I actually struggled with methods to recap this recreation. The Rays beat the Yankees, 8-4, and the Yankees now play with their backs up in opposition to the wall, needing to win two days in a row to advance to the ALCS. Masahiro Tanaka was not good, Charlie Morton was, and the Rays beat the Yankees.
However boy, this recreation felt like one determined by the umpires. I hate to be a kind of “blame the refs!” varieties, however between final evening and tonight, it’s exhausting to argue that umpiring hasn’t had an undue impact on the outcomes of those video games. The Rays have performed good baseball, don’t get me improper, however too many occasions, the Yankees have had the bats taken out of their fingers, or needed to work additional strikes and outs, as a result of the fellows calling balls and strikes have failed of their work.
The important thing second occurred early. Morton was cruising, and the Yankees had scratched their first hits of the evening, as Brett Gardner and Kyle Higashioka singled. DJ LeMahieu walked, Aaron Judge hit a sac fly, after which Aaron Hicks walked to re-load the bases. That is precisely how large innings occur, and the sport was tied with the MLB dwelling run chief on the plate.
It’s 3-0, after which Mark Carlson calls a borderline pitch strike one. Okay, high-quality, no matter, it’s a shadow zone pitch, half the time it’ll be known as a strike, half the time it’ll be known as a ball. The very subsequent pitch, Morton throws outdoors, and that’s known as a strike too. Voit now faces a 3-2 rely, as an alternative of being on first base and strolling within the go-ahead run.
It will get extra irritating an inning later, the place a strike to Willy Adames known as a ball. Higashioka throws a laser to second to catch a runner stealing, however due to the fourth ball, the out doesn’t rely. The very subsequent hitter iced the sport for the Rays:
Tanaka didn’t pitch properly, however he ought to have been sitting within the dugout earlier than Kevin Kiermaier even got here to the plate. Generally the sport isn’t determined within the ninth inning. Generally an important sequences come within the third or fourth. Between Carlson’s efficiency tonight and CB Bucknor’s final evening, the umpires have been central to this complete sequence, and robbed followers out of a sequence that must be extra aggressive.
As former PSAer Andrew Mearns put it:
Distinction within the recreation proper right here. Ball 4 to Voit ought to’ve given the Yankees the lead. Strike 3 to Adames ought to’ve been a strike ’em out, throw ’em out double play. Completely no consistency, which is possibly probably the most maddening. pic.twitter.com/hoz1ehlu2v
— Andrew Mearns (@MearnsPSA) October 8, 2020
I’m going to cease speaking about umpiring proper now, however I do suppose, and hope, that MLB goes to take an actual exhausting take a look at the validity of getting an important ingredient of the sport — calling balls and strikes — overseen by 60 yr previous males. MLB must be embarrassed by the efficiency of their officers in an important, and most considered, video games of the yr.
If this was the final time we noticed Masahiro Tanaka in pinstripes, all of us might have hoped for one thing extra. He struck out the primary two batters he confronted, however that was pretty much as good because it acquired, as he gave up eight hits in 4 innings, with two dwelling runs in addition. Tanaka’s at his finest when he can work down within the zone and broaden a number of inches decrease than the rulebook definition.
As an alternative he left far too many pitches up within the zone, and the Rays hit him, clubbing six balls in extra of 99 mph. His one stroll, which as argued above, was maybe not a stroll, belies the truth that he simply didn’t idiot the Rays. You don’t must stroll for those who can barrel the ball up, and the eight hits surrendered in 4 plus innings attest to that.
Giancarlo Stanton hit one other dwelling run, persevering with his ludicrous playoff run. Should you ever doubted why the Yankees jumped throughout Stanton when he was on the buying and selling block, you’re seeing the rationale now. When the person is on, there isn’t a pitcher on the planet that may sluggish him down. If he homers tomorrow, he’ll tie the all-time document for many consecutive postseason video games with a dinger.
The Yankees are usually not out of this sequence but. They received two video games in a row 22 occasions this season, beat a superior Cleveland pitching workers twice in a row, and that’s all they need to do now. Win two straight. The true work begins tomorrow.