This game started 1:35 pm EST and ended at 5:08. It did not reach the long-awaited four-hour mark (see what I did there) but at least earlier in the game, it was quite tense — jams after jams and #RISPFail after #RISPfail. New York, however, broke through in the three-run fifth to take a 5-3 lead and would not look back, snapping their three-game losing streak.
Farewell (out of rotation)?
This was definitely not a banner series for Yankee starters. Adam Warren pitched 4.2 IP, allowed six hits, three earned runs, three walks and struck out five. The only positives from that line are that he struck out five in 4.2 IP and that he didn’t allow any more runs, keeping the Yanks in the game. His outing was the best that a Yankee starter tossed this weekend, so, how about that.
Also the thing about Warren is that he is probably the odd man out of the rotation if they go with a five-man rotation when Ivan Nova returns. I would honestly prefer having Warren stay and CC Sabathia be the odd man out because, well, Sabathia honestly hasn’t been a good pitcher. But because of the obvious reasons – a lot of which that has to do with the contract – I don’t see Girardi placing Sabathia out for Nova. Oh well.
Nova recently threw a nice outing at Triple-A and it seems like a matter of time before he comes back. If this was indeed Warren’s last start, he’ll head to bullpen with 64.1 IP, 55 hits allowed, 22 walks, 38 strikeouts and a 3.78 ERA. Not too shabby numbers for a starter, really – especially considering the slow start he had.
Yankees were 2-for-12 in RISP today. That is not good. A 5-3 win is a win but if the Yankees capitalized on earlier opportunities, not only they would have had a less stressful win but also Warren would probably have had the opportunity to go at least five full innings to pitch for a win.
In the second inning, Yankees had the bases loaded with no outs – Stephen Drew, Didi Gregorius and John Ryan Murphy had all reached with singles. Mason Williams came to bat and squibbed a ball down to 1B Chris Davis. Davis threw to make a force out at home. Welp. Brett Gardner came up next – after a torturous nine-pitch battle, Brett managed to line one to the outfield … right at Adam Jones. The run did score on a sac fly but it was far from the worst case scenario for the Orioles. 2-2 tie. Moreover, Chase Headley struck out swinging to end the inning. That was one of the most stressful one-run-scoring innings I’ve ever seen.
The Yankees had another golden opportunity on third inning. With one out, Mike Wright plunked Mark Teixeira. Garrett Jones followed it up with a single to make it runners in corners with one out. And, without fail, the next two hitters – Drew and Gregorius, popped out to end the threat. Ugh.
By the way, Mike Wright had a lot of trouble throwing strikes and putting hitters away. He was leaving pitches up and some of his arm actions on changeup pitches were obviously slowed-down – yet the team didn’t break through until after he left in the fifth (with whopping 104 pitches thrown in 4.0 IP !) and speaking of which…
Top of the fifth, Wright loaded the bases for the Yanks with no outs … with three walks. Buck Showalter sub’d in Brian Matusz, who hadn’t pitched since May 31, and he was a bit rusty with the first batter, Garrett Jones. Yankees tied the game when he walked with the bases full. 3-3.
Things seemed like it was heading towards another #RISPFail outcome when Matsuz went on to strike out both Drew and Gregorius. But John Ryan Murphy refused to go down quietly – on the third pitch of the at-bat, Murphy drilled a liner past Manny Machado’s glove for a 2-RBI double. Finally! That gave Yanks a 5-3 lead and the score would never change.
In the fifth inning, with New York leading 5-3, Adam Warren allowed a single to Jimmy Paredes and, later, walked Chris Davis to put two runners on with one out. While he did strike out Nolan Reimold to make it two outs, Joe Girardi decided not to take the chance letting generally-ineffective righty Warren to face a lefty Travis Snider. Chasen Shreve came into relief and went on to induce a fly out to get out of the inning. The lefty went on to toss a 1-2-3 sixth as well, which was a big stress reliever after a slow-paced drama it was for the first five innings.
You know who was really impressive today? Justin Wilson. He tossed two perfect winnings, striking out three along the way. In the seventh inning, coming in to relieve Chasen Shreve, the Orioles had Delmon Young pinch-hit to face the lefty. Wilson fired three straight fastballs down the middle – and Young swung and missed at all of them! Wow, I mean, that was some kind of statement the lefty made right there. When he can put the pitches in the zone, he’s very hard to hit. Some of us wondered if Dellin Betances will come in during the eighth to try for a four or five-out save. Instead, Wilson had a very clean eighth to reduce Betances’ workload to just an inning.
And, of course, Betances came into pitch in the ninth. And, again of course, he earned a save. He did allow a five-pitch walk to Machado and had to face Matt Wieters as the game-tying run … but the Oriole catcher didn’t have much of a chance. Dellin struck Wieters out in four pitches to seal the Yankee victory.
A-Rod went 0-for-4 today. He’s still five hits away from 3,000th hits so unless if he goes 0fer for a long while, I assume he’ll get that milestone either in Miami or in Bronx. That’s just me saying it with fingers crossed, by the way.
Teixeira drove in a run in the first with Gardner on first for his 47th RBI of the season, which leads the AL and good for fifth in the entire ML (behind Giancarlo Stanton, Bryce Harper, Paul Goldschmidt and Nolan Arenado). I say this again and again: I enjoy Tex’s age-35 season revival. All hail gluten-free diet.
Box score, WPA, standings, highlights
The Yankees will head to Miami to face the Marlins on their own field for two games. If you, like me, have somehow managed to sit through the whole three-and-half of this game, take a break from staring at screens (or not) and have a less stressful rest of Sunday!