While the blame for Sunday afternoon's collapse at Fenway Park falls in large part on the bullpen for blowing New York's late lead, there is one decision that manager Aaron Boone wants to have back.
Once the Red Sox broke up Domingo Germán's no-hitter, scoring three runs with Jonathan Loaisiga on the mound in the top of the eighth, Boone elected to bring the corners in with no outs and runners on second and third.
With his middle infielders back, Franchy Cordero was able to score from third without a play when pinch-hitter Kevin Plawecki bounced a chopper to Gleyber Torres at shortstop.
That tied the game, paving the way for a sacrifice fly in the next at-bat, giving Boston a 5-4 lead. They would win by that score.
Torres checked home after fielding the grounder, grabbing the baseball feet behind the lip of the infield grass, but wisely went to first to get the sure out. Had the infield been completely in on that play, there's no way Cordero would've been able to waltz home. In fact, he probably would've stayed put at third.
"With no outs, I just didn't want to get beat on something soft with no outs," Boone explained moments after the loss. "In hindsight, that's the one that you question myself about. Should we have just sold out with no outs there? That's certainly debatable."
Even if Bogaerts scores a run with a sac fly to right field on the next play, that would've been the tying run, rather than the decisive blow. Who knows where the game would've gone from there.
Boone was asked a follow-up question on the same topic and he reiterated that he was doing his best to prevent a bloop hit from scoring two runs.
"With the go-ahead run out at second and no outs, just felt like I didn't want something soft to beat us or something to squib through there to beat us," he added. "So, decided to just go in at the corners with no outs."
We'll never know if that decision could've changed the outcome of Sunday's game, but what did transpire will go down as one of the worst losses of the year for New York. Days after a blown save from Chad Green in the ninth (and Brooks Kriske's meltdown in the 10th), the Yankees closed out the series with yet another implosion, sinking further away from first place in the American League East.
Boone also addressed the move to keep Loaisiga in for one additional batter—after eclipsing the three-batter rule—rather than going directly to Zack Britton. With Kiké Hernández at the plate, Boone explained that he preferred the matchup, saving the left-hander to face a lefty (in Jarren Duran) on deck.
Hernández ripped an RBI double off Loaisiga to left. Plawecki pinch-hit for Duran and chopped the ball to short against Britton.
"It's a fair question," Boone said.
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