Recap: Yankees Win Walkoff Thriller
It was another game filled with frustration and anger. Missed opportunity, after missed opportunity. That’s been the Yankees’ theme this year, and it didn’t change Friday night. What did change however, was that the Yankees’ opponent, the Chicago White Sox, wasted just as many opportunities as them, thanks to another superb night of Yankees’ pitching. That was what allowed the Yankees to come back from an early 3-0 deficit, and win the game.
The pitching wasn’t very superb at all to begin the night, however. Before he could even record an out, Yankees’ starter Shane Greene allowed a three-run homer to rookie phenom Jose Abreu, that landed just out of the reach of a leaping Brett Gardner in right field. Greene would settle down after that however, throwing four shutout innings from that point on, before departing in the sixth.
White Sox’ start John Danks was solid, going five innings, while allowing three runs, but was unable to protect the lead his team had given him.
The Yankees would be held scoreless until the bottom of the third, when Martin Prado launched a two-run shot to bring the Yankees within one run, at 3-2.
In the bottom of the fifth, after Brett Gardner was hit by a pitch, and Derek Jeter singled, Jacoby Ellsbury lined a double into deep right field, scoring Gardner, and knotting the game at three. That was all the Yankees would be able to get however, as Mark Teixeira grounded out weakly to first, Martin Prado struck out, and Brian McCann would fly out to end the inning. Just one of many missed opportunities for the Yankees, who would go on to finish the night 3-12 with runners in scoring position.
In the top of the sixth, after allowing the first two hitters of the inning to get on, Shane Greene was relieved in favor of Shawn Kelley. Kelley would strike out the first two men he faced. But Alejandro De Aza would line a base hit into left field. White Sox’ third base coach, Joe McEwing would wave Conor Gillaspie home, a questionable decision seeing as he was thrown out at the plate by about 15 feet, thanks to a perfect throw by Brett Gardner. The play would start a little debate about the (terrible) new home plate rules, as the umpires had to check in with Major League Baseball to make sure it was indeed an out. It was eventually confirmed as an out, and the inning was over.
The game would remain scoreless until the bottom of the ninth, thanks to 1.2 scoreless innings of relief by Dellin Betances, and a perfect top of the ninth by David Robertson, rebounding from his failed outing his last time out, against the Astros.
In the bottom of the ninth, Ichiro Suzuki would lead off with a single into center field. Brett Gardner would then successfully sacrifice bunt Ichiro over to second. Derek Jeter then lined would might have been the game winner into center field, but because White Sox’ manager Robin Ventura had his outfielders playing in for Jeter, it was caught for the second out. Jacoby Ellsbury was then intentionally walked, in order to face the struggling Mark Teixeira. Teixeira would come through, after falling behind in the count 1-2, he was able to work his way on base via a walk. With the game on the line, Martin Prado stepped to the plate. After falling behind 0-2, White Sox’ pitcher Daniel Webb, suddenly became erratic, throwing three pitches way out of the zone, to push the count full, at 3-2. This was it. Bases loaded, two out, full count on the hitter. Webb would then fire a fastball down the middle, right where Prado was able to make good contact, and line it up the middle for the game-winning hit, sealing a much-needed 4-3 comeback victory for the Yankees.
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Hiroki Kuroda (8-8, 3.97 ERA), will get the start for the Yankees tomorrow afternoon, against Scott Carroll (5-7, 4.99 ERA). Before the game, the Yankees will be having a ceremony to honor former manager, Joe Torre, and retire his #6. Coverage of the ceremony begins at 12:00 P.M. Eastern Time.