Sunday Shenanigans 22: You Missed the Easiest Tag Possible!by Carter LaCorte September 12, 2021 1 comment
New York Yankees baseball has not been at its best in the last week. They lost a series to the last-place Orioles, then had a chance to put away the Blue Jays’ season by winning a four-game set against them in New York. It was an exciting opportunity for two amazing offenses to clash. Then the Yankees never had a lead the whole series and were swept, putting their playoff spot on the line. This made way for the only series where a team fresh off of an embarrassment can have someone more out of line than them: a date with the New York Mets in the Subway Series.
Be sure to catch up on previous editions of Sunday Shenanigans.
Getting the Shenanigans Off Early
After Jeff McNeil missed a diving catch, Brett Gardner got to third base on a triple then scored on an Aaron Judge groundout. This gave Yankees starter Jordan Montgomery a rare start with run support. He then threw it away very quickly, although not to his fault. Jonathan Villar and Michael Conforto hit weak singles and with two outs, Javy Baez stepped to the plate.
Baez has been involved in an awful defensive play already this season when he baited Pirates’ first baseman Will Craig intro chasing him back to the plate with two outs on a play that would have ended the inning. Instead, it led to a run being scored. That play by Craig was just a really, really costly brain fart. What happened this time was not that.
A Terrible Send
Baez hit a hard single to short left field, right at Joey Gallo, the owner of one of the league’s top outfield arms. Despite Gallo fielding the ball as Villar touched third, Mets third base coach Gary Disarcina sent him home. Gallo fired a bullet at Gary Sanchez. Sanchez caught the ball as Villar was only about 45 feet away from his last base. Villar made a slide right at the catcher, Sanchez applied the tag, and Villar was called out to end the inning.
But wait, the Mets quickly challenged a play that should not have been close. On further review, Sanchez made no effort to even tag Villar. He was standing up, moved his arms out, and Villar easily slid under it. The replay overturned the call, tying the game at one and extending the inning. Everything about that play was inexcusable for Sanchez. He has had his defensive troubles in the past, but at least those were about blocking balls, something that is not easy to do. In this scenario, the entire Yankees’ fanbase could have made the play. If Sanchez simply gets down to his knees instead of lazily standing up, this is not even a thought. Instead, Disarcina could be the topic for his awful send of Villar. Worst of all, the game unraveled afterward.
Meeting the Mets
Gallo made up for what the book would actually classify as a failed attempt for an outfield assist by hitting a laser home run off of Tylor Megill the next inning. But in the third, Montgomery completely collapsed. He walked in a run before forcing an out. When Baez grounded to third baseman Gio Urshela to potentially cause a five-two-three double play, Urshela rushed the throw and chucked it wide left of Sanchez. The catcher arguably could have stepped off the plate to make the catch and step back on it to get the out, which would mean his second blunder in three innings that caused a run. The Mets had a big inning and would waltz to a 10-3 victory against their Bronx, New York rivals.
The Yankees have little time to make this up. As their playoff odds dwindle, they are just trying to win for the first time in a week again. The Mets can make that easy at times, but even a little league team could beat the Bronx Bombers right now.
Follow Carter LaCorte on Twitter @CarterHudBlog
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