The New York Yankees have failed to start the season in dominant fashion despite the fact their lineup is loaded with stars. Even a series against the lowly Baltimore Orioles couldn’t bring any relief, as New York managed just one run in 11 innings during Friday’s 2-1 loss.
The final inning was especially tough to watch. While the Yankees went to Clarke Schmidt to eat up a few innings and entrusted Aroldis Chapman to escape a bases-loaded jam, neither of those plans worked out. Getting squeezed by the umpires certainly didn’t help.
Let’s be very clear here. The Yankees have no one to blame but themselves for this loss. They couldn’t touch the Baltimore bullpen no matter how hard they tried. However, they didn’t exactly get a ton of support from an umpire in Tom Hallion that completely shut down in extra innings.
Hallion’s three biggest misses came in the 11th. A 1-2 slider from Schmidt should’ve been strike three on Kelvin Guttierez, but he lived to fight another day. With two strikes on Ramon Urias, the struggling Chapman saw clear strikes get called as balls twice. This led to a game-winning bases-loaded walk.
Tom Hallion screwed the New York Yankees last night.
While Hallion put the final nail in the coffin, the Yankees were digging their own grave long before he decided to forget how to call a game correctly. The Yankees had just seven hits in this game, and Giancarlo Stanton had three of them. Keep in mind that Jordan Lyles and his career 5.21 ERA started for Baltimore.
Boone was ejected after the game ended, as Chapman’s slider looked like it should have been strike three. While Boone offered platitudes about how this team needs to improve, it did little to sate a fanbase that saw arguably the worst team in the league beat them on the back of umpiring miscues.
While Hallion deserved to be absolutely flambeed for his performance in this game, especially in extra innings, it won’t do the Yankees any good to blame him completely for their loss. After all, this team had one hit against the Orioles’ bullpen, and it was a Stanton rocket that hit Anthony Rizzo on second base and forced him out.
Yankees fans are well within their reach to go after Hallion all day, as that was the type of performance that should get the Umpires Association worried about his competency. However, that shouldn’t overshadow the fact that this team is in really dire straits at the moment.