Umps’ blown call most costly to Teixeira
A bigger loss from that blown call by umpire Jerry Meals that prevented the Yankees from tying the score in the ninth inning Saturday night at Baltimore was that of Mark Teixeira, the runner who beat the play, according to video replays and contrary to Meals’ opinion.
Striving to avoid being doubled up on a ground ball that would have permitted pinch runner Chris Dickerson to score from third base and tie the game, Teixeira aggravated his strained left calf and will be lost to the Yankees for an undetermined period. Tex is not expected to play again on the trip that moves on to Boston. He will undergo an MRI Monday in New York.
“It’s huge,” Yankees manager Joe Girardi told reporters about Teixeira’s loss. “He’s a guy that has been a huge part of our lineup, middle of the order, an RBI guy. Until you got through a couple of days of playing, there would be concern.”
Saturday night’s 5-4 loss was Teixeira’s first game after being out for 10 games with the injured calf. He ran gingerly all night, including his first-inning double. Girardi monitored Tex closely and kept him in the game only because he had a chance to bat in the ninth if the Yankees rallied, which they did.
Hitting a ground ball in that situation – runners on first and third with one out – presented a worst-case scenario for Teixeira. His desire to tie the game and give the Yanks a chance to win motivated him to run as hard as possible down the first base line and for the first time dive into the bag to avert the double play. That is the worst part of Meals’ terrible call. It made Teixeira’s effort worthless and cost the Yankees a key player in the thick of a division race.