Yankees, Rays each win replay challenges
ST. PETERSBURG -- There were two successfully challenged calls during Sunday's finale between the Yankees and Rays at Tropicana Field, and after New York's 5-1 victory in 12 innings, a fourth-inning trap play still had the visitors talking.
The Yankees' challenge came in that fourth inning, when Brett Gardner was awarded an RBI double on a ball that was initially ruled to have been caught by right fielder Wil Myers.
With a runner at third base and two outs, Gardner hit a deep fly ball to right field that was snared by Myers, who leapt at the wall. At Alfonso Soriano's urging, Gardner continued running and touched all of the bases.
Yankees manager Joe Girardi challenged the call, and a video review showed that the ball hit part of the wall below the yellow home run line before it was trapped by Myers and the call was overturned.
"It just sounded funny," Girardi said. "It was a different sound than you usually hear, so that's why I checked."
After a review of two minutes and 17 seconds led by crew chief Joe West, Gardner was returned to second base and Soriano was awarded home plate. Gardner was credited with a double and an RBI, giving the Yankees a 1-0 lead at the time.
The umpiring crew determined that play stopped when first-base umpire Rob Drake signaled "out" on what he believed to be the Myers catch. Girardi said that the determination to place Gardner at second base was made in New York by the replay umpire.
"It has nothing to do with the umpires on the field," Girardi said. "I have no recourse. I can't argue with people in New York. It's a judgment on them, where he would have ended up. They must have thought he would have ended up at second. It could have been the alternative [of a flyout]."
Gardner said that he was thankful for having replay in place, because without it, he would have still been out on a ball that was not caught. Still, Gardner believes that he should have been credited with an inside-the-park home run.
"You're taught to keep going, and the right fielder knew he didn't catch the ball," Gardner said. "So basically you're penalizing me for keeping going, and you're rewarding him for acting like he caught it when he knew he didn't catch it. That's what I was confused about. I don't think that anything like this has happened before, so they really couldn't give me an answer."
Before the next half-inning, Gardner said that he asked West for an explanation about being sent back to second base.
"He said that they looked at the overhead angle to see whether they should place me at second or third," Gardner said. "I didn't argue with him. My argument wasn't second or third, my argument was that it should've been second or home. I thought it was kind of a weird play, but I guess [we'll] get used to it."
In the top of the 11th, Yankees pinch-runner Ichiro Suzuki -- in for Derek Jeter, who had singled -- was called safe on a steal of second base. Rays manager Joe Maddon challenged the call, and the replay determined that second baseman Logan Forsythe tagged Ichiro before his foot touched the bag, overturning the call. That review took two minutes and four seconds.
"It was kind of awkward from the dugout, because any time a middle infielder catches a ball that bounces and brings it back down, a lot of times you think that the runner gets underneath it," Maddon said. "But part of my reasoning was ... [Heath] Bell was so quick to the plate that he had a legitimate chance to throw him out right there."