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Yankees third-base coach Phil Nevin defends decision on crucial wild-card play

USA TODAY SPORTS logo USA TODAY SPORTS 10/7/2021 Steve Gardner, USA TODAY
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The New York Yankees will have the entire offseason to mull over what went wrong in Tuesday's wild-card playoff loss to the Boston Red Sox

However, one thing that won't haunt third-base coach Phil Nevin is his controversial decision that resulted in Aaron Judge being thrown out at the plate.

The Yankees trailed 3-1 with one out in the top of the sixth inning when Giancarlo Stanton hit a ball high off the left-field wall. Judge motored toward third on the hit and Nevin waved him home.

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"I know what the situation is. I know what kind of third-base coach I am," Nevin told the New York Post on Wednesday. "I made a play to win the game. It didn’t work out. It was a great baseball play on their side. In a big moment, it didn’t go our way.”

Yankees third-base coach Phil Nevin watches Aaron Judge sprint home in a Sept. 20 game at Yankee Stadium. © Jim McIsaac, Getty Images Yankees third-base coach Phil Nevin watches Aaron Judge sprint home in a Sept. 20 game at Yankee Stadium.

After Judge was thrown out and Joey Gallo popped up to end the inning, Nevin faced a wave of criticism for torpedoing the Yankees rally. 

Among those to weigh in, former Yankees third baseman Alex Rodriguez, who was calling the game on ESPN. 

“You don’t have to overthink that one,’’ he said on the broadcast. “I’m surprised of the magnitude of that mistake in this situation.”

Asked about Rodriguez's comments on Wednesday, Nevin fired back, “The guy has never been in that situation, but thinks he has a good idea of what baseball is in that spot and he’s wrong.”

Nevin credited the Red Sox for making a perfect relay and nailing Judge at the plate. But he maintained his decision was the right one.

“There were a lot of factors,’’ he said, mentioning the field conditions and a low throw from center fielder Kiké Hernandez to shortstop Xander Bogaerts. "I factored in the wet surface, which ended up being the (play's) demise, because it was a quick skip into Bogaerts’ glove. He made a great baseball play and throw home.”

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Yankees third-base coach Phil Nevin defends decision on crucial wild-card play

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