It looks like those chants of "We want Boston!" didn't serve the New York Yankees to well. The Red Sox put the Yankees world series dreams to bed Tuesday night advancing to the ALCS. In a matchup with so much hype and build up, ended with only an inning of self-inflicted drama. In other words, it really wasn't too compelling.
For the better part of four games, the Red Sox dominated the Yankees in nearly all facets of the game. They hit better, made better adjustments and maybe most importantly got the most out of their starting pitchers. Boston starters combined to throw a total of 19 innings, while New York's only threw 13. In today's game, teams want deep bullpens and don't rely on their starters to go seven innings.
But when your starters can't even get a quality start (five innings) then you will probably have some problems. The Yankee bullpen did do well, considering they had to enter games in the fourth and fifth innings but that isn't a winning formula. I understand that playoff baseball is now a contest to see how many pitchers you can use in a single game, but your starter sets the tone for the whole game.
Starting pitching is one of the most important aspects of the game. If a guy is on, then he can pitch the entire game then you don't even need to tap into the bullpen. In this case, the pitching was so bad that when the Yankee relievers entered the game they had to make sure leads didn't balloon to four or five runs.
It nearly worked in the game on Tuesday where the Yankee bullpen held the Red Sox lead to three runs for four innings which nearly resulted in the worst choke job I've ever seen. On that note, let's talk about that ninth inning. My goodness, that gave me flashbacks to 2011 when the Red Sox had their epic collapse from the playoffs.
The Sox put in Craig Kimbrel, arguably the best closer in baseball and the only reliable pitcher out of the bullpen and he immediately loads the bases for Giancarlo Stanton. At this moment I'm thinking to myself "Self, this is it. This is where Giancarlo Stanton solidifies himself as new public enemy number one." Thankfully Stanton wasn't made for the moment. He struck out on some of the worst pitches I've seen from Kimbrel. A lot of Yankees fans must be upset for trading all of those nice players, and taking on such a massive contract for a guy who goes 6-20 in the playoffs.
To put it nicely, I really wasn't concerned about the Yankees at all. On paper they should have destroyed the Red Sox this season, still finished second in the division. Stanton was supposed to be the best power bat in the American League, instead, it was Boston's, J.D. Martinez. Luis Severino was supposed to emerge as a big-time pitcher, instead, he turned in the worst postseason start in Yankees history. But with all that being said all I can do is congratulate the Yankees and their lovely fans on what might be the best second place season ever.
Hopefully, we can do this again sometime!