Anthony Volpe joins the list of error-prone Yankees in loss to Red Sox

Anthony Volpe reacts after his baserunning error in third inning vs. the Red Sox costs the Yankees a crucial run on July 5, 2024, at Yankee Stadium.
Michael Bennington
Saturday July 6, 2024

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In a pivotal moment during the New York Yankees’ 5-3 extra-inning loss to the Boston Red Sox, a baserunning blunder involving Anthony Volpe cost the team a crucial run.

In the scoreless third inning, with Anthony Volpe on third and DJ LeMahieu on first, Ben Rice hit a grounder to first baseman Romy Gonzalez. As Gonzalez turned a double play, the shortstop hesitated and failed to cross home plate before its completion, negating a potential run.

Anthony Volpe admitted his mistake, explaining he thought the ball was foul. His hesitation left him short of scoring when Red Sox shortstop Ceddanne Rafaela received the throw at second base.

The situation might have been salvaged if LeMahieu had tried to extend the play by retreating toward first base. Instead, LeMahieu veered off the baseline, allowing Rafaela to tag him out just before Anthony Volpe could score.

This baserunning miscue, involving both Anthony Volpe’s lack of hustle and LeMahieu’s failure to create a rundown, potentially deprived the Yankees of a run in a game that remained tied after nine innings. The error underscores the importance of fundamental baserunning in tight contests.

Boone admits Anthony Volpe’s mistake

In third inning vs. the Red Sox, Anthony Volpe's baserunning error costs the Yankees a crucial run.

Yankees manager Aaron Boone addressed ongoing baserunning and fielding issues after the team’s recent loss to the Boston Red Sox. He emphasized the critical need to execute plays correctly, particularly in light of the team’s current slump. Boone highlighted the importance of creating rundowns in situations like the mishandled double play involving Anthony Volpe and DJ LeMahieu. He underscored the necessity of finishing plays, especially given the Yankees’ recent struggles.

“We got to play better than that, yeah, no question,” he said. “We certainly understand that and invest a lot in that and we got to play clean baseball., especially when it’s hard and things are hard to come by. yeah. we got to be better. Period.”

LeMahieu’s lack of hustle on an earlier play was also noted on Friday, where he narrowly beat out a fielder’s choice on a slow-developing play.

Anthony Volpe shared that Boone’s message to him was to play through every scenario. This advice is timely, as the Yankees face difficulties in both scoring and preventing runs, making hustle plays increasingly crucial.

These incidents underscore the growing focus on effort and fundamentals as the Yankees strive to reverse their recent downturn, having lost 14 of their last 18 games. The team’s struggles extend beyond pitching and hitting, with baserunning and fielding errors now under the spotlight.

Anthony Volpe made of ‘different cloth’

The New York Yankees’ recent lineup shuffle saw Anthony Volpe moved to seventh in the batting order for their series opener against the Boston Red Sox in the Bronx.

Yankees hitting coach James Rowson emphasized the need for him to continue adjusting, regardless of his position in the lineup. Rowson noted that Anthony Volpe’s initial success at the leadoff spot was followed by a prolonged slump, leading to his demotion in the order starting Thursday.

Rowson explained that opposing pitchers have been adapting to Anthony Volpe’s approach, first trying to jam him, then relying heavily on sliders. He expressed pride in the player’s ability to make adjustments throughout the season.

“[Opposing pitchers are] finding out those spots now,” the Yankees hitting coach explained. “But I think over time he has the aptitude and ability to keep making adjustments with the league. So I’m pretty proud of what he’s done this year.”

Anthony Volpe reacts following his strikeout in the Yankees vs. Reds game on July 3, 2024, at Yankee Stadium.
Charles Wenzelberg-NYP

Statistics show that as a middle- or bottom-of-the-order batter early in the season, 53.2 percent of pitches Anthony Volpe faced were out of the zone. This percentage decreased to 48.8 during his time as leadoff hitter, possibly contributing to his recent struggles.

Rowson praised Anthony Volpe’s competitive spirit and resilience, describing him as “different” and “made from a different cloth.”

“I feel like this kid is different. He’s made from a different cloth. He’s always going to compete. and he’s always going to battle and give you the best version of himself.”

The Yankees, who boasted a major league-best 49-21 record through June 12, have since gone 5-15, the worst record in the majors during that span. Their latest setback came Friday night when they squandered a three-run lead against the Red Sox.

In the aftermath of the loss, Anthony Volpe described the team’s recent skid as “brutal,” emphasizing the team’s expectation and desire to win.

“Brutal,” he said. “We play to win and we expect to win.”

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