Sunday, May 25, 2014

Yankees Ells-Bury White Sox In 10 Innings

All right, everyone who thought the Yankees would win a game started by Vidal Nuno, and in which they would score only 3 runs in the first 9 innings, and allowing 3 runs in the 1st inning, after 2 straight losses to a not very good Chicago White Sox team, raise your hand.

You're lying.

Nuno allowed 3 runs on 3 hits in that 1st inning, but after that, he was fine: 6 more innings, no runs, 6 hits, 1 walk. If that had been his total output, I would've been fine with it. His 7-inning total was 3 runs on 9 hits and a walk, and if the Yankees had been no worse than tied when a reliever came in, I would've been fine with that, too.

But over the first 7 innings, ChiSox starter John Danks (not to be confused with former ChiSox reliever Bobby Jenks) allowed only 1 baserunner, a ground-rule double by Mark Teixeira in the 3rd. Actually, he "allowed" 2 baserunners, if you count John Ryan Murphy reaching on an error in the 2nd. It wasn't quite as exciting (if you're a White Sox fan or a Yankee Hater) as Chris Sale on Thursday night, but it was equally effective. Danks tired in the 8th, allowing 2-out singles to Murphy and Brendan Ryan, but got out of it.

Robin Ventura, who played for both of these teams (as well as for the Mets) and is now the White Sox manager, felt just fine in trusting his bullpen with a 3-run lead in the 9th, especially since the Yankees didn't look like scoring any more runs.

And when Ronald Belisario got Derek Jeter out to lead off the 9th, it looked like a safe decision. But Jacoby Ellsbury lined a single to right field. Teixeira struck out, and Alfonso Soriano was the Yankees' last hope. Ellsbury stole 2nd, but neither his run nor Soriano's meant anything, and a Yankee Fan could be easily forgiven for thinking that Strikeout Soriano was going to strike (out) yet again, and end it, at 3-0 to the White Sox.

Instead, Soriano sliced a ground-rule double down the right-field line. Two ground-rule doubles by one team in one game? I don't think I've ever seen that before. Ellsbury scored. 3-1. Then Yangervis Solarte singled home Soriano. 3-2. Ichiro Suzuki drew a walk, sending Kelly Johnson, who Joe Girardi sent in to pinch-run for Solarte, to 2nd.

Then Girardi sent Brian McCann up to pinch-hit for Murphy. This didn't make much sense, as McCann has not been hitting well, and Murphy was the only Yankee to reach base twice so far on the night. Well, this time, Girardi's Binders Full of Strategies got it right: McCann singled home Johnson. Tie ballgame.

Ryan grounded out to end the inning. Dellin Betances came on to pitch, after Matt Thornton had pitched a scoreless 8th. He got a flyout and then 2 strikeouts to send the game to extra innings.

I hate extra innings. If you're going to lose, do it in the regulation 9. Don't make me sit through any more losing than is absolutely necessary.

Brett Gardner struck out to lead off the top of the 10th. Jeter grounded to 2nd. The batter was Ellsbury, signed for his defense, his speed, and his hitting. But he hadn't done much hitting to this point, and what hitting he'd done hadn't provided much power.

Boom. Home run. Only his 2nd of the season (and we're nearly 1/3 done with it).

David Robertson bounced back from the previous night's meatball that Adam Dunn turned into a mammoth loss-into-win walkoff home run. He struck out Alejandro De Aza and Leruy Garcia (not "Leroy"). Adam Eaton singled and stole 2nd, putting the tying run in scoring position, and Gordon Beckham, who usually hits well against the Yankees, was up. Remembering the previous night, some of us got worried.

Gordon Beckham is not Adam Dunn, with 448 home runs. Nor is he Paul Konerko, who was also in the game and is the White Sox' all-time home run leader with 429 (out of a total of 436). He's barely a David Beckham (although he has better hair, and does have 57 homers).

Robertson took a chance on a 3-and-2 count, and threw him a nasty cut fastball. Beckham took a called 3rd strike.

Ballgame over. Yankees win. Theeeeeeee Yankees win!

Yankees 4, White Sox 3. WP: Betances (3-0). SV: Robertson (10). LP: Putnam (2-1).

The series concludes this afternoon. Masahiro Tanaka, coming off his 1st major league loss after 6 wins, starts for the Yankees, Andre Rienzo for the Pale Hose. Then it's off to St. Louis for 3, before coming home to face Minnesota and Oakland.

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