The Yankees have protested the game due to confusion created by a Marlins’ double-switch in the top of the eighth inning.
In the bottom of the seventh inning, the Marlins pinch-hit outfielder Alejandro De Aza for pitcher Renyel Pinto, who was batting ninth. When the inning ended, Florida manager Fredi Gonzalez made a double-switch. Reliever Leo Nunez entered the game, and Chris Coghlan remained in left field.
Nunez threw one pitch to Derek Jeter, a called strike. At that point, Yankees manager Joe Girardi brought to the attention of home plate umpire Tim Timmons that Coghlan was supposed to be out of the game, with De Aza in left field.
For more than five minutes play was delayed, eventually with Coghlan leaving the field. De Aza headed to left field, only to be replaced by Jeremy Hermida.
After more discussion, it was determined that both Coghlan and De Aza were no longer available. So the mistake cost the Marlins two players, with Hermida remaining in the game and slotted ninth. Nunez was placed in the leadoff spot.
Crew chief Jeff Kellogg told MLB.com after the game that the umpires are filing an incident report to Major League Baseball. He didn’t elaborate on anything specific.
“We’re going to file an incident report, and all that,” Kellogg said. “The protest is over the pitcher should have been removed from the game, or the pitch should not have counted. That’s the protest. Either or. One or the other should have happened.
“It goes to the league, and they will review everything. They will make a determination after that.”
What the Yankees are hoping is the game is resumed from the top of the eighth inning, no outs, with the Marlins ahead, 6-3.
When Girardi was asked if he hoped the Yankees would return to Miami to resume the game in the eighth inning, he responded: “I do.”
Here’s the tricky part: The Yankees had Jeter, Swisher and Teixeira bat in the 8th inning. And, they had Robertson pitch in the bottom of the 8th – as he entered the game in the 7th inning. Later, the Yankees had A-Rod, Cano, Posada, Cabrera, Gardner, Damon and Jeter bat in the 9th inning.
If they do resume this game, some time in July, August or September, what happens if one of those players is not available to the Yankees? You cannot use a player who has not on the Yankees roster today when your resume this game at a later date. Same deal applies to the Marlins players from today.
I know that, technically, the Yankees have a case here. But, I doubt that MLB will want deal with all the wild things that can happen if this game is allowed to be picked up again from the 8th inning. Therefore, I expect the league to sweep this one under the rug…saying that losing Alejandro De Aza for the game was the Marlins penalty here and that’s it.
Besides, I don’t see how going down to Miami, for one day, in July or August, to play two innings of baseball, is going to be a good thing for the Yankees.