The Toronto Blue Jays lost to the New York Yankees 6-5 in a heartbreaking fashion on Tuesday in a three-round run at home from Aaron Judge. But the main talking point after the match was a pair of controversial decisions by the referees that led to the expulsion of three members of the Blue Jays.
After Yimi Garcia knocked out bowling in the sixth inning and ceded Homer’s three runs to allow the Yankees to tie the game, former Blue Jays player Josh Donaldson stepped up to the plate. Garcia got ahead of Donaldson with a knockout, but then crushed the third baseman by his second court – and crew chief Alfonso Marquez decided to send the right arm out.
When Donaldson made his way to the start, Garcia and Blue Jays coach Pete Walker argued over the decision, and Walker soon joined the pitcher at the club. Speaking afterward, Marquez told a gathering reporter that he fired Garcia because he believed the landing was intentional due to a previous discussion between Donaldson and Blue Jays catcher Tyler Heinemann.
“Earlier in the match, some words were exchanged between Donaldson and the Toronto catcher, so she definitely played her part. There were very strong words,” Marquez said.
“Then you have a level game at home, and the second pitch, which we considered intentional, which was the reason for the expulsion. It all really played into that. It had nothing to do with[Donaldson’s]reaction. It was all about dealing with the game situations that led to That specific incident.”
The reporter then asked Marquez why Garcia would want to hit Donaldson in this position, given the result and events prior to the half.
“Given all the situations up to that specific point, we considered them intentional. And when that happens, we have to take out and/or (give) warnings, but we felt expulsion was the way to go,” he replied.
Blue Jays manager Charlie Montoyo disagreed with Marquez’s explanation and said he was “proud” with the way his team responded to the calls.
“Believe me, we could have said, ‘You referees against us’ and all that stuff. No, we fought back and had the best baseball player out there in the ninth inning,” Montoyo said.
Donaldson told reporters after the match that the referee had “made a difficult decision” about the call.
“In my heart, I don’t think it was (intentional),” he said. “But she doesn’t look good on TV, that’s for sure.”
Later in the game, the Yankees appeared to be looking for some revenge when loyalist Jonathan Loisiga blew up Blue Jays star Bo Pechet with an in-court pitch that the shortstop had to dodge. No penalty was given to Loáisiga for the stadium and Blue Jays manager Charlie Montoyo was dismissed from the match after he came out to argue the decision.
When Marquis was asked about this incident, he said that the referee crew did not feel Loáisiga threw on Bichette on purpose.
“That was why no action was taken, and it wasn’t intentional, it was just a game inside, which they can still do, inside whatever they want,” the crew chief said. “There was no significant intent behind it, so no action was taken. They didn’t like it.”
For his part, Bichette did not think Loisiga deserved to be sent off, too, but said Garcia’s decision “was surprising”.
“There is no reason for anyone to try to hit anyone in a 3-3 match,” Bechett said. “There was just as much reason for us to hit him as they would have hit me, which is nothing.”
The Yankees and Blue Jays won’t have much time to enjoy after this game. The two teams will meet again at Yankee Stadium on Wednesday afternoon, with the first court scheduled for 12:35 p.m. ET on Sportsnet and SN NOW.
With files from Shi Davidi.