Danny Farquhar
Getty Images

Yankees release Danny Farquhar

11 Comments

Some bummer news: the Yankees have released pitcher Danny Farquhar.

Farquhar signed a minor league deal with New York back in January. It was more notable than your typical minor league deal, however, as Farquhar, you may recall, suffered a brain hemorrhage from a ruptured aneurysm in April of 2018, causing him to collapse while in the White Sox’ dugout during a game. He was rushed to the hospital and underwent emergency surgery. It could’ve killed him, obviously, and it did sideline him for the rest of the season.

Farquhar made his way back and did pitch this spring before staying in extended spring training in Tampa. He was activated for Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre last week and appeared in two games but he was ineffective, allowing seven runs on six hits in three innings.

Given how much talent the Yankees bullpen has, it’s not like even a big improvement from that would lead to a chance at a big league promotion, so it’s probably best for Farquhar to try to latch on to a team with a bit more room for him.

Here’s hoping a comeback that has already come so far can go the rest of the way.

Umpire Cory Blaser made two atrocious calls in the top of the 11th inning

Alex Trautwig/MLB Photos via Getty Images
21 Comments

The Astros walked off 3-2 winners in the bottom of the 11th inning of ALCS Game 2 against the Yankees. Carlos Correa struck the winning blow, sending a first-pitch fastball from J.A. Happ over the fence in right field at Minute Maid Park, ending nearly five hours of baseball on Sunday night.

Correa’s heroics were precipitated by two highly questionable calls by home plate umpire Cory Blaser in the top half of the 11th.

Astros reliever Joe Smith walked Edwin Encarnación with two outs, prompting manager A.J. Hinch to bring in Ryan Pressly. Pressly, however, served up a single to left field to Brett Gardner, putting runners on first and second with two outs. Hinch again came out to the mound, this time bringing Josh James to face power-hitting catcher Gary Sánchez.

James and Sánchez had an epic battle. Sánchez fell behind 0-2 on a couple of foul balls, proceeded to foul off five of the next six pitches. On the ninth pitch of the at-bat, Sánchez appeared to swing and miss at an 87 MPH slider in the dirt for strike three and the final out of the inning. However, Blaser ruled that Sánchez tipped the ball, extending the at-bat. Replays showed clearly that Sánchez did not make contact at all with the pitch. James then threw a 99 MPH fastball several inches off the plate outside that Blaser called for strike three. Sánchez, who shouldn’t have seen a 10th pitch, was upset at what appeared to be a make-up call.

The rest, as they say, is history. One pitch later, the Astros evened up the ALCS at one game apiece. Obviously, Blaser’s mistakes in a way cancel each other out, and neither of them caused Happ to throw a poorly located fastball to Correa. It is postseason baseball, however, and umpires are as much under the microscope as the players and managers. Those were two particularly atrocious judgments by Blaser.