Karpin: Yanks’ Flaws Were Exposed in Game 3

Like picking at a scab, the Red Sox picked at the Yankees’ flaws and the bleeding would not stop. The result was one of the most embarrassing games in the long history of the franchise.

In what has to be described in the baseball sense as an unmitigated disaster, the Red Sox thoroughly bludgeoned the Yankees, 16-1, to take game three of the ALDS and put the Bombers’ backs up against the wall. The Yankees came into the game feeling good about themselves but it didn’t take long for those feelings to go away.

An inexperienced Manager in the dugout, shaky pitching from both the starters and relievers and a lack of a real left handed presence in the lineup, that makes them susceptible to right handed pitching, all contributed to this humiliating defeat. The Yankee season that saw them win 100 games is on baseball’s version of life support.

Luis Severino was not good in this one as he reverted back to his second half form. The Yankee right hander had no command of his fastball, went with his slider too often and eventually was not fooling any hitters. The Red Sox seemed to know what was coming and they were all over it.

Yankee Mgr Aaron Boone’s inexperience in the dugout showed up big time in the biggest game of the season. Boone left a struggling Severino in way too long and the game literally got out of hand. The Red Sox blew it open with a seven run fourth to grab a 10-0 lead that was never threatened.

There was a tinge of controversy at the start of the game. TBS analyst Ron Darling said Severino was late in starting his warm ups for a 7:40 pm start time. Darling said Severino started warming up at 7:32. To be fair, Severino was seen going to the bullpen approximately 30 minutes before first pitch, but first, like any pitcher, he was long tossing in the outfield. When asked about the comment after the game, the Yankee pitcher said, “I always go to the bullpen ten minutes before the game, I warm up quickly.”

With the Yankees already down 3-0, Boone allowed Severino to start the fourth, but he gave up back-to-back hard hit singles but still remained in the game to walk the ninth place hitter, Jackie Bradley Jr, to load the bases with no one out.

At this point, Boone finally went to the bullpen but he added to the second guessing when he brought in Lance Lynn instead of Chad Green who had been in this kind of predicament before. Green had more of a chance for the strikeout but Boone felt Lynn matched up better against the top of the Red Sox order. “We feel like Lance, in a lot of ways, against righties gives us our best chance,” Boone said after the game.

Lynn walked Mookie Betts to force in a run and then Andrew Benintendi, who has become Boston’s latest “Yankee killer,” broke the game wide open with a bases clearing double to right field for a 7-0 lead.

The onslaught continued. With runners at first and third and one out, Chad Green came in and got Rafael Devers on a pop out but Steve Pearce singled in a run and then Brock Holt, who would go on to the first ever post season cycle, got the triple out of the way and drove in two more runs for a game over, too insurmountable 10-0 lead.

In the first two games, Yankee pitching did not allow the bottom third of Boston’s order to burn them but game three was different. Holt, Christian Vazquez and Jackie Bradley Jr. combined to go 7 for 15, with 6 runs and 6 RBI’s.

Boston pounded opposing team’s bullpens during the season and they continued that against five Yankee relievers including, for the second time in baseball history, a position player pitched in a post season game. Catcher Austin Romine took a major league mound for the first time in his career in the ninth and gave up a home run to Holt to complete the cycle and the indignity of the evening.

The Yankee hitters weren’t doing much with their former teammate, Nathan Eovaldi. Their approach with playing from way behind was atrocious at times. Luke Voit, who somehow has the Yankee brass and some fans believing that he should hit third between Aaron Judge and Giancarlo Stanton, was the first batter in the Yankee half of the fourth. With the Yankees trailing by ten, Voit swung at a 2-0 pitch and luckily reached on an infield single. He later did the same in the sixth. That’s not the way to get a rally started.

This current Yankee offense is lacking in left hand bats. Eovaldi faced four straight right handed hitters at the top of the lineup. Left hand hitting Didi Gregorius, Brett Gardner and one at-bat from switch hitter Neil Walker combined to go 0 for 6. Didi is 1 for 8 in the ALDS, while Gardner has yet to get a hit and is 2 for his last 27 post season at-bats.

With the Yankees in a “must win” scenario, C.C. Sabathia starts game 4 to try and keep the season alive. According to Gardner, the longest tenured Yankee, the team isnot lacking confidence and that they’ll come with their best in game four. “There’s a lot of fight in this room, I know our fans will respond and come back out tomorrow just like they did tonight,” he said. “Hopefully, we give ’em a little more to cheer about.”

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