DJ LeMahieu's explanation for mystery bunt confirms Yankees fans' fears

Baltimore Orioles v New York Yankees
Baltimore Orioles v New York Yankees / Elsa/GettyImages

Who ordered the Code Red on Tuesday night at Yankee Stadium? According to beloved Yankees star DJ LeMahieu, the most confusing decision of the season was all him and, honestly, we're not sure if that makes us feel better or worse about it.

With runners at the corners and one out down one run in the seventh inning, LeMahieu stared down Orioles reliever Yennier Cano, who's been borderline spotless this season, allowing his first earned run of the year over the weekend against the Blue Jays.

Why were runners on the corners? Because Gleyber Torres was held on what appeared to be Anthony Rizzo's masterful job of blooping. But that's neither here nor there. And neither is the LeMahieu stuff, honestly, because the Yankees walked this one off about 45 minutes later. But INDULGE IT. Because it's weird.

LeMahieu, after roping a run-scoring single through the hole in his previous at-bat, began this crucial plate appearance by attempting a bunt, dribbling it foul. Cano's devastating changeup and sinking fastball are catnip to grounder-prone hitters, and that goes for bunts, too. It's not easy to square up a pitch with so much downward movement.

That didn't stop LeMahieu from trying one more time, though! His safety squeeze went directly to the pitcher, and Torres, who broke late, was owned by the contact play (for, roughly, the 1,000th time this season).

Was it Aaron Boone's call? Apparently not. Was LeMahieu nursing a secret injury? If he is, he's not telling. The Yankees' All-Star told the media after the game that he simply wanted to avoid a double play grounder, and would "do it again" if the opportunity arose.

Why did Yankees star DJ LeMahieu bunt (twice) with a runner on third and one out?

That sound you hear is everyone in the Orioles locker room popping champagne. "He really said he'd do it again! Let's GO!!!"

Playing scared because the fear of a double play ball has crept into your mind is no way to attack a situation like this. If the bunt is executed perfectly, it might work? It's such an unorthodox decision, though, that the likelihood of a botched execution is higher than the odds of a double play grounder.

At least LeMahieu, a veteran who's earned some leeway, confidently stood by his decision and didn't try to deflect (or, maybe, he took it on his shoulders after the win to save Boone from some roasting). Still ... he's been the Yankees' best situational batsman, non-Judge division, for years. He's the player you most trust to put bat on ball when you need a productive out (though Harrison Bader is gaining on him). Just swing away next time.

That way, if you ground into a twin killing, we can get back to blaming the third base coach for stopping Gleyber.