MIAMI – Lance Lynn cruised until the bottom of the sixth inning Wednesday evening in Miami, before crumbling after being forced past 100 pitches and eventually allowing five earned runs.
After five scoreless frames, three singles and a three-run home run spelt doom for the clearly laboring Lynn, who was given the hook after 110 pitches and four runs allowed. Tommy Kahnle entered with one out and promptly allowed an RBI double to score the fifth run of the inning, which was charged to Lynn.
An RBI infield single by Giancarlo Stanton brought the Yankees to within two runs, but that’s all they got in the top of the seventh-inning off of Marlins relievers Adam Conley and Tayron Guerrero. This slight deficit led to one of the most confusing decisions made by Aaron Boone all season.
Boone called upon Chance Adams as a long-reliever in the bottom of the seventh, forcing a 24-year-old rookie into a role he has not filled in close to two full seasons. Adams had been called up earlier Wednesday to replace the injured Aroldis Chapman, who had gone on the disabled list with tendinitis in his left knee. Things didn’t go great for Adams in his 1⅔ innings, where he allowed four runs (three earned) on four hits and three walks. He did not record a single strike out, and his ERA in the major leagues skyrocketed to 8.10. By the time A.J. Cole was called in to rescue the Yanks, they were already down by six.
What Boone said after the game was frustrating to many Yankee fans: he would’ve gone to Chad Green if the Yankees were only down by one. That’s right, the Yankees manager decided to wave the white flag to the Miami Marlins down by two. It might’ve been the product of scoreboard watching, since both of the teams competing for the lead in the wildcard standings (Oakland Athletics and Seattle Mariners) both lost Wednesday night. Still, the decision to go from one of your better high-leverage relievers in favor of the guy who was supposed to start for your Triple-A affiliate just hours earlier is kind of baffling.
Oh, well. It feels incredibly frustrating but the reality is that the Yankees didn’t gain or lose ground in the wild-card race anyway.
The Yankees head to Baltimore for a four-game series (of course it includes a doubleheader) starting Friday night with the return of CC Sabathia from the disabled list, who was inactive for 11 days because of right knee inflammation. He’ll face off against right-hander Alex Cobb in the series opener, who has a 1.55 ERA in his last four starts (which includes his August 1 win over the Yankees at Yankee Stadium).
It’s Players’ Weekend when the Yanks are in Baltimore, so expect those uniforms with nicknames on the back as well as some flashy equipment since MLB is holding their uniform and equipment rules in abeyance for now.