That was the type of game we’ve become accustomed to the Yankees losing this season. They fell behind early, battled back, then pushed their bullpen to the max. The result was a 7-6 win over the Indians in eleven innings Saturday afternoon. A good character win, no doubt. Let’s recap with bullet points, because it’s the weekend:
- Sabathia Struggles Again: It seems CC Sabathia‘s renaissance is over. He struggled for the fourth straight start Saturday, and while he did not give up a homer, he was charged with five runs in 5.2 innings. The Indians were hitting everything hard, even the outs. Sabathia has now allowed at least five runs in each of his last four starts after allowing six runs total in his previous seven starts. You’re still cool with me, CC.
- Two-Out Rally: The Yankees took a 3-1 lead on Didi Gregorius‘ third inning two-run homer — how good as Didi been? goodness — but Sabathia gave it back and then some. The Yanks were down 5-3 in the sixth when Danny Salazar got two quick ground outs. Then the Yankees went to work. They loaded the bases on a single (Chase Headley), an infield single (Rob Refsnyder), and a pinch-hit walk (Alex Rodriguez) before Brett Gardner dunked a bases-clearing triple into the left field corner. Perfectly placed for the 6-5 Yankees lead.
- A Blown Lead: The Indians tied the game against Dellin Betances in the seventh on Jose Ramirez‘s two-strike, two-out single. Betances got him to chase curveballs earlier in the at-bat, but he hung one with two strikes and paid. Jason Kipnis’ leadoff double to right — it probably should have been a single, but Refsnyder took a funny route to the ball — set that rally up. Following that seventh inning, Andrew Miller and Aroldis Chapman combined to throw scoreless eighth, ninth, and tenth innings. And they weren’t done there either.
- What’s This, A Lead?: Give Joe Girardi props: every move he made worked Saturday. He pinch-hit A-Rod as part of that sixth inning rally, and he also replaced Carlos Beltran with pinch-runner Ronald Torreyes following Beltran’s two-out single in the 11th. Brian McCann capitalized with a booming double to right. Torreyes raced around to score all the way from first for the 7-6 lead. No chance Carlos scores on that play. Not even with a healthy hamstring.
- Save, But Not A Save: You think Girardi wanted this game? Even though Chapman had thrown 1.1 innings and 19 pitches, Girardi sent him out for the bottom of the 11th to protect that 7-6 lead. He walked the leadoff man, which was ominous, but he picked him off later in the inning, so no harm was done. Chapman’s 32nd and final pitch of the night was his hardest, a 101.7 mph heater to strike out Mike Napoli. Betances, Miller, and Chapman combined for eight strikeouts in 5.1 innings. Saved by the Big Three.
- Leftovers: Ho hum, another homer for Gregorius. He’s hit five dingers in his last ten games now … three hits each for Beltran and McCann, which is cool. Gardner had two hits and a walk … the top four hitters in the lineup went a combined 9-for-22 (.409) with two doubles, a triple, and two walks … Headley had two hits as well, including a double … McCann said Tony Pena called the pickoff play from the bench in the 11th. He saw something that indicated Kipnis was ready to run … the Yankees got a break when Francisco Lindor ran into Headley in the ninth. Lindor, who represented the winning run, was called out on the play.
Here are the box score, video highlights, and updated standings. Also check out our Bullpen Workload and Announcer Standings pages. The Yankees and Indians will wrap up this series and the first half of the season Sunday afternoon. That’s a regular 1pm ET start. Your pitching matchup is Masahiro Tanaka vs. Carlos Carrasco.
Minor League Update: Sorry folks, don’t have time for a full DotF tonight. Here are the box scores and here’s the short version: Ben Gamel had two more hits, Chance Adams threw six hitless innings, rehabbing Mason Williams had three hits, Mandy Alvarez and Nick Solak each had two hits, and Jeff Degano managed to not walk anyone in an inning of relief.