Even when Angel Hernandez is right, he’s wrong

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With the White Sox down 4-2 to the Twins, Alejandro De Aza hit a liner to shallow right to lead off the top of the seventh tonight. Darin Mastroianni made a diving play on the ball, but came up a little short, and replays made it clear he grabbed the ball on a hop, leaving De Aza with what should have been a single.

And that’s what it would have been, had first-base umpire Angel Hernandez’s call stood. He ruled no catch on the play, but the umpires gathered afterwards and reversed the call, giving Mastroianni a catch.

How Hernandez allowed that to happen is anyone’s guess. He clearly had the best angle on the play, and while I’m not 100 percent sure about this, he should be functioning as the crew chief with normal crew chief Ed Rapuano apparently on vacation.

As it turned out, the blown call may not make much of a difference. Despite losing a baserunner, the White Sox went on to score four runs in the seventh and take a 6-4 lead. Of course, that only happened after Hawk Harrelson said “That is B.S.” on three occasions, later adding, “That’s ridiculous,” “That’s a joke” and “Boy, I wish I could cuss right now.”

Austin Romine gets the start at catcher in ALCS Game 4

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Austin Romine is starting at catcher and batting ninth for the Yankees in today’s ALCS Game 4 versus the Astros.
Gary Sanchez is still in the lineup, but he’s the DH. That means Jacoby Ellsbury, Chase Headley and Matt Holliday are all on the bench.

Sanchez was lambasted for not holding on to the relay throw in Game 2, allowing Jose Altuve to score the winning run despite getting beat to the plate by the ball by several feet. That, combined with earlier passed balls, led some in the press to lobby for Romine to get the call behind the plate. Those calls tended to ignore the fact that Romine can’t hit a lick and that he is inferior to Sanchez when it comes to gunning down runners. Maybe a ball doesn’t skip by Romine that would have eluded Sanchez, but if I’m Jose Altuve or Alex Bregman or one of the speedier Astros, I’m running wild on Romine any time I get on base today.

The offensive knock is not quite as big a deal at the moment as it normally would be. Sanchez is in an 0-for-16 slump, but Romine isn’t replacing his bat he’s replacing either Ellsbury, Headley or Holliday. None of those guys are hitting at all, so I don’t suppose this is that big of a deal. Discuss amongst yourselves if you’d rather have a guy who is as cold as ice in the lineup who might hit versus a guy you can be pretty sure isn’t gonna hit regardless.

Either way, it’s a different look for the Yankees in Game 4.