As soon as Dellin Betances released the throw intended for first baseman Brian McCann, he said he "knew it wasn't even going to be close."
"Right away I thought it felt awkward," the Yankees reliever said.
That's because Betances' cleat on his back foot got stuck in the dirt as he attempted a pickoff Sunday in the top of the eighth inning with Blue Jays outfielder Colby Rasmus on first. The ball went wide of McCann, resulting in a two-base error, allowing Rasmus to reach third with no outs.
The miscue proved costly because Rasmus scored on a sacrifice fly by the next batter, Munenori Kawasaki, to give the Blue Jays a 4-3 lead.
The Yankees tied it in the eighth inning, but lost, 5-4, when former Yankee Dioner Navarro singled off David Robertson to score Jose Bautista in the ninth.
"I didn't have a good position to throw to first," Betances said. "It was a horrible throw. Right away, I knew I didn't feel right and it kind of made me rush the throw. I put myself in that tough situation with a man on third and two outs."
It was the first time this season both Betances and Robertson allowed a run in the same game.
"It just wasn't our day," Betances said.
Betances, who was visibly frustrated in the Yankees' dugout after he was pulled with two outs and none on in the eighth, expressed disappointment after the game, saying his error was a big factor in the loss.
Robertson said he consoled the 26-year-old afterward.
"I told him you can't get down on yourself," Robertson said. "He's got electric stuff. One bad outing isn't going to bring him down."
Betances' pitching line wasn't bad, but it was unusual: He allowed a run, which was unearned, without giving up a hit in 12/3 innings. He walked two batters (one intentionally) and struck out one.
"The throwing error was what killed him," Girardi said. "It gave them a run."
Betances entered with no outs in the seventh and runners on first and second. The hard-throwing righthander -- who owns a 1.43 ERA and has 93 strikeouts in 63 innings -- didn't allow a run.
Yet afterward, Betances failed to locate his fastball and issued a four-pitch walk to Rasmus to begin the eighth.
"I've said that we have to guard about how much we use him, obviously," Girardi said. "I felt pretty good about sending him out there [for the eighth]. He's not going to be perfect."