By Jason Wojciechowski on August 20, 2005 at 9:01 PM
There's some weird stuff going on in the Yankees-White Sox game. First, Orlando Hernandez popped Alex Rodriguez with a pitch early in the game, resulting in a warning to both benches and a pissed-off A-Rod.
A-Rod got his aggression out later by ripping a double to score two Yankee runs. A-Rod clapped his hands aggressively when he got to second base, apparently in the direction of Hernandez, but it's unclear. Then, El Duque got called for a balk that moved Rodriguez to third base, though it's unclear to me why it was called. It was one of those instances where he technically broke a rule despite his obvious lack of intention to mis-lead the baserunner, which is why the balk rule exists in the first place.
Finally, Rodriguez was picked off of third by AJ Pierzynski, though, from my view, no tag was actually applied by Joe Crede at third base. Pierzynski, in his delight, dropped a couple of obvious f-bombs, and appeared to be dangerously close to actually aiming them at Rodriguez. There's a reason no one likes the guy, I guess, and it'll be interesting to see what happens in A-Rod's next at-bat.
UPDATE: Robinson Cano just took a pitch on the shin from Duque, but it was clear there was no intent. It was a breaking pitch that Hernandez just lost track of and it hit him only a few inches off the ground. It's nice to see that hitting a guy after warnings isn't an automatic ejection, the way it seemingly used to be.
UPDATE 2: The oddness continues and El Duque continues to have conflict with the umpires. On a ground ball to first, Geoff Blum tossed to Duque running toward the bag. Hernandez's gait was off, though, so he was set to go straight over the bag, never stepping on it. Duque's a good athlete, though, so he did what any good wide receiver does when trying to stay in-bound while making a catch: he dragged his back foot over the top of the bag while his front foot stepped over it. The back foot quite clearly hit the bag and should have resulted in an out, but the umpire completely missed it and ruled that Hernandez never touched the bag.
Duque was charged with an error, his second of the game. This is significant because Hernandez, as the announcers have pointed out, has not been charged with an error in six years. Hernandez's first error wasn't really his fault, either. He grabbed a comebacker with a runner on first, wheeled and threw to second, only to find out that his middle infielders weren't sure who was supposed to be covering. Both of them made tentative stabs at the ball, but were clearly wary of colliding with each other and ruining the play for the other one. Thus the ball went into center field and Duque's errorless streak ended.
UPDATE 3: Don't ask me why, but the local Channel 7 news was on TV, and the usual lame-ass sports person blamed the first Hernandez error (on the play at second base) on Duque, snidely remarking, "Maybe you should throw it harder next time." I guess I should expect nothing less in New York.