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How two missed calls in April could cost New York in October

A controversial call at the end of the 11th inning on Friday night saw the Yankees lose a game to the Orioles, a scenario they can hardly afford to repeat

Aroldis Chapman thought it was a strike. Catcher Jose Trevino thought it was a strike. But home plate umpire Tom Hallion thought it was a ball, and he was the only man at Camden Yards on Friday night whose opinion actually mattered.

And when Hallion failed to lift his arm on Chapman’s 3-2 shifter against Ramon Urias at the end of the 11th, the New York Yankees lost the opening game of a three-game series to the Baltimore Orioles 2-1, falling to 4-4 to the young 2022 season.

Two bats reach on pitches that – according to YES’ K-Zone – should have been strikes. This also includes the Game-Winning Walk.

The Yankees, a team with World Series ambitions, were set to beat the Orioles, a club undergoing a seemingly never-ending rebuild. They’ve got the payroll, the mighty roster, and the pitching that should overwhelm the lowly Orioles. But none of that mattered on Friday, and the Yankees have only themselves to blame after losing a game that could haunt them later in the season.

Yankees vs. Orioles: Missed calls spoil New York

There’s the Sputtering offense, which hasn’t managed to get more than four runs in a game since opening day. They went 2-11 with runners in goal position against the Orioles and even failed to score in either the 10th or 11th with a runner starting at second base. Anthony Rizzo, Josh Donaldson, Joey Gallo and DJ LeMahieu, part of the heart of their lineup, went for a combined 3-18 with six strikeouts. The Yankees’ 25 runs scored in their first eight games are the lowest for the franchise since 2008.

Their pitching, the team’s strength so far this season, helped strand 15 baserunners and knocked out the Orioles by the seventh inning despite 10 walks. But it was two pitches in the 11th that killed the Yankees.

Reliever Clarke Schmidt, working his second inning after a scoreless 10th, led Anthony Bemboom with an out to put two men on base. With a 2-1 count on Kelvin Gutierrez, Schmidt threw a pusher that seemed to hit the bottom corner of the batting zone. However, Hallion called it a ball and scored 3-1. Three pitches later, Schmidt missed the inside with a sinker to load the bases, sending manager Aaron Boone up the hill to call Chapman closer.

Chapman beat Cedric Mullins for a second time and brought in the right-hander Urias. Chapman quickly got to 0-2 and got Urias to swing after two fastballs. He then missed with two straight fastballs and a low slider. Chapman gave up his fastball again at 3-2 and threw another slider that stayed up.

Urias didn’t bid, and the pitch slammed into Trevino’s glove. The Yankees catcher got up and walked back to the dugout, believing it was a strike. Chapman also walked from the hill to the plate. It was a border pitch, one that would decide whether the Yankees extended the game to the 12th or returned to the clubhouse. Hallion decided it was a ball, much to the astonishment of the Yankees battery.

The Yankees must feast on the Orioles to win the AL East

Boone came out to argue and was kicked out of a game that was already over. Frustration boiled over after a game in which the pitching staff had done everything to win had evaporated.

“The last pitch was probably up. I thought maybe there was a pitch earlier in the inning with Clarke that we had,” Boone admitted. “It’s frustrating not being able to put more on the board tonight. But we have to get over it.”

Boone struck the right tone to move on, but this game will still haunt her in a division likely to be determined by which of the top four teams does best against the Orioles. The Yankees went 11-8 against the Orioles last year; the Tampa Bay Rays, meanwhile, went 18-1 and finished eight games ahead of the Yankees in the AL East. That put the Yankees in a wild card game at Fenway Park last October, where the winner takes all and the loser goes home. The Yankees went home.

If the Yankees want to avoid the same scenario playing out in 2022, they need to avoid a repeat on Friday. There were some borderline calls, but the fabled Bronx bombers have largely been wiped out this season.

Boone and Chapman can blame the referee all they want. But for the reason they dropped a game that was theirs, they should look into their own clubhouse.

https://fansided.com/2022/04/16/yankees-orioles-bad-calls/ How two missed calls in April could cost New York in October

John Verrall

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