If I were Boston Red Sox manager Alex Cora, I’d be angry at home plate umpire Nic Lentz, too. Mostly just because I’ve never seen this move pulled before…in my life, and it gave Yankees star Aaron Judge a free base.
Immediately afterward, the Bombers offense made him pay. Funny how that happens.
After a leadoff double by Anthony Rizzo to kick off the third inning high off the monster (340-foot flyout anywhere else, but we’re not angry about it), Nathan Eovaldi fell behind Judge 3-0, then missed the outside corner with a fastball by three or four inches.
In a 3-0 count, though, it was the kind of pitch that could’ve been called a strike. We’ve seen it before.
So we weren’t exactly furious when home plate umpire Nic Lentz raised his fist in the air to seemingly call strike one, then…decided against it midstream and simply scratched his neck, hoping no one noticed.
Everyone noticed. Judge slowly meandered to first. What are we doing here?
Yankees star Aaron Judge got a fake strike call on Nathan Eovaldi.
Confusing, to say the least!
The inning went smoothly after that, though, right? The sterling Eovaldi got right back into a rhythm and didn’t allow anything to spiral?
Because Giancarlo Stanton strode to the plate and drilled a home run like only he can with a flick of the wrist into the Boston bullpen. Truly, nobody else’s homers look this effortless.
Giancarlo Stanton’s laser home run gave the Yankees a 6-0 lead.
There’s a ton of time left on the clock (note: there’s no clock) at Fenway, so nobody’s putting out the party hats yet. Regardless of anxiety, the Yankees couldn’t have asked for a better start in the opener of a prove-it series, where they simply have to look like more of a baseball team than they did in the first half at Fenway.
You know, like…the exact opposite of what Kyle Schwarber did on an infield popup that should’ve ended the third inning. Should’ve. It really should’ve. But…
Hey, how ’bout Joey Gallo’s effort here running hard all the way home?!
Continue putting up competitive at-bats. Keep the pressure on. Make the Sox bullpen work after Eovaldi exited early.
Oh, and maybe ask the umpire to throw another one of those fake-out strikes into the mix when you’re at the plate. Seriously, that looked like when a freshman gets denied a high-five.