With more than 48 hours to digest how it all went wrong, a few key decisions have been following Aaron Boone in his management of the Yankees’ losses in Games 3 and 4 of the ALDS.
“You kind of go numb,” Boone said Friday at a press conference at Yankee Stadium. “You play back every scenario, think about where you could have done some things different.”
Boone was criticized for being too slow to pull his starting pitcher in the final two games, and while he said he didn’t feel the game sped up on him, he did have one regret from Game 3.
Luis Severino was getting hit hard and the Red Sox had built up a 3-0 lead through three innings. But Boone sent Severino out for the fourth inning and he promptly allowed the first three batters to reach before getting yanked. The Red Sox scored seven runs that inning on the way to a season-turning 16-1 demolition.
“Sevy I didn’t feel like was on top of his game and I think that’s the one I look back at where I say, ‘All right, I probably got greedy with Sevy in the fourth there, wanting to get him through the bottom of the order,’” Boone said.
Boone did not feel the same way about CC Sabathia in Game 4. The Red Sox got to the lefty in the third inning for three runs, but Boone stayed in the dugout, not going to the bullpen until calling on Zach Britton to start the fourth. He was concerned about leaving the bullpen shorthanded, thinking he could get six or seven innings out of David Robertson, Zach Britton, Dellin Betances and Aroldis Chapman.
“I felt like stuff-wise, [Sabathia] was OK,” Boone said. “In my mind, it wasn’t a clear decision to say, ‘CC can’t get through this.’ I thought there was great value if CC does get through the third, knowing we have those four guys in a six-inning scenario, so that if there was any bump in the road with those four guys along the way, in a six-inning scenario, I thought we could absorb it. Beyond that, I thought we were playing a little bit with fire …
“It’s a little bit gray. It’s easy in that spot to run and go get Robbie in that spot, but maybe we’re leaving ourselves a little bit short going forward with a guy I didn’t think was overly off his game in CC.”