Boone admits to crucial error in Yankees’ lopsided loss to Red Sox

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In Sunday night’s game against the Boston Red Sox, New York Yankees manager Aaron Boone made a pivotal decision in the seventh inning. With the game tied at 0-0, Boone chose to leave starting pitcher Luis Gil on the mound to face Red Sox power hitter Rafael Devers for the third time.

This decision proved costly as Devers belted a solo home run, leading to the Yankees’ 3-0 defeat at Yankee Stadium. Boone defended his choice, stating he believed Gil was well-prepared for the matchup.

Gil had been effective up until that point, recovering from three consecutive rough starts. He had previously retired Devers twice in the game. However, on a 2-2 count, Devers launched a 373-foot homer off a 98.8 mph fastball.

Boone mentioned there was an internal “debate” about replacing Gil with reliever Luke Weaver for the Devers at-bat. Ultimately, Boone decided against it, noting the similarities in pitching styles between Gil and Weaver and Devers’ prior success against Weaver.

Gil ended his night allowing one run over 6 2/3 innings, striking out nine, walking none, and giving up four hits on 96 pitches. Despite his overall strong performance, the decision to keep Gil in the game for that crucial at-bat against Devers determined the game’s outcome.

Luis Gil reacts after allowing a Rafael Devers homer Sunday against the Red Sox.
Charles Wenzelberg

Boone’s decision backfires, Devers hammers Yankees

Yankees manager Aaron Boone detailed his reasoning for keeping Luis Gil on the mound against the Boston Red Sox. Boone noted that after Gil’s impressive sixth inning, capped by a 99.2 mph strikeout, there was no plan to pull him from the game.

“Not after the sixth. … Definitely wanted him to go out and face the righty (O’Neill), and at that point we’re right in the game, too, and I felt like he was throwing the ball so well and (he could) kind of shorten the game with Weaver not having necessarily a full clip tonight,” the Yankees skipper said. “The way Luis was throwing the ball, and where he was, I felt very good about him, as long as he didn’t lose O’Neill or get erratic with O’Neill or show signs of (decline), which I didn’t think he was.”

Boone’s approach involved having Gil face the right-handed Tyler O’Neill to start the seventh inning. Boone highlighted his confidence in Gil’s outing and the necessity to extend his performance, particularly with reliever Luke Weaver not fully available.

Boone clarified that intentionally walking Rafael Devers was never part of the strategy. Devers subsequently hit a solo home run in the ninth inning off Michael Tonkin, following Ceddanne Rafaela’s home run in the eighth off Weaver.

New York Yankees’ Luis Gil reacts after the third out during the sixth inning of a baseball game against the Boston Red Sox, Sunday, July 7, 2024, in New York.
AP Photo/Noah K. Murray

This loss was the Yankees’ 16th in their last 22 games and continued their streak of seven series without a win.

When discussing Devers, who boasts a .293 average and 21 home runs, Gil expressed confidence in his pitching. He believed that proper execution of his pitches could retire any batter, including Devers.

Gil acknowledged he felt ready to continue after the sixth inning but accepted that such decisions are ultimately up to the team.

“If I’m able to execute pitches,” he said, “I feel like I have a pretty good chance of getting guys out, regardless of who the batter is.”

The game underscored the difficulties of in-game decision-making and the challenges posed by elite hitters like Devers, especially in pivotal moments of tightly contested games.

What do you think? Leave your comment below.

2 thoughts on “Boone admits to crucial error in Yankees’ lopsided loss to Red Sox

    1. You’re absolutely right, Grasser. While I wouldn’t have allowed Gil to face Devers again, that isn’t what cost us the game. If you don’t score any runs, you obviously have zero chance of winning.

      The ONLY reason I would have taken Gil out of the game was because his Confidence was restored after pitching great for 6+ innings. So, why leave him in against a great hitter to have that Confidence shattered to some degree. Get him out of there while his Confidence was renewed.

      Having said that, had he gotten Devers out, then his Confidence would have been heightened that much more. So, I understand that Boone gambled & lost in this instance. That happens sometimes.

      I’ve blasted Boone many times for NOT demanding that his players hustle 100% of the time & making excuses for them when they didn’t hustle, but, while I disagree with leaving Gil in, that’s one of those gambles every manager takes now & then to hopefully bolster a young players confidence. In this instance, it backfired, but I understand Boone’s thinking, and I can’t really say it was unfounded; I just disagreed with it. I would have preferred that the kid leave the game with his confidence sky high.

      Ultimately, however, we still would have lost the game, and the way Devers has hit against the Yankees, he just as likely might have hit an HR against whoever came in in relief. The one difference is that that pitcher wouldn’t have been the kid whose confidence had been rocked the last 3 starts.

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