Yankees: Erik Kratz dazzles Red Sox with nasty knuckleball

Yankees third-string catcher Erik Kratz looked better than Deivi Garcia on Sunday, honestly.

Sorry, was that Tim Wakefield, or 40-year-old Yankees third-string catcher Erik Kratz on the mound in relief Sunday?

For the first time in a long time, the Yanks found themselves playing out the string in a September game at Fenway. Having taken the first two games to run their win streak to 10, the boys from the Bronx got beaten badly in the finale, with Deivi Garcia looking mortal for the first time in his career on the mound made famous by his boyhood idol Pedro Martinez.

But there were still innings to eat, and eat them the Yankees did! In came Kratz to pitch in the eighth, and it was as wonderful as the first part of this sentence sounds.

Hours later, the Yanks backed into clinching a playoff berth when the Padres beat the Mariners, and it all felt like karma for letting Erik ‘Padre’ Kratz spin these knucklers from hell.

Louder for the people in the back: Make Erik Kratz Deivi’s personal closer!!

Kratz was all over the place in the best way, but he literally did get the job done. He was a bit more courteous than your typical hurler, warning JD Martinez when he was about to get accidentally drilled by a floater, then giving up a dinger to him as a little gift (a throwback to a time when Martinez could actually hit!).

If Aroldis Chapman had just been that kind and generous with Michael Brosseau, we wouldn’t be talking about a lingering suspension right about now.

In case you thought this wasn’t planned long ago, Ben Heller came out and admitted the team’s known about (and been scared of) Kratz’s knuckler for quite a while.

Not sure why I’d never thought of Kratz in the “blowout position player pitcher” role before yesterday — it was so obvious.

But maybe let’s go another step further? With no off days in the postseason, have we found our new bridge to Chappy?!