GAME 142: It was not the time for Hiroki Kuroda‘s shortest stint of the season. The right-hander was lifted after 3.1 innings, allowing 4 earned runs on 9 hits. Since manager Joe Girardi is managing every game like it’s an elimination game, he had little choice but to take the ball from Kuroda. Especially knowing that overcoming a 4 run deficit with this offense is a rarity.
No less than 7 pitchers combined to hold the Rays scoreless the rest of the way, but the bats could only produce 3 runs. The Yankees were able to tag their nemesis Chris Archer for 3 runs (all earned), but were held hitless by the Tampa bullpen over the final 2.2 innings.
“It leaves us in a pretty big hole,” Yankees manager Joe Girardi said. “Basically, we have to win every day. That’s the bottom line. We have to win every day. I’ve said all along, we can’t worry about the other teams if you don’t win. And we have to win every day.”
Rule 7.13 Rears Ugly Head
In the 5th inning, Stephen Drew was called out at home plate for what would have been the tying run. From all replay angles, Tampa catcher Ryan Hanigan seemed in clear violation of the rule (where the catcher must provide a “path” to the plate for the baserunner). From MLB.com:
Earlier in the day, Major League Baseball executive vice president of operations Joe Torre sent a memorandum to all 30 clubs clarifying Rule 7.13, saying that umpires had been instructed not to call a runner safe even if a catcher blocks the plate without the ball, as long as the catcher does not impede the runner’s path to the plate.
Say what? Watch the video above and see what you think.
“It’s just tough because when you look at a replay, as a runner, you’ve got no place to go,” Drew said. “The only other alternative is to do the old-school way, try to take him out.”
Hopefully this rule will be revisited in the off-season and everyone can pretend it never happened going forward.
Today in Yankees Baseball History
MEMORY LANE: Those were the days — on today’s date in 1936, the Yankees clinched their eighth American League pennant with a doubleheader sweep of the Cleveland Indians, 11-3 and 12-9. The Yankees finished 19 1/2-games ahead of the Detroit Tigers for the largest margin in team history.
On September 9th, 1953, Mickey Mantle‘s two-run home run off Chicago’s Billy Pierce caps a seven-run fifth inning, as New York wins 9-3 at Yankee Stadium. Returning to center field after the fifth, Mantle is photographed blowing a huge bubble with a wad of gum.
Manager Casey Stengel will publicly rebuke the Mick, who will apologize for the indiscretion. However, Mantle does get an endorsement fee from the Bowman Gum Company.
On September 9th, 1970 the Chicago White Sox selected Steve Hamilton off waivers from the Yankees.
BAD TIMES: On today’s date in 1990, the Oakland A’s defeat New York 7-3 to complete a twelve-game sweep of the Yankees this year. The season sweep is a first for the Yankees.
GOOD TIMES: On today’s date in 1998, the Yankees officially clinched the American League East title, the earliest in American League history, beating the Boston Red Sox 7-5. The Yankees improved to 102-41, 20.5 games ahead of second-place Boston.
Happy 49th Birthday to Todd Zeile! The Van Nuys, CA native played in 66 games for the 2003 Yankees, and also was a member of the Mets in 2000 and 2001, playing in the last Subway (World) Series to date in 2000. His 16 year MLB career ended after a return stint with the Mets in 2004.
SOURCES: TodayInBaseballHistory.com, Baseball-Reference.com