Yankees escape Tampa with a split after 5-1 win over Rays in 12 innings


Source: FanGraphs

After the way things went down on Friday and Saturday, it feels like a minor miracle that the Yankees escaped this four-game series with a split. They needed 12 innings and five (really six counting Vidal Nuno) relievers to beat the Rays 5-1 on Sunday afternoon. The good news is that the Yankees do not return to Tropicana Field until the middle of August, so we don’t have to see this house of horrors for another few months.

I didn’t see any of the game because I was out visiting family for Easter, but I did watch the highlights and flip through the play-by-play. That Dean Anna walk in the 12th inning looked like one hell of an at-bat, so I pulled it up on MLB.tv and sure enough, it was one hell of an at-bat. Nine total pitches, including three foul balls after being down 1-2 in the count. Great job by Anna. I’m so happy intentionally walking the bases loaded blew up in Joe Maddon’s face. By WPA (+.325), the walk was the Yankees’ biggest offensive play of the season by frickin’ far.

Nuno gave the Yankees exactly what they needed in his spot start, twirling five shutout innings and holding Tampa to three hits and two walks. He struck out six. A parade of relievers blew the one-run lead but otherwise held the Rays to three hits and three walks in seven innings. Big ups to Adam Warren, Shawn Kelley, and Preston Claiborne for holding down the fort with multiple innings of work. After the last few days, this collective bullpen performance was very welcome.

From what I understand, there was some controversy on a would-be Brett Gardner triple that was ruled a ground-rule double. I guess Wil Myers trapped the ball against the wall, or something like that. I also understand the infield defense was a mess, and the three errors back that up. The Yankees fell victim to the new (and stupid) transfer rule for the first time in the seventh, when Brian Roberts bobbled the potential double play ball. The new rule says the fielder needs to catch the ball and make a clean transfer for an out. Supposedly that will soon change and go back to the way it was, as it should.

MLB.com has the box score and video highlights, FanGraphs some other stats, and ESPN the updated standings. Apologies for the lack of an in-depth recap, but family and the holiday. You know how it is. The Yankees are off on Monday — Ivan Nova‘s partially torn UCL will be re-evaluated — and will then head to Boston for a three-game series against the Red Sox. Masahiro Tanaka and Jon Lester will start that series on Tuesday night. Fun!

Categories : Game Stories


  1. Jorge Steinbrenner says:

    Folk will talk about Nuno and Anna on here but, really, major kudos to Preston Claiborne, who may have put himself back on the map with this team with one simple appearance. He was starting to get some hard hits that second inning, but kept his composure and pulled through. Hopefully his talking about making mechanical adjustments with Scott Aldred in AAA hold true. Some solid middle relief is needed here.

    • Farewell Mo says:

      Yep. I think (and hope) the Yanks are gonna be all in on Hanrahan if he looked as good as reported.

      • Jorge Steinbrenner says:

        If he looks that good, I hope so. I’m sure there will be competition.

        Very happy to see Claiborne look good, though.

      • forensic says:

        I still just can’t get excited about Hanrahan. Even before his injuries he was struggling and lost his control. Madson is the one injury-reclamation project I would’ve been interested in, but I guess teams seem to be scared by his medicals (or something, I haven’t checked out MLBTR all that much recently, though I did see the stuff on Hanrahan).

    • nycsportzfan says:


  2. Farewell Mo says:

    I can’t understand how Gardner was only awarded 2nd on that play. No friggin way Myers thought he caught that ball so IMO, Gardner ahould have been awarded an inside the park home run since he never stopped running.

    They rewarded Myers attempt at cheating not to mention how the heck can the umps miss that call when the ball clearly hit the wall a foot and a half above Myers glove.

    • Jorge Steinbrenner says:

      Don’t know about giving him all four bases, but I was surprised they didn’t give him third base.

    • n0exit says:

      The UMPS missed the call you can’t penalise Myers for that. Also when the ball was caught I think Gardner was between first and second. I doubt he makes it to third if Myers throws it in as he would have if the UMP had called it right. What amazed me was Gardner’s comment that he thought he might be awarded all four bases. It shows how little the players understand about the system.

      • Farewell Mo says:

        Penalize Myers? I call bullshit if he thinks he caught that ball. He tried to fake out the umps so if he’s caught, it’s his problem. At the very least, Gardner should have been awarded 3rd.

        • n0exit says:

          He tried to fake out the umps so what? That’s an everyday thing. The ump made the wrong call otherwise Myers would have thrown to the cutoff man. I don’t know how you can award Gardner third, he wasn’t even on second when the ball was caught. It would have been a close play but you can’t expect to be awarded third.

          • dalelama says:

            Please adjust your dosage Gardner makes it to third easy. What I can’t understand is why Gardner still doesn’t know how to bunt and insists on doing his best Derek Jeter fielding “statue” imitation when on first late in close games.

          • Looser trader droids Kenobi FotD™ says:

            He pulled up when he thought the ball was caught. Did you even see the angle on him? Running normally he makes it to 3B standing up.

      • Pineda Colada says:

        This! As fans we are kinda blinded by the facts. .If it were a regular play off the wall gardy had a double

        • Common Sense says:

          Gardner was already on second when Myers faked catching the ball. This isn’t the old system, with replay he knew it would be reviewed and he started running in like the inning was over causing irreparable harm to the Yankees position.

          The fact that he knew it wasn’t a catch, and he ran in, while the ball was still in play, combined with the fact that Garner kept running means at the very least it should have been a triple or HR.

          Because he tried to deceive the system, knowing if the call was overturned, it would create chaos, because that is the one play baseball doesn’t know what to do with yet, means the onus is of the Rays.

          • n0exit says:

            The ball is not in play once the Ump calls it out. the review system doesn’t get into moral judgments on a players action. If players were penalized for faking out umpires the game would descend into chaos. Also the umps called out before Gardner reached second. Its a fair call, everyone including the players and reporters thought so.

  3. hogsmog says:

    Oh jeez how amazing would it be if Tanaka just laid the Sox out.

  4. nycsportzfan says:

    We beat Tampa 10-2 and 5-1 around the beatdowns they gave us, and we were in there park. I’d say we leave dead even on the 4game set, which is kinda a loss for Tampa , because it was in there home park.

    Good job Boys.

  5. Yangeddard Solarte says:

    Nuno has earned himself another start. BGDP has proved himself too valuable to remove from the pen. Hasn’t given up a run since Toronto. The return of Robertson will move these guys down a slot where they belong. Thorton is the weak link. He doesn’t seem to do his one job, and he only has one job. With the two aces going vs Boston you have to like our chances to take that series.

  6. forensic says:

    Hasn’t given up a run since Toronto.

    This isn’t even trolling. It’s just factually stupid and wrong. He gave one up on Friday.

    • forensic says:

      Reply fail. That’s what I get for bothering with Eddard…

      • Yangeddard Solarte says:

        Oh please. He gave up one single and then got hit in the ribs by a line drive so he had to come out of the game. Couldn’t finish his job and Thorton/Warren couldn’t hold it. The guy has been near perfect since his rough outing in Toronto, is that better if you’re going to be a nit about it.

        • nycsportzfan says:

          No different then Betances though, as hes getting in deep counts alot, and giving up some hits, and Betances is just giving up walks and no hits. Phelps has actually given up like 4walks to go with those hits. He’s been good, no doubt, but hes made things interesting quite a bit.

  7. forensic says:

    The Gardner play wasn’t ruled a ground-rule double. It was ruled a double on the (reviewing) umpire’s discretion. It sucks, but from field level and 200+ feet away, I can understand the ump not quite clearly seeing it. I do think he absolutely should’ve been given a triple instead though. I just can’t go along with the people who say it should’ve been a homer.

    I think most everything else was beaten to death in the game thread, from Girardi’s bullpen management in the 7th to Thomson’s non-send in the 12th, and so on.

    • n0exit says:

      Based on where Gardner was when the ball was caught can you conclusively say he would have reached third if Myers threw it in. I think it would have been a close play at third and he probably would have made it but its far from certain. Based on that I’m okay with the double.

      • forensic says:

        He was basically at 2nd base already at the time that the ump would’ve signaled safe and Myers would’ve seen it. Yes, I think he would’ve pretty easily made it to 3rd even with a throw in.

        • n0exit says:

          If you watch closely you can see that myers is trotting back when Gardner is at second so what you’re saying is that the umps should have given Gardner third on the hypothetical throw. I cant buy that, it was a good call.

        • dalelama says:

          You are right someone else won’t admit they are wrong. Gardner makes third easy.

          • n0exit says:

            If your definition of easy is a close sliding play at third then yes you are right. Even Gardner said he expected to be given second. The dosage that needs to be adjusted is yours nor mine.

            • Looser trader droids Kenobi FotD™ says:

              You need to stop. HE PULLED UP WHEN HE THOUGHT THE BALL WAS CAUGHT.

              He makes it to 3B standing up otherwise.

  8. Wheels says:

    Oh Orioles.

  9. Mikhel says:

    Happy easter Mike!

  10. Darren says:

    Man it sucks to have no pitching depth. Not even a Wally Whitehurst at Triple A or anything. Yikes. Maybe Nova can try and pitch through it this year?

    • Mikhel says:

      “Not even a Wally Whitehurst at Triple A” hahaha 18 years after he played with the Yanks.

    • Jorge Steinbrenner says:

      There are people actually starting and winning games at AAA, you know.

      • nycsportzfan says:

        Billings? There isn’t a Nova or Wang coming thats for sure, its a bunch of castoffs mostly.

        • Jorge Steinbrenner says:

          That’s what MiLB depth looks like. That’s what #8 starters look like.

          • nycsportzfan says:

            I’m just saying, not much gonna help, as far as starting pitching at Scranton. Alot of times, you’ll have a couple guys that are at least prospects of some sort, like when Nova,Nuno, Warren,Banuelos(before hurt), were there over the past yr or two.

            Not that its a big deal, just the way it worked out for the time being, but there isn’t even any type of prospect in that rotation, albeit, Shane Greene is there, but I don’t know if hes starting?

            I want nothing to do with Billings.

            • Jorge Steinbrenner says:

              How many of those guys were actually 8th or 9th on the depth chart?

              Adam Warren was of help his first major league start? you must not remember that start well.

              Vidal Nuno was about a season removed from the indie leagues.

              Billings has looked very good in AAA. I don’t trust that one bit, but he’s pitching well and probably remains in baseball so that he can make an emergency start and impress. Same with Brian Gordon. Same with Chris Leroux. Sometimes, these guys get a start or two in the majors when injuries take their toll. Sometimes, they actually win that game.

              I don’t think we necessarily get to Billings. I, for some reason, expect this team to be looking outside the org once we get past Nuno and Phelps.

      • TWTR says:

        Pitching is still the strength of this team. They have plenty of placeholders to be the 5th starter, which is what Nova was at this point, and I wouldn’t be surprised to see Banuelos win the spot later on. Yet another reason why I wouldn’t trade him.

        • Farewell Mo says:

          ManBan just got rocked in A ball and the Yanks are gonna baby him all year long especially now with all these repeat TJ surgeries and James Andrews coming out saying he thinks the post op rehab programs are too aggressive.

          I think the earliest we see him is a cameo in September with a realistic shot at a spot in the rotation maybe all star break 2015.

          • n0exit says:

            If he gets to 130 innings this year then has a great spring next year he could possibly replace kuroda with some sort of pitch/innings limit like pineda.

          • TWTR says:

            I will take the under; August of this season. I think/hope that wants he gets some extended IP his stuff/approach will come together more quickly.

            I do agree that the idea that gained some currency a year or so ago, that TJ was becoming no big deal, has been shown to be wrong.

    • Dante's Inferno says:

      Because he was pitching so well before the injury…

    • pat says:

      Didn’t our pitching depth just throw 5 scoreless today?

  11. TWTR says:

    Best win of the season to this point.

    • nycsportzfan says:

      3-2 Sunday night game to take 3of4 from Boston was biggest to me.

      • TWTR says:

        That’s fair, but I think big wins gain increasing importance as the season wears on. More specifically, in this instance, I think the win was so important because they won the first game, blew the second game, may have lost a starting pitcher for the season, and then risked losing a series, and that would have forced them to go into Fenway with a three game losing streak.

  12. Tanuki Tanaka says:

    While I kinda wanted to watch the end there watching the whole game probably wouldnt be good for my psyche after the last two games. There were moments where I wouldnt have the guts to look if I was watching.

    sure feels nice to escape with a win there though. not sure what would happen if it went on longer than 12. not too confident in mitchell.

  13. Kiko Jones says:

    How did I know Joe West was involved in that Myers/Gardner play? Ugh.


    There really is no solid explanation. I can’t stand here and say that the Yankees pitched that great. We just did not have a good offensive day.

    I think that’s the definition of “sore loser” Mr. Maddon.

  14. Wayne says:

    Still don’t like the fact that we put Bryan Mitchell in the bullpen. You can’t expect him to start later in the year if he is reliever for the next few months or weeks. That is the easiest way to hurt a guys arm !!! This is common sense!!! I don’t like the win at any cost mentality and not be concerned for the health of somebody who could be one of your best starters down the road and is only 23 years old and was starting to show dominance in aa especially when you have two aging starters and a third starter who is having tommy John surgery. Girardi’s mentality is shit we got Tanaka And Pineda and we will just sign free agents for everythingelse in the future rotation not to mention our position players are aging and we will Have to sign free agents for that eventually. You know that someone in the rotation is going to get hurt again Bryan Mitchell will be expected to start. Girardi did the same thing to Joba Chamberlain and everybody knows it!!! Vidal Nuno can start or relieve And is 27 And is not a big time prospect They should send Bryan Mitchell back to aa and keep him in the aa rotation. Girardi is stunting this kids growth as a
    starter and will send this guy to Dr. Andrews by seasons end!!!

  15. Wayne says:

    If Bryan Mitchell remains a starter for rest of the year I will shave the hair on my legs!

  16. Mick taylor says:

    Another Joe west screwing . If there hadbeen no instant replayon gardner’s ball, yankswould have lost out on that play. Another Joe west umped series yanks did not win

  17. mike says:

    with Tanaka lining up against Lester,it looks like Tanaka is the no. 1 starter

  18. LarryM Fl says:

    I was hoping for a split of the series after games two and three were completed. Its kind of ironic that two lefties who have mostly sub 90′s fastballs but good command of their breaking pitches, won.

    If Nova is done for a protracted period or the season. I would give Nuno a good shot at the rotation spot. He seems to have the batters off stride, balance whatever enough to keep us in the game.

    I hope they are keeping stats on plays that are overturned and the umpire. They probably are but report card will not be forthcoming is my thought.

  19. mustang says:

    Reading some these comments makes me wonder if we all are even watching the same sport let alone the same team.

    • mustang says:

      Just a few examples:

      “They have no depth pitching…” “the pitching they have in AAA is a bunch of castoffs”

      That non-pitching depth had 14 strikeouts on Sunday. The Rays had to rollout Erik Bedard and Cesar Ramos asks them about pitching depth.
      On the “castoffs” has anyone seen the Yankees infield of late?
      “Give me your tired, your poor, Your huddled masses
      yearning to pitch and play the infield…”

  20. fred robbins says:

    why is Joe West still allowed to do so many big games? he is a callous and self righteous and indignant and hates the Yankees and he is a lousy umpire. I thought there were videos of all their games now and accountability?

    Has Thorton retired any batter yet? I did see him throw a 94-95 fastball to someone a few games agon- but it seems he gives up hits or walks to the one or two batters he comes in to get out.

    He is the worst of the lot in the pen…how do you trust him to come in and get a big out anymore?

    • Jim Is A (Bored) Peckerhead says:

      “but it seems he gives up hits or walks to the one or two batters he comes in to get out. ”

      Yeah, this is where stats help you. You know, people who watch the game and write shit down instead of just trying to remember everything, often incorrectly as you’re doing here.

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