New York fell to Tampa Bay last night 8-4 and now the Yankees are on the brink of elimination heading into Game 4 in San Diego. They managed to do almost nothing right but the series had already taken a turn for the worse the night before, in Game 2.

The Rays topped the Yankees Tuesday night 7-5 in a game loaded with questionable decisions by Manager Aaron Boone. Boone gave 21 year old Deivi Garcia the start and pulled him after 1 inning and a total of 27 pitches. The Bombers handed the ball off to 37 year old lefty J.A. Happ.

In just two and two thirds innings of work, Happ gave up 5 hits and 4 runs. This wasn't your typical "opener" situation where the starter gives you one or two innings and everyone knows it's coming, a quick switch is on the horizon. The Yankees acted like they were putting Garcia in as a starter and he would go for as long as he was pitching well.

Happ was up in the bullpen almost right away and was put in the game after just the one inning. At that point, Garcia wasn't lighting the world on fire but he wasn't a disaster either. Sure, his pitch count was high for one inning but he held the Rays to just one run. You can go back to him for another inning, two or dare I say three.

The hot speculation on sports talk radio and among fans is that this "plan" was not Aaron Boone's but GM Brian Cashman instead. This theory is bolstered by how Boone answered the questions about it. He does not look like a guy who believes in what he is saying.

Happ would have preferred to start according to Happ

Yankee fans would prefer he would stop throwing all together.

Left, righty, bait and switch, however you look at the strategy for Tuesday night's game, one thing seems clear, the Yankee organization did not have faith in Garcia or Happ to get the job done. If our perception is reality, the plan was garbage.

I realize, even with an extra day of rest Tanaka was no good but if you are putting your best attempt/foot forward you put Masahiro on the mound for Game 2 and show the Rays you mean business.

Analytics is an excellent tool but the Yankees are too married to it. This ALDS is unique in that, there are no off days, it was going to be Monday-Friday and that lack of rest is exposing the warts of their decision making.

To add insult to injury the decisions made Tuesday night have had a rolling impact on the rest of the series and we see it tonight. Jordan Montgomery will take the mound in a win or go home game. If they lose the series tonight or they lose tomorrow because relievers are gassed or the right guy isn't available out of the "pen" it will all come back to Game 2. I will never forget that game.

If the Yankees pull off a miracle tonight, you feel good that things even out with ace Gerrit Cole pitching the deciding 5th game but they are going to need a ton of offense to get there. I have no faith in Montgomery followed by Garcia, probably Holder, Green, Ottavino, Britton and Chapman being able to contain the Rays offense. The Yankees will simply have to score more runs and I think they will need to score ten of them to win.

Parting shots/hot takes: 

Don't tell me they need to hit, I know that. Giancarlo Stanton can't be the only player contributing. In five playoff games, Stanton is 7-for-19 (.368) with six home runs and seven strikeouts. He has driven in 10 runs and scored four, making him responsible for 14 of the Yankees’ 18 runs in the series.

Happ has done a whole lot of griping about managerial decisions this year. You would think that one of the least reliable pitchers on the team would be happy to contribute in any way he can but that's not how he sees it.

The Yankees must stop pitching to Randy Arozarena, He hits everything he sees. This is all he's done in 5 playoff games this year; 12-for-20, three home runs and six extra-base hits.

Where is Luke Voit? I think it was the second or third inning last night, Voit comes to the plate, bases loaded, two out. In the prior at-bat Charlie Morton threw four straight balls to walk Aaron Hicks. Voit stepped in and Morton threw three more, consecutive balls. Voit has a 3-0 count in his favor and managed to put himself into a 3-2 situation followed by a ground-out. That's a disgusting at bat.

These "Baby Bombers" are no longer fresh-faced kids reflecting hope and giving us a glimpse at a winning future. That horse s--- went out the window the second the 2017 ALCS was over and the Yankees season ended.

It took a pandemic to clear stadium seats for Giancarlo to swing the bat the way he should in the playoffs. Sanchez looks nothing like the player we saw his first two years of his major league career., he's a shell of that person. Judge is either carrying the team on his back or in the witness protection program.

The Yankees are simply wasting prime years because of management and a lack of mental fortitude.

It's time for them to live up to their potential and represent the pinstripes or get out of my face.

Getty Images

Basically, be these guys.

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