The Little League World Series may have ended a few weeks ago, but don’t tell that to Gleyber Torres.
In the Yankees’ 5-3 win over the Red Sox at Fenway Park on Wednesday night, the visitors capitalized on a catastrophe of a play in the fifth inning when Torres hit a sharp two-out single into right field with Aaron Hicks on second and Aaron Judge on first. It appeared to be a routine hit until what came next.
Right fielder Alex Verdugo fielded the ball cleanly and threw home, attempting to nab Hicks at the plate. But the throw wasn’t cut off, came in up the line and wasn’t in time, allowing the run to score. Then, catcher Connor Wong fired to Kiké Hernandez, who was covering first, to try to get Torres in a run down between first and second, but Wong’s throw missed the mark and sailed into right field. By the time Verdugo got to the ball to throw home again, Judge had scored with Torres coming all the way around and sliding under the tag of Wong.
Afterward, Red Sox manager Alex Cora pointed to a small detail that allowed the play to snowball.
“[Christian] Arroyo was late to be the cutoff guy. He got there late. If he gets there earlier, he probably cuts it and we get the out at third base,” he told reporters. “It’s one of those, he’s learning the position at first. The reaction is different than at second or short and he was just a tad late. The throw was down, but we weren’t able to cut it. Kiké did an amazing job backing up and we had him there and Connor just threw it away.”
The two extra runs that scored on the play proved costly for Boston, as the Yankees fended off a late-inning comeback to win by two.
“We haven’t played bad defense in a while, but still we were in the game in the eighth inning and then we didn’t make plays in the ninth,” Cora said.
Cora’s Yankees counterpart saw things rather differently from his dugout.
“Sometimes Gleyber thinks he’s invisible out there. Sometimes it works,” manager Aaron Boone said with a chuckle, adding that his thought process on the play was, “No, no, yes!”