So, at the top of the 7th inning yesterday, the Yankees had scored a run to tie the Tampa Bay Rays at 2-2. There were two runners on base but also two outs and the Yankees’ sensational rookie catcher Gary Sanchez was ambling up to the plate, with Butler following him.
There was frantic discussion on the mound about what to do. If I remember correctly, in an earlier game at Yankee Stadium, a similar discussion had led to a directive to give Sanchez an intentional walk. But the pitcher got the pitch too close to the plate and Sanchez hit the ball very far into the deepest part of the stadium, which was the only reason it stayed in the stadium for a sacrifice fly. Last night, the execution of what was discussed went similarly awry with far more destructive results.
Rays relief pitcher Brad Boxberger’s off-speed pitch floated up to the plate and sat fat and juicy in the middle of the plate. Sanchez smoked it hard and far for a three-run home run.