They took their responsibility seriously. When Yankees second baseman Robinson Cano hit a deep fly ball directly to them in the fifth inning, Spivak and Jacobs made certain to pull back their outstretched arms at the last moment, avoiding reaching over the fence for the ball.
"We didn't want to be Jeffrey Maier all over again," Jacobs said, referencing Derek Jeter's controversial home run in Game 1 of the 1996 ALCS.
Added Spivak: "We both had better sense."
To both men, Cano's ball was clearly a double, bouncing off the top of the wall and back onto the field. To the umpires, it was not so obvious. Initially ruling the hit a double, umpires upheld that call only after consulting video replay in the bowels of Yankee Stadium.
Cano was sent back to second base, though Curtis Granderson, who had jogged around to score from first base, was allowed to score.
"I had no clue where it was at," Granderson said of the ball. "I knew it was in that area, but I just relied on [third-base coach Rob] Thompson to tell me what to do. First, he signaled home run, and after that he signaled for me to keep going, so I just did that."
Home run or not, the opposite-field hit typified the type of hitter that Cano has become. Finishing with six RBIs -- he would add a grand slam and another RBI double later in the game -- Cano sent one of his three hits to right field, one to center field and one to left.
"It just tells me he doesn't change his approach," Yankees manager Joe Girardi said. "He's going to take what the pitcher gives him and he knows how to use the whole field. He knows how to hit the ball out all over the ballpark.
"It's one of the things that's made him such a dangerous hitter. It just shows you he's not trying to do too much."