Truth be told, CC Sabathia said afterward that he thought there were two outs too. Runners at first and second in the fourth inning, Eric Chavez fielded a routine ground ball and began jogging to third base. He stepped on the bag and trotted off the field. When he stopped and realized, his look of absolute shock told the story.
There had been one out, not two, and Chavez had just turned a potential double play ball into an embarrassing out at third.
“I’ve had two things that happened to me this year that have never happened,” Chavez said. “I was picked off in spring training – never been picked off – and then I forgot how many outs there were.”
Sabathia said in the clubhouse that he initially thought there were two outs too — “I really did,” he said — which kind of makes sense because Sabathia was getting so many outs so easily, he probably assumed one of his third-inning strikeouts bled into the fourth. How did Chavez find out there were only two outs? The Twins third base coach told him.
“I told him when I ran (back) out there, I’m like, I’m glad you said something to me,” Chavez said, “because I would have made it all the way to the dugout.”
Chavez said it was a relief “for sure” when Sabathia got out of the inning without a run, and Joe Girardi actually thought Chavez’s mistake might have a saved a run (if the Yankees hadn’t turned two on that play, there would have been a runner at third base for the passed ball that followed). Surprisingly, Chavez said his teammates didn’t give him too much of a hard time.
Speaking of which, hasn’t Chavez made three embarrassing mistakes this year? The pickoff, forgetting the outs, and throwing the ball that hit Cody Eppley in the head earlier this season?
“Yeah, but that was his fault,” Chavez said. “He wasn’t looking.”