While a lot has gone wrong for the New York Yankees during their current slide, defense has not been a big issue. That changed in Tuesday’s game against the New York Mets. But the mistake was not physical. Rather, it was a huge mental mistake from second baseman Gleyber Torres.
The Mets trailed 2-1 in the sixth inning. But with Pete Alonso on first base, Jeff McNeil hit a ball into the right-center field gap. It seemed all but certain that Alonso would score the tying run, until he tripped around third base. When the relay throw came into Torres, Alonso was seemingly hung out to dry. But thanks to a colossal blunder from Torres, things went great for the Mets.
McNeil initially headed for third but when he saw that Alonso was hung out between third and home, he scattered back to second base. That got Torres’ attention. Rather than throw home for the seemingly easy out on Alonso, Torres sprinted to second to try to get McNeil out. Things went horribly for the Yankees. McNeil got back to second ahead of Torres. That also opened the door for Alonso to score the tying run uncontested.
The Mets tie the game.
— SNY (@SNYtv) August 24, 2022
The baseball world collectively wondered just what was going through Torres’ mind in this sequence.
Can anyone explain why Gleyber didn’t just throw home? 🤦🏻♂️ https://t.co/mIjq0bn2NA
— Vince Z. Mercogliano (@vzmercogliano) August 24, 2022
Gleyber had so much time to rethink his decision. He just lasered in on McNeil and never glanced at Alonso. https://t.co/WsG0RKIeQM
— Justin Walters (@JustinWaltersTV) August 24, 2022
Gleyber Torres' baseball IQ is, well, yeah.
— Art Stapleton (@art_stapleton) August 24, 2022
Feel like the only explanation there, and it's not a good one, is that Gleyber just didn't see Alonso.
— Brendan Kuty (@BrendanKutyNJ) August 24, 2022
Doesn’t get any dumber than that Gleyber…
— John Jastremski (@john_jastremski) August 24, 2022
wtf is Gleyber doing
— Pinstripe Alley (@pinstripealley) August 24, 2022
It’s hard to understand what happened here. Physical mistakes happen, even from the best in the world. But these are not the kind of mental miscues that you expect to see at the major-league level, especially from veterans.
One of the ironies of this defensive blunder is that earlier in the game, Torres made one of the best defensive plays of his career.
IKF flips to Gleyber who barehands and throws it to 1st for an awesome 6-4-3 double play! pic.twitter.com/CVjKogMg5I
— Talkin' Yanks (@TalkinYanks) August 23, 2022
Unfortunately, mental gaffes are often remembered before great plays, especially when they lead to a run being scored.