New York Yankees: The botched Deivi Garcia ‘opener’ plan

SAN DIEGO, CALIFORNIA - OCTOBER 06: Deivi Garcia #83 of the New York Yankees looks on from the dugout against the Tampa Bay Rays during the second inning in Game Two of the American League Division Series at PETCO Park on October 06, 2020 in San Diego, California. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
SAN DIEGO, CALIFORNIA - OCTOBER 06: Deivi Garcia #83 of the New York Yankees looks on from the dugout against the Tampa Bay Rays during the second inning in Game Two of the American League Division Series at PETCO Park on October 06, 2020 in San Diego, California. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images) /
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The New York Yankees’ attempt to execute an opener blew up in their face.

Originally, the thought of going with Deivi Garcia, the youngest New York Yankees pitcher ever to make a postseason start, in game two of the ALDS seemed a bit out of character for the storied organization. This is a kid who has only made six MLB starts in his career and is still trying to figure it out, so to speak.

Then you hear guys like Hall of Famer Pedro Martinez say that García is going to be better than he ever was and you start to justify the organization’s decision to go with the kid over, say, Masahiro Tanaka.

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At the time, the Yankees were up in the series 1-0 and if they lose, well, then essentially you’re starting from scratch. But if you win, well then you look like geniuses and you’re up on the Tampa Bay Rays, heated rivals and the best team in the American League, two games to none.

Unfortunately, what the Yankees were actually doing was outsmarting themselves because what Deivi García wound up being in game two of the ALDS was an ‘opener’ for none other than J.A. Happ. Unlike the Trojans in Homer’s “Odyssey”, however, this Horse resulted in a lopsided loss for the Bronx Bombers.

In all, Garcia didn’t look so bad. Naturally, there were some jitters. Pair that with a few terrible calls made by home plate umpire CB Bucknor, which essentially extended the inning. and it resulted in a home run by Randy Arozarena, currently the hottest Rays player.

The Yankees just could not help themselves, however, and would not allow the kid to rebound and move forward. Instead, they brought in Happ, who in all fairness pitched very well at the end of the regular season.

This time, however, Happ just completely imploded. He threw 69 pitches in just 2.2 IP, allowing 4 runs, all of them earned.

This move resulted in the New York Yankees having to use four relief pitchers, not including Garcia’s first inning. In a series with a potential three games left and no days off, this could have serious implications.

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Fortunately, the forecast is looking clear in San Diego tonight as Tanaka takes the ball for game three and attempts to reclaim a series lead for the Yankees. Hopefully, the team doesn’t go and outsmart themselves again.