While Gonzalez is the first to recognize Sabathia’s quality stuff, he feels he was set up by an expanded strike zone.
“Went in with a game plan to see some pitches and right off the bat took a fastball that was off the plate away and it was called [a strike],” Gonzalez said, referring to what seemed to be an inconsistent strike zone by Ed Rapuano. “That put me in more of a swinging mentality, so I chased a lot of pitches out of the zone today.”
It was a slider that got Gonzalez swinging in the first. It was a slider that got Gonzalez swinging in the third. It was a slider that got Gonzalez swinging in the fourth.
All three were protective swings for a guy who felt as if he had to go after pitches several inches outside.
“I feel like Ed’s a good umpire, but tonight he was calling pitches off the plate away to lefties and it made it much tougher,” said Gonzalez, who had his fourth 0-for-5 effort of the season.
That wasn’t the only figure on the field having issues with the umpires during New York’s 5-2 win.
Yankees manager Joe Girardi was ejected by third base umpire Mark Wegner in the bottom of the ninth after arguing that Jarrod Saltalamacchia went around on a pitch that cut in and hit the Red Sox catcher in the wrist. The hit batter gave the hosts two men on with two outs.
Girardi sprinted from the Yankees dugout and threw his hat at Wegner’s feet. He didn’t hide his distaste for the call then, and he didn’t again when asked about it postgame.
“It’s a swing. And [Wegner] said he didn’t swing. I mean it’s a swing, clear as day,” Girardi said. “That’s a big base runner because a home run ties the game and that’s a huge base runner.”
The hit batter did not cost New York. Closer Mariano Rivera retired Josh Reddick on a liner to left to finish the game. Still, Girardi pressed on.
“He clearly swung to me,” he said. “That’s an important out. It’s not like me to blow my top, but that’s an important out. These are important games. It’s an important time of season. Those are big calls.”