After Baltimore built a lead with three homers off ace CC Sabathia, the Yankees nearly stunned the Orioles' bullpen in the ninth before a what video replay revealed to be a blown call by first-base umpire Jerry Meals quashed the Bombers’ apparent tying run.Bryan Hoch, MLB.com:
With a run already against closer Jim Johnson, the Yankees had runners on first and third with one out when Mark Teixera hit a slow grounder to second, Baltimore forced Nick Swisher at second before attempting to double up Teixeria. As replays show, a diving Teixeira beat the throw by Baltimore shortstop J.J. Hardy, which would have allowed Chris Dickerson to score the tying run.
"It's not a bang-bang play. He's safe," Girardi said. "He's clearly safe. Jerry missed it. You hate to lose a game that way, but he missed it. It's extremely frustrating."Mark Teixeira:
As if to further prove the point, a laptop computer in the Yankees' clubhouse was showing a screen grab of the play after the game. As Yankees players exited, several stopped to look at the snapshot and grimaced.
"I didn't really feel like we lost the game, I feel like we got cheated out of it," Yankees catcher Russell Martin said.
Mike Winters, the umpiring crew chief, told the New York Daily News that he was not prepared to comment in detail.
"We saw a replay, and from where I'm sitting, it's inconclusive," Winters said. "It's very close. That's a very close play."
Sometimes you wonder if the umpires are just trying to get out of there. They don't want you to make a comeback. They want to go home because those were terrible calls. ... I'm probably going to get fined. But I don't care, really. ... When you are battling like we are battling and they can't get a call right, that pisses you off.Post:
That we are not using instant replay in 2012 on such calls — because it took all of five seconds to know that Meals blew it — is ludicrous.Daily News:
But you know what was even more ludicrous last night: The Yankees blaming this loss on an umpire and not what transpired up to and including that play.
Meals did not throw one pitch for CC Sabathia, an ace in memory right now. ... Sabathia has made four starts since coming off the disabled [list], and blown a lead in each. ...
No doubt. Meals blew the call. But he didn't blow the 10-game lead or lose this game. The Yankees should try looking in the mirror for that.
The Yankees have had worse nights during this stretch in which their 10-game lead, not to mention their aura of superiority, has disappeared. But this was surely the most ominous night of them all.Andrew Marchand, ESPNNewYork.com:
And not because they got jobbed by first base umpire Jerry Meals. Yes, replays showed that Mark Teixeira was easily safe diving into first base to beat a double-play throw on the final play of the game, and, yes, the game should have been tied. ...
Yet down deep the Yankees have to know even a call like that wasn't as significant, in terms of where they're headed, as the inability of CC Sabathia to deliver on a night when they badly needed a gem.
But it wasn't just that he failed to pitch like an ace. The truth is that from a Yankee perspective, Sabathia was painfully ordinary. And that sure feels ominous.
With a fastball that has clearly lost some explosiveness, Sabathia is vulnerable these days, relying on his changeup and slider more than ever. That makes his margin for error considerably smaller, and so when he made mistakes on Saturday night, the Orioles made him pay dearly.
The New York Yankees' postgame clubhouse on Saturday night looked like a scene lifted out of the "Bronx is Burning." ...
The issue of Sabathia's health led to Girardi ending up nose-to-nose -- like he might with an umpire -- with a New York Post baseball columnist. During his postgame news conference, Girardi was asked about Sabathia's health and he said he was fine. The columnist was in the back of the scrum and could not clearly hear the previous answers. ...
What followed was a rigid exchange between reporter and manager. After the news conference, Girardi invited the writer into his office and the two ended up nose-to-nose, yelling before security stepped in between them. ...
The intensity of a September pennant race is making everything rise to new levels. The anxiety in the Yankees' clubhouse felt like the Boss was still around. ...
Who knows what another post-loss news conference could bring.