Did you see the game last night?

It was the best game that I’ve see this season and I’ve seen most of them.

I know you’re thinking, 4-3 win against a division rival, Chapman closing it out after a big Judge HR – what could be better right?

Yeah that was fun, but you know me – I’m a process guy.  And last night was Aaron Boone’s best game of the season, hands down.  Frankly, his bullpen management was a huge contributing factor in the win.

With one out in the top of the 5th and the game tied at 2, with Justin Smoak and Yangervis Solarte due up, Boone went to the pen.  He got what we expect from starting pitcher C.C. Sabathia – 4 1/3 innings, 2 runs, neither earned.  But with a tie game and the other team’s best hitters coming up it’s time to go to the hammer known as the best bullpen in baseball.

To add more perspective, at that point in the game the Yankees’ win probability was 52%.  The game is essentially a toss up.  Using your considerable resources (the bullpen) gives you a significant edge over just about every other team in that situation whose bullpen resources aren’t as considerable.  Use it.

Earlier this season in similar spots Boone has gone to the 13th pitcher on a 13 man staff and it never ended well.  Tie game, heavy hitters means go to someone who can shut it down – Chad Green, David Robertson, Aroldis Chapman – pick one.

Boone went with Green, Dellin Betances, Robertson and Chapman in that order to get 14 outs.  This is an enormous competitive advantage for the Yankees:  There aren’t many (any?) teams who will have a better combination of pitchers to get 14 outs.

Boone chose that route and the Yankees won in large part because of it.  That foursome allowed 1 run over 4 and 2/3, while the Yankees got 2 off the Toronto bullpen.  Game over, the Yankees win (thuuuu…Yankees WIN!)

Here’s hoping Boone has turned the corner on this issue and is done with using AA call ups in those spots.

Speaking of process…

Chapman was a scary dude last night.  I’ve always felt that if you got intimidated in the batter’s box you would never be in the big leagues in the first place.   Whether it was that, the 100 mph fastballs or both:  Devon Travis, Stephen Pearce and Teoscar Hernadez were overmatched.  That being said…

After blowing away Travis and Pearce, Chapman threw two spinning, floating, belt high sliders to Hernandez.  Hernandez is right handed and is off to a very good start this year – we very easily could be talking about a blown save here instead of a great win with that pitch selection.  It worked out this time for the Cuban missile, but that isn’t the route I’d take ongoing.

More process…

I’m fortunate enough to have a few good friends who are knowledgeable baseball fans, with whom I can exchange banter through text messaging during the game.  (By knowledgeable, I mean they pick up on things in the game that Paul O’Neill of Simpleton Summer Camp never will.)  So thanks to my friend Mike Iovino for pointing out…

The Yankees ran into out number three at 2nd base in both the 7th and 8th innings.  Given the tightness of the game this really did seem like a time to ask a WTF related question of the baserunners.

In the bottom of the 7th, Yankees leading 4-2, Giancarlo Stanton gets thrown out trying to advance to 2nd base.  With Gary Sanchez (career.553 slugging) at the plate, this really was a time to ask Giancarlo WTF.  When a guy with a .553 SLG is batting the difference between being on first or second base is negligible.

In the 8th with 2 out, Aaron Hicks was thrown out at 2nd trying to steal.  Here, with Neil Walker at the plate and Tyler Wade to follow, this may have not been such a crazy risk.  Unlike Sanchez, Walker and Wade are more likely to single than drill one off the wall or into the seats.  Getting to second with two out may (may) have been worth the risk.

So about the broadcast…

I’m already well over 600 words, so I won’t rehash the whole play by play of the radio and then the Simpleton Summer Camp broadcast, but in no particular order…

Suzyn Waldman is a trip.  And I don’t mean in the good way.  She’s like a trip back to 1982.

David Cone is the best in the business, we are very lucky to be able to listen to him.  His combination of statistical knowledge, been there done that knowledge and sense of humor add a ton to the broadcast.  When he told us how Torreyes has ‘little on base ability and no power, but other than that…’ (paraphrase) I couldn’t stop laughing.  However…

Paul O’Neill should thank whatever higher power he chooses every day that he was born into a 6’ 5” frame with ridiculous athletic ability and with a family that encouraged his talents and hard work.  I can’t imagine what would have become of him if he needed to use logic, anywhere, in any manner.

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