Throw down! Yelich nabs Sanchez at home for last out
Marlins left fielder cuts down White Sox pinch-runner with Chicago down by 1
By Scott Merkin
MIAMI -- Marlins left fielder Christian Yelich made a perfect throw to catcher Jeff Mathis, nailing White Sox pinch-runner Carlos Sanchez at the plate to put an exclamation point on Miami's 5-4 throw-off victory Sunday at Marlins Park.
The only brief question after Yelich's strike convincingly beat Sanchez for the game's final out is whether it would stand, with the umpiring crew reviewing the home-plate collision rule in regard to Mathis. That answer arrived positively for the Marlins in about 15 seconds.
"You kind of never know if you've done it the proper way, or you try to do it by the book and the way the new rule says. But you never know now," Mathis said. "I was just happy it turned out and we got an out."
"Where Sanchy was sliding in, you have them look at it," White Sox manager Robin Ventura said. "You get a hit and you have to make them make a good play, and they did. It was a great throw."
Saladino lofted a single over shortstop Adeiny Hechavarria on a 1-1 pitch, and Sanchez was still about a half-step away from third when Yelich cleanly picked up the baseball. White Sox third-base coach Joe McEwing decided to challenge Yelich's ability to make the perfect throw, sending Sanchez all the way.
"Absolutely. Two outs right there. Battled back, Sally had that outstanding at-bat, Yelich came in, charged it good and made a perfect throw to the plate," McEwing said. "Take that chance every time. Give us an opportunity to tie the game and get right back in it."
"I knew I had some time to make a good throw," Yelich said. "Jeff made a hell of a play making the catch and putting the tag on him. It was a big one for us. I let it go and saw it was going to stay pretty straight and we had a shot. I was looking at [Marcell Ozuna] and [Ichiro Suzuki] and they were pumped. I was like, 'Oh, this is pretty sweet.'"
Ventura said the explanation he received after the review simply was: "They just called him out."
"You end up losing that way, but you have a chance at it there at the end," Ventura said. "You like the way they go about it and put some at-bats together. You just come up short."