Indians escape jam behind Gomes-to-Lindor double play

Perfect throw leads to perfect tag, ends threat in 8th

Alex Hooper
July 13, 2018 - 11:58 pm
Jul 13, 2018; Cleveland, OH, USA; Cleveland Indians shortstop Francisco Lindor (12) and catcher Yan Gomes (7) celebrate after scoring during the second inning against the New York Yankees at Progressive Field.

© Ken Blaze-USA TODAY Sports


Cleveland, OH (92.3 The Fan) – Francisco Lindor did not have to go far to tag Aaron Judge on a stolen base attempt in the 8th inning. The reigning American League Rookie of the Year is 6-foot-8, as Lindor noted.

With reigning NL Most Valuable Player Giancarlo Stanton set to hit next with Judge on second should the attempt have been a success, reliever Neil Ramirez would have been a tight spot with a 6-4 lead.

Even had it been the man who beat Judge out for the 2017 AL MVP award, 5-foot-8 Jose Altuve, the throw from catcher Yan Gomes would still not have pulled Lindor away from the runner. Stanton went on to hit a solo shot off of closer Cody Allen to put the Yankees a run back, a run they could have had without a perfect exchange.

The throw may have even taken Lindor’s tag into the hip of Judge, who was called safe on the play before a managerial challenge from Terry Francona saw Crew Chief Jerry Meals overturn the call in a crisp 28 seconds.

“He did everything,” Lindor said. “I just caught the ball.”

Consider the speed in which Gomes had to do what he had to do, as well. While Judge is only above average with his 28.1 foot-per-second sprint speed (125th of 480 qualified runners), Ramirez is not exactly fast to the plate.

According to BaseballProspectus’s Swipe Rate Above Average (SRAA), a metric that measures each participant’s likely effect on a stolen base attempt, Ramirez ranks in the lower 13th-percentile in that category.

“I think Yan is one of the best in the game at getting the ball down there quick. It couldn’t have been a more perfect throw,” the pitcher said. “It was a perfect storm right there with all that happening, getting us into the last inning with the two-run lead.”

Gomes, meanwhile, has averaged a 1.94 second pop time to second base through 19 stolen base attempts in 2018 according to Statcast, 6th in baseball.

The key for the catcher, he said, was preparation.

“I think you kind of see that kind of slower tempo or slower times to home with a lot of back-end relievers,” he said. “So, you just have to kind of be ready. Got a good transfer, got a good throw there.”

The 30-year-old has put together his best offensive season since his silver slugger season, as well. Gomes doubled home a run in the 2nd inning, and has hit in each of his last six games and eight of his last nine.

The catcher is hitting .269 (28-of-104) since June 1st and his 18 RBI in that span is second most among AL catchers.

His 1.4 WAR entering the night is tied for second among AL catchers, behind All-Star starter Wilson Ramos of Tampa Bay.