Phil Nevin’s Aaron Judge send proves costly for Yankees

BOSTON — An aggressive send by third-base coach Phil Nevin helped send the Yankees into the offseason.

Before they ultimately fell to the Red Sox 6-2 on Tuesday night in the American League wild-card game at Fenway Park, the Yankees had the makings of a comeback in the top of the sixth inning. Instead, Aaron Judge got thrown out at home to put a dagger in the rally.

They had just cut the deficit to 3-1, forced Nathan Eovaldi out of the game and had Judge on first with one out and the heart of their order coming up. Facing Ryan Brasier, Giancarlo Stanton smoked a rocket high off the Green Monster in left-center field, and Judge took off.

Left fielder Alex Verdugo overran the carom, but center fielder Enrique Hernandez was there to scoop it up and begin the relay that would nab Judge at home. Hernandez threw a one-hopper to cutoff man Xander Bogaerts, who turned and fired a strike to catcher Kevin Plawecki. The ex-Met was set up perfectly at the plate and had ample time to receive the relay and slap the tag on Judge for the second out of the inning.

Had Nevin not waved Judge around third base, the Yankees would have had runners on the corners with one out for Joey Gallo — with Gleyber Torres and Brett Gardner behind him Instead, after Stanton took second on the throw home, he was stranded there when Brasier got Gallo, batting cleanup, to pop up weakly to shallow left field.

The decision to send Judge not only backfired, but sent a charge through the crowd at Fenway. Anthony Rizzo had led off the inning with a solo home run and the Yankees were beginning to put the Red Sox on their heels before running into the out at home.

Aaron Judge called out at the plate.
Charles Wenzelberg/New York Post

The Red Sox added an insurance run in the bottom of the inning to push their lead to 4-1. The top of the sixth proved to be the Yankees’ best and last shot at a rally as 10 of the final 11 batters were retired in order.

It was the second time this season at Fenway Park that Nevin had waved a runner home on an aggressive send, only to see him thrown out. In June, with Gio Urshela on second and no outs, Miguel Andujar hit a single to right field. Nevin sent Urshela — who had sat out the previous two games with a shin injury — and he was gunned down at home by Hunter Renfroe.

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