The Yankees won 13-3 yesterday. So Johnny Damon’s bonehead play in the fourth inning that allowed the Orioles to score a run didn’t really matter.
Only it sort of did. Instead of CC Sabathia having a 3.38 ERA it’s 3.42. I don’t think the big man is getting the Cy Young Award this season. But what if that play caused him to go from 2.98 to 3.02? In the eyes of some voters, that could be a difference maker.
Let’s review: With Justin Turner on second and one out, Jeff Fiorentino hit a flay ball to left. Damon had trouble finding the ball in the sun and staggered around a bit before catching it. Turner tagged up and went to third.
Damon gave an exaggerated sigh of relief then turned to throw the ball in the stands, thinking there were three outs. As Spicoli did his thing, Turner kept running and scored. By the time Damon realized what he had done, it was too late.
The official scorer, Jordan Sprechman, correctly ruled the play a sacrifice fly. Fiorentino got an RBI.
Scorers are bound by certain policies, official and unofficial. Unless an outfield gets a glove on the ball, there is rarely an error charged. There are also no such things as mental errors.
But in a case like this, Damon’s blunder is clearly an error as it allowed a runner to take an extra base he otherwise would not have. There should be a provision where Damon could be charged with an error on that play and the run be unearned on Sabathia’s ledger.
The problem is that the quality and common-sense of official scorers varies widely. The guys in New York are top notch. But in other places — Florida, ahem! — it’s brutal. But MLB should be able to come up with some sort of way to handle these matters in a fair way.