'Boomer And Gio': Blame Yankees' Hitters, Not Boone, For Game 2 Loss

Boomer and Gio
October 14, 2019 - 9:08 am

Some might find fault with the way Aaron Boone managed the Yankees' Game 2 American League Championship Series loss to the Houston Astros on Sunday night. But WFAN's Boomer Esiason and Gregg Giannotti agreed the Yanks' offense — or lack thereof — was the real culprit in the 3-2, 11-inning defeat.

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Boone pulled Chad Green, who came on in relief of a struggling James Paxton, in the fifth inning after the right-hander retired all six batters he faced. Adam Ottavino then entered the game and gave up a home run to George Springer on the first pitch he threw, tying the score at 2-2.

"I never thought I'd really be saying this, this year with the Yankees, but if you want to place blame, the blame lies with the offense," Giannotti said on Monday's "Boomer and Gio" show. "I don't want to hear Aaron Boone this and too many relievers and he pulled this guy out too soon and that guy out. They got to the 11th inning on the road in a game that Justin Verlander started, having given up two runs. Where was the offense?"

In 11 innings, the Yankees were limited to two runs on six hits. Meanwhile, Boone used eight different relievers. J.A. Happ gave up a walk-off homer to Carlos Correa to end it.

"What I saw last night was a manager that just basically went for it," Esiason said. "And I love it. I love what Aaron Boone did last night. I really did. I mean, he saw that Paxton was struggling, couldn't get a first-pitch strike to save his life, kept throwing his curveball in the dirt — maybe it was just too many days off or maybe he was too jacked up or whatever — and he saw an uneasiness about his starting pitcher.

"I'm with you 100% when you say it's the Yankees' offense because if there's a portion in this series where the Yankees are definitely going to have to win it, it's going to be once they get into the bullpen of the Houston Astros," Boomer added. "There's no lefties in there, it's all righties, and that's where you've got to make hay."

 The Yankees' James Paxton is pulled by manager Aaron Boone during the third inning against the Houston Astros in Game 2 of the American League Championship Series on Oct. 13, 2019, in Houston.
Bob Levey/Getty Images

Added Giannotti: "Aaron Boone is managing with the idea that his offense is going to break out at some point. That's what he's doing. So if he sees a guy struggling a little bit, he's like, 'All right, this guy's getting out of the game now because I love my bullpen. I've got to keep this game close because my savages are going to take over, and that's the way we're going to win.' And last night they didn't. It just didn't materialize at any point last night."

The Yankees' hitters will face another tough challenge in Game 3 on Tuesday when they go up against Gerrit Cole, who went 20-5 with a 2.50 ERA and an MLB-leading 326 strikeouts this season.

To listen to the open from Monday's "Boomer and Gio" show, click on the audio player above.