The End. Tampa 2 NY 1. Yank Season Over — 5 Reasons Why

The wretched feeling of writing an article about the game that ended the Yankee season. To the hated rivals Tampa. In a game where a primary villain did them in.

“It’s over, Johnny. It’s Over.” — Colonel Trautman at the end of First Blood.

1. Brosseau Does them In Again

Mike Brosseau must be a folk hero amongst Tampa Bay fans by now. Brosseau hit the game-winning, go-ahead homer in the bottom of the 8th off Aroldis Chapman in this game to break the 1-1 tie and send Tampa to the ALCS playoffs against Houston.

Brosseau was the guy who got buzzed high and inside by Chapman back on September 1st, sparking the bean-ball war and the threats by the Tampa manager Kevin Cash that he had a ‘stable of guys who throw 98 mph”. After buzzing him high and inside Chapman struck out Brosseau to end that game.

The next night, Brosseau hit 2 homers to win the game for Tampa — the Mike Brosseau Revenge Game.

In game 4 of this series, Chapman got into an 8-pitch duel with Brosseau, finally striking him out to end the game. And the next night — here we are again with Brosseau coming back as the hero.

2. Tampa Bullpen Tamed Bombers

The Yanks got 1 run — an Aaron Judge homerun off reliever Nick Anderson in the top of the 4th to put the Yanks up 1-0.

That was it. We now spend the winter and the next 20 years thinking about how the Vaunted Yankee Juggernaut lineup — with DJ LeMahieu at the top, and Judge, and Giancarlo Stanton, and AL homerun leader Luke Voit, and Gleyber Torres, and Aaron Hicks, and Gio Urshela — could not manufacture another run — even a rally. They got 3 hits.

Glasnow pitched 2.1 innings, Nick Anderson pitched 2.2 innings, Pete Fairbanks pitched 2 shutout innings, and Diego Castillo wrapped it up with 2 no-hit, shutout innings.

3. Cole Pitched Masterfully But His Pitch Count Rose

The Tampa bullpen as a group outdid the dominant, masterful performance of Gerrit Cole. Cole was brilliant and fun to watch.

But Tampa was able to increase his pitch count, especially in the 4th and 5th innings, by fouling off a number of pitches. As his pitch count rose, Cole was seemingly tiring — he was having a more difficult time putting away batters. In the 5th he allowed a home run to Austin Meadows to tie the game. To start the 6th, he allowed a DEEP FLY BALL to left that appeared to be a home run but Brett Gardner caught it at the wall — causing heart attacks, despair, and then jubilation on Yankee Twitter.

Cole was pulled after that — finishing with a line of 5.1 innings, 1 hit, 1 run, 9 K’s 2 walks.

4. Yankee Bullpen Great But Not Deep

Zack Britton relieved Cole in the 6th and pitched terrific ball into the 7th — 1.1 innings shutout ball. And then Chapman relieved him in the 7th and pitched the 8th allowing the game winning homer.

Clearly the Yanks were missing depth to their once vaunted bullpen — Chad Green had pitched the night before so Boone apparently felt Green needed more rest (vs Britton and Chapman who had also pitched the night before). Glaring was the absence of Tommy Kahnle, out for the year with Tommy John surgery. And Dellin Betances long gone to the Mets. The many fans who felt GM Brian Cashman should have traded for a righty reliever at the trade deadline had a right to gripe.

5. LeMahieu and the Yank Lineup Stifled

Now with the season over, Yankee Twitter has to choose between rooting for arch rival Tampa or arch rival Houston in the next round.

And talk begins about what to do for next year. Yes the Yanks could’ve used a deeper bullpen but fact remains it is another year where the pitching did its job, but Yanks were eliminated because the lineup could not muster enough runs in a deciding playoff game, against elite pitching. It is hard to imagine the Yanks building a better lineup than the one they have now.

One of the key things that Tampa did was keep DJ LeMahieu pedestrian. He went 0-4 in this game and batted only .273 (with a .320 OBP) for the series. Keeping LeMahieu from his usual Superman offensive performances was kryptonite to the Yankee lineup.

DJ becomes a free agent at the end of this season, and with Gleyber Torres performing so mediocrely this year defensively at shortstop — it will be an interesting choice for Yanks to make: resign DJ for 2nd base or move Torres back to 2nd base and get a better defensive shortstop? Hard to imagine letting DJ go since he made the Yank offense go all year.

The End

And so we go into the winter with vivid memories of Cole pitching so masterfully but thinking that the Yankee offense couldn’t get 2 more stinking runs and let 2 solo homers by Meadows and Brosseau beat them.

NYSportsFan2015 summed it all up and won Tweet of the Night:

“Nothing is over. Nothing. You just don’t turn it off.” — Rambo


Whitey Ford passed away earlier in the day at age 93. The “Win it for Whitey” call went out, echoed by manager Aaron Boone — but I did not participate in this call — having cut my teeth on the 1970’s Yanks, and remembering the 1978 World Series when, with the Dodgers up 2-0 in games, Junior Gilliam died and Davey Lopes said he was dedicating the series win to Junior. The Yanks promptly won 4 straight.

The Boxscore


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