We’re not sure what it is about the Baltimore Orioles, but they have quietly become the New York Yankees‘ kryptonite this season.
The latest piece of evidence came on Thursday night, when Baltimore bested New York 3-2 in extra innings.
While the offense deserves blame for mustering just two runs on seven hits and failing to give Jordan Montgomery, who set a career-high with 12 strikeouts, a semblance of breathing room, we can’t help but point to Gary Sanchez as the main culprit after his miscue behind the plate in the bottom of the ninth.
With a man on third and two outs, Sanchez failed to catch a Clay Holmes fastball, that was admittedly a little wild. However, as Jack Curry noted in the postgame show, numerous catchers in MLB make this play and prevent the run from scoring.
Gary Sanchez once again cost the Yankees dearly in a late-game catching situation.
Sanchez has to be aware of the situation here. It was pouring rain for almost six innings. Holmes threw a wild pitch just a few minutes earlier. Despite that, Sanchez was caught flat-footed and he didn’t even get a glove on it. Again, we can rattle off numerous catchers who make this play in their sleep.
We know the Yankees offense was terrible. They finished 1-for7 with runners in scoring position and didn’t score after the second inning. On a different night, this game would’ve been over early when the Orioles were on the ropes.
However, even the hopelessly optimistic Aaron Boone acknowledged in his postgame presser that Sanchez should’ve made the play. What makes it look even worse is that Holmes registered a strikeout just seconds later.
“We need to keep that ball in front of us,” Boone told reporters. Love him or hate him, the Yankees skipper was spot on here. There’s a reason the “lazy” tag has followed Sanchez throughout his career. Alert defensive catchers don’t let this happen.
If this was a 102 MPH fastball off the hand of Aroldis Chapman, we wouldn’t even be having this conversation. Holmes has some zip on his heaters, but nothing that can be compared to Chapman when he lets rip.
This is the second time in a week that Sanchez’s defensive shortcomings have cost the Yankees in a late-game situation. We hate to bring it up, but remember his missed tag on Jonathan Villar in the Subway Series?
This is becoming a theme at the worst possible time for the Yankees. We’ll see if Boone sends a message by benching Sanchez, but we wouldn’t count on it.