The Yanks were luckless last night as their slight playoff chances decreased again. The Rays chased our man Hiroki early and had what seemed like a comfortable 4-1 lead in the bottom of the 5th. Yeah, 3 runs ain’t much but this year…So the Yanks get a rally going against Chris Archer, who hit Chase Headley to start the inning. Then comes 4 straight hits. The last of which sent Stephen Drew home where he was tagged out. Didn’t look like the catcher gave him a lane and the play was reviewed but the cockamamie rule was upheld and Drew was out.
“To begin with, just a bad send,” third-base coach Rob Thomson said. “Just an error on my judgment. I take full responsibility for it. We’re all accountable around here. It just wasn’t a good decision. Nobody out, the middle of the lineup coming to the plate, I’ve got to stop him right there. I thought the outfielder was going a little bit further to the line. He came up and squared up (to throw) pretty quick. I should’ve stopped him. … From my perspective, the ruling doesn’t really come into play. It’s just a matter of whether I think that guy is going to be able to score or not, and (the rule) shouldn’t come into play, especially with nobody out.”
Or, to put it another way:
“You can’t make the first out at home,” Joe Giradi said. “It’s a quick decision he has to make. It’s a bang-bang decision — and it’s not an easy job — but you have the bases loaded and nobody out (if he doesn’t send the runner).”
So, here are the Yanks, down 4-3 with runners on first and second, 1 out, for Jeter. And he hits the ball hard–the only well-struck ball he had all night–but it’s right at the second baseman who flips to second to double off the runner.
Couple of innings later, Ichiro singles with 1 out, steals second and then runs to third and looks to have another stolen base, except the batter (Drew) swings at the pitch, lines out to right, and Ichiro is a dead duck. Another double play.