BOSTON -- Clinging to a one-run lead Sunday afternoon, Red Sox lefty Wade Miley made the same pickoff move toward first he's been making all season. Only this time, home-plate umpire Angel Hernandez called a balk that tied the game. The Red Sox ultimately suffered an 8-6 loss to the Yankees, and the momentum seemed to change after the controversial call in the top of the fifth.
"I'm not sure what he's seeing, but obviously he said he saw something," said Miley. "He said I stepped toward home. I looked at some video. It is what it is."
Typically, it is a call that would be made by the first-base umpire, who, in this case, was Pat Hoberg.
"[Hernandez] said [Miley] made a move toward home plate, and that wasn't even his best move," said Red Sox manager John Farrell. "To me, when the home-plate umpire calls it and the first-base umpire is staring him right in the face on it. … Wade has one of the best pickoff moves in the game and in my mind it was not a balk."
Things worsened for Miley in the sixth, when the Yankees tacked on three runs.
"I just didn't execute pitches at that time at all. I was leaving fastballs over the middle," said Miley. "I know I made a couple of mistakes. I don't know if they were sitting soft, but even the breaking balls, I just didn't get them down, and they were putting good swings on them. To A-Rod, the double, I tried to go in with the fastball, and it came back across the middle. The execution, it's just a matter of locating a pitch where you want, and I just didn't get it there."
Ian Browne is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Brownie Points, follow him on Twitter @IanMBrowne and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.