Aaron Boone’s mistake, misplaced trust push Yankees to another disaster

Yankees manager Aaron Boone is at Guaranteed Rate Field prior to the Yankees vs. White Sox game on August 8, 2023.

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Aaron Boone and Luis Severino equally share the responsibility for the Yankees’ crushing 9-2 loss to the White Sox on Wednesday. The Yankees manager’s misplaced confidence in a struggling Luis Severino played a significant role, compounded by his questionable decisions that exacerbated the team’s troubles.

Aaron Boone went ahead with Iam Hamilton as the opener with a strategy to help the struggling pitcher’s recovery. However, his decision to replace an excellent Hamilton with a risky Luis Severino ultimately ensured that this plan merely postponed the unavoidable outcome.

Aaron Boone’s blunder

Following Ian Hamilton‘s efficient 10-pitch opening inning, Aaron Boone made a questionable choice not to continue with him for a second inning, despite an upcoming day off. Instead, Boone promptly brought in Luis Severino from the bullpen. Unfortunately, just four batters later, the Yankees found themselves trailing 3-0.

Luis Severino entered the game and was immediately faced with Yoan Moncada, who smacked a leadoff double to the right-field wall. The hit had an exit velocity of 97.2 mph, which was the slowest among the five hits conceded by Severino.

Following one out, Yasmani Grandal smashed a single to left field, giving the White Sox a 1-0 advantage. Oscar Colas followed with a remarkable display, launching a 2-2 slider from Luis Severino a substantial 430 feet to right-center field for a two-run homer, expanding the lead to 3-0 at Guaranteed Rate Field.

Luis Severino managed to strike out the next two batters, averting further damage in the inning, but his struggles resumed in the third. Luis Robert Jr. hammered a one-out single to right field and then successfully stole second, setting the stage for Moncada’s two-out double into the gap, which pushed the score to 4-0.

As the bottom of the fourth inning commenced, Luis Severino issued a four-pitch walk to Grandal, prompting manager Aaron Boone to make the decision to replace him.

According to Boone, the decision to not have him start the game had caused frustration for Luis Severino, who is set to become a free agent. However, the outcome of Luis Severino’s initial relief appearance of the season was unlikely to improve his mood.

The Yankees’ strategy in employing an opener was partially aimed at alleviating some of the pressure on Luis Severino during the first inning, where he carried a problematic 13.85 ERA for the season. Despite these considerations, he still faced difficulties during his opening inning of work, though this time it occurred in the second inning of the game.

Aaron Boone noted that Luis Severino was feeling frustrated by the arrangement, emphasizing that it wasn’t in line with his preferences. He pointed out that Severino’s strong competitive nature was driving his desire to start. However, Aaron Boone also highlighted the team’s intention to help Luis Severino regain his form and performance. The aim is for this decision to mark the beginning of that journey.

Aaron Boone’s misplaced trust on Luis Severino

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Luis Severino’s first-inning performance has been the league’s poorest this year, characterized by a staggering ERA (14.79) and unfavorable statistics in opposing batting average (.441), opposing on-base percentage (.506), and opposing slugging percentage (.824).

Once regarded as a promising fixture in the rotation, Luis Severino has encountered a significant decline. Prior to Wednesday’s game, his ERA stood at 4.15 in the second inning, 8.53 in the third, 4.76 in the fourth, and 7.36 in the fifth. Despite a string of unfavorable performances in recent outings, Aaron Boone continued to place his trust in Severino.

Starting his appearance in the second inning, Luis Severino swiftly placed the Yankees in a detrimental three-run deficit, a gap they couldn’t surmount, ultimately resulting in a 9-2 loss to the White Sox and marking a series loss at Guaranteed Rate Field.

Acknowledging his surprise at not starting Wednesday’s game, Luis Severino conceded to making crucial errors, including serving up a two-run home run due to a hanger to Oscar Colas, as well as struggling with pitch placement, leading to Yasmani Grandal’s RBI single and Yoan Moncada’s RBI double.

From the immediate perspective, Luis Severino’s performance was limited to a mere two innings, during which he conceded four runs, further inflating his season ERA to 8.06 across 14 appearances.

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The viability of consistently fielding Luis Severino in upcoming matches, especially as the Yankees contend for a postseason berth, remains a subject of significant doubt.

Zooming out to encompass a broader viewpoint, this defeat marked the culmination of a challenging three-game sequence, wherein the Yankees (59-56) couldn’t capitalize on the struggling White Sox (47-69).

As the series concluded, they found themselves trailing the Blue Jays by 5 ½ games for the last available AL wild-card position. Aaron Boone’s mistaken decision cost the Yankees dearly.

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