Yanks can’t finish sweep as late rally falls short

A-Rod's rehabs comes to an end in SWB loss
Talkin' about Aaron Laffey

I bitch and moan about umpires all season long, pretty much every damn game, but I don’t ever blame a loss on them. I don’t blame this loss on the umps, but holy crap how much did they screw things up? I hate seeing umpires impact a game that much. Human element? The players are the human element. This kind of stuff is a joke.

Strike three. Sure, why not.


The Yankees went into the ninth inning down 5-3 with All-World closer Joakim Soria about to take the mound. John Flaherty was blabbing incessantly about how he’s having a poor year, completely ignoring that over the last two and a half months, Soria has a 2.22 ERA with a 27-4 K/BB in 28.1 IP. Brett Gardner set the stage by making an out oddly enough, but he did see nine total pitches in his leadoff at-bat. Derek Jeter followed up with a seven-pitch single into and out of Melky Cabrera‘s glove, then Curtis Granderson singled to right (five pitches) and Mark Teixeira walked (four pitches) to load the bases. So it’s a two-run game, the bases are loaded, and Robinson Cano is at the dish. I’m feeling pretty good right about now.

Cano battled for seven pitches, eventually flying out deep enough to left to score Jeter from third. The tying run was in scoring position, but now they were down to their final out. Soria’s second pitch to Nick Swisher way high and to the backstop for a wild pitch, moving the runners to second and third. It was a huge, huge play at the time. Swisher ended up drawing the four-pitch walk to re-load the bases, which brought Jorge Posada to the plate. Here’s the strike zone that ensued…

There’s several things going on here, so let’s do this in an organized fashion…

  1. Soria had just thrown his last five pitches out of the zone, as well as eight of his last 12 and 12 of his last 16. How in the world does he get a called strike on pitch number two?
  2. Twice? The same pitch?? And to end the game???
  3. Not for nothing, but Posada can’t take that pitch with two strikes and two outs when it’s already been called a strike once in the at-bat. Protect the plate and protect yourself from the umpire’s stupidity, yo.

I just don’t understand what happened there. The strike zone completely changed in that final at-bat from the rest of the inning. Then again, that’s nothing new in the game today, the strike zones are slightly amorphous, to paraphrase Joe Maddon. Jorge struck out, and both the rally and game were over.

The Homerun That Wasn’t

The amazing thing is that the strike zone in Posada’s ninth inning at-bat was only the second worse umpiring mistake in the game. Billy Butler whacked an 0-1 Bartolo Colon fastball to deep left-center field in the fourth, and it hit off the top of the wall and came back into the field of play. The umps ruled it homer, but Joe Girardi came out to have a word, and they went inside to review. Great, that’s what it’s there for, technology at work.

While the umps were doing their thing in the instant replay booth or whatever the hell it is, YES showed numerous replays that quite obviously showed the ball hitting the top of the padding of the wall and coming back. It was not off the recessed, higher wall, it was off the top of the shorter wall in front. It was clearly a double since it never actually left the field of play, and yet the umpires determined it was a homer after seeing the replay. Crew chief Dana DeMuth told Girardi that the ball didn’t have to clear both walls, which is 100% wrong according to Kim Jones, who said during the broadcast that she confirmed with two Royals’ sources that the ball has to in fact clear both walls. The umpire(s) straight up did not know the ground rules of the park. It wasn’t an inconclusive replay, the umps just did not know something they’re being paid to know.

Girardi admitted after the game (see the video above) that it was mistake not to play under protest, but I doubt anything would have come from it anyway (the last time MLB upheld a protest was 1986, and if anything they would have forced the Royals paint a yellow line or something). The real problem is that DeMuth refused to comment after the game, again showing that there’s zero accountability in his profession. How can you not know the ground rules? This isn’t some kind of weird play, like a ball off the catwalk in the Trop or something, it’s a simple homerun. They didn’t know the rules and don’t have to explain why. We should all be so lucky at our jobs.

Oh Look, Another Poor Start

I think the Yankees’ starters are trying to pick who loses a spot when they go back to a five-man rotation by having a “who can suck the most” contest. CC Sabathia gave up five homers to Rays, Phil Hughes pitched very well against Tampa (so he’s losing the contest), A.J. Burnett got roughed up on Tuesday, Ivan Nova got roughed up even worse on Wednesday, then Bartolo Colon have up five runs in five innings in this game. Of course one of those runs was Butler’s non-homer, but still. Colon gave up seven hits and walked two, the big blow being Alex Gordon’s three-run bomb two batters before Butler’s homer.

It hasn’t been a banner week for the rotation, but other than Burnett, we don’t have much of a reason to think it was anything more than a blip on the radar for these guys. This was the first time Bart allowed more than two runs in a start since that two-out, eight-run disaster against the Blue Jays in his first outing after the All-Star break. We’ll see what happens in five (or six) days and hope for the best.

(Photo via Ben Kabak)


Although the ump basically took the bat right out of Posada’s hands in the ninth, the Yankees had plenty of chances of score early on. Five of the seven men Bruce Chen faced in the first inning reached base, and the Yankees only scored one run (on a Granderson solo homer). They left men on first and second in the third inning, a man on second in the fourth, and then men on first and second in the seventh. That last one was particularly ugly. Jeter (single) and Grandy (walk) reached base to open the frame, then the sidearming Louis Coleman struck out the 3-4-5 hitters to escape the jam. Not one of them could put the ball in play. That’s how you end up leaving eleven men on base and going 1-for-10 with RISP.

Hector Noesi came out of hiding for three innings, allowing just one hit and one walk after Colon departed. All eight of his non-strikeout outs came on ground balls. Noesi threw fewer pitches in his three innings (38) than Soria did in the ninth (40), but this might be the last time we see him until September. Hector’s the obvious candidate to go down once Alex Rodriguez comes back and they get back to a 12-man pitching staff.

Jeter and Granderson combined to go 7-for-9 (with a walk), the rest of the lineup 3-for-25 (one of the three was a Russell Martin solo homer). Granderson had the homer and a booming double off the base of the wall, a ball that looked to be going out off the bat. Jeter did get picked off immediately prior to Curtis’ homer, but fallacy of the predetermined outcome and all that jazz. The Cap’n now has 15 hits in his last 27 at-bats, raising his season line to .290/.349/.380. How about that?

Was I the only one that raised an eyebrow when Bob Lorenz attributed the foul pop-up non-catch on youth and inexperience in the top of the first? Chen’s been playing professional baseball since 1994, he should know by now that the pitcher shouldn’t run into foul territory to catch a pop-up when there’s a position player able to make the play.

The Red Sox lost to the Rays, so the Yankees remained half-a-game up in the AL East. Their lead on the wildcard did shrink from 9.5 games to 8.5 games though, so … PANIC! Oh well, already over it. Go get ’em tomorrow.

Box Score, WPA Graph & Standings

MLB.com has the box score and video, FanGraphs the “other” stats, and ESPN the updated the standings.

Up Next

It’s off to Minnesota for a four-game series with the Twins, which is music to my ears. The Yankees are 59-19 against the Twinkies in the Ron Gardenhire era (including playoffs), and frankly I’m surprised the Twins were able to win that many games. Sabathia kicks things off against fellow left Brian Duensing on Thursday evening.

A-Rod's rehabs comes to an end in SWB loss
Talkin' about Aaron Laffey
  • Freddy Garcia’s 86 mph Heat

    Dana Demuth still thinks Butler hit a home run.

  • http://johnsterling.blogspot.com/ Xstar7

    ROBOT UMPIRES. Do it Selig, and it will make your pathetic excuse of a career worth it.

    Also props to whoever it was that predicted the Yankees would take 2 out of 3 with one head scratching loss in this series.

  • Greg

    While the umps didn’t lose the game, they came about as close as you can to doing so.

    What an atrocious job.

    • flamingo

      Question: when was the last time an ump has been reprimanded?

      There was a post after the Pirates-Braves debacle from Joe Posnanski about instituting replay in baseball – because in this day and age, it’s ridiculous that fans at home have better information than the home plate umpire.

      Only imagine, they look at replay and still get it wrong. And refuse accountability.

  • Urban

    Glad I missed the early part of the game after reading the recap. I am surprised that Girardi didn’t protest the game. You’re correct, it wouldn’t mean much, but it makes me wonder if even the Yankees knew the rule at the time. Did Girardi protest (not officially, but by running out of the dugout) when it happened?

    A-Rod’s back, probably tomorrow,so that’ll be a boost to the offense. I doubt Montero will be coming with him. I suspect he’ll be a September call up. If it means anything, A-Rod did have kind words to say about Montero’s catching, as reported over at MiLB.com:

    “Rodriguez also praised Montero’s work behind the plate and said he could join him in Florida during the offseason to work on his hitting.

    “The way he’s caught the last two nights, he’s obviously good enough to catch at the Major League level, no question,” he added. “He plays with a lot of intensity. He’s got all the tools. We came in today and had a great session, talked about the makeup, the mental side of hitting. Obviously, he’s a guy we expect big things from. From what I saw the last two nights, he’s not going to disappoint out there.”

    Full article link for those who care:


    • Oscar Gamble’s Fro

      Girardi did not know the rule. He said so in the post-game presser. Said he trusted the ump to know the rule.

      • Urban

        Ahh, okay, thanks!

        • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside the Elder

          And you know what? I totally get why Girardi thought that DeMuth knew the rule (even though clearly, he didn’t).

          Because for DeMuth to claim to Girardi, after spending several minutes in some form of (unseen) deliberation, that that particular part of the unmarked green wall is in play and that other part of the green wall is somehow not in play is such a counterintuitive and precise claim that the audacity of it lends you towards believing it against your prior better judgment.

          DeMuth left the field of play and studied the replay, presumably intensely (as measured by time). He came out and told Girardi some version of “No, the ball didn’t clear the fence but it doesn’t have to, it can hit below the top of the top fence but above the bottom of the wall padding and that’s good enough for it to be a homer”.

          An official (in some capacity) who is reportedly charged with knowing the rules making a claim about those rules with that level of arcane specificity tends to make you assume he’s right and you’re wrong.

          You assume he’s actually read the rulebook more carefully than you have and uncovered a technicality you didn’t know about.

          I totally get why Girardi trusted DeMuth’s word even though his instincts probably told him not to.

          • Greg


            Its the ump’s job to know the rules.

            • 7commerce

              Yes, but the mgr must know them as well. Who loses most as a result of a bad call? Girardi or DeMuth?

          • Oscar Gamble’s Fro

            Agree completely.

            Although I think a less reasonable and less level-headed type, like say Billy Martin or Lou Pinella, would’ve protested the call.

            It will sure be some shit if the Yanks lose the division by a game.

            • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside the Elder

              It will sure be some shit if the Yanks lose the division by a game.

              Not really, no.

            • first time lawng time

              If they lose the division by a game, then doesn’t that mean if they won this game then they would have gained a game, causing them to tie the division, which would mean they would lose the division because they lost the season series to Boston?

              Sorry if that made no sense; it’s pretty late.

              • Oscar Gamble’s Fro

                I stated it poorly, it would be some shit if this loss ends up being the margin by which the Yankees lose the division or something like that.

                Yes really, yes.

                You can talk about predetermined this and that, and you can skate around the issue if you like, but the fact of the matter is that the umpires cost the Yankees this game.

                It’s almost as if they were on the take.

                • hugh

                  Don’t want to put words int Tommie’s mouth, but I think he meant that, though this one went against us, there are/ will be several that go for us that we’re forgetting right now.

                  But wow! What an amazingly incompetent performance by the umpires. How much do they get paid again?

    • http://johnsterling.blogspot.com/ Xstar7

      A-Rod’s bit about Montero’s work behind the plate is very incouraging. Not sure if he’s the greatest evaluator of catching talent though.

      • Urban

        True, and I was going to add, what else do we expect him to say? That he sucks? I suppose he didn’t have to say anything at all, or he might have just saw Montero on a good couple of games. Nevertheless, it’s encouraging and also happy to see he’s planning to work out and hit with Montero in the offseason. A-Rod does seem to like helping younger players, which I certainly view as one of his positives.

      • http://johnsterling.blogspot.com/ Xstar7


      • LiterallyFigurative

        To an extent it’s a throwaway line, and what do you really expect Alex to say.

        But A-Rod is also a 16 year vet, 3-time MVP and one of the best players ever. He might know if a guy can play or not.

    • Monteroisdinero

      It’s official! ARod thinks Montero can catch-now can we get on with it?

      • Jim S

        Because Arod is the world’s greatest talent evaluator.

        • Monteroisdinero

          Montero said ARod’s defense was poor. lol

          • MikeD


        • Guest

          He was right about Melky stepping it up this year, FWIW…(Note: I still strongly prefer Gardner to Melky).

          • MikeD

            As you should!

            I’m actually happy to see Melky finally having the kind of year many of us hoped he could have, but it’s taken quite a while. His 2009 with the Yankees was better than the stats show since he had so many big hits that will not be reflected in things like OPS+, but it’s taken him until his seven season to become a truly productive player.

            I’ll need to see him do it again (and for the rest of the season) for me to think his heightened play is for real. Gardner still rates ahead of him in WAR by a good margin.

            • LiterallyFigurative

              In a dream world, Melky would be in right, Swish would DH, Montero catching (Ok, maybe I ask for too much)!

  • Oscar Gamble’s Fro

    The only silver lining about the umps blowing that replay was seeing Mariano so heated. That was legitimately entertaining.

    Jeter sure has turned back the clock. It really is kind of amazing; he looks so much more confident and alive out there. Maybe, just maybe, there was some truth to all that talk about the pressure of getting to 3000. I doubt it, but who knows.

    Imagine the difference in the plane ride to Minnesota if the birthday boy had come through and the umps hadn’t completely F’d the Yanks?

    Hopefully a quick bounce back for the Big CC Gangsta and the Yanks tomorrow.

    • Urban

      A player looks young and energetic when hitting line drives; slow and washed up when tapping balls to SS. : -)

      Yeah, it would have been nice if Posada got the big hit on his birthday. Maybe only Jeter gets to write those type of scripts! I didn’t realize how bad the umps strikezone was on Posada. I knew the called strike two was horrid, but didn’t realize how off he was the entire AB, which is a susprise since Soria had poor command. Usually the ump will squeeze a pitcher even more in that situation until he shows he can throw strikes.

      • Oscar Gamble’s Fro

        Usually, yes, completely agree. But the homeplate ump seemed to be more interested in being at the center of dramatic strike three calls than actually making the right call. It’s indefensible and unacceptable.

        Good stuff on Jeter, made me laugh.

  • https://twitter.com/TheRealJeromeS Jerome S.

    Yesterday…all my troubles looked so far away…

  • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside the Elder

    The umpire(s) straight up did not know the ground rules of the park. It wasn’t an inconclusive replay, the umps just did not know something they’re being paid to know.

    What makes it even more indefensible:

    A.) How do you not know the ground rules in that situation and then guess wrongly and assume the ground rules that you DIDN’T READ would say it’s a homer?

    The only thing worse than DeMuth not checking before the series (not even the GAME, mind you, but the SERIES that started three DAYS ago) about which wall/line/structure/item a ball must clear for it to be a homer is making the assumption that a ball that hit that wall/line/structure/item and bounded back into the field of play has the presumption of guilt rather than the presumption of innocence.

    Gardner fielded the ball off a hop and threw it back to the infield. Your initial gut reaction should be “double, but maybe it cleared some line I can’t readily see and it might be a homer, let’s check”, not the other way around. Put Butler at second and scour the replay to look for evidence that Butler was unfairly robbed. If you don’t see it, Butler stays where you put him.

    B.) How can Kim Jones, a non-official with no authority to force anyone to talk to her get multiple access points for confirmation on those ground rules in a matter of seconds, but the umps under the stadium watching the replay can’t/didn’t/won’t call someone to assist them?

    I can excuse DeMuth (a little bit) for not knowing the rules in the heat of the moment (maybe), but that replay break was several minutes long. Go call a Kaufmann Stadium higher-up and have him bring you a copy of the official stadium guidebook or something before you start watching the replay so that you can know what to rule when you know what happened.

    Seriously, there’s no reason to fuck up a test when you’re the professor and you have the power to make it an untimed, open-book test. None.

    • Pat D


      • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside the Elder

        I mean, even before Kim Jones told me the ball needs to clear the fence for it to be a homer, my uneducated, “didn’t look it up” guess was that the ball probably needs to clear the fence for it to be a homer.

        You know, since balls pretty much need to clear a fence at every ballpark in the country to be a homer.

        I don’t get how an ump who’s been calling balls hit at/near/over walls for YEARS sees that (either in real-time or in a slow-mo replay) and thinks, “Even though there’s no yellow line there AT ALL to indicate that someone has chosen, by fiat, that the padding is where the in-play “wall” stops and the not-in-play “fence extension apparatus” begins, I’m going to guess this particular green padding wall-topping thingy is part of the wall that is homerville and this other, lower, also-green part of the wall is in play”.

        Nothing about what I saw made me assume that ball had left the field of play and thus should be awarded a homer. Nothing.

        • Pat D

          I was at work. So I’m just tired and at a loss, even after seeing the replay.

          And now I’m watching a fairly demented movie with Rainn Wilson and Ellen Page, so I have no thoughts left.

    • mbonzo

      The job of the umpire is to know the rules, its no one else’s job, he didn’t know the rules. I don’t have any excuses for him, and aside from the fallacy of the predetermined outcome in this game, DeMuth cost the Yankees the game. The Royals got the run that they won with from an umpire who didn’t know how to do his job, and that is unacceptable. There needs to be an umpire purge, and scare some sense into these guys.

    • Urban

      Kim Jones for Umpire Crew Chief.

      Seriously, though, I want to agree regarding excusing DeMuth, but the more I think about it, the worse it is. I can’t. He is umpiring in one of 30 MLB parks, and one of only fourteen in the AL. It is the job of all umpires to understand the ground rules of every park. It should be written down, understood and reviewed not only before the series, but before each game. It’s kind of amazing. And then when they watch the replay, the question should pop into all the umpire’s collective heads. Hey, what about that second wall? What is the rule? How is it that we don’t know the rule? Amazing. Glad I missed it.

    • http://johnsterling.blogspot.com/ Xstar7

      Is that a little bit of anti-Yankee bias I smell coming from DeMuth?

  • Rich in NJ

    The people who defend umpires often say that they get 95% of calls right, but it’s probably true that 95% of calls are pretty easy to make.

    I understand that umpires make mistakes, but there needs to be accountability for flagrant repeat offenders.

  • http://bleedingyankeeblue.com Jesse

    Sabathia vs Duensing….Rematch of Game 1 of the 2009 ALDS.

  • felixpanther

    when players make mistakes, they got suspension, why not umps?

  • Oscar Gamble’s Fro

    Wouldn’t Chavez have been the better option to insert for Jones? Was Girardi just throwing Jorge a bone for his birthday? Did this cross anyone else’s mind?

    Cano’s at bat in the 9th was tough. It really looked like he was gonna get a hit or at least draw a walk. Had Soria all kinds of on the ropes.

    • Your mom

      Girardi was hoping for another JoPo grand salami.

      • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside the Elder

        Hot hand.

        Chavez’s last 14 days: 33 PA, .233/.303/.300
        Posada’s last 14 days: 19 PA, .294/.368/.471

        • Oscar Gamble’s Fro

          Fair enough.

        • Urban

          I’d add in, for whatever it’s worth, that Posada has always had a good eye. Sending him up with the bases loaded and a pitcher out of control doesn’t seem like a bad idea. As it was, Posada’s eye was right, although he still shouldn’t have let that last pitch go by after it was clear the umpire had lost his vision.

  • Alfredo

    Agree but the problem was that Cano was sitting Breaking ball and was late on every fastball if he was not sitting on the Breaking Ball he would have hammered one of those high fastballs from Soria.

  • Freddy Garcia’s 86 mph Heat

    What if this was the playoffs? It already happened once in 09 with the Mauer foul ball which kinda sorta cost the Twinkies that game and that series. You’re telling me that an umpire not knowing the ground rules of one of only 30 stadiums should directly impact a team’s season? Give me a fucking break. I can only imagine if the Yankees did not have the insurance that is the wild card. I don’t blame Girardi for not protesting, he should be able to trust the umpires!

    Also what the fuck is with the Royals. They get all these weird calls to go in their favor like the pine tar game, the 85 world series and this one. like…seriously?…the Royals?

    • first time lawng time

      Actually, the Yankees get all the calls, because of their $200 million pay roll.

      Buck Showalter

    • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside the Elder

      Also what the fuck is with the Royals. They get all these weird calls to go in their favor like the pine tar game, the 85 world series and this one. like…seriously?…the Royals?

      That’s three incidents in nearly 30 years (which is, what, 5,000 games?). You might be overstating how often the Royals get “all these weird calls” go in their favor.

    • dkidd

      sometime in the mid-90’s i was at a mets-dodgers game, sitting above the bullpen, and todd worrell got up and started stretching. i yelled “don denkinger!” as a joke and worrell gave me the finger

      /cool story, bro’d

  • Jakko

    This is only getting more ridiculous… Apparently earlier this season, they had an identical play (also hit by butler) in almost the exact same spot… originally ruled a double, was reviewed and overturned to become a walk-off home run! It’s almost like they are shunning their own rules… watch – http://mlb.mlb.com/video/play.jsp?content_id=15437971

    • Urban

      Wait, you mean they did the inverse? They called it correctly, and then overturned it to make it a HR? What the F?

      • http://johnsterling.blogspot.com/ Xstar7

        Ahhhhh the glorious Human element. I’ll mark that down next to the graceful punch outs made by those impassioned umpires and those thrilling double switches as my favorite things about baseball.

    • Oscar Gamble’s Fro

      That’s really odd to hear, given that Butler himself and the Royals announcers clearly seemed to think it wasn’t a home run. Butler was ready to come back out and was smirking like a Chesire cat when the replay call was made. The Royals announcers were saying things like “not a home run, Billy is preparing to hit again, he knows he’ll be back out there when the umps give their decision.”

      • Urban

        I finally went to MLB.com to see the “HR”, having missed it live. I mean, it’s so obvious it’s not a HR. The broadcasters for the Royals were just as surprised as anyone when the umps came out and ruled it indeed was a HR. As they were watching the replays, one of them even said “nope,” or something like that.

        So while the official record shows Billy Butler has 15 HRs so far this season, he should be credited with only thirteen, with tonight’s mistaken HR and the one from June being doubles. Interesting that it was the same player.


      Incorrect. Looking at that play from back in June, in the slow-mo replays, the ball clearly goes behind the chain-link fence and bounces off something behind the fence and back onto the field.

      • TCMiller30

        Ya. That one was definitely a HR

      • MikeD


        I just looked at the June HR linked above and it’s not clear at all that it cleared both fences. It looks like it hit the padded wall and then bounced off the chain-link fence onto the field.

        It’s possible my monitor is not high-res enough, but I can’t say that Jakko is incorrect.

  • Oscar Gamble’s Fro

    Ok, now this is getting bizarre. Apparently the Yankees first base coach covered the HR ground rule with the umps prior to the game and was told something different than what Girardi was told. WTF? Why wasn’t he in Girardi’s ear pitching a fit or did I miss something. I just don’t get any of this at all.

    From lohud: [i]It was first-base coach Mick Kelleher who delivered the Yankees lineup and went over the ground rules before Monday’s series opener here in Kansas City.

    “They were pretty explicit and clear, but there was one question that I had,” Kelleher said. “It was about the top rail in left-center field. It was padded, the ball had to leave the ballpark. We talked about that twice… There’s a fence that goes up that’s green, then above the green there’s a little cyclone fence. I said, ‘What’s that?’ They said, ‘It’s clear and open. Above that is a padded rail, so it has to clear the padded rail.’”[/i]

    • Urban

      So that would make it appear that the umpires do know the rule, yet they then ignore it during actual games. Odd. Annoying. Stupid.

      The Yankees don’t have a TV monitor, so the umpires must have told Girardi that the ball cleared the wall, which makes it difficult for him to argue. So Kelleher could have been telling Girardi the rule, but the umpires could have been saying that’s correct and the ball cleared the wall.


      • Oscar Gamble’s Fro

        The way I understand it Girardi was not told that the ball cleared the (second) wall. He was told a different rule than what was told to the first base coach at the beginning of the game.

        I am getting a bit confused myself, but that’s the way I understand it.

        It is truly bizarre.

        • Oscar Gamble’s Fro

          “I wanted a clarity on the ruling because we were under the understanding that it had to go over both fences, but he said no they cleared that up in the first day of the ground rules and it only had to go over the first fence.” — Girardi on conversation with Demuth

  • Oscar Gamble’s Fro

    Jamie Moyer apparently did not major in English.


    • Dino Velvet


  • Kevin

    THe umps might have screwed us over in the call but we left men on base in virtually every inning. No excuse for that.

    • Oscar Gamble’s Fro

      Yup, 1-10 with RISP. Having two on and no outs and having the 3-4-5 hitters strike out certainly didn’t help matters.

  • will

    Frustrating loss, but it happens. Was nice to see a bit of a rally in the 9th, especially considering that Soria over the last couple months has been very effective.

    As far as the umps…it’s pretty amazing that they both didn’t know and didn’t bother to investigate the ground rules, but still, that crap happens. The Yankees have had several bad calls go their way over the last few weeks, so it was bound to even out sometime.

    It’s starting to look like the 5 vs. 6-man rotation question may sort itself out. As long as Phil Hughes can inexplicably keep getting outs with his terrible stuff, I think the clear answer is to sit Colon out for a start or two after the DH in Baltimore. It doesn’t look like there’s anything really wrong with him (velo is still there), but his location has been pretty severely off in his last few starts. Couldn’t hurt to let him play around with release points and such, plus I *think* they can send him down for 10 days with his approval, since his deal was originally a minor league one.

  • deadrody

    Actually, you CAN take that pitch with 2 strikes, because there is supposed to be some kind of accountability, some kind of process by which a potential HOF catcher no less 16 year veteran watches a clear BALL get called a strike, and makes some minor comment, or gives the ump a look, and after that, said player then gets the benefit of the doubt on the next close pitch.

    As if the umpire says to himself, “Hey, Jorge Posada didn’t think that was a strike and said more than he normally would. Maybe the next one goes his way”.

    Under no circumstances should a player with that kind career be thinking that a horribly missed call – especially one inconsistent with the rest of the calls in the 39 pitch inning – should require said player to suddenly adjust his view of the rules of the game. No way.

    • Jim S

      Yeah, this, mostly.

      If a pitch is that clearly a ball, and has been all game, I won’t fault a player for taking it. Even in that situation.

  • deadrody

    And for the record, there is NOT a “second wall” in play here. There is a padded wall and a fence on TOP of the wall, and the top of the fence has a padded railing. It is one single piece. Pretty clear when they showed Kim Jones sitting in the exact place the ball hit.

  • Phife Dawg

    Excellent job by Marc Carig for covering every aspect of the “home run”.

    Carig took a couple of pictures showing where the ball hit the fence, it really gives you a good idea of where the ball actually landed:


  • Evan3457

    …and the last strike to Swisher on the backdoor slider to end the 7th was just as bad as the two horrible calls on Posada:


  • Kevin

    LIke I said before, we can blame the umps..but we had several chances to score..and failed to do so.

  • fire levine

    Mariano going crazy in the dugout? Awesomely entertaining.
    Butler’s face after the replay? Priceless.

  • LarryM.,Fl.

    1. Too many opts. to blame the poor umpiring tonight.
    2. Jorge protect the plate.
    3. Jeter needs a urine test. Hitting like a 20 tear old.
    4. Sweeps are tough to accomplish.
    5. Did the Yankees actually consider Chen as a starter?
    6. Royals kids can hit but the remainder of the game needs some polish.
    7. I hope Tex. rethinks his hitting mind set. He’s missing many opts. with runners in scoring position.

    • Jim S

      #2: If the umpire does his job Soria is behind 3-1, and Jorge did his job to get himself into a hitters count.

      Even if he only misses the first call, it’s 2-2, which is a much better situation than 1-2.

      If Jorge had swung at that pitch, he’s not doing anything with it, and at best we’re hoping for a foul ball. I agree that we had way too many opportunities to blame the umps, but by that logic, we had way too many opportunities to blame Jorge taking a pitch that should have been called a ball.

      • Frank

        The critical bad AB was Cano’s. Coming off a 4 pitch walk to Tex to load the bases, Cano needed to be more patient. Of the 7 pitches he saw, at least 5, probably 6, were balls. He was in a 2-2 count when he probably should have walked by then. Even the KC TV annoncers showed the pitch trax and acknowledged Cano had certainly bailed out Soria.

      • LarryM.,Fl.

        Jorge is not the blame for the loss. He was the last guy standing and with the horrible call on strike two. IMHO should have been more guarded on anything near the plate. #7 referring to Tex has had a ton of oppts. but has failed to take advantage. His mindset on the three run HR. maybe adverse when this mentality is incorporated more often than it should be.


    Watching the disputed HR, at first I thought it was actually a homer, even on replays. I figured it was one of those stadiums where the chain link bit was just a protective rail to keep fans from leaning over the wall, but not actually part of the wall itself, so it didn’t need to be cleared for a HR. However, those parks usually also have a yellow line atop the actual wall to clarify this, and if the umps took all that time and got the rules wrong, it’s clearly on them. I just felt like all the initial outrage was odd since it’s conceivably possible for the rules to allow for that to be a HR.

    • Jim S

      The problem is that the replay is pretty definitive.

  • steve s

    Late to the party but I disagree strongly with several of the statements in the thread as follows:

    1) This was a winnable protest. Demuth misapplied a grounds rule (which is protestable) as opposed to being wrong on a judgment play (for example a ball bouncing fair but the ump calls it foul).

    2) It’s Girardi’s job to know the f’in ground rules. The idea that it was ok for him to rely on the ump’s wrong explanation because the ump should know the rules is laughably pathetic.

    • Jim S

      Read Tommie’s posts above re: #2.

      No, not laughably pathetic. If the umpire, who’s job it is to know and interpret rules correctly, gives you an explanation as to how he’s right and you’re wrong, you listen. That’s how officials work.

  • David, Jr.

    Ignored because of the incompetent umpiring was the performance of Colon. The balls hit by Gordon, Butler, Moustakas and Melky were bombs. His stats have gone dramatically bad since the July 7th game against Tampa, such as his WHIP of 1.05 previous to that and 1.64 from that game through this game.

    A great series of games from Bart would be very reassuring, because the one nagging question about the team is still there, which is: Who on earth is their #2 starter?

    • Frank

      Agree. Little has been said of Colon’s recent performances, but he looks like he’s running out of gas. I’m not a big fan of Wally Mathews, but this morning he gave a nice break down of Colon’s numbers since returning from the DL. The comparison pre/post DL is pretty revealing.

    • Monteroisdinero

      Freddy skipped a start-might be time for Bart to poorly handle a kitchen knife or tweak his hammy for a week.

  • steve s

    Tommie’s post is part of what I’m responding to. It’s the manager’s job to both know the game rules (including the grounds rules) and to “listen” very carefully to the ump’s explanation in order to be able to file a protest when the ump has made a wrong decision that does not involve a judgement call. This is part and parcel of a manager’s job and doesn’t get more basic than that.

    • Jim S


      • steve s

        More like boversophisticated but ok; if you want to cling to the opinion that a manager does not need to know the rules cold and/or should be less confident in his knowledge of the rules than an umpire so be it.

  • Hall and Nokes

    Why can’t teams design walls so that you can freaking tell it’s a home run? I mean yeah, our fans reach over the fence to turn fly balls into homers, but at least our stadium isn’t inherently flawed.

  • Jorge

    We won’t ever know what would have happened had that been ruled a double instead of HR. I’ve had some peace with it, simply under the assumption that Bartolo did not have his stuff last night and he was going to get tagged in one form or another. I also had resigned myself to 2 out of 3, with one infuriating loss, for the series (hey….read my posts before the series when I said just that!).

  • Brandon

    At work and too pissed to think still. How the fuck do the umpires miss that HR call? I mean, come the fuck on! You even got the benefit of the reviews. That may have been the clearest non HR ever reviewed! Then the last at bat of the game. I agree Jorge should protect the plate and fight them off, but those pitches were clearly balls.You cant do anything about balls and strikes, but you can on the HR call. The whole crew needs to bepunished. They told Mick Kelleher tge right rule and applied the wrong rule, hmmm, anti Yankees bias, anyone?

  • Guest

    Agreed to just about everything in the thread on the “HR.”

    Just wanted to give a little love to the Grandy man. Another sick performance. (He must of hit that double with a ton of top-spin, because I definetly thoght it was going out off the bat).

    And how bout the Cap’n, makin it happen? Nice to see the old stroke (and some power!) is making a return appearance (hopefully for a while).

  • JohnC

    blown call aside, Yanks still had opportunities to pull it out. First 2 get on in the 7th, and the heart of the orer strikes out. Terrible. And terrible job by Posada in the 9th taking that 1-2 pitch after the 1-0 pitch wa called a strike. Ever hear of protecting the plate with srikes on you Jorge? Inexcusable

    • http://riveraveblues.com Rich

      There we go–couldn’t agree more. Colon was giving it up regardless of weather it was a home run or a double. It just pissed me off to no end that Posada stood there and took the last two borderline pitches with the bases loaded and two outs. Please do the team a favor and freakin retire. We would have been better off if CC had pinch hit!!

    • http://www.yankeenumbers.com Mr. Sparkle

      I don’t know why everyone is so shocked by Jorge not taking the bat off his shoulders in that at-bat. He’s been having at-bats (usually resulting in called third strikes) like that his entire career. I can’t recall another player I’ve seen in my life that takes more called third strikes than Posada. It’s actually worse when you consider he’s pinch-hitting with the game on the line. That’s the time to be a little more aggressive instead of taking borderline calls.

  • Monteroisdinero

    Royals need to build on their exciting win and continue this weekend against Boston..

  • jb

    Always question authority. AKA Felix Unger “Never ASSUME anything. When u ASSUME, you make an ass of u and me.”
    Girardi had nothing to lose even if he thought the umpire was right.

  • Pat D

    Why am I not surprised that WallyMatt has a gloom-bagging article about Bartolo Colon today?

    Can someone just maim him?

  • Crime Dog

    Am I the only one who gets really annoyed when umpires make emphatic calls at big moments in the game? That called strike 3 on Posada was ridiculous in that A) It was a ball, and B) the Umpire looked like he was pretty excited to call it strike 3. To me, it just shows that the umpires are impacted by the magnitude of the situation. Human element, my ass.

    • http://www.yankeenumbers.com Mr. Sparkle

      You’re absolutely correct. The umpires are clearly NOT robots…but they should have to behave LIKE robots. That means not instigating fights with players/managers/coaches and not making overly emphatic calls based on the magnitude of the situation. It also means not taking foolish pride into account when getting help on a call, whether it’s using technology or just consulting another ump who might have had a better look.

      Problem is, they constantly forget that people aren’t there to see them (that’s right, Joe West…the first ump I’d fire if I had the power to do so.) They just want to see them get it right which is far more infrequent than it used to be.

  • Charles

    Definitely not in favor of robot umpires, but Imo there should be 1 protest call each manager can make on any play in the field (no balls and strikes)to force the umpires to watch a replay of it. Or you could have a 5th umpire at every game in the booth that watches the replays and you can call up to the booth to contest the calls.

    Balls and strikes are just part of the game, some umpires have good zones others don’t, its the human element.