DETROIT - As Jacoby Ellsbury put it, "Something just didn't look right."
On third with two outs in the sixth inning of the Yankees' 2-1 win over the Tigers on Thursday, Ellsbury watched Anibal Sanchez go into a full windup and took several aggressive steps toward home. Sanchez stepped off the rubber and threw to the plate, an obvious balk that, after a delay, was called by third-base umpire Gerry Davis.
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"I took a couple seconds to process what I saw," Davis told a pool reporter. "I wanted to be sure he had started his delivery before I made the call."
Ellsbury, who has one career steal of home -- against Andy Pettitte in 2009 -- said he potentially could have added to that total. "I was planning on going if he continued to roll through his motion," he said.
The play, which led to Tigers manager Brad Ausmus' ejection by Davis, tied it at 1-1.
"I'm always trying to look for something, no matter what base it's on, if I'm on second, if I'm on first, I'm just trying to create havoc, make something happen," said Ellsbury, who hustled out a double to left-center in the eighth and scored the go-ahead run. "I think we had only one hit at that time, so yeah, I guess I'm always trying to look for any advantage I can get."
Joe Girardi felt for Joe Nathan, 40, who will undergo Tommy John surgery for a torn UCL, the Tigers said. Nathan ranks seventh on the all-time saves list with 377.
"I don't think any player really wants to go out that way," Girardi said. "I'm not sure what he'll do, but being 40 years old, I'm sure there's a lot of thought maybe it's his last pitch. But Joe Nathan's a winner and it's got to be extremely frustrating for him."