. Lynn is a fine pitcher and all, but the Yankees have a historically great bullpen with great pitchers such as Dellin Betances, Chad Green, Zach Britton, David Robertson, and more, but Boone brought out a starter who moved to the bullpen for the playoffs.
This move proved to be costly as Lynn gave up three runs while only getting one out.
After this game, all the momentum was on the Red Sox side and they used it to beat the Yankees one last time to move on in the playoffs.
At the end of the day the Yankees can only blame themselves for their loss to the Red Sox and can start focusing on next year.