The game ended over an hour ago and I am still sitting here in shock.
Did that game really happen? Did the Yankees not only win a game in extra innings win a game in extra innings in which they were down by as much as four runs in those extra innings? Yep, they did.
I don’t even know how to begin talking about it. So much happened and it took so long, I think I was in elementary school when it started.
In case you don’t remember, two guys, one named Ivan Nova and the other named Travis Blackley, started the game. They don’t really factor into the story of the game though. They both were gone by the fourth inning.
In fact, both managers made a lot of trips to the pitcher’s mound this afternoon. Before it was all said and done, a total of 18 pitchers toed the rubber at Yankee Stadium.
The teams combined for 19 runs and 31 hits. They also used eight pinch hitters and the Yankees used two pinch runners.
One of those pinch hitters, Raul Ibanez, who came in for Casey McGehee in the fifth inning, hit a home run in his first at-bat and the game tying home run in the 13th inning.
Let’s talk about that 13th inning, shall we? The game was tied 5-5 from the seventh inning until that fateful 14th. Freddy Garcia who had come in to pitch in the 10th inning, seemed to run out of gas. Stephen Drew started the inning off with a single and then the wheels completely fell off when Jonny Gomes and Yoenis Cespedes hit back-to-back home runs to put the A’s up 8-5.
The damage wasn’t done.
After Joe Girardi replaced Garcia with Justin Thomas, the Yankees recorded their first out of the inning, a Brandon Moss fly out to left field.
The bliss was short lived.
Chris Carter stepped in and hit a solo shot to left to make it 9-5. Game over, right?
The Yankees were able to scratch and claw their way back into a game that seemed out of reach. Ichiro Suzuki, Alex Rodriguez and Robinson Cano all hit singles to start the inning. With the bases loaded and no outs, Eduardo Nunez stepped in. I jokingly tweeted that I’d run down my street naked if Nunez hit the game-tying grand slam. Thank goodness he didn’t but A’s reliever Pat Neshek threw a wild pitch cutting the A’s lead to 9-6. Then Nunez hit a sac fly to score Rodriguez and make it 9-7.
With Cano at second, Ibanez came up to the plate and blasted a game-tying, two-run home run into the second deck on a 3-1 offering from Neshek.
Tie game. Stacey’s screaming in her house and scaring the cats. (They should be used to me by now.)
Unfortunately, yesterday’s hero, Russell Martin, grounded out and Curtis Granderson, who nearly hit a walk-off to seal today’s win, also grounded out.
Cory Wade came into the game and pitched a hitless, 1-2-3 14th inning to set up one of the more improbable Yankee victories in recent memory.
Eric Chavez led off the inning with a single, Melky Mesa came in to pinch run for Chavez, Jeter bunted Mesa over to second, Ichiro was intentionally walked to put runners on first and second with one out.
Now, when Alex Rodriguez came up, I said to my brother, “I really hope he gets the walk-off so I can yell at anyone who is stupid enough to boo hm tomorrow.” And he almost got it if not for Melky Mesa’s bad footwork. Rodriguez delivered with a single up the middle but Mesa missed third as he was trying to score. Thank goodness he had the wherewithal to go back to third and not get called out.
The bases were now loaded, again, just like they were in the 12th when Derek Jeter popped out to end the inning.
Cano grounded into a force play and Mesa was nailed at home. So with two outs, Eduardo Nunez sauntered up to the plate with another chance to be the hero. And he was! Though it came at the expense of A’s first baseman Brandon Moss who committed the error allowing Ichiro to score the winning run.
Ballgame over, Yankees win!!
I need a cigarette…