Thursday, October 17, 2019

N.Y. Yankees: Mother Nature Throws Aaron Boone a Change-Up

From the desk of: BLAME CARLOS MAY


Houston Astros
New York Yankees

Brian Cashman, Aaron Boone, and Mother Nature walk into a bar ...

Aaron Boone's (potential) plan to bullpen his way through game four knowing Thursday would be a travel day is compromised by Mother Nature.  Wednesday's rain-out means the remainder of the ALCS must be played out on consecutive days.  While Aaron Boone gets to pitch his starters on normal rest, he now must act with far more prudence when giving them the hook.  With only four chances to win three games, the spotlight is fixed on Aaron Boone and how efficiently and effectively he utilizes his bullpen going forward.

After six games the bullpen already has more innings pitched than Yankees starters.  Masahiro Tanaka, James Paxton, and Luis Severino, have each made two post-season starts.  They've collectively yielded seven runs through 26.1 innings pitched for a 2.41 ERA, but only average 4.1 innings per start.  Even if you take away Paxton's 2.1 inning effort in game two, the Yankees top three still only average five innings at best.  To date, only Masahiro Tanaka has pitched into the sixth.  Meanwhile the bullpen boasts a 2.23 ERA through 28.2 innings pitched.

Adam Ottavino has appeared in all six playoff games; Zack Britton and Tommy Kahnle are next in with five appearances each.  Meanwhile J.A. Happ has been nothing short of a liability.  It's no wonder Aaron Boone has only called his name twice through six games.  Makes me wonder which left-hander Boone will trust more in a big situation: C.C. Sabathia or J.A. Happ.

On a related front, Brian Cashman's failure to land a pitcher at the trade deadline was just about coming to pass when the rains hit early Wednesday afternoon.  Had Wednesday's game been played and the Yankees lost, Cashman would surely have been brought to task.  He escapes that criticism, for now, with help from Mother Nature.

But, boy, she really did stick it to Aaron Boone.

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