Kenley Jansen and the Los Angeles Dodgers not only escaped a bases-loaded jam in the ninth inning of Saturday’s win against the New York Yankees, they also avoided Players Weekend taking a turn for the worse as Max Muncy shook off a hard slide into second base by Brett Gardner.
With one out and runners at first and second base, Justin Turner fielded a soft ground ball and attempted to start a game-ending double play. However, Muncy was upended upon receiving the throw at second base, resulting in a force out. At least initially.
The Yankees challenged the safe call, while the Dodgers also challenged whether Gardner’s slide was illegal. New York won out as the initial ruling was overturned, leaving the bases loaded. Of course, Jansen responded with back-to-back strikeouts to convert the dramatic save.
Following the win, Muncy assured he was not injured, admitted to some embellishment on the play, and felt Gardner’s hard slide didn’t have intent to harm, as seen on SportsNet LA:
“It’s good. He got me pretty good, but if I’m being completely honest, there might’ve been a little soccer (exaggeration of pain) in there. … For me, in terms of playing the game, I thought it was perfectly clean. In terms of the rule they’ve created, I thought the only thing that was questionable was his hand reaching out and grabbing me.”
Upon Gardner sliding into second base, Muncy laid on his back and appeared to be in significant pain. Gleyber Torres, who advanced to third base on the groundball, attempted to break for home plate to score the tying run while Muncy remained down.
However, umpires ruled the Dodgers were awarded time and instructed Torres back to third. That prompted Yankees manager Aaron Boone to come out of the dugout and dispute the call, and he later said it was potentially reason for the club to protest the game.
As the umpires worked to sort out the confusion, Muncy remained seated as he was surrounded by teammates and checked on by Dodgers manager Dave Roberts and a trainer. He limped around second base before remaining in the game.
Muncy avoiding a injury was paramount for the Dodgers in that he’s emerged as one of their key players the past two seasons. Muncy has yet to make an impact at the plate through the first two games against the Yankees but is on pace to set a new career high in home runs.