Great moments in Playing the Game the Right Way. During and after last night’s shellacking at the hands of the Astros, Yankees manager Joe Girardi and catcher John Ryan Murphy suggested that Carlos Gomez do just that after Gomez got mad at himself for popping up a pitch.
“I just told him, ‘Play the game the right way. They’re kicking our rear ends. Show a little professionalism to the pitcher. I know you missed a pitch and are frustrated by it, but I just think it’s a little too much.”
“I don’t think there’s any place for that, especially in a 9-0 game,” Murphy said. “He’s an energetic guy. Everybody knows that. We respect him as a baseball player, just, there’s a right way and a wrong way to play the game.”
Gomez being Gomez should not, at this point, be the cause of consternation. But heck, even if it wasn’t Gomez, I still don’t understand the rules about when it’s OK or not OK to be mad at themselves for not doing what they planned. Pitchers have, for years, yelled at the top of their lungs, gestured wildly, sunk to their knees, shouted into their gloves and any number of other things when they’ve given up a homer or failed to make the pitch they want. No one ever says boo to that.
But if a hitter gets mad at himself for not putting a good swing on a pitch, it’s a crisis of ethics. Madison Bumgarner and Chris Carpenter are famous for taking issue with hitters who are disappointed in themselves. The Yankees entire bench last night did too. It makes zero sense.
Play your own damn game. Let Carlos Gomez play his.
With his team trailing 8-3 to begin the bottom of the ninth inning of Sunday’s game against the Astros, Indians third baseman José Ramirez eventually won a 17-pitch at-bat against closer Ken Giles, ripping a double off of the wall in right field. The Indians would go on to score five runs on seven hits to tie the game against Giles and Hector Rondon. Ramirez almost won the game in his second at-bat of the ninth inning, but first basebamn Yuli Gurriel made a terrific diving catch on a line drive otherwise headed for the right field corner.
Giants first baseman Brandon Belt set a new modern record for the longest at-bat last month, seeing 21 pitches against the Angels’ Jaime Barria. The Astros’ Ricky Gutierrez sfaw 20 pitches from the Indians’ Bartolo Colon on June 26, 1998, which was the previous record. Kevin Bass saw 19 pitches from the Phillies’ Steve Bedrosian in 1988. There have also been five 18-pitch at-bats from Brian Downing, Bip Roberts, Alex Cora, Adam Kennedy, and Marcus Semien.
Sunday’s game wound up going 14 innings. The Astros pulled ahead 9-8 in the top of the 13th on a solo home run from Evan Gattis. However, the Indians’ Yonder Alonso responded with a solo shot of his own in the bottom of the 13th to re-knot the game at 9-9. Greg Allen then lifted a walk-off solo homer in the bottom of the 14th to give the Indians a 10-9 win.
After Sunday’s effort, Ramirez is batting .292/.389/.605 with 15 home runs, 37 RBI, 34 runs scored, and seven stolen bases. According to FanGraphs, his 3.5 Wins Above Replacement ranks third across baseball behind Mike Trout (4.4) and Mookie Betts (4.1). They’re the only players at three wins or above.