The Yankees protest last night's game

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Beckett back.jpgUPDATE:  It appears I misinterpreted the use of the term “indication of injury” in the AP story.  The beef was not that Girardi thought there was no evidence that Beckett was injured.  Rather, he was protesting the fact that Delcarmen was called for before the umpires were informed that Beckett was injured (i.e. it was “indicated’ that he was injured).  My bad on misinterpreting that.

That said, it hardly matters. If the focus of the protest is the exact order of the switch — that the umps should have been told before the signal went down to the pen — we’re in the land of overly-legalistic b.s.  Technically wrong to do things in that order? Sure. But everyone knew what the situation was within the about 10 seconds, it was right to give Delcarmen as many pitches he needed because there was an injury, and there was ultimately no harm done to anyone as a result.

8:43 A.M.: One last bit from the Yankees-Red Sox game:  Joe Girardi finished the game under protest.  That never works, but it’s fun all the same.

The basis of the protest: Josh Beckett gave up a two-run double to Robinson Cano, after which Red Sox pitching coach John Farrell went out to the mound. Beckett and Farrell talked things over, but then Farrell motioned to the bullpen for Manny Delcarmen to come into the game.  Beckett then left with the trainer, as he was suffering from back tightness.  Because it’s an injury situation, Delcarmen got as many warmup pitches as he wanted.

The Yankees protested this because, according to the AP story, “there was no indication of an
injury to Beckett by that point.”

To which I ask, what “indication” is necessary?  Must Beckett hop around holding his toe as if a cartoon anvil fell on it?  Does Joe Girardi need to to see little animated lighting bolts and ouchy marks flashing around Beckett’s lower back?  The guy left with the trainer, and I’m sure someone on the field said something about an injury, if not immediately, then as soon as Girardi asked about it. While I suppose it’s possible that this was all a big conspiracy to cover for the fact that Francona didn’t get Delcarmen up in the pen fast enough, it’s not like Beckett hasn’t had back issues already this season.

The chances of this protest being upheld are virtually nill so who cares, but even as far as unsuccessful protests go, this one seems rather weak.  

Rougned Odor didn’t technically steal home, but he basically did

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Just saw this from last night’s Tigers-Rangers game. It was pretty wild.

Rougned Odor walked in the seventh inning. He broke for second on a steal and was safe due to the throw going wild, allowing him to reach third base. The Tigers called on reliever Daniel Stumpf and he was effective in retiring the next two batters, leaving Odor on third with two out.

Stumpf, a lefty, was paying no attention whatsoever to Odor, so Odor just took off for home, attempting a straight steal. Stumpf was so surprised that he tried to throw home to nail Odor, and in so doing, he balked. That technically means that Odor scored on the balk, but I think it’s safe to say he would’ve scored on the strait steal regardless. Watch:

 

He definitely gets points for style.

 

Aroldis Chapman is pitching himself out of a job

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Yankees closer Aroldis Chapman looked shaky again last night, coming in to the game with a three-run lead before allowing a two-run homer to the Mets’ Amed Rosario. He would nail down the save eventually, giving Sonny Gray his first win as a Yankee, but Chapman’s struggles were the talk of the game afterward.

It was the third appearance in a row in which Chapman has given up at least one run, allowing five runs on three hits — two of them homers — and walking four in his last three and a third innings pitched. He’s also hit a batter. That’s just the most acute portion of a long slide, however. He posted a 0.79 ERA in his first 12 appearances this year, before getting shelled twice and then going on the disabled list with shoulder inflammation, missing over a month. Since returning he’s allowed 12 runs — ten earned — in 23 appearances, breaking out to a 4.09 ERA. He’s also walked ten batters in that time. At present, his strikeout rate is the worst he’s featured since 2010. His walk rate is up and he’s allowing more hits per nine innings than he ever has.

It’s possible that he’s still suffering from shoulder problems. Whether or not that’s an issue, he looks to have a new health concern as he appeared to tweak his hamstring on the game’s final play last night when he ran over to cover first base. Chapman told reporters after the game that “it’s nothing to worry about,” and Joe Girardi said that Chapman would not undergo an MRI or anything, but he was clearly grimacing as he came off the mound and it’s something worth watching.

Also worth watching: Dellin Betances and David Robertson, Chapman’s setup men who have each shined as Yankees closers in the past and who may very soon find themselves closing once again if Chapman can’t figure it out. And Chapman seems to know it. He was asked if he still deserves to be the closer after the game. His answer:

“My job is to be ready to pitch everyday. As far as where I pitch, that’s not up to me. If at some point they need to remove me from the closer’s position, I’m always going to be ready to pitch.”

That’s a team-first answer, and for that Chapman should be lauded. But it’s also one that suggests Chapman himself knows he’s going to be out of a closer’s job soon if he doesn’t turn things around.