Aaron Boone’s decision sparks outrage as it led Yankees to 7th-inning meltdown

Aaron Boone with Nestor Cortes and Jimmy Cordero during Yankees game against Orioles at Yankee Stadium on May 24, 2023.

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NEW YORK — With Aaron Hicks no longer part of the Yankees roster, the fans at Yankee Stadium are now in search of a new target to express their dissatisfaction when things don’t go according to plan.

On Wednesday night, the focus of discontent shifted toward the manager.

The frustration directed toward Aaron Boone was unmistakable as fans made their voices heard when his pitching decisions backfired, leading to a disappointing collapse by the Yankees despite initially appearing to have the game under control.

Aaron Boone’s decision went wrong

In a surprising turn of events, the Orioles managed to snatch the game away from the Yankees by scoring eight runs in the seventh inning. This offensive surge came at the expense of Yankees starter Nestor Cortes and relievers Jimmy Cordero and Albert Abreu. The Orioles’ ability to capitalize on the pitching struggles of the Yankees’ staff ultimately proved to be the deciding factor in the outcome of the game.

The Yankees experienced a stunning turn of events, relinquishing their four-run lead through six innings and ultimately suffering a 9-6 defeat. The collapse was unexpected and left both fans and observers astonished.

Instead of celebrating their sixth consecutive victory and 13th win in their previous 16 games, the Yankees found themselves grappling with the question of how the game slipped away from their grasp. The unexpected turn of events forced the team to reflect on what went wrong and seek answers for the missed opportunity.

Yankees fans expressed their dissatisfaction toward Aaron Boone for his decision to keep Cortes in the game for an extended period, resulting in loud boos when the left-hander was finally taken out. The discontent escalated as Cortes began the seventh inning with a walk to Anthony Santander, followed by a line single from Austin Hays that narrowly evaded the reach of shortstop Anthony Volpe. The frustration against Aaron Boone reached its peak when lefty Adam Frazier smacked a three-run homer, swiftly transforming the Yankees’ comfortable 5-1 lead into a narrow one-run margin.

The situation escalated further when Aaron Boone replaced Cortes with Jimmy Cordero, exacerbating the mounting tension. Cordero struggled against the five batters he faced, managing to retire only one of them. As Cordero was ultimately removed from the mound with the Orioles holding a slim 6-5 lead, the boos directed at Aaron Boone grew even louder and persisted for an extended duration, reflecting the increasing frustration and disappointment of the fans.

Despite Cortes’ underwhelming performance throughout the season after the fifth inning, the fans were well aware of his struggles. However, given his solid outing up to that point, which included surrendering only a solo home run, two singles, and a walk while holding a comfortable four-run lead, the decision was made to send the 2022 All-Star lefty back out for the seventh-inning. Another factor contributing to this choice was Cortes’ relatively low pitch count of 77, indicating that he had not exerted excessive effort during the game.

Did the Yankees have an alternative?

Aaron Boone had an expectation of a lengthy outing from Cortes, primarily due to the unavailability of key high-leverage relievers such as Ron Marinaccio, Michael King, and Wandy Peralta, who had already pitched in Monday night’s dramatic comeback victory against the Orioles. Additionally, the Yankees were facing the possibility of a bullpen game on either Friday or Saturday if they did not summon a pitcher from the minors. This circumstance arose because right-hander Domingo German’s 10-game suspension was extended until Saturday’s game, leaving a gap in the pitching rotation that needed to be addressed.

Despite Aaron Boone’s justifications and strategic thinking, his decisions ultimately proved to be counterproductive and resulted in a crushing defeat for the team.

Aaron Boone explained that he considered the score leverage and believed Cortes had been performing exceptionally well for six innings. He had initially planned for Cortes to face Frazier before turning to the bullpen. However, Aaron Boone mentioned that the bullpen options were limited at that point, leading him to rely on Cordero and Clay Holmes to handle the high-pressure situation and finish the game.

Aaron Boone clarified that his intention was for Cortes to face Frazier during that inning, regardless of the outcome. Even if Cortes had retired the next three batters in order, Frazier would have been the final batter he faced. Cortes had a solid outing up until the seventh inning, but unfortunately, Cordero and Abreu failed to provide any support after his rough ending.

Despite the Orioles’ dominant eight-run inning, the Yankees mustered one final rally. Trailing 9-5, they managed to score a run and load the bases with just one out in the seventh. However, their hopes were dashed as DJ LeMahieu struck out and Harrison Bader grounded out to third, squandering the opportunity.

The Yankees couldn’t capitalize on the impressive performances of Gleyber Torres, who smacked two home runs and drove in three runs, and Isiah Kiner-Falefa, who went 2-for-4 with a two-run homer, a triple off the wall, and scored two runs. Their efforts went in vain as the team failed to secure a victory.

Looking back, Aaron Boone highlighted Cortes’ strong performance through six innings as one of the significant positives from a night that ultimately ended in disappointment for the Yankees. Apart from three challenging batters, Cortes showcased improvement with two consecutive solid outings, following a rough stretch of four starts. This includes his recent six-inning, two-run victory in Toronto, which further reinforced his positive momentum.

Aaron Boone acknowledged the difficulty of the loss and recognized the challenges it presented. However, he emphasized the positive aspects of Cortes’ performance against a formidable opponent. Despite the late struggles, Aaron Boone encouraged taking a broader perspective and appreciating the overall strength of Cortes’ outing, particularly considering his previous start. Aaron Boone expressed optimism and highlighted the encouraging signs in Cortes’ pitching, emphasizing the good that came out of the game.

A ray of hope for Aaron Boone

Torres has shown a penchant for hitting home runs against the Orioles, with a remarkable total of 20 homers in 74 games against them. His performance against the Red Sox is also notable, as he ranks second with 12 homers in 77 games. He has recorded 14 games in his career where he hit multiple home runs.

The Yankees’ third baseman, Josh Donaldson, who has been dealing with a hamstring injury, is set to start his rehab assignment on Thursday with the Triple-A team, Scranton/Wilkes-Barre.

What do you think? Leave your comment below.

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5 thoughts on “Aaron Boone’s decision sparks outrage as it led Yankees to 7th-inning meltdown

  1. As long as the 3 Stooges (Hal, Cashman,Boone) run the Yanks, the World Series will be out of reach.

    1. Boone is completely clueless as a manager. This is demonstrated season after, yet Casham keep him around to camouflage his ineptitude.
      The Rays, Orioles, Braves all have better records than the Yankees based on there ability to draft, developed, promote and retain a core of home grown players. We all remember the 1990’s of Jeter and company.
      Trading away your best minor league players every year for a bunch of over the hill often injured player’s have not work and never will. Go back to the last Yankee juggernaut to now and every World Series was won by a youthful team.

  2. Cortes gets in trouble the third time opposing batters face him. He can’t fool them with his sub-standard fastball after that. They always hit him like a red-headed stepchild after the 5th or 6th inning. Boone keeps trying to wring more out of Yankee starters than they’re capable of producing. He’ll never learn, and that’s why the Yanks will never win another World Series with Boone as skipper.

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