Skip to content Skip to sidebar Skip to footer
Aaron Boone looks out from dugout

Aaron Boone looks out from dugout

Hindsight is always 20/20. Yankees manager Aaron Boone knows that, but he still takes the blame for how the top of the ninth went against the Royals on Wednesday night.

Painting an abridged picture of the scene, Aroldis Chapman found himself in a pickle once again with two outs and runners on first and second with Carlos Santana coming to the plate. Boone walked out to the mound to discuss what the move was with the switch hitter coming up.

“We talked about the different attack plans, about potentially walking him, going after him, pitching carefully and things like that,” Boone told reporters on Thursday before the series finale against Kansas City. “So, yeah, it was more, ‘We’re going to go after him, but pitch carefully.’”

With Salvador Perez out of the game, Sebastian Rivero was the next hitter. So, as Boone walked back to the bench, he changed his mind about the plan.

“But when I got back to the bench and kinda looked out there, I just felt like — that’s why there was a little bit of a pause. I just felt like I wanted to take our shot the other way,” he said. “So ultimately it was my call in the moment and I think that led to some of the frustration.”

Chapman was clearly frustrated with the move because he wanted to get Santana out. What resulted with Rivero was a bases-loaded walk to tie the game at 4-4, and then Ryan O’Hearn would single to make it 5-4 Royals.

“He and I talked at length last night,” Boone said. “All good. He was upset, understandably so. He wanted to pitch to Santana, and even in hindsight — not just because it didn’t work out — I think the right move was to probably let him pitch to him. I just decided when I got back to the bench, I just didn’t want to see Santana in a little bit of a unique situation, obviously with Perez going out of the game, didn’t want to see him beat us in that spot or get too careful with pitching around and maybe [throw] a wild pitch or something.

“It was a decision I made in the moment. Having really thought about it and slept on it, probably should’ve gone the other way, not because of the results.”

Luckily, the Yanks had some heroics in them when Gary Sanchez went yard to tie it in the bottom of the ninth, and Luke Voit – fresh off the IL on Tuesday – walked it off with an RBI double.

Chapman has been having a tough time of late in close situations, and Boone recognized that before the game on Wednesday. The Cuban Missile said he was dealing with a “nail issue” on his middle finger that has been bothering him for some time now, but he’s working through it.

To have another save blown obviously doesn’t sit well with the veteran flamethrower, but Boone is putting the burden on himself for making that judgment call. And in the end, a conversation was had between both parties to clear any bad air that might or might not have been there.

“Chappy and I absolutely talked about it and we’re good,” Boone said.

Did Yanks change pace after Red Sox series?

A question was raised to Boone about the Yankees’ play following a beatdown by the Red Sox, who swept the Yanks at home. Some believe that was a wake up call for a group that looked lost at times before eventually turning it around against the Blue Jays.

Boone can see why some may think that, but he still believes there’s more to get out of his group that hasn’t reached its full potential.

“I think we’re finding our way a little bit,” he said. “I still don’t think we’re where we think we’re going to be as a team. It’s certainly been a grind this year, but I don’t think there’s any question that over the last couple of weeks, the offense is just starting to slowly but surely get better.”