Yankee catcher Gary Sanchez gave his critics something more against him.
He missed an easy mark at home on Friday night against the Mets, costing his team a car and a lead. Sanchez inexplicably opened the sliding lane for Mets third player Jonathan Villar, who appeared ready to surrender as he tried to score from Mets second player Javier Baez for the left field. Yankee pitcher Joey Gallo from the outside field beat Villar by about 25 feet.
Not so long ago, catchers would enjoy the opportunity to inflict physical injury on a base runner who fell so much, and many runners would be joined to go through the catcher to try to throw the ball. Recent changes to the MLB rules have thrown such clashes out of the game, so the result on Friday was Sanchez not staying ahead of Villar.
A simple game for Sanchez would be to take a step or two toward Villar and grab him by the chest with both hands. Even if Villar tried to deceive Sanchez, as DA analyst David Cone believed, he was not in a position to physically free himself. As SNY analyst Keith Hernandez noted, Sanchez was “in armor,” meaning a chest protector and shin guards.
As it was, Sanchez almost got away with it as home record referee Ted Barrett initially called up Villar. Barrett showed that Sanchez had marked Villar on his helmet. The Mets caused the call, and replays showed that Villar got his right foot on the board before the mark was placed.
The show helped strengthen the opinion of fans and evaluators who believe Sanchez is a bad defense. Twitter was predictably rude after the show.
It’s absolutely the worst game I’ve ever seen from a big league catcher. How many pieces like this Gary makes before the Yankees have seen enough … awful
– cayankeefan (@cayankeefan) September 10, 2021
I’ve been trying to tell Yankees fans since 2017… that someone like Gary Sanchez behind the plate is breaking again. Idc if it hits 35 bombs.
– Mathiew Andersen (@AndersenMathiew) September 11, 2021
He thought the guy was going to surrender, so they caught him napping. I disagree with the whole thing of “trying to hurt a baserunner”; but damn it, my friend, run up and mark it or at least break it.
– PDub Sports Center (@firstcausenyc) September 11, 2021