Matt Harrison can thank his mattress for his bad back

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Matt Harrison: uniform number 54, Sleep Number: TBD.

Matt Harrison was sent for an MRI on his sore back last week. Given his health issues last season, it seemed like a bad omen. Turns out, it was just a bad mattress. Evan Grant:

Harrison, who had a pair of back surgeries last year to repair and stabilize a herniated disc, said he believed his recent bout of back stiffness was caused by a too-soft mattress in his spring rental home. He’s since switched beds in the house and the pain has abated.

He said he’s feeling close to 100 percent now. He’ll likely not be ready for the start of the season given the time he’s missed so far. But, bed willing, he should be good to go pretty early on.

 

Aaron Judge was involved in a weird play in the fourth inning

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Yankees outfielder Aaron Judge found himself front-and-center in a weird play in the bottom of the fourth inning during Game 4 of the ALCS on Tuesday evening. Judge drew a walk to lead off the frame. After Didi Gregorius lined out, Gary Sanchez flied out to shallow right-center.

Judge must have thought the ball had a high probability of falling in for a hit, so he was past the second base bag around the time he realized his mistake. He retraced his steps, running back to first base. Reddick’s throw hopped a couple of times but first base umpire Jerry Meals called Judge out on the tag-up play.

Manager Joe Girardi requested a review and the call was overturned: Judge was safe. However, Astros manager A.J. Hinch wanted to challenge that Judge did not re-touch second base on his way back. Rather than issuing a formal challenge, the Astros had to appeal the play by having starter Lance McCullers throw to second base, at which point second base umpire Jim Reynolds would issue a ruling. McCullers was a bit hasty, though, and made his appeal throw before Greg Bird stepped into the batter’s box. Reynolds told McCullers that he had to wait. So, McCullers again made his appeal throw.

This time, Judge was running and he was simply tagged out at second base for the final out of the inning. No need for a review.

As Ken Rosenthal explained on the FS1 broadcast, the Yankees were trying to “beat the police.” They knew Judge would have been ruled out — replays clearly showed he never re-touched the base — so they had nothing to lose by sending Judge. If he was safe, the Astros would no longer be able to appeal the play. If he’s out, then it’s the same outcome they would have had anyway.