Aaron Hicks Defensive Blunders Cost Game. Yanked from Field. Tampa 4 NY 2

Aaron Hicks made back-to-back defensive blunders in left field with 2 outs in the 4th inning to allow 3 runs to score — giving Tampa all the help they needed in the 4-2 victory.

On the first, he raced to the left field corner but the ball bounced out of his glove as he crossed the foul line. The ball was ruled fair but he didn’t realize it, and disappointedly but non-chalantly looked at the wall before picking up the ball and throwing it in. On the very next play he misjudged a line drive hit right over his head.

The Yankee Stadium crowd began to boo Hicks LOUDLY and start chanting “Joey.. Gallo” at him. Manager Aaron Boone yanked Hicks from the game after the inning was over, replacing him in left with Estevan Florial the next inning.

“I just felt like I needed to get him out of there at that point,” said manager Aaron Boone afterwards. “The second one is a really tough one. And the first one I thought he got a pretty good jump on and was able to run it down.” Boone said the crowd booing was a part of the decision. “I guess it’s all baked into why I made the decision; feeling like it was having an effect and I needed to do it.”

The loss went to Frankie Montas, who struggled but managed to squeak through other trouble and pitch into the 6th inning. The depleted Yankee offense could only manage the 2 runs against Drew Rasmussen and the Tampa pen.

On a beautiful, 70-degree Friday night at Yankee Stadium — Derek Jeter night, as Jeter was honored for being inducted into the Hall of Fame before the game. “It feels good to be back. I’ll tell you that much,” said Jeter.

The loss drops the Yankees 83-56, 3.5 games ahead of Tampa, 5 games ahead of Toronto, and 9.5 over Baltimore. The next 2 games of this 3-game series against Tampa loom LARGE.

1. Montas Struggles Through

It was the second time Frankie Montas started against Tampa in a week — he had shut them down in 5 brilliant innings last Sunday. This time, he struggled through but was squeaking through tough spots until the 4th inning and the debacle by Hicks.

“I thought he battled really well,” said Boone of Montas. I thought he deserved a better fate, had we made some plays behind him. I didn’t think he really had his splitter going early, but he competed really well, and got into a decent rhythm later and started executing. So I thought he gave us a solid performance, based on maybe not having his best stuff and not having his splitter especially early.”

2. Hicks’ Blunders

Montas allowed back-to-back, 1-out doubles to Wander Franco and Randy Arozarena in the top of the 1st to put Tampa up 1-0. Montas allowed a single and walk in the 2nd, and a single in the 3rd, and then in the 4th, a walk and a 2-out single but 1st and 2nd, 2 outs.

Wander Franco hit the fly to left that Hicks caught up to but dropped, scoring 2 runs. Arozarena followed with a line drive over Hicks head. Tampa 4 NY 0.

“I thought I caught it,” said Hicks afterwards. “It obviously came out of my glove. I thought I was in foul ground. As soon as I missed it I should have got the ball in as fast as possible. I just got beat on the other one.”

When told that Boone said he wasn’t taken out as punishment, Aaron Hicks said “I mean I got benched. I got benched during the game. That’s rough especially when all you want to do is produce for your team, and your first two at bats are strikeouts.”

3. Rasmussen 6 Shutout Innings

Drew Rasmussen meanwhile shut the Yankees out for 6 innings.

“I thought he threw the ball really well. I thought his cutter was terrific tonite to righties and lefties. I thought we were competitive against him; made him work. But just couldn’t do enough against him.”

4. Judge Drives in Yanks 1st Run

Finally in the 7th, Tampa lifted Rasmussen and the Yanks jumped on reliever Jalen Beeks. Oswald Peraza led off with a walk, moved to 2nd on a grounder, and scored on a 2-out single by Aaron Judge.

5. Luetge & Weber Hold Rays Down

Lucas Luetge pitched 1.1 innings of shutout ball, and on-again-off-again Yankee Ryan Weber stepped in and pitched a shutout 8th and 9th — keeping the Yanks within range. Good job both.

6. Higgy Homer Makes It Close

Kyle Higashioka hit a solo homer in the 9th and Aaron Judge walked with 2 outs, giving the Yanks a Hail Mary chance.

But Gleyber Torres flied out to right for the old ballgame.


The Boxscore



Be the first to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.