Taking runs as they come
As hard as runs have come by for the Yankees since the All-Star break, they will take them any way they can get them. Their first-inning run Tuesday night at Chicago certainly fit the rarity category – a two-base wild pitch.
Alfonso Soriano was able to score from second base on a pitch in the dirt by Chris Sale. The ball went under the mitt of catcher Josh Phegley, struck the right leg of plate umpire Alan Porter and ricocheted all the way in front of the White Sox dugout along the third base line. Phegley lost sight of the ball, and Soriano could have walked home. It was a totally manufactured run. Soriano avoided a double play by beating a relay to first base and then stole second.
The Yankees had a run taken away from them two innings later. A two-out single by Robinson Cano appeared to have delivered Brett Gardner to the plate from second base, but Porter called Gardner out at home. Gardner went in standing up, which did not help his cause as Porter waited to see if Phegley held on to the ball, which he did.
That should not have mattered, however, because video replays clearly showed that Gardner’s left foot was on the plate before he was tagged in the upper left thigh by Phegley. Gardner and manager Joe Girardi argued the call but to no avail. Again, with runs precious (the Yankees are averaging only three runs per game since the break), each one is worth fighting for.