Yankees’ Aaron Boone defends failed Joey  Gallo move

Yankees’ Aaron Boone defends failed Joey Gallo move

Joey Gallo can’t hit in New York — regardless of the borough.

With his time as a Yankee almost certainly coming to an end before next Tuesday’s trade deadline, Gallo was sent up to pinch hit for Isiah Kiner-Falefa in a 6-3 loss to the Mets at Citi Field to see if he could finally come through before he’s eventually dealt.

But with a runner on first and two outs in the eighth, with the Yankees down by a pair, Gallo’s at-bat against Edwin Diaz was as predictable as they come, as Gallo struck out to end the inning.

Aaron Boone defended the move to go with the strikeout machine over Kiner-Falefa, who had two hits earlier in the game to extend his hitting streak to 13 games, the longest by a Yankee this season.

“It’s not [just] about getting a hit in that situation,” Boone said of why he went with Gallo over the slap-hitting Kiner-Falefa. “The other component is forcing their hand to at least get their closer in there for a four-out situation.”

Aaron Boone
Aaron Boone
Corey Sipkin

Mets manager Buck Showalter said he would have kept right-hander Adam Ottavino in the game to face Kiner-Falefa, and Ottavino has been excellent against right-handers. Boone wanted the lefty-swinging Gallo versus Diaz, a righty.

“It’s a situation where you need two runs and Joey is one of the best power hitters the last couple years, and I got zero [home runs on the season],’’ Kiner-Falefa said. “There’s nothing I can say. You give him an opportunity right there. If I get a single, we’re still down two runs. I’m OK with it.”

Making the move more questionable was the fact Kiner-Falefa has hit well lately, and Gallo has been lost since arriving in The Bronx nearly a year ago. But he had homered in two of his previous four games with a plate appearance.

Boone said he also liked the idea of getting Diaz in during the eighth inning to force a four-out save.

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Diaz had a bit of a hiccup in the ninth, giving up an infield hit to Jose Trevino and making a fielding error on an Aaron Judge grounder, but he whiffed Anthony Rizzo and Gleyber Torres to end the game.

At Citi Field, Gallo was no match for the dominant Diaz and struck out for the 103rd time of the season.

Gallo is almost certain to be moved by the trade deadline, as his time as a Yankee has been a failure since the Yankees sent four minor leaguers to Texas last July in exchange for Gallo and left-hander Joely Rodriguez.


Dan Martin

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