Why didn’t Rob Thomson use Gary Sanchez in the ninth inning?

During the ninth inning of the Yankees 5-4 loss against the Tampa Bay Rays, the Yankees had three players on the bench; Chase Headley, Aaron Hicks and Gary Sanchez. And with Austin Romine standing in as the final out against Rays closer Alex Colome, it would have been ideal to have Sanchez enter the game with the opportunity to potentially change the outcome.

The problem was interim manager Rob Thomson–who filled in for Joe Girardi while Girardi was tending to a family matter–didn’t use Sanchez at all. Romine ended up grounding out to first and the Yankees lost their second game in a row.

After the game, the media asked Thomson why he didn’t use Sanchez in the ninth inning. Here’s what Thomson had to say:

“I was trying to–and this was my decision–at the start of the game I told Sanchy that unless it was an emergency, I was going to try and give him the day off. That’s what I was trying to do. In order to do that, it kind of limited my pinch-hitting opportunities. I had to pick one guy and really it was going to be (Chase) Headley for (Ronald) Torreyes if somebody got on in the ninth.”

The issue was, the ninth inning was an emergency. An offensive emergency. Sanchez has the power to hit the ball out of Tropicana Field, and the game could have ended differently had Sanchez had a plate appearance.

Thomson didn’t want to take out Romine? Fine. There were other ways of getting Sanchez an at-bat.

It’s understandable the Yankees had Didi Gregorius hit for himself; he’s the starting shortstop and really shouldn’t be pinch-hit for. But the Yankees could of at least lifted Chris Carter to give Sanchez a pinch-hitting opportunity. After all, in Carter’s three at-bats, he notched two strikeouts, and hasn’t looked impressive at the plate other than the series against the Kansas City Royals.

Along with not using Sanchez, Thomson also stuck with a few relievers longer than he should have, namely Adam Warren, who gave up three runs and only recorded two outs, and Tyler Clippard, who gave up the lead run for the Rays.

It was a game of opportunity for the Yankees. But because Thomson didn’t make certain moves, or stuck with struggling pitchers a little too long, the opportunities were squandered, which left the Yankees in a hole they were unable to climb out of.

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14 Responses to Why didn’t Rob Thomson use Gary Sanchez in the ninth inning?

  1. Larry says:

    Thomson is not an MLB manager , the job should had went to Tony Pena who has experience.
    Maybe should had in bottom of the 8th put Headley in on defense and Sanchez at C and Romine at 1B.
    I wish someone would hire Tomson away from us.
    Was a terrible 3B coach also.

    • tom says:

      Since there are many fans who whined about Girardi's microscopic decisions Thomson made no difference.

  2. Olie says:

    A day off is a day off, Thomson did the right thing. The coaching staff makes decisions for what is best for the whole season not day to day!

    • Jerry says:

      Olie, just to bat in the 9th would not have negated his day off from catching, which is an arduous job. The right thing would have been pinch hitting with Sanchez or Hicks.

  3. tom says:

    After reading Thomson's comments, it surely sounds like Sanchez was given 100 percent day off. What a bad timing.

  4. MeMom says:

    How about concentrating on the almost debacle in right field foul area which could have ended much worse than it did. If one of them had called for the ball and caught it, the inning would be over and no need to second guess Thompson —

  5. Robert Mason says:

    If Castro had turned the routine double-play then perhaps a lot of problems could have been avoided. I feel Joe sometimes lea ves pitchers in too long also but I'm sure he knows better than any of us who get to second-guess decisions. I would use Romine at first ahead of Carter who appears to be a waste of money so far.

  6. gary b says:

    Thomson is part of Girard's "handpicked " coaching staff. He coaches "Girardi Ball". The bottom line is until Girardi Cashman and The Steinbrenners leave the Yankees. The New York Yankees will continue to be a "Dog & Pony Show" Disaster. Their inept Mgmt/Ownership will catch up with them before to long. Go Yankees !!!! Down with the current inept management and ownership.

  7. buckeye balls says:

    coaching not the issue-pitching is and is getting worse by the day

  8. gary b says:

    Gear Up For The "June Swoon" (Saturday's Loss Was Business As Usual. The Yankee Clipper is Beginning To Resemble A combination Of Gilligan's Island's SS Minnow And/Or F-Troop) But Just Keep Backing "Joe And His Coaching Staff of Court Jesters". Pena is the only credible coach on the Yankees. Hope I am Wrong But it Follows Their "Close But No Cigar" Mentality. Maybe The Lone Ranger Could Pick A Better Coaching Staff

  9. Jack says:

    Pitching and defense are the two most important things for a great team and at the moment the Yanks have neither. I am not a fan of Hal , Cashman , or Girardi. This team needs at least two good starting pitchers. One could have been Sale but in another dumb move you let him go to your chief rival Boston. Makes sense to me??????

  10. Nunzio says:

    Thomson should have pitch hit for Romine no question and he did leave the relievers out to dry to long , baseball is about the decision at key times I'm sure second guessing can be done by us all , the yankees see something in him and that's why he has been here this long , let's move on and look at baseball as a game that can be improved on and Rob knows what he coulda, shoulda, woulda.

  11. otto says:

    Boy oh Boy the real issue is this era of specialized relief pitchers. They use certain guys for certain innings. They never go with their gut feelings. It is the 7th lets go to Warren instead of leaving Holder in because he looked pretty good. In my opinion this is the real issue.

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