The Yankees were involved in another controversial umpiring call that prevented the team from scoring the tying run in the ninth inning. Stuff happens. Can we please move on?
The Yankees got cheated again. Or so you might think if you didn’t watch the game Saturday and all you did was read New York newspapers Sunday. Yes, Gleyber Torres has every right to be frustrated, and the home plate umpire (maybe) did call time on a play that was still “live.” But the Yankees did send 32 batters to the plate Saturday, collecting five measly hits and scoring score only one run – did they not?
What happened is that Brett Gardner, who had singled in the ninth inning, slid hard into second baseman Max Muncy on a forceout (see feature image). Muncy, in only his second season with the Dodgers, pulled a veteran-like fast one, crawling on the ground acting as if he was headed to the emergency room. Even Gardner was momentarily faked out by Muncy’s Oscar performance, reaching to his aid.
Seeing the confusion, Gleyber Torres, running from third base, took off for home for what would be the tying run. Unfortunately for the Yankees, home plate umpire Gabe Morales saw the confusion as well, calling time and killing the play before Torres reached home. No run, no tied score.
Still, the Yankees proceeded to load the bases against Dodgers closer Kenley Jansen, only to have Mike Tauchman and Gary Sanchez strikeout ending the game with the Dodgers taking the squeaker 2-1.
It didn’t help much that Muncy admitted to his theatrics during postgame interviews, telling reporters, “I was hurting, but there was a little bit of acting there, too. I stayed down a little longer,’’
But the call stands with the umpire making a split-second decision he felt was right.
Yankees: Hit The Reset Button
Nevertheless, Gleyber Torres took the lead in expressing his displeasure with the umpiring. “They need to do a little [better] job,’’ Torres said. “I don’t know what was wrong with the umpires today. We can’t control that.’’
That’s right, Gleyber, you can’t (control that). So how about we move on to the next game when Domingo German squares off against Clayton Kershaw before a national TV audience on ESPN and the next three against the lowly Mariners in Seattle.
For the Yankees, this “thing” with umpiring has to stop. That call wasn’t “missed”, nor was it a bad call. It was a judgment call. Morales saw a man down, apparently needing attention. These decisions are made by umpires in every game that’s played several times. Sometimes, they go your way. Other times, they don’t. Good teams move on. And surely the Yankees are a good team, so they will. Beginning now.
After all, the team is within a whisper of capturing home-field advantage for the entire postseason. That is a prize worth fighting for, especially given the Yankees second-best record at Yankee Stadium this year (49-20).
Turning The Page
Look, it was this writer who wrote a column week or so ago arguing the Yankees had a “legitimate complaint” about the umpiring when Brett Gardner was tossed out for banging his bat on the roof of his dugout. I also pointed out in a later piece, though, that Gardner needs to cast aside his childish behavior, realizing he is required on the field by his team. What’s fair is fair.
Except for James Paxton‘s gem of a start, the Yankees starting pitching has gone south again. German’s last start was his worst of the season. (Note: German rebounded with a splendid outing Sunday night as the Yankees took the rubber game of the series.) Masahiro Tanaka got banged around, seemingly in search of that lost split-finger pitch again, And CC Sabathia‘s four-inning effort Saturday left the game in the hands of five relievers who may or may not be available to Aaron Boone for a day or so.
Aaron Judge shows every sign of his bat waking up. Three towering home runs in successive games are a wake-up call to the rest of the league. Gleyber Torres, with two of the Yankees five hits Saturday, continues to show everyone he is on a march to excellence. And yes, the Yankees did set a major league record for the most in August of any year.
Let’s focus on those things that will determine where the Yankees finish this year. Not the umpiring, please…