Thursday, September 06, 2007

I Hope Rich Donnelly Reads Buster Olney's Blog

Olney today recapped a fateful decision from Mariners' third base coach Carlos Garcia, which caused Adrian Beltre to get nailed at the plate for a third out in a game the Yankees went on to win:

Third base coach Carlos Garcia knows that a decision he made was pivotal in the Mariners' loss to the Yankees, as he told Geoff Baker. To review: Seattle had runners at first and second and nobody out in the top of the fifth inning, while trailing, 1-0. Chien-Ming Wang had started to have a fit of control problems, as he is prone to do, and had begun elevating the ball a bit, and Seattle, it seemed, had a great chance for a big inning.

Kenji Johjima laced a single into left field, and Garcia waved Adrian Beltre around third base. But Hideki Matsui rushed the ball and made a perfect throw to the plate, and catcher Jorge Posada picked the ball nicely on a short-hop and dropped a quick tag on Beltre: bang-bang. A cardinal rule had been broken: You should not get the first out of an inning with a player getting thrown out at third or home. "I shouldn't have sent the runner," Garcia told Baker. "It's my fault that he was thrown out. I take the blame."

Wang subsequently got a double-play grounder to end the inning, and would go on to regain his command and pitch eight innings, in a one-sided defeat. "The game could have been different if I made a different decision there," Garcia told John Hickey. "Now I've got to live with it."

Twenty-six more days in the pennant races. Twenty-six more days for teams to wonder what might have been, if not one for one throw, one catch, one swing, one decision by a third base coach.

Donnelly just got Russell Martin rung up at home for the third out of an inning in Tuesday's Dodgers-Cubs game. How many more will Donnelly kill in the Dodgers' final 22 games?