Newspaper article The Record (Bergen County, NJ)

Frustrated Yankees Fall

Newspaper article The Record (Bergen County, NJ)

Frustrated Yankees Fall

Article excerpt

TORONTO -- Joe Girardi believed his team was owed a run, or at least a better explanation Saturday as to what constitutes blocking a runner's path to home plate.

A third-inning umpire's review was upheld at Rogers Centre, preventing the Yankees from scoring - a play that loomed extremely large until the Blue Jays broke it open late.

Following the encouraging and long-awaited Yankee debut of starter Michael Pineda, Toronto's Melky Cabrera and Jose Bautista clubbed home runs off David Phelps in a three-run eighth, pushing the Jays to a 4-0 afternoon victory before 45,446 fans.

The Yankees (2-3) blew plenty of chances against knuckleballer R.A. Dickey and the Toronto bullpen, stranding nine runners - six in scoring position - from the fifth-inning on. But afterward, Girardi felt cheated by what transpired earlier.

"I wanted to know if I could protest the game because of the rule," Girardi said. "Maybe it's a misinterpretation."

With two out in the third, Francisco Cervelli attempted to score on Jacoby Ellsbury's sharp single to center. Colby Rasmus' throw was on target to catcher Josh Thole, who applied the tag on Cervelli, making a straight, feet-first slide into the plate.

When plate umpire and crew chief Dana DeMuth called Cervelli out, Girardi instantly argued that Thole had blocked Cervelli's path to home plate before he had possession of the ball.

Further, Girardi felt the replay also showed Cervelli's left foot had touched home before the tag.

Replay reviews of home plate contact and potential interference are made at the umpires' discretion; it's not a manager's challenge. And in such reviews, "they're supposed to look at everything," Girardi said, including safe or out.

So, in Girardi's estimation, the Yankees were twice denied on the same play.

"This is going to be the toughest replay of all of them, because it's such a judgment," Girardi said. …

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