A short note on tonight’s game: When the first base umpire missed a call on Derek Jeter in the sixth inning, it potentially cost the Yankees a run. Johnny Damon singled, and Mark Teixeira hit what was a two-run home run but could have been a three-run home run. For that, we blame the umpire. But in the ninth, Phil Coke issued a lead off walk to the Indians’ number nine hitter Trevor Crowe who entered the game hitting .171/.237/.200. That Coke even got to three balls on a hitter with such low numbers speaks volumes about the lefty’s control today, and it certainly makes the fact that he tried to blame the umpire after the game even harder to stomach.
Sometimes, the umpires may impact the game, and sometimes, a pitcher just has to throw strikes. As The Star-Ledger’s Marc Carig notes, Phil Coke is doing himself no favors by blaming the umpire for his inability to attack the zone while facing a .171 hitter batting ninth for a depleted team.