Late rally gives Yankees big come from behind win over Orioles

Ivan Nova leaves game with triceps tightness
Yankees acquire Brendan Ryan

Considering everything that’s going on in the wildcard race, this was the biggest and most important game of the season for the Yankees. They were six outs away from being essentially buried in the standings, but they instead rallied for four runs in the eighth and held on for the 7-5 win on Tuesday.

This game won't be going into the wire photo Hall of Fame. (Presswire)
This game won’t be going into the wire photo Hall of Fame. (Presswire)

Too Many Homers Extra-Base Hits
For the first time in exactly four months, the Yankees recorded eight extra-base hits in a game. Seven of the eight led to runs too, with the only exception being Brett Gardner‘s double to leadoff the game. Go figure. Alex Rodriguez — he looks fantastic at the plate, doesn’t he? — started a) the scoring with a booming two-out double into the gap to score Chris Stewart all the way from first in the third inning, and b) the four-run rally in the eighth with a leadoff double into the left field corner. The Yankees had just three hits between A-Rod‘s doubles, including solo homers by Alfonso Soriano and Mark Reynolds.

Not to sound overly dramatic, but that eighth inning rally was pretty close to a season-saver. A temporary season saver, at least. Losing another game to direct wildcard competitor would have pushed the Yankees even further back in the race with another day ticking off the calendar. That would have been bad. Robinson Cano plated A-Rod with a single up the middle to tie the game in the eighth before the really big bats showed up. Soriano hit an opposite field two-run bomb to give New York a two-run lead, then Curtis Granderson and Reynolds hit back-to-back doubles into the left field corner for another insurance run. In the span of 14 pitches, the Yankees went from down one to up three that inning. Most important inning of the season? To date, yes.


A Comedy Of Errors
The Orioles did the majority of their damage in the four-run fifth, an inning that featured way too much defensive hilarity by New York. The inning started when Eduardo Nunez pulled Reynolds off first base on J.J. Hardy’s infield single, but to be fair, it was a very tough play in the hole. I’m not sure he would have gotten him even with a perfect throw. Nunez is pretty terrible on defense but that was far, far from a routine play. It happens.

Later in the inning though, Nunez threw away a slow infield chopper by Henry Urrutia to allow a run to score and put men on the corners with no outs. This one wasn’t routine either but it is a play a big league shortstop should make. Replays showed the throw beat Urrutia but was simply too wide for Reynolds to catch while keeping his foot on the base. The next batter hit a fly ball to left to score another run, though it appeared Soriano’s throw would at least make things close at the plate had A-Rod not cut it off near the pitcher’s mound for whatever reason. The throw might have been off line and I kinda sorta get keeping the trail runner from advancing to scoring position, but it sure looked like there was a chance to get the runner out at the plate. Alas.

Those two (or three of you want to be hard on Nunez) defensive mistakes led to the first two Baltimore runs of the inning. The other two scored when Ivan Nova hung — like, put it on a tee hung — a curveball that Chris Davis hit out to dead center for his 49th homer. It was a no doubter and Nova’s only real mistake of the inning. At the end of the night, Ivan allowed those four runs in six innings of work while throwing only 79 pitches (46 strikes). More on that seemingly quick hook in a second.


Shawn Kelley allowed a run in the eighth inning thanks to a walk, two wild pitches, and a sacrifice fly. Replays showed J.R. Murphy‘s throw beat Davis to the third base bag on the second wild pitch, but David Adams simply whiffed on the tag. Adam Warren tossed a perfect seventh and Mariano Rivera retired all four men he faced without a ball leaving the infield. It’s the third time in his last four appearances that Rivera was asked to record more than three outs in a save situation. He’s retiring in a few weeks one way or the other, so Joe Girardi might as well get his money’s worth down the stretch.

The Yankees struck out 12 times as a team for the second straight game, the first time they’ve done that in back-to-back games since August 2003. A-Rod, Soriano, and Reynolds had two hits apiece and they were all extra-base hits. In fact, those three guys went a combined 6-for-13 with three doubles and three homers. Pretty awesome. Gardner, Cano, Granderson, Nunez, and Stewart had one hit each. Cano drew the only walk, just his second free pass in his last 23 games. Ben’s not gonna have to eat that hat, you guys.

Manny Machado made a rather hilarious (rookie?) mistake during that eighth inning rally, but the Yankees did all their damage before that and didn’t really take advantage. With Reynolds on second following his double, Ichiro Suzuki hit a little tapper back out in front of the plate that Matt Wieters picked up and threw to third. Machado caught the throw, stepped on third, then fired over to first … except there was no force at third. Reynolds was correctly called safe and Ichiro beat out the fielder’s choice. That was a hoot.

The 2013 season in a nutshell: the Yankees won a big game and lost three players to injury. A-Rod (hamstring), Nova (triceps), and Austin Romine (concussion) were all removed with injuries. Joe Girardi didn’t seem too concerned about A-Rod and Nova, but a concussion is a serious injury and they’ll proceed carefully with Romine.

Number milestones: Rivera’s save was his 42nd of the season and 650th of his career. The first number has some neat symbolism, the second … man that’s a lot of saves. The most all-time, I hear.

Box Score, WPA Graph & Standings has the box score and video highlights, FanGraphs some other stats, and ESPN the updated standings. The Red Sox beat the Rays, so the Yankees are three games back of the second wildcard spot in the loss column. They Indians lost as well, so New York is one back of both the Tribe and Orioles. Cool Standings has their playoff odds at 11.7% with 17 games remaining.

Source: FanGraphs

Up Next
The Yankees and Orioles are just halfway through this four-game set. Andy Pettitte and right-hander Scott Feldman will be the pitching matchup in the third game on Wednesday night.

Ivan Nova leaves game with triceps tightness
Yankees acquire Brendan Ryan
  • Dan in Athens

    Rage, rage against the dying of the light…

    • Thornton Melon

      Yes, Yes!

    • Betty Lizard

      In the midst of winter, I found there was, within me, an invincible summer.

      And that makes me happy. For it says that no matter how hard the world American League pushes against me, within me, there’s something stronger – something better, pushing right back.

      • ropeadope

        Sir Walter Scott one day; Albert Camus the next. Most impressive Betty. My only gripe is that it’s far too close to bedtime to make us think this deeply. You asked recently if there are any good existential works. Since you just quoted Camus, might I suggest The Stranger?

        • Kosmo

          “The Stranger“ a very good novel. I haven´t read it in years but I recall the line when the “Stranger“ is in his prison cell, it´s only a paraphrase, he gazed out his cell window ´´at the benign indifference of the universe“. Sartre´ trilogy is OK too.

        • Betty Lizard

          Oh my gosh. I haven’t read The Stranger since I was in high school and I can’t remember it at all. I shall look it up.

          • Kosmo

            I think it´s out of print but if you can find it on DVD Visconti´s film adaptation starring Marcello Mastrianni was as far as my faded memory can serve me a faithful take on the Camus novel. I´m not even sure it was ever released on DVD ??

  • Eddard

    These are the days that try men’s souls. When Chris Davis hit that HR to give the Os a 4-1 lead I thought to myself they’re going to come back and win this because I could feel it in my bones. And now they sit just 2 games back of a postseason spot. That’s the good news.

    Unfortunately, we lost 3 men in the process. Mama said there’d be days like these, she just didn’t say there’d be this many.

  • Improbable Island’s Dirty Midget Whores (formerly RRR)

    Now let’s win these last two fucking games. Do it for the dynasty teams. Do it for Girardi. Do it for Mo.

    But mostly, do it for Lewis and Clark.

    We will not let your examples go in vain, men.


  • Robinson Tilapia

    Nice little win.

    You can tell me it’s over when the magic number is zero. Never say die.

    • Improbable Island’s Dirty Midget Whores (formerly RRR)

      Lewis and fucking Clark never said die.

      • Pasta Stumbling Sojo

        Well, except for Lewis when he committed suicide.

        • Improbable Island’s Dirty Midget Whores (formerly RRR)

          Well, that happened after the trip, so it doesn’t count.

  • YankeeFan

    Cleveland faces Shields tomorrow at 12 too.

  • AllyinCt

    Bite me, Orioles!

  • BigBlueAL

    Every time I try to leave, they pull me right back in…

  • forensic

    Loved that Machado play. I hate when people try to call things like that a rookie mistake though. It’s not like there are different rules for that in the majors vs. the minors and college and high school. It’s the same everywhere. It’s just not being focused on the game and giving the fans something to laugh at.

  • ropeadope

    Mike, the Machado “mistake” occurred not on a Nunez tapper in front of the plate, but an Ichiro bunt fielded by Wieters who threw to third. Reynolds safe at third, Ichiro beats the return throw to first. Scored a fielders choice. No hit or sacrifice for Ichiro (?), and no error on Machado.

  • YankeeFan

    My one concern from the game is Girardi’s unwillingness to go to Cabral versus Davis in the 8th. I understand Cabral is unproven but in very, very limited time he has shown a good fastball and slider combination versus lefties. Given the fact that Logan appears to potentially be done for the season, he needs to find a lefty in that pen and Cabral can be that guy. This Zagurski guy is a complete never been with TERRIBLE numbers. It would have been nice to see Cabral get that opportunity given the 3-run lead and then go to Kelley.

    Hopefully Yankees can find a blowout or two in their favor to Cabral can get more opportunities to prove his worth and become that LOOGY in the pen.

    • forensic

      I can’t wait till we look up at the end of the month and see that Zagurski has pitched more than Cabral, just like we’ve already seen Miller and Daley pitch more than Betances.

      None of this is exactly surprising given what we’ve seen from Girardi (and the franchise as a whole) over the years.

      • I’m a looser baby so why don’t you kill me?

        Yeah this frustrates the hell out of me. I get we’re in a race here, but it’s not like we’re trotting out Tom Seaver ahead of our home grown guys. Girardi’s stubborn insistence on using veteran presents (especially scrap heap specials) over our call ups makes me a little nuts.

    • LarryM Fl

      I agree wholeheartedly. Bad move Joe, Regardless of the outcome.

  • Kramerica Industries

    Don’t look now, but Texas has lost eight of eleven games themselves, and they have backslid now to the point where only 5.5 games separates Texas (WC1) and Kansas City (6th) in the wild card standings. And it’s not like the going gets easier, schedule-wise for them, either; still one more against Pittsburgh tomorrow, a weekend series with Oakland, and they also have to make a four game trek to Tropicana Field too before too long. In theory, you have to expect them to still have enough cushion with AL West dregs to stay afloat, but this is starting to seem a bit too similar to 2012, and this time with an inferior roster. The West is probably gone for them; even if they swept the weekend, Oakland simply has a much easier finishing kick. But if they don’t turn it around soon, they might be in real danger of finishing outside the top two. The only reason their cushion over WC2 is intact is because Tampa Bay has also lost eight of eleven (it’s actually worse than that; 4-12 in their last 16).

    For such a tight race, it really only seems like Kansas City is making a run at it, doesn’t it? Texas and Tampa have missed chances to put their chasers in the dust, while the Indians, Orioles, and Yankees have all missed chance after chance to make the jump into the top two. The end result has the Royals sitting only three games off the cut-off point. Unbelievable.

  • Lukaszek

    Honestly I’d say this was one of the top three wins of the year. The other one would be the Ryan Dempster game (what else?) and the game where Brett Gardner hit a walkoff homerun.

    The two games where Soriano had 6 and 7 RBI would be the fourth and fifth best, mostly because we were coming off a brutal stretch where we couldn’t score runs and it was great to finally see a breakout offense

    • vicki


      • forensic

        That one and the Dumpster game are SO close for me, for very different reasons. I’m not sure I can really pick between the two, but I know it’d be tough for any game to really get up there with those games.

        • forensic

          It really sucks that the Dumpster game was an ESPN game, so it’ll take forever (if ever) for it to air as a Yankees Classic.

      • ropeadope

        Your phone number Ms. V? I’m trying it later just in case.

  • mustang(The Has Beens & Wannabes Bunch 2013)

    The way things are going they probably clinch a playoff spot in Houston and after the game the entire team will be hospitalize after being run over by stampede of wild mustangs.

    • Darren

      There’s really no such thing as a tame mustang, is there? That would be a “horse”, I believe.

      • mustang(The Has Beens & Wannabes Bunch 2013)

        Dude really at 1:30 am

        • Darren

          I was joking around my man! Sorry it didn’t come across that way!

  • Get Phelps Up

    How about this ARod guy?

    Fuck I hope he wins the world series MVP so Selig has to stand there and present him with the trophy. It would be the best thing ever.

    • YES


    • forensic

      That moment would have a permanent spot reserved on my DVR forever.

    • vicki

      me too!

    • I’m a looser baby so why don’t you kill me?

      + all the internets

    • Betty Lizard

      Just bartered the souls of my children to make it so.

  • mustang(The Has Beens & Wannabes Bunch 2013)

    “Playoffs in view! O! the joy!”

    – Captain William Clark, after tonight game.

  • Darren

    We just have to hang tough until we get all the inured guys back!

    • mustang(The Has Beens & Wannabes Bunch 2013)

      and back and back again and again.

  • Matt DiBari

    I wonder if the Yankees’ talking points still say that Nunez has “improved his defense” when that obviously isn’t the case. As bad as ever. Unusable.

  • mac1

    Can’t believe they would give up a valuable asset for Soriano and his sub .320 obp.

    • forensic

      .320 OBP?

      He’d love to be in that range.

      • vicki

        can you imagine if he walked more than once a week?

        • forensic

          If he did I’d eat the hat in my avatar.

  • Jeremy

    If the yanks can get through the next 5 games and not lose ground (maybe even gain a game) I think they will be in great shape. They will face the JAys and Giants while Tampa faces the Rangers and Orioles. I’d like to think we could gain a game or 2 during that stretch. Would sure be fun if the 3 games vs Tampa mean something.