With a 6-1 win over the Rays, the Yankees clinched home-field advantage for the wild card game, likely against the Twins. But the most drama came in the eighth, when a fan sitting behind home plate was ejected from the stadium for trying to tip pitches with Gary Sanchez at bat.
The fan was yelling in Spanish “outside!” to alert Sanchez that catcher Wilson Ramos was setting up on the outside part of the plate. (Ramos said the fan was accurate.) Home plate umpire Dan Bellino called time with a full count on Sanchez, walked to the backstop, and pointed out the fan to security. He was escorted from the stadium.
“Rightfully so. That shouldn’t happen,” Joe Girardi said.
Said Tampa Bay manager Kevin Cash: “The Yankees handled it really well and got him out of there.”
Sanchez said the fan assistance would only have been moderately helpful. Unlike with the Red Sox’s complex pitch-tipping scheme, which earned them a fine and a public dressing-down from MLB, knowing where the ball’s going isn’t as useful as knowing what kind of movement it’ll have. “You don’t know if it’s a slider or fastball,” Sanchez said. “You’ve got to stick your plan.”