Yanks grab victory from jaws of defeat with late rally, beat ChiSox 4-3 in ten innings

Saturday Night Open Thread
Game 49: Tanaka Sunday

Source: FanGraphs

Saturday afternoon’s game had all the look of another loss thanks to a lifeless offense. Didn’t matter who was on the mound for the White Sox, they Yankees weren’t hitting him. Then a late rally against the bullpen and a surprise extra innings homer gave the Bombers their first win in U.S. Cellular Field since 2012. Let’s belatedly recap the 4-3 win:

  • Nuno Recovers: Sixteen pitches into the game, Vidal Nuno allowed three hits and three runs to put the Yankees in an immediate hole. It looked like it would be another short day for the team’s nominal fourth starter, but, to Nuno’s credit, he rebounded very well and took the ball into the eighth (!) inning. He retired 20 of the final 25 men he faced, throwing a season-high 101 pitches. I think he was going to throw 100+ pitches no matter what given the state of the bullpen. Nuno rebounded nicely and held the ChiSox to just those three first inning runs. I’ll take seven innings and three runs from him every time out.
  • Danked: The Yankees somehow had more success against Chris Sale on Thursday than they did against John Danks on Saturday. Sure, they had three hits against Danks, but he chucked eight innings and got nothing but weak contact all afternoon. Mark Teixeira hit a ground rule double in the fourth and that was the only ball they really squared up. Getting dominated by Sale is one thing, but post-shoulder surgery Danks? Yuck.
  • Blownpen: It looked like the Yankees were ready to tease us in the ninth inning again. Jacoby Ellsbury singled against closer Ronald Belisario with one out to give us some hope, but it wasn’t until Alfonso Soriano doubled (driving in Ellsbury) and Yangervis Solarte singled (driving in Soriano) than the comeback really felt like it had some life. After an Ichiro Suzuki walk pushed Solarte into scoring position, pinch-hitter Brian McCann blooped the game-tying single into center field. After doing nothing against Danks, the Yankees scored three in the ninth to tie the game.
  • Extras: If Ellsbury had not hit the go-ahead homer in the tenth inning, I’m not sure how much longer New York could have held out. Adam Warren was unavailable after Friday’s long appearance and Dellin Betances had already pitched for the second day in a row, so Preston Claiborne and Alfredo Aceves were next in line. Thankfully, Ellsbury hit that homer, and David Robertson closed the door in the bottom of the tenth to seal the win. He’s been pitching in high-leverage spots for years now. You didn’t think Friday’s blown save would rattle him, did you? Robertson, Betances, and the Matts (Thornton and Daley) held the ChiSox to one base-runner in three innings, striking out six.
  • Leftovers: Ellsbury had two hits in his final two at-bats, which is hopefully a sign he is ready to break out of his slump. They need him to hit … Brett Gardner and Derek Jeter went a combined 0-for-10 from the one-two spots … the Yankees went 3-for-6 with runners in scoring position and six of the final eleven men they sent to the plate reached base (three of the first 29 reached) … Betances struck out two in his perfect inning and now has 49 strikeouts in 28.1 innings. He leads all relievers in strikeouts (by nine) and has an outside shot at 100 strikeouts before the All-Star break.

MLB.com has the box score and video highlights, FanGraphs some other stats, and ESPN the updated standings. The Yankees and White Sox wrap up this four-game weekend series on Sunday afternoon, when Masahiro Tanaka gets the ball against rookie righty Andre Rienzo. How about a winning streak?

Minor League Update: Here are the box scores for Saturday’s games: Triple-A Scranton, Double-A Trenton, High-A Tampa (G1), High-A Tampa (G2), Low-A Charleston. RHP Zach Nuding threw eight shutout innings, OF Ben Gamel and 2B Rob Refsnyder both had two hits, and homers were hit by SS Cito Culver, 1B Greg Bird, 3B Dante Bichette Jr., and OF Aaron Judge.

Saturday Night Open Thread
Game 49: Tanaka Sunday
  • Tanuki Tanaka

    Rochester 0, Scranton 2
    Pirela 1-4, 2B, RBI
    Sizemore 2-3, HR
    Romine 0-1, 2BB (Threw out a runner)
    Nuding 8IP, 3H, 6K

    Trenton 4, Richmond 2
    Gamel 2-5, 2 2B, RBI
    Heathcott 0-5, 1K
    Segedin 2-4
    Sanchez 1-4, 2B, R
    O’Brien 0-4
    Refsnyder 2-4, 2R, 3B
    Jairo Heredia 4IP 3H 2ER 5K

    Tampa 4, Brevard County 1 (Game 1, 7 innings)
    Cave 0-4, 1R, 1K
    Culver 0-4, 2K
    Bird 1-3, HR
    Bichette JR 1-2, HR, BB
    Dan Camarena 6IP, 2H 1ER 4BB 4K

    Tampa 2, Brevard County 8 (Game 2, 7 innings)
    Cave 1-3, 2B, K
    Culver 2-3, HR, 2R, E
    Bird 1-3, K
    Bichette 0-1, BB, SF
    Kyle Haynes 1.2IP 6H 6R 0ER (Culver’s error in bot 6 made him the loser)

    Charleston 3, Hickory 7
    Paul’s Nephew 1-3, R, BB, SB
    Wade 1-5, K
    Judge 2-4, HR, K
    Mike Ford 0-4, K
    Andujar 2-4, R
    Rookie Davis 4IP 4H 3ER 3 BB(L, 2-4)
    Jordan Cote 3.2 IP 5H 4ER 1K

    • Chip Rodriguez

      You are awesome.

      Thank you!

    • jjyank

      Sweet. Thanks a ton, bro.

    • Bavarian Yankee

      thanks you, good job!

  • AndrewYF

    So, Betances has a shot to go to the All Star game over Robertson. When was the last time a non-closer was selected over his team’s closer?

    • http://www.riveraveblues.com Mike Axisa

      It happens every year. Brett Cecil (over Casey Janssen) and Jesse Crain (over Addison Reed) did it last year.

  • jjyank

    Belated or not, thanks for getting a recap up, Mike. I always love reading these when I miss the game.

    I’m pumped that my days off this week (today and tomorrow) include a Tanaka start. It’s been too long since I’ve seen that man pitch.

  • YankeeFan

    What’s the record for the most strikeouts by a reliever in a single season?

    • http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0038823/ Paisa

      Dick Radatz, 1964 Red Sox, 181

    • http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0038823/ Paisa

      With modern pens though….

      Brad Lidge, 2004 Astros, 157
      Eric Gagne, 2003 Dodgers, 137
      Mariano Rivera, 1996 Yankees, 130

      • 28 this year

        Thanks. There’s a nonzero chance Betances finds himself on that list. He probably won’t/shouldn’t get the kind of innings that Mariano did (probably too many) but his K rate is so high he might have a shot.

      • ropeadope

        1964 is modern to some of us, myself included. I well remember The Monster (Radatz).

        • http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0038823/ Paisa

          Heh. I apologize. It’s just that Radatz through like 160 innings that year out of the pen – something that would never happen today.

          • RetroRob

            I was going to jokingly write the same as ropeadope, but I understood what you meant. It’s not just closers, but even the set-up men now are geared for one inning appearances. The multi-inning reliever is pretty much dead, outside of the long man.

          • ropeadope

            No apologies necessary. It’s crazy how time passes. Individual days can drag on forever, but decades fly by in the blink of an eye. And yes, the bullpen is a different animal nowadays compared to the ancient 60’s.

  • Tags

    So after a slow start Refsnyder is killing the ball, kid could be the real deal.

  • jgibs816

    FWIW, I’m not ashamed to say I’ve been reading RAB for almost a year now and just figured out how to interpret the Leverage Index graph for the first time today.

    • Chip Rodriguez

      Want to explain it to some of us then?

      • 28 this year

        Essentially, the higher the bar, the more important the situation. It contextualizes the situation for inning, people on base, difference in score, etc.

        Close and late = high leverage and thus, why most SABR people say you shoudl use your best relievers in those high leverage situations rather than defaulting to the ninth inning as that may not be the inning with the highest leverage.

        • jgibs816

          Oh. Well then. Maybe I DIDN’T understand it after all. I had a more simplistic approach to understanding it. I (thought I) realized yesterday that the graph represented essentially who had the best chance of winning the game, thus the “WE”-Win Expectancy(??)”. So for instance, up until Ellsbury’s advance to second on defensive indifference in the 9th(?) the White Sox essentially had a 98.8% chance to win the game. From there it went downhill. When Ellsbury hit the go-ahead homer, the White Sox then had only a 17% chance of winning the game at that point. That’s how I interpreted it yesterday anyway.

          • jgibs816

            Here’s the Baseball Reference link that explains in pretty good detail, and (fairly) easy to understand


          • jgibs816

            Ok ok, sorry!! One last point I forgot to mention, if anyone really cares anymore. The Win Expectancy is usually based on the home team. Thus, on the graph for the 7-1 win Sunday, the WE is so low for basically the entire game. I’m done now.

      • mustang


        I stop trying to figure it out the day I moved my cursor backwards on graph and saw a creep Sabermetrics message

    • Masahiro Nakamura

      I have no idea.

  • http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0038823/ Paisa
  • Bavarian Yankee

    Ichiro is really doing a nice job as the extra outfielder this year. Quietly hitting .357 and has a .417 OBP. His BABIP is at a ridiculous .439 though. Nonetheless a 0.7 WAR out of your 4th/5th outfielder after 2 months through the season is pretty nice.

    • FIPster Doofus

      Meanwhile Ellsbury, Beltran and Soriano have combined for a 0.2 WAR. Yikes. Good thing they didn’t trade Gardner away, which a lot of people advocated.

      • http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0038823/ Paisa

        Well it depends what the return for Gardner would have been.

        • FIPster Doofus

          Brandon Phillips was the name bandied about most.

          • RetroRob

            And thankfully rejected. We’d have lost Gardner and never have signed Solarte.

      • RetroRob

        Ellsbury continues to show a fairly substantial negative rating defensively, which impacts his overall WAR. There has been nothing negative about Ellsbury defensively, so it’s probably just noise in the machine, small sample size, etc.

        I’m not sure what my point is here, but it’s often said that even a single season of defensive metrics should not be taken too seriously, yet if these same defensive metrics are built into the overall WAR number, how can we take WAR seriously for a season, let along for 40-50 games?

  • mustang

    Hopefully the A’s can slow down the Jays and the Yankees can take care of their end.