Yankees rally in ninth to grab victory from jaws of defeat against Rangers


Well that was unexpected. What looked like another disappointing, forgettable loss turned into one of the very best wins of the season. The Yankees definitely needed that. The ninth inning, come-from-behind rally resulted in a 5-4 win over the Rangers on Tuesday.

Almost. (Presswire)

Almost. (Presswire)

Big Game Joe
Texas closer Joe Nathan might be the second best reliever of the last decade, but we all know he has a knack for coughing up leads against the Yankees. That’s exactly what he did in this game, and it all started with a rare Vernon Wells walk. A wild pitch to the next batter moved Wells into scoring position and really put the comeback in motion.

With Eduardo Nunez at the plate and Wells at second, the outfielders had to play in to cut off any potential run-scoring bloops. Sound strategy given Nunez’s generally light bat. It backfired through, as Nathan caught way too much of the plate with a pitch that Eduardo lined off the base of the wall in center field. Had the outfielders been playing at normal depth, center fielder Craig Gentry likely catches it at the wall. The wild pitch changed everything.

Nunez’s triple (!) tied the game at four and gave the Yankees a prime opportunity to plate the go-ahead run with one out. Brent Lillibridge earned his pinstripes not with a productive out like a sacrifice fly, but with a regular old base hit to left field to score Nunez and give New York the lead. Solidly hit and well-timed. It was glorious, and it was the team’s fourth win when trailing after eight innings this season. They had one such win all of 2012.

Quick Hook
Although he retired nine batters in a row at one point, Phil Hughes wasn’t particularly sharp on Tuesday night. He allowed four hits (three doubles) and three walks in 5.2 innings, striking out just one. Only two (!) of his 80 pitches generated a swing-and-miss. Hughes exited after allowing two runs in the sixth thanks to some shoddy defense, but he wasn’t long for the game anyway. The Rangers were squaring him up well the third time through the order.

(Ronald Martinez/Getty)

(Ronald Martinez/Getty)

Despite all that, it was a pretty curious decision by Joe Girardi to pull Hughes with two outs in the sixth. Yeah, he did it to get the all-important left-on-left matchup, but the bullpen has been worked hard of late and squeezing one more out from the starter against the bottom of the order seemed like the obvious move. Boone Logan came in and surrendered a go-ahead two-run homer to Mitch Moreland, and just like the 3-0 lead was gone. This was probably one of those no-win situations for the manager – people complain if he goes to the ‘pen, people complain if he sticks to the starter — but it was definitely a weird move that backfired in a huge way.

Extra Bases!
At long last, the extra-base hit-less streak came to a merciful end at 24 innings (!) when Melky Mesa slugged a double into the left-center field gap to leadoff the third. Austin Romine followed that up with a double down the right field line as the very next batter, so the Yankees got extra-base hits from back-to-back batters after going almost three full games without one. Baseball is weird sometimes.

The Yankees scored two more runs on an Ichiro Suzuki infield single in the third (to score Romine) and a Lillibridge fielder’s choice in the fourth. Wells managed to slide around the tag at home on Lillibridge’s little ground ball to second. I thought he was going to be out by a mile, but he managed to sneak in for the third run. Lillibridge was their last base-runner until the start of the comeback rally. It looked rather bleak for a while.

Air Gardner. (Ronald Martinez/Getty)

Air Gardner. (Ronald Martinez/Getty)

Logan allowed the homer and a double to the two batters he faced, but the bullpen was perfect after that. Preston Claiborne (1.1 innings), Joba Chamberlain (one inning), and Mariano Rivera (one inning) combined to retire all ten men they faced. Joba needed some help from Brett Gardner, who made an outstanding diving catch to rob Elvis Andrus of extra bases in the right-center field gap. That was a huge play in retrospect.

Fifteen straight Yankees were retired before Wells drew that rally-starting walk in the ninth inning. Nunez was the only guy with multiple hits and Wells had the one free pass. The Yankees had four extra-base hits in a game — Wells doubled in addition to the Mesa double, Romine double, and Nunez triple — for just the second time in their last 15 games. How does that happen? They still haven’t hit a homer since the game immediately prior to the All-Star break … nine days ago.

In case you were wondering, Mesa became the 46th different player to play for the Yankees this season. They used 45 players in 2012. They should pass 50 players easily, but I wonder if they’ll get to 60? I wonder if that’s every happened before.

Box Score, WPA Graph & Standings
Now that is a fun graph. For the box score and video highlights, go to MLB.com. FanGraphs has the nerd stats and ESPN the updated standings. The Yankees are six back of the AL East lead and three back of the second wildcard spot in the loss column. They need to build off this win and string a few more together, especially since the Rangers are one of the teams ahead of them in the wildcard race.

Source: FanGraphs

Up Next
Same two teams on Wednesday night, when Andy Pettitte gets the ball against the newest Ranger: righty Matt Garza. It’s been a while since the Yankees have seen the former Ray.

Categories : Game Stories


  1. trr says:

    See…..it really can be done!

  2. Dalek Jeter says:

    It looks like an old-timey rollercoaster.

  3. Bob Buttons says:

    Probably the one thing that didn’t make fans revoke their fandom today.
    Oh wait. First eight innings did.

  4. Gonzo says:

    Nice work Lillibridge. This makes up for that great catch when you were with White Sox.

  5. forensic says:

    Good win. They really, really needed this one, especially after having that 3-0 lead. Can’t afford to lose games like that with where they are in the standings.

  6. Improbable Island's Dirty Midget Whores says:

    Hey, I’ll take it.

  7. Kramerica Industries says:

    In the name of total shameless self-promotion



    I’ll be expecting some checks in the male.

  8. Kramerica Industries says:

    Good news, too:

    The Rays won in Matt Garza’s first start against the Yankees in April 2008. In the following ten games Garza started against the Yankees, the Rays lost.

    Lets hope that streak continues, this time with the Rangers, tomorrow night.

    • forensic says:

      Cano hits him very well. The rest of the current lineup, not so much though.

      Hopefully they get to him though, and hopefully Pettitte shows some signs of improvement.

      • Improbable Island's Dirty Midget Whores (formerly RRR) says:

        Cano hits him very well. The rest of the current lineup, not so much though.

        Fixed that for you.

  9. Anderson Silva says:

    So I guess Logan is just unlucky against lefties, right? Lol

    Anyways, great freaking W. Now if only they can get some bats (Soriano for starters) and we can get on a Nice W streak.

  10. forensic says:

    Oh, and as I mentioned in the game thread I was actually fine with taking Hughes out when Girardi did. It didn’t work out (thanks Boone!), but I didn’t have a problem with it. They were hitting the ball hard all night off Hughes and you knew the inevitable back-breaking homer was due to happen anytime.

    As it turned out, Hughes gave his homeritis to Logan instead, but overall I don’t have a problem with the move.

    • Tom says:

      I love to criticize a Girardi move as much as anyone, but I was OK with that as well.

      Since Hughes started becoming more reliant on the slider (/slurve) his splits are terrible against lefties (lefties have an OPS of ~.880 this year against him)

  11. Andrew Brotherton says:

    Other names that could add to that total of 46 different players- Rio Ruiz, Andrew Clark, JR Murphy, Dellin Betances, Tommy Kanhle, Addison Maruszak, Bobby Wilson, and Michael Pineda.

    • Wolfgangs Fault says:

      Adonis Garcia, Jim Miller, couple of others. Andrew Clark’s playing w/a bum shoulder. Leave him where he is & let him have off-season surgery on it and a couple of months in the spring to heal & play it into shape & then I’m fine w/him in the Bronx. If Slade keeps mashing, he could force them to bring him up before the year’s out. A long shot, but I wouldn’t bet against him.

      • Robinson Tilapia says:

        I’ll bet you one million Internet dollars Slade doesn’t come up before a long-shot “hang out in the bigs” call-up in September, if at all this season.

    • Robinson Tilapia says:

      Dellin’s already been up this season.

      I could see Adonis or, maaaaaaaybe, Pineda up, but its clear they think Pineda’s for arm strength to regain this season.

    • Future ACE MannyGeee says:

      Also, you forgot the Ronnier… The Future Hall of Fame Gods shall smite you. a-pox- a-pox a-pox

  12. Stratman9652 says:

    So I’m too lazy to actually verify this, but I’m pretty sure the Yankees haven’t gone on a road trip that didn’t result in at least one player coming back injured.

  13. Improbable Island's Dirty Midget Whores (formerly RRR) says:

    And I’m already looking at options for next year’s show. Really want to find a way to do Joseph. It would be 1500 for the rights to two performances, which isn’t too bad and is also way over what we earned to perform Godspell. Not way over what we purchased for rights, mind you. Over what we earned to perform it, period, including all of the stuff needed to perform a show (sets, costumes, props, front of house, programs, etc.) So it would cost more for the rights than what we earned in a year, basically.

    So, yeah. This will be difficult indeed.

    • forensic says:

      How much is it to buy an Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat? Gotta factor that in too.

      • Improbable Island's Dirty Midget Whores (formerly RRR) says:

        Joseph is a good show to do because it has an extremely flexible set, costumes, and cast. We could probably do it with roughly twenty people – ten more than this year, but hopefully the success of “Godspell” will help us get some more people auditioning.

        As for the coat, I know a lot of High Schools in the area do Joseph, so we can probably get one. We also have a couple of volunteers who offered to help out with costumes, so I’m not too worried about the coat. Licensing and location is absolutely everything right now. The rest, I’m convinced, will come.

        • Improbable Island's Dirty Midget Whores (formerly RRR) says:

          …And let’s not forget that Joseph is mega-popular, something else to take into account big time.

        • forensic says:

          You put on the whole show with only ten people? Including cast? I don’t know anything about Godspell, but that sounds insane. I’m sure you’re cutting it down from what a full company would do, but that’s still crazy.

          • Improbable Island's Dirty Midget Whores says:

            Oh, SHIT no. That would be crazy. Counting the cast, we had at least twenty people. Counting the cast, remember.

  14. Jonathan says:

    Great win with the AAAA Yankees. If we could pull off Ruiz/Young to go with Soriano we might have a chance and it probably wouldn’t cost us a lot in prospects.

    VS LHP

    ARod (Nix if ARod/Youkilis never return)

    VS RHP

    ARod/Young to rest him

    I guess I’d keep Wells over Hafner since he plays the field and still hits lefties and would be great as the 4th OFer who gave one if the starting 3 lefty OFers a day off VS lefties.

    • Jonathan says:

      Wow, I didn’t realize Ichiro hits lefties slightly better for his career and in the last 4 years he’s hit them significantly better in 2 years (including this year) and significantly worse in the other 2. Not sure what I’d do since Wells isn’t good enough to play over Grandy/Gardner overall and Soriano Vs lefties.

    • forensic says:

      Ruiz is a 34 year old catcher who’s been on the DL 5 straight years with mostly lower body/head injuries and is OPS’ing lower than Chris Stewart right now. I know he’s hit far better than anything Stewart could dream of doing in the past, but I’m staying away from him right now.

      • Jonathan says:

        So what’s your plan for catcher then? Chris Stewart is a known commodity. He hits 95% of his hits on the ground between SS and the 3B line and is an offensive zero that’s been worse every single month. Ruiz offers the possibility of immense improvement and due to his slow start and impending FA probably won’t cost much to acquire. He also has a strong defensive and clubhouse reputation. Basically, unless you’re banking on a few lucky weeks of ground balls with eyes from Stewart or are okay with punting a lineup spot, Ruiz is our only reasonable option for an upgrade. If Ruiz sucks then you can always go back to Stewart and it probably won’t have cost us much in production or prospects but at least there’s hope and a chance to get something from the catchers spot. He could at least upgrade Romine. Waiting for Cervelli to maybe come back and maybe continue his months old hot streak isn’t going to cut it. Based on ownership’s recent incompetence I’m guessing we’ll pass on McCann in the offseason too. I also wonder how much Girardi factors into it with his affinity for scrappy backup catchers with no bat, like himself.

        • forensic says:

          Right now my plan for catcher is to ride out the storm (though I’d play Romine more than Girardi is) until Cervelli gets back. At that point, hope Cervelli can give you close to league average offense combined with the improved defense he showed earlier this season.

          It’s not terrific, but it is what it is. Catcher sucks all-around, and Philly isn’t suddenly going to plummet their asking price on Ruiz based on one season like I will plummet my personal opinion of him.

  15. dkidd says:

    9th inning comeback win + kevin mmahat reference = a perfect night

  16. Kosmo says:

    Nunez for the month of July is hitting at a .295 clip. Maybe he´s showing signs of life.

    • forensic says:

      Hopefully, but it’s really just the last four games. Before that he was still pretty terrible. It’s amazing how badly this season has gone for him, both production and health-wise, with the huge chance he had with Jeter out.

      • jsbrendog says:

        i liked how after he went in the dugout after scoring the go ahead run he wetnt up to jeter….you couldn’t obviously see what he said but jeter’s face looked all ominous and then he burst out laughing

        i picture:

        nunez: a couple more games like this for me and it’s derek jeter who?

        or “don’t rush back too fast, i got this”

        i chuckled.

  17. John C says:

    Nice game for Mesa. Hit the ball right on the screws 3 times, got robbed twice.

  18. Robert says:

    Nunez,Romine and Mesa nice game for all three.What do they have in common,Youth!
    In a league thats getting younger the Yanks should look into that strategy.

    • Robinson Tilapia says:

      Mesa’s not exactly a spring chicken anymore.

      • John C says:

        He’s 25. Still plenty young

        • Kosmo says:

          not to nitpick but he´s 26 and far from being a prospect.

          • Mandy Stankiewicz says:

            I think Bernie was called up when he was 23 and became a full time player when he was 25. Not comparing the two as players, just saying everyone coming out of your AAA team isn’t going to be a 19 year old phenom.

      • Dick M says:

        Mesa’s yet another poster child for our lack of player development.

        (I know, I know, you can’t teach plate discipline. BS.)

        • Jim Is A (Bored) Peckerhead says:

          Well since you say it’s BS it must be.

        • Robinson Tilapia says:

          So if we don’t turn everyone in the system into a major leaguer, it’s a lack of development? Please.

          Hey, look, Preston Claiborne just walked by

          • DickM says:

            Preston Claiborne is all you got?

            What position player have we turned into a major league-er in the last 5 years?

            • Robinson Tilapia says:

              Hold up there, flapjack. I just pointed out to a player who’s been effective, out of our farm system, this year, and you immediately dismiss it.

              How about you give me a list of acceptable names to work off of so that we don’t make this mistake again.

              Oh hi, Brett. Nice catch you made yesterday.

    • Evan3457 says:

      Mesa: 94-7 K/BB ratio at AAA.



  19. DickM says:

    Basically a pass for Boone from his boy Mike.

    • jsbrendog says:

      even rivera blows saves.

      boone logan has been off the charts this yr. he is allowed a misstep here or there.

      • Dick M says:

        Not sure what games you’ve been watching. Boone’s a choke artist.

        Honestly, if his advanced metrics are as good as everyone says they are, then now is the time to sell high to some sabermetric GM.

        • Former ACE MannyGeee says:

          Really? Either he sucks, but if he doesn’t suck then we should trade him because he sucks? And the fact that he still is on this team just proves how much he sucks? Did I get all of that right?

          • DickM says:

            It’s really not that hard to get.

            Yes, he sucks, particularly at doing his job, which is getting out lefty hitters in big spots.

            Actually, I take that back. There are times when he doesn’t suck but it’s usually when it doesn’t matter.

            And the fact that he sometimes doesn’t suck might make him look valuable to a sabermetric reliant GM.

            Let me know if you need some help with this.

            • Robinson Tilapia says:

              Again, give us a list of acceptable things to judge him by so that we’re all working off of the same criteria.

              Odds that list reads “1. Suckitude,” and “2. Shitassery?”

        • Evan3457 says:

          1st “blown save” (= blown lead) for Logan this season.

      • Frank says:

        Logan off the charts? You can’t be serious.

        • Former ACE MannyGeee says:

          Truth is somewhere in the middle, fortunately. He is not teh chokiest, but ‘off the charts’ is a little strong. K/9 & BB/9 are career highs, but his HR rate is a career high too.

          Granted, sample size with LOOGYs is a tricky thing, but still

          • Jim Is A (Bored) Peckerhead says:

            Damn not refreshing.

          • jsbrendog says:

            for boone logan he has been off the charts

            career yr in whip, era, era+, k/9 (highest), bb/9 (lowest)and therefore highest k/bb (6.33), about a hit per inning, 1.85 xfip, 3.31 fip.

            all career highs except fip which is .02 higher.

            boone logan has been off the charts when compared to boone logan.

            lefties are hitting .259 off him but strike out more than rh who are hitting .250. what looks rappy is his BABIP to LHB is 400 while only .286 vs RHB

            • jsbrendog says:

              but dont let facts get in the way of your narrative

            • Robinson Tilapia says:

              What about if you compare Boone Logan AND Boone Logan to Boone Logan? Hahaha. Your argument crumbles like a box of cards or something.

            • Jim Is A (Bored) Peckerhead says:

              He was worth .6 f WAR 2 years ago, .5 fWAR last year, and is on pace for between that this year.

              And anyway, since when do we use “off the charts” to describe someone in relation to themselves? I figure if you use “off the charts” you’re referring to his objective performance.

              He’s been very good. He’s been very good more often than not as a Yankee.

      • Jim Is A (Bored) Peckerhead says:

        Logan has been weird. He’s giving up twice as many home runs, but striking out more people and walking fewer.

        Baseball, Jon, you know the deal.

        • jsbrendog says:

          he has only given up 5 hr. while there is time to meet his career high of 7, he has only given up 5 so far. granted in only 26.1 ip but don’t make it sound like he has given up hughesian amounts of hr

          • Kosmo says:

            that is Hughesian if you multiply by 7 or 8 which would be approx the amount of innings Hughes will pitch over 32 starts.

            • jsbrendog says:

              and everyone says phil hughes would be a good reliever. cause he has been. relievers are ppl who arent good enough to start. boone logan has really good statistics in every way except for his hr and maybe things i didnt look at like inherited runners (not sure)

              seriously, wtf do you people want?

              • Jim Is A (Bored) Peckerhead says:


                I like boone logan. Where did I say I didn’t? I’m just quibbling with “off the charts”.

                He’s a great 7th inning guy, I’m glad he’s on the team. I am totally on board with giving him a pass for last night, like I am with any good reliever who pitches poorly once in a while.

                • jsbrendog says:

                  no not you specifically. i just see people bashing him all the time and it’s just insane… like the reason this thread here started

          • Jim Is A (Bored) Peckerhead says:

            You have to look at rates, not totals, if you want to compare this kind of thing. It’s not quite vintage Hughes, but 1.71 hr/9 is not good.

            It’s probably just fluky because of the low # of innings. But you’re the one who said he’d been off the charts this year. I’m just not sure which charts he’s off of.

  20. LarryM Fl says:

    Very nice win, The young guys play well. They stole bases. They made some nice plays on defense. They had some spirit/life. Girardi getting more aggressive on the offense side. I guess he can not wait for a HR. I complained last year with the offense generated by only the HR. The alternative of an offense generated by the base hit is disheartening at times.

    Quietly,as mentioned prior to my comment. Nunez is starting to play better with more confidence. Its about playing time. IMHO if Romine got some more time in the games. He would pick up his hitting.

    Pedroia settled for 7@100. It seems a bit on the low side.

    • Robinson Tilapia says:

      Tough balance, though. I agree, but how much bad production are you willing to put up with until you’re able to see the other end?

      • LarryM Fl says:

        Tough question but as of now the scale is broken!

      • Dick M says:

        Where exactly are we going with Stewart?

        Romine gets 5 ABs a WEEK. Willie Mays couldn’t produce under those circumstances. I just don’t get it. Romine looks pretty good defensively. Offensively, despite his handling, he doesn’t look lost up there. Yet we’ve basically retarded his development for one whole, critical year over Chris freakin Stewart. And I like Stewart but there is no way he should be playing over a younger player who has potential on a team that’s not goin anywhere.

  21. Robinson Tilapia says:

    Hey, Hughes was pitching great until I went to bed around ten. I don’t know what the hell anyone’s talking about here. Where are my meds? I hope Cuso is able to sleep it off today.

  22. Eddard says:

    Eduardo Nuney single handedly saved our season last night. What Nuney did was the best feat any baseball player has ever acheived on 7/23/13. I told people Nuney had turned a corner now that he is fully healthy again and has he ever. Derek Jeter who? Eduardo Nuney that’s who.

    • jsbrendog says:


    • Kosmo says:

      calm down ! you might want to clean up that little puddle you just made on the floor.
      If Nunez can maintain his current level of play then yes finally something encouraging to say about the lad.

    • LarryM Fl says:

      Derek Jeter who? He’s missed believe me. Eduardo has at least two careers to go before Jeter is missed!

    • Jim Is A (Bored) Peckerhead says:

      Instead of a confidence poll for the site, we need an “Eddard’s Opinion of Nuney” poll.

    • Frank says:

      He’s still weak defensively. I’d temper my enthusiasm.

    • Robinson Tilapia says:

      It was the greatest thing done ever on 7/23/13 at 11:59 PM!

      Bullshit. I bet somewhere out there, some guy was banging three women at the same time while getting a high score on “Call of Duty: Zombie Sharknado.”

  23. JLC 776 says:

    Two wonderful points of irony in that game:

    1) Lifting Hughes so the bullpen could give up the HR
    2) Nathan blows the save and Mo gets the save!

  24. Darren says:

    Good to get a good win Amazing when you look back on the lineups of the dynasty. Just one of those guys now would make a HUGE difference.

    Brosius ’98

    And most of all, Bernie. Somehow, having Bernie ’98 would just make everything all better. Where have you gone, #51? He’s not retired!!!

  25. Robert says:

    Would Jeter ala Cal Ripkin consider playing 3B?

    • vicki says:

      incidentally, how cool was arod’s gesture in the 2001 all-star game?

      but seriously, jeter doesn’t have the arm for that.

    • Darren says:

      What would be the point? You gotta at least let him show if he can still handle short. It’s not like we have a young stud SS ready to take over.

      Moving Jeter to third to have Nunez play there would be worse than when the Cardinals shoved Ozzie Smith aside for Royce Clayton.

  26. Robert says:

    If money opens up are any of these free agents worth the Yanks getting in 2014?
    McCann Catcher
    Elsberry OF
    Choo OF
    Morales DH
    J.Johnson Pitcher

    • Kosmo says:

      Absolutely. I´m thinking McCann would seek at least 4 year 52 million deal. Morales would be a very good DH parttime 1B. What about Beltran ?

  27. lee says:

    to be fair, Nathan got really hosed by the home plate ump in the ninth. two of the four “balls” to Wells were in the strike zone — and if Wells doesn’t walk and then end up on second when Nathan slipped and threw the WP, Nunez AB could have ended a lot different. and then the first two pitches to Nunez were clearly strikes, but called balls. you have to wonder if Nathan being squeezed so much was a factor in that pitch to Nunez that caught too much of the plate. seems like the stars were aligned just right for the Yankees in the ninth.

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