“I saw an opportunity to get a score, and I think it was a great decision,” Torres said. “But I don’t know what’s wrong with umpires today. We can’t control that.
The play at second base is not in question here. Replays make it clear Gardner not only slid directly into the bag, thus satisfying the second base collision safety rules, but that he also beat the throw and was safe on the play. The controversial play is Morales granting time as Torres was heading home.
Gleyber Torres told reporters he was confused about being sent back to third base. Long story short, replays showed Gardner beat the throw to second base, and Torres was sent back to third base because home plate umpire Gabe Morales called time. Replays showed Morales called time when Torres a little less than halfway to home plate. Here’s the entire sequence of events: Here is the best angle of Torres running home and Jansen and Morales calling time:
At best, Morales granted time very late. Muncy was down before Torres started home, and time was not granted until he was about halfway to the plate. Can you call time when an outfielder hits the wall and prevent the runner from taking an extra base? No, because the play is still live. Even when pitchers are hit by dangerous comebackers, the play is played to completion.
“Gabe said he killed it,” Yankees manager Aaron Boone said after the game. “Just looking back, Kenley held his hands up — it looked to me Gleyber had already started down the line with a guy down on the field. Home plate umpire said he had killed it.”
Boone on if the Yankees could protest: “We’ll certainly inquire with everyone and try to get a good explanation.”
Gleyber Torres, the runner at second base to begin the play, scampered home from third to score the tying run after Max Muncy went down on the takeout slide. The Yankees had tied the game and Jansen had blown his third consecutive save opportunity. Or at least that’s what everyone thought.
That ninth inning rally featured some controversy. With runners on first and second and one out, Gio Urshela hit what looked like a potential game-ending 5-4-3 double play ball to Justin Turner, but Brett Gardner broke it up with a slide into second base. The slide was clean — Gardner slid right into the bag — and, in fact, replays showed Gardner was safe because he beat the throw.
It’s too late to protest — that has to happen immediately after the play and requires a rule being applied incorrectly, which didn’t happen here — and chances are MLB will not give a good explanation for the decision to grant time and send Torres back to third base given their recent history. They never give satisfactory explanations.