If you didn’t catch the game yesterday, here’s what you missed:
Aaron Boone out-managed Charlie Montoya and the Blue Jays won anyway – because baseball. Don’t let anyone tell you the wackiness in the 9th and 10th cost the Yankees the game – the game turning sequence occurred much earlier…
In the top of the 6th inning and the game tied at two with the go-ahead runner on base, Boone went to Chad Green, his best available reliever. This was, and usually is, the right move. Is it possible there may be a situation later in the game as important as a tie game with the go-ahead runner on base? Possible but unlikely. And as a friendly reminder, runs in the 6th inning are just as important as runs in the 9th, even if the actions and words of everyone around baseball suggest otherwise. And in what was a huge spot in the game, Green ended the threat with one pitch.
Then it was Montoya’s turn. With a tie game in the bottom of the 6th, and one out with a runner on, Montoya went to Tyler Chatwood then David Phelps. If you aren’t familiar with Chatwood and Phelps, they are most decidedly NOT Toronto’s best relievers. Chatwood is known for walking almost as many batters as he’s struck out in his career, and Phelps is a 34 year old who’s been with seven teams. Faced with a crucial game turning situation, Montoya kept his best guns in the bullpen and went with mediocrity.
So what happened?
Chatwood and Phelps faced eight batters and allowed four of them to reach base. Then with the bases loaded, Aaron Judge hit a ball 107 mph off of a Phelps fastball. Basically, the Yankees manager did the right thing, the Toronto manager did not, and the Yankees hitters were better than the Toronto pitchers.
But Judge’s ball went right at a Toronto fielder. Problem solved, crisis averted if you’re Toronto.
That doesn’t mean Montoya did the right thing. Montoya was sitting on 19, decided to hit and the dealer gave him a two – he got lucky.
Stuff happens. That’s baseball.
And with that unlucky path of Judge’s batted ball, the Yankees win probability went from 74% to 50% – the biggest swing in the game – with one pitch.
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