Yankees Notebook for Sept. 10

(AP Photo/Kathy Willens)

(AP Photo/Kathy Willens)

Last game: Rays 4, Yankees 3. Hiroki Kuroda turned in his shortest start of the season, and the decisive play in the game turned out to be a fifth-inning tag at home plate in which Stephen Drew was called out on a tag by catcher Ryan Hanigan.

At the Yankees’ urging, the umpires reviewed the call for a possible violation of Rule 7.13, which MLB had clarified earlier in the day via a memorandum sent to all 30 clubs. The call on the field was confirmed, Drew was out, and the Yankees went quietly the rest of the way against the Rays bullpen as the one-run lead held up.

My very quick take on that: Third-base coach Rob Thomson put the blame on himself for sending Drew in that situation, and he’s right, it was a terrible send. Now, Rule 7.13 or not, the throw was coming directly to home plate from left field, so I’m not sure where you’d want Hanigan to set up. It’s a clean baseball play that has worked that way for more than a century, and not to oversimplify it, but … Drew never touched home plate. He should be out, same way he’d have been in 2013, or in tee-ball, Little League or whatever level you want to talk about.

Joe Girardi said that he told his players to run the catcher over in the future. Mark Teixeira was pleased that the home plate collision rule seems to be going back to the way it was in ’13 and prior.

Postseason picture: With 20 games remaining on the schedule, the Yankees (73-69) open play tonight 5 1/2 games behind the Royals (79-64) and Tigers (80-65) for the second Wild Card, also needing to jump the Mariners, Blue Jays and Indians. They’d have to go 16-4 to get to 89 wins. Baseball Prospectus gives the Yankees a 0.7% chance of winning the Wild Card.

Headlines

Masahiro Tanaka threw 45 pitches in a simulated game yesterday at Yankee Stadium, and the organization seems to be getting excited about the idea that Tanaka will be able to return to make at least one start this season. It may not mean much in the standings by then, the way things are looking, but it’d be good for Tanaka’s peace of mind as he heads back to Japan for what the Yankees hope is a normal offseason. If you can’t count on Tanaka to be in the Opening Day rotation for 2015, you’d rather know that for planning purposes now.

The Yankees are adding an Appalachian League affiliate for 2015; say hello to the Pulaski Yankees. Brian Cashman and Reggie Jackson were in Virginia yesterday for the announcement. The Yankees haven’t decided if the Pulaski team will replace one of their two Gulf Coast League clubs or if it’ll be in addition to them. The Appy League could be a good landing spot for prospects who come out of the Draft from high school.

There is no timetable for Brett Gardner (abdominal strain) and Martin Prado (hamstring strain) return to the lineup.

Jamal Collier was at the Yogi Berra Museum for the unveiling of an exhibit honoring Pete Frates, one of the driving forces behind the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge.

Derek Jeter played in his 2,730th career game, tying the New York Giants’ Mel Ott for eighth place all time among Major Leaguers who played all of their games with one team…also ties Ott for the most games by any player for a New York Major League Baseball team (credit: Elias).

They said it

“If I had to do it again, I’d probably do it the other way because of the outcome. It’s over and done with and can’t do [anything] about it, but like I said, just looking at the review, it was kind of hard. As a runner, in your mind, you can tell that what I saw was, there’s nowhere to go. The only other alternative was just old school way, knock him out.” – Stephen Drew

“Just a bad send. 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 pretty quick. I should’ve stopped him.” – Rob Thomson

“They sent out a memo today that you basically can [block the plate] if you have the ball in plenty of time. That’s been in the rule book forever, but you almost have to encourage the runner to run him over there and that’s what they’re trying to get away from. I wish they would just say it’s back to normal and if you go out of your way to run the catcher over, you’re suspended. You know, I almost feel like you have to instruct your runners to run the guy over because every advantage is almost to the catcher now.” – Joe Girardi

“We are in a crucial time right now, we are in must-win situations, and the fact that I couldn’t contribute is disappointing.” – Hiroki Kuroda

Up next

The Rays and Yankees play the second game of their three game series tonight. The scheduled starters are Chris Capuano (1-2, 4.40) for the Yankees and Jake Odorizzi (10-11, 3.84) for the Rays. First pitch is set for 7:05 p.m. ET. Here’s the game preview.

Beat the Streak

I’m going with Brian McCann, who is 3-for-5 lifetime vs. Odorizzi. Current streak is at three after Jacoby Ellsbury homered last night.

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