Josh Donaldson is at it again.
In the bottom of the fifth of Game 1 of the ALDS against the Cleveland Guardians, the Yankees’ third baseman took a pitch from Cal Quantrill toward the short porch at Yankee Stadium. Donaldson thought it was a home run, so he went into his home run trot.
But the ball hit the top of the wall and back onto the field, not a fan or a seat beyond the wall like Donaldson thought.
Smartly, the Guardians rushed the ball in as a clearly confused Donaldson was caught between first and second.
He was thrown out diving back to first, still wondering what had happened.
After review, the replay confirmed the ball never went over the wall nor did it touch a fan, which would have resulted in a double.
Even first base coach Travis Chapman high-fived Donaldson as he rounded first, certainly doing no favors.
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The Yankees quickly made up for it though. The next batter, Isiah Kiner-Falefa, singled but reached third base on an error by right fielder Oscar Gonzalez. Jose Trevino hit a sacrifice fly into center to give the Yanks a 2-1 lead entering the sixth inning.
Donaldson has made the mistake of an early home run trot several times this year. Back on Labor Day against the Minnesota Twins, he was thrown out at second after he hit what he thought was a two-run home run.
The Yankees never made a public punishment for him, and Aaron Boone has said it’s been discussed internally.