Boone’s blunder precedes Torres’ defensive gaffe as Yankees feel the pinch

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Despite another dominant outing from Domingo Germán on Sunday, the Yankees’ hopes were dashed by a costly error from Gleyber Torres and a questionable decision by manager Aaron Boone, leading to a 7-4 loss against the Chicago Cubs, marking the end of the first half of the season.

With just 74 pitches under his belt, Domingo German was surprisingly pulled from the game by the Yankees manager after issuing a walk to start the seventh inning. Ian Hamilton was called upon to relieve German and managed to get an out, but then surrendered a single to Cody Bellinger. The pivotal moment came when Gleyber Torres made an error on a ground ball hit by Christopher Morel, loading the bases while the Yankees desperately held onto their three-run lead.

Gleyber Torres’ blunder

Torres’ misplay marked his ninth error of the season, surpassing all other second basemen in Major League Baseball. The Yankees player acknowledged that his attempt to rush the play due to Morel’s speed resulted in a missed ball. He recognized that his mistake had consequences and believed it was a contributing factor in the Yankees’ loss.

It was difficult to ignore the connection between Torres’ error in the seventh inning, which could have ended the inning, and the Yankees’ 7-4 loss to the Cubs. This loss marked the end of a turbulent first half for the team. While it may be oversimplifying the situation, the error did have an impact on the outcome of the game and also on the Yankees’ playoff chances.

Torres admitted to making an error and expressed his belief that it had a detrimental effect on the Yankees; chances of winning the game. Boone acknowledged Torres’ error, stating that it is a part of the game and unfortunately, it had a significant impact on the outcome of the game.

Boone’s blunder came before Torres’ error

Just over a week after his perfect game, German continued his dominant form by allowing only one hit over 6+ innings. With the Yankees holding a 4-1 lead, Torres’ error on a double-play opportunity in the seventh inning prolonged the Cubs’ rally, ultimately leading to their go-ahead run in the next inning.

German, aged 30, started the game strong with four consecutive hitless innings, eliciting excitement from the Yankee Stadium crowd. The spectators applauded him during his warm-up and their enthusiasm grew with each out. In the first four innings, the Yankees starter faced a minimum of 12 batters, erasing a second-inning walk by Bellinger with a Morel double play.

Despite giving up just one hit, a game-tying home run by Seiya Suzuki in the fifth inning, and having thrown only 74 pitches after walking Ian Happ to lead off the seventh, Aaron Boone made the decision to remove German from the game. This led to the Yankees using six relievers, most of whom struggled to effectively close out the game.

Following a pop-up by Suzuki and a single by Bellinger, Morel hit a ground ball to second base that had the potential for a routine double play. However, Torres, feeling rushed, mishandled the ball as it hit the heel of his glove and glanced off his right calf before he unintentionally kicked it with his left foot, causing it to land in the middle of the infield and loading the bases.

The Yankees called in Tommy Kahnle, who was carrying a personal record of 19 2/3 consecutive scoreless innings from the previous season, to the mound. He induced a groundout by Jared Young, narrowing the Yankees’ lead to 4-2. With an 0-2 count against pinch hitter Yan Gomes, Kahnle delivered a 96-mph fastball that was slightly above the strike zone. However, Gomes managed to make contact and sent a soft single to center field, driving in two runs to tie the game at 4-4. It’s worth noting that all three runs scored in the inning were unearned due to Torres’ error.

Gleyber Torres's costly mistake resulted in the Yankees losing 7-4 to the Cubs on July 09, 2023, in New York.
Claudette/ Twitter

Boone acknowledged that there may be questions regarding the decision to remove German from the game at that point. He explained that considering German’s recent perfect game and potential fatigue from his previous outing, the team felt it was the right time to make the change. Despite German’s strong performance, there were some signs, such as Suzuki’s previous success against him and a couple of walks in the later innings, that led to the decision. The Yankees manager highlighted that Hamilton came in and efficiently recorded a pop-up and a double-play ball, setting up the bullpen to finish the game with Tommy and Clay. Boone acknowledged that it’s a fair question to raise regarding the decision.

When asked if he could have continued pitching, German responded affirmatively, saying “Of course.” He felt confident in his ability to remain in the game despite surrendering the home run to Suzuki, which occurred when McKinney tried to make a leaping catch at the wall in left field.

German, speaking through his interpreter, acknowledged that the decision ultimately rests with Boone and his expertise. He recognized that Boone has the knowledge and understanding to make such decisions on when to remove a pitcher from the game.

Ron Marinaccio, who has struggled in recent outings, took the mound in the eighth inning for the Yankees. He allowed a leadoff single to Mike Tauchman, followed by walks to Nico Hoerner and Ian Happ, loading the bases. Clay Holmes entered the game with an impressive 0.71 ERA since May 6. The Yankees employed a five-man infield, positioning them at the edge of the grass. Seiya Suzuki hit a sacrifice fly to right field, and when Giancarlo Stanton threw the ball toward home plate instead of third base, Hoerner advanced. During Cody Bellinger’s at-bat, Holmes threw a wild pitch that sailed past the backstop, extending the Cubs’ lead to 6-4.

This could have been different for the Yankees, had the manager continued with German.

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