There was rain pouring on the field and fire coming out of the Yankees’ dugout in the middle of the third inning Wednesday.
The last-place Orioles had put together a five-run second inning, which was helped by rookie second baseman Gleyber Torres failing to cover first base on a would-be a sacrifice bunt from Caleb Joseph that turned into an infield single.
Torres’ defensive afternoon didn’t get much better\ as he failed to cover second base turning what likely would have been the final out of the third inning. Breyvic Valera’s ground ball up the middle was fielded by Didi Gregorius, who was forced to throw to first with Torres out of position. Valera beat the throw for an RBI single that gave the Orioles a 7-1 lead..
Those and other Yankee miscues turned up third-base coach Phil Nevin’s temper, as he was caught on camera screaming at players in the dugout.
“It wasn’t directed at any one person or one thing, it was just ‘Let’s go’ more so than that,” Nevin said. “There’s no disrespect to anybody across the field or anything like that, but I think anybody you ask [on the team], we were better than what he showed today and that was it. Some people just have different ways of firing guys up.”
The Yankees did play better after a 39-minute rain delay and Nevin’s outburst, but lost, 7-5,, at the Stadium Wednesday to split the two-game series against the Orioles (33-75), who have the worst record in the majors..
“We were playing a little flat,” Neil Walker said.. “The tempo was not as good as we hoped it would be at that point and he sparked us a little. It was a good shot in the arm and something that needed to be said.”
Torres, who did have a strong game at the plate with two home runs and four RBIs, took accountability for not covering the bases in time. The 21-year-old rookie second baseman also misplayed a hard, low line drive from Adam Jones in the ninth inning, resulting in a single.
“I’m human, I make errors for sure,” Torres said. “Today’s a bad day. I try to figure out that, try to be professional and be ready for next time and it won’t happen anymore.”
Despite having the second-best record in baseball, the Yankees (68-38) have struggled against some of the weaker competition in the American League East, falling to 6-6 against the Orioles and Rays. Outfielder Brett Gardner said outbursts like Nevin’s happens from players and coaches “from time to time” and first baseman Greg Bird added the yelling wasn’t a shock to the players.
“I wouldn’t say surprised but I felt like just as a whole, we were dragging a little bit today,” Bird said. “So it’s probably a good thing.”
Manager Aaron Boone shared a similar sentiment as the rest of the team.
“I think just frustrated at a situation at that point in the game, not playing to our standard,” he said. “And over the course of a season, you are going to have outbursts from guys, from coaches, from me, whatever, so just the emotion of the season, of the game. Not much more than that.”