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Yankees' Season Ends in Fitting Fashion, Falling Flat in Every Way in Wild Card Game

The New York Yankees lost to the Boston Red Sox in the American League Wild Card Game, dominated in every facet, a fitting finish to an inconsistent season.

Consistency was unattainable all year long for the Yankees. 

Save for a few streaky stretches over the course of a roller-coaster campaign, it felt like New York was always chasing comprehensive performances, constantly seeking simultaneous contributions from each position group. 

With their season on the line Tuesday night in the American League Wild Card Game, the Yankees weren't just searching for one more asset to produce, they fell short in every facet of the game. 

The offense was smothered, their best starting pitcher faltered on the biggest stage, more mistakes were made on the base paths and even the bullpen was shaky.

To put it another way, New York's season-ending loss to the Red Sox—falling 6-2 at Fenway Park—was a microcosm of their entire season.

Gerrit Cole set the tone early on. The ace recorded just six outs, allowing two early home runs. That forced manager Aaron Boone to pull the plug, calling to the bullpen as his ace couldn't make it out of the third inning.

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That deficit proved to be a decisive one. New York managed just six hits in the loss. Their only two runs came on solo home runs off the bats of Anthony Rizzo and Giancarlo Stanton, too little too late when looking back on the unproductive at-bats that allowed Red Sox starter Nathan Eovaldi and Boston's bullpen to be so dominant. 

Red Sox outfielder Alex Verdugo put the nail in the coffin, ripping an RBI double in the sixth and a two-run single in the seventh. Those two run-scoring knocks came off Luis Severino—his first earned run allowed of the season—and Chad Green, two of New York's most trusty arms in a deep 'pen. 

Perhaps the most glaring figure came in the walk margin. Boston worked seven walks, keeping the line moving and exploiting New York's hurlers for their shaky command all night long. The Yankees didn't work a single walk, often putting the ball in play with weak contact early in at-bats, hindering this offense from ever gathering any momentum.

After Rizzo's home run in the sixth, it looked like New York finally had some life. But when Stanton walloped a 400-foot line drive off the top of the Green Monster, third base coach Phil Nevin elected to send Aaron Judge, trying to score the slugger from first with one man out. Judge was thrown out by a mile, the last time New York threatened (other than Stanton's solo homer in the ninth).

All in all, it was an anticlimactic finish to a roller-coaster ride of a season, a tumultuous campaign that flashed the Bombers' glaring weaknesses throughout. Changes could be coming in what's poised to be a lengthy offseason, but for now, this club has a lot to think about with all that went wrong in their latest, and final, noncompetitive performance of the year. 

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