The Yankees were hurt by a brutal call during the eighth inning of ALCS Game 2 against the Tigers on Sunday that cost them two runs in a 3-0 loss.
Tigers second baseman Omar Infante was advancing from first to second on a two-out single to right by Austin Jackson. Right fielder Nick Swisher threw into second to catch Infante off the base, and Robinson Cano tagged him out. Unfortunately, second base umpire Jeff Nelson called Infante safe, keeping the inning going for Detroit.
The next better was pinch-hitter Avisail Cabrera, who blooped a single to right to score Infante and make it 2-0. Yankees manager Joe Girardi went out to replace pitcher Boone Logan, and was ejected after arguing with Nelson about the awful call.
Miguel Cabrera followed with a single to score Jackson, giving the Tigers a 3-0 lead. They eventually got out of a bases loaded jam and escaped down just 3-0, but not before the blown call cost them two runs.
Girardi was ticked off about the call after the loss.
“It’s frustrating. I don’t have a problem with Jeff [Nelson's] effort. I don’t, because he hustled to get to the point. But in this day and age, when we have instant replay available to us, it’s got to change,” said Girardi.
“These guys are under a tremendous amount of pressure. It’s a tough call for him because the tag is underneath and it’s hard for him to see. It takes more time for me to argue and get upset than to get the call right. There’s just too much at stake.
“We play 235 days to get to this point. We had two calls go against us. We lost a game by one run [in Game 1], and I’m not saying if Robbie Cano is safe last night then it changes the game. The outcome still might be the same, but I’d like to take my chances.
“There’s a lot more pressure on a pitcher when it’s 1-0 in the eighth inning than when it’s 3-0. I’d like to take my chances,” he repeated.
Nelson admitted after the game that he got the call wrong.
“The hand did not get in before the tag, the call was incorrect,” he said, per MLB.
About the only comforting thing we can say to Yankees fans is that maybe this blown call was karma for the Nate McLouth foul ball in the ALDS.