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Irked Lynn to ump: We have a plane to catch

Texas righty frustrated by Little slowing game down in Bronx
@SlangsOnSports
September 4, 2019

NEW YORK -- Lance Lynn appeared confused and perhaps frustrated at points during his start in the Rangers’ 4-1 loss to the Yankees in the Bronx on Wednesday night. It appeared that the umpires were calling to remove baseballs from the field after they were put in play. “Will [Little,

NEW YORK -- Lance Lynn appeared confused and perhaps frustrated at points during his start in the Rangers’ 4-1 loss to the Yankees in the Bronx on Wednesday night. It appeared that the umpires were calling to remove baseballs from the field after they were put in play.

“Will [Little, the home-plate umpire] told me that Joe [West, the crew chief] wanted all balls that hit the ground [out], and then all of a sudden we’re throwing all fly balls out, for us,” Lynn said after the game.

Box score

Lynn’s point of contention was in part that inconsistency.

“He told me two different things," Lynn said. "He was changing his mind. If he had just stuck with what he said, I get it -- I don’t agree with it, because it’s not in the rulebook, but if that’s the way you want to be, then I get it. … He decided to change his mind as the game went on.”

Microphones picked up Lynn telling Little during the fifth inning, his last frame on the mound, that the team had a plane to catch.

“The whole thing that the Commissioner tells us is the pace of game," Lynn said. "So that was my version of telling him, 'You’re causing the pace of game to be slow.' And then he proceeded to tell me we’re all playing.”

Manager Chris Woodward said it was something he had never seen before.

“I guess they said if it wasn’t on the barrel, if it was off the end of the bat or jammed a little bit, that they wanted to replace it,” Woodward said. “That was confusing to me because I’ve never seen that. I’ve never witnessed the changing on a fly ball. I understand a ground ball that hits the dirt, for every ball that hits the dirt, they change it. The fly-ball thing I didn’t understand, so I asked them. And they didn’t do it a few times when they hit fly balls, or we hit them, and that’s the explanation that they gave me, but I’ve never seen that.”

Woodward said he will likely ask for further clarification from the umpiring crew, mostly because it was such an unfamiliar situation.

Despite all of that, Lynn allowed three runs in five innings against his former team. All three came on home runs -- a two-run homer by Aaron Judge in the third and a solo homer from Gleyber Torres in the fourth.

“When it’s all said and done, I had two pitches I’d like back [that] cost me three runs," Lynn said. "A lot of foul balls, but that’s a good lineup. It’s really deep. Two swings that cost me three runs, and that’s part of it.”

Lynn said that he felt his stuff was perhaps the best it’s been all year. Indeed, he averaged 95.8 mph with his four-seamer, the highest average velocity he’s had with that pitch in any game this season.

The home run to Judge -- which probably would not have left the park anywhere but Yankee Stadium, under normal wind and altitude conditions -- came on a 97.1 mph fastball.

“I was expecting him to throw me a heater," Judge said. "He was blowing them by me all night. I finally was able to get ready to hit and got a pitch I could get the barrel on, and snuck one out of here. With him, he's got a good fastball. He was getting up to 97, 98 tonight. He's going to use it, so I've just got to get ready for that.”

In a series that started off with promise when the Rangers ended the Yankees’ 220-game streak of not being shut out, Texas ultimately fell, 2-1. The Rangers are now 28-44 (.389 winning percentage) away from home. At home, they’re 40-29 (.580). If they played at that same .580 clip on the road, their winning percentage would be second in the American League West. Texas will head to Baltimore next for a four-game series.

Sarah Langs is a reporter/editor for MLB.com based in New York. Follow her on Twitter @SlangsOnSports.