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


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. 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.


  1. Tanuki Tanaka says:

    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

  2. AndrewYF says:

    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?

  3. jjyank says:

    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.

  4. YankeeFan says:

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

    • Paisa says:

      Dick Radatz, 1964 Red Sox, 181

    • Paisa says:

      With modern pens though….

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

      • 28 this year says:

        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 says:

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

        • Paisa says:

          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 says:

            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 says:

            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.

  5. Tags says:

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

  6. jgibs816 says:

    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 says:

      Want to explain it to some of us then?

      • 28 this year says:

        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 says:

          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.

      • mustang says:


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

    • Masahiro Nakamura says:

      I have no idea.

  7. Bavarian Yankee says:

    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 says:

      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.

      • Paisa says:

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

      • RetroRob says:

        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?

  8. mustang says:

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

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