With the New York Yankees down one run in last nightâ€™s game against the Boston Red Sox, third baseman Gio Urshela had hit a long double, which was followed by a Miguel Andujarâ€™s hard groundball single that quickly made its way to right field.
Had Urshela stayed at third, the Yankees would have runners in the corners with nobody out. A rally was not out of the question. However, Gio didnâ€™t stay. Yankeesâ€™ third base coach Phil Nevin sent him home even though he hadnâ€™t even touched third base when Hunter Renfroe, the Red Soxâ€™s right fielder, was already taking the ball and preparing a throw.
Renfroe, if you didnâ€™t know, leads MLB in outfield assists with 10. Well, he now has 11, because he threw Urshela out at home plate by a mile with a cannon of a throw.
â€œWe talked about it before the game,â€ Nevin told NJ Advance Media. â€œHeâ€™s got one of the best arms in baseball.â€
Urshela is slow, and he had been dealing with a shin injury. His chances werenâ€™t great against one of the best arms in baseball, but Nevin sent him home anyway. That was a mistake, and he owns up to it.
â€œI saw a groundball to right field and saw Gio had a good jump,â€ Nevin said. â€œRenfroe was kind of moving to his right and the way he was attacking the ball â€” Iâ€™ve seen the way he attacks balls â€” I honestly didnâ€™t even think he was going to make a throw on that play, but thereâ€™s no excuse with nobody out. You canâ€™t get a guy thrown out there.â€
The Yankees could have had a productive inning
The throw was a straight, no-bounce bullet that catcher Christian Vazquez caught, with time to spare to tag Urshela.
Red Sox manager Alex Cora was asked about why teams keep challenging Renfroeâ€™s arm. â€œYouâ€™ve got to ask them,â€ he said. â€œ(Renfroe) does a good job charging the ball and in that situation he had a presence of mind. He didnâ€™t need to keep that throw down. He knew that he had a chance to get (Urshela) at the plate.â€
â€œEven if you think you see something, you have to err on the side of caution with nobody out and I certainly didnâ€™t there,â€ Nevin said. â€œGio getting thrown out at home, obviously I know heâ€™s been out for a couple of days with a leg (injury), so a lot of things compound in that one.â€
â€œWeâ€™ve probably got to hold (Urshela) up there, but Phil is as good as it gets over there at third base,â€ Yankees manager Aaron Boone said. â€œProbably in that spot it was a little bit too aggressive on the send, but thereâ€™s no one I want over there coaching third than Phil.â€
Would the Yankees have eventually tied the game had Nevin held Urshela at third? What do you think?