Yankees: Brett Gardner’s heroics save Gleyber Torres and Chad Green from banishment


“This has to be a joke, right?” is something New York Yankees fans were muttering in June, when the nightmare seemingly refused to end with blown games, nonexistent offense, horrible fundamentals, and many other occurrences you’ve surely never seen before.

Here we are on Sept. 15, wishing anything was a joke at this point. But nothing is. It’s all real. It’s all the worst you’ve ever experienced.

On Sunday night, a Gleyber Torres error at shortstop extended the second inning, which gave Francisco Lindor the opportunity come to the plate with two runners on. He crushed a three-run homer to take the lead, and the Yankees ended up losing the game by one.

Why did they lose? Because reliever Chad Green gave up yet another home run to break the tie in the bottom of the eighth. Lindor was the culprit again.

Green is unpitchable in tight spots at this juncture, that’s no secret. But manager Aaron Boone only has so many options to work with. Sure, he’s could’ve made better decisions this year, but Green has to be used at some point, doesn’t he?

Well, he looked to be turning a corner against the Baltimore Orioles on Wednesday night with a promising 1.1 innings of work. But then Gleyber Torres did this and threw everything off the axis:

Brett Gardner saved Gleyber Torres and Chad Green in the Yankees’ win.

Any reason you didn’t throw to second base there, Gleyber? Perhaps you forgot you were playing second base after the switch from shortstop? Or does it just follow the narrative that you’ve been unable to play adequate baseball for over 150 games? Could be anything, really!

And of course, whenever you force Chad Green to throw more pitches (or, at this point, ANY pitches), he does this:

Austin Hays belted his second homer of the night to give the Orioles a 3-2 lead in the bottom of the eighth, leaving it all up to the Yankees in the top of the ninth to show they had any sort of pulse. By the way, that’s Green’s 14th homer run allowed in just over 75 innings of work this year. Stop pitching him beyond the sixth inning. Thanks.

In the top of the ninth, Luke Voit led off with a walk, which allowed the Yankees to put Tyler Wade on as a pinch runner. Torres came up next and (sort of) made up for his gaffe with a single to center field. That put runners on first and second for Gary Sanchez, who jumped on the first pitch and popped out to center. Great.

Up next? The red-hot Brett Gardner. In the middle of a hard-fought at-bat, the Yankees shockingly called for a double steal and everyone was safe. Whew. Then Gardy, who already had two hits on the night, delivered in dramatic fashion … with a 66 MPH exit velocity.

Bring ’em home!!! That’s a 4-3 lead after it appeared as if the Yankees were going to drop their EIGHTH loss to the MLB-worst Orioles in 2021. Unthinkable. Torres and Green were just saved from back page embarrassment.

What’s funny about the Yankees taking the lead on that hit? Torres 100% should not have been running as far as he did to third base without knowing if the ball would be caught. If it doesn’t drop in, he’s doubled up and the game is over. Looks like his lack of awareness finally paid off … after putting the Yankees in this spot to begin with.

To complete the spark notes, Aroldis Chapman pitched a spotless 1-2-3 ninth and got the save. Yankees win. 3-0 in their last three, with seven more easy ones to go before facing off against the Red Sox and Blue Jays.

Still tied in the Wild Card race. For another day, a shred of hope exists … for a team that had the highest of them heading into 2021.