Late reversal gives Yanks all help they need
Eighth-inning safe call at plate overturned, keeping Marlins' tying run off board
NEW YORK -- The replay lit up the large video screen in center field, continuing on a loop.
With each new angle broadcast, with each extra-slow-mo look extrapolated, the 43,048 fans at Yankee Stadium on Wednesday night became increasingly confident. Ultimately, the reversal of home-plate umpire Dale Scott's original safe call changed the nature of the Yankees' 2-1 win over the Marlins.
Adeiny Hechavarria, called safe in the top of the eighth as he slid into home on a Dee Gordon chopper to first base, was ruled out two minutes and 41 seconds later. The run that would have tied the game at 2 instead kept the Yankees ahead by a run and helped set up a narrow victory.
"Obviously a game changer," Marlins manager Dan Jennings said. "No doubt about it. You take runs off the board, it's tough. Especially when you feel like you tied it up ... it's kind of a momentum killer."
Hechavarria was coming home from third when Gordon's grounder reached Yankees first baseman Garrett Jones. It was a second of uncertainty on Hechavarria's part, Yankees manager Joe Girardi said, that allowed Jones to field the ball and fire to catcher Brian McCann for a last-second, off-balance tag that was applied just in time.
"In all truthfulness, I thought I was safe," Hechavarria said. "I slid outside of the plate, and I really thought my foot had gotten in there. After the review I was called out, but I really thought I was safe."
It was the exact play that, just moments earlier on the pitcher's mound, McCann said his team had planned for.
"If the corner gets it, read him and come home," McCann said.
But when Jones fielded the ball and Hechavarria hesitated, he initially saw no potential for a play at home.
"Just looking around my peripherals, I didn't see any runner going, and then all of a sudden as I'm fielding it, I see him going," Jones said. "It kind of caught me off guard late, but I'm glad I kept my eye on him to make that throw home."
Jones' throw to McCann was high, forcing the catcher to stretch as far as he could to grab the ball, while still keeping his eyes on Hechavarria.
"I thought he was safe the way he slid in, but McCann was like, 'We got him,''' Jones said. "Once I saw it on the Jumbotron, I was like, 'OK. We got him. [The replay officials] just need to see it."
And eventually they did. It changed the whole inning.
"It's a good play by Brian, a quick tag," Girardi said, "and thank goodness for review."