Yanks stagger Saturday after Friday marathon loss
Saturday’s 8-4 loss to the Red Sox had all the trappings of a classic hangover game for the Yankees. Less than 12 hours after they were beaten, 6-5, in 19 innings, the Yankees were back at Yankee Stadium for another joust with Boston and looked very much like a team that was sleep-walking.
Granted, the Red Sox were on the field for the same six hours, xx minutes that the Yankees were Friday night into Saturday morning, but Boston had a major advantage – the uplifting feeling any victory gives a team. When you play a game for that long, you want to end out on top, which the Red Sox did despite allowing the Yankees to tie the score three times.
It was the longest home game (in terms of time) in franchise history and the second-longest overall, behind only their seven-hour, 9-7, 22-inning victory June 24, 1962 at Detroit’s Tiger Stadium. Friday PM/Saturday AM was the Yankees’ longest game (in terms of innings) since a 5-4, 19-inning victory Aug. 25, 1976 over the Twins at Yankee Stadium. It marked the sixth game of at least 19 innings in franchise history. It was the longest game in terms of time for the Red Sox, whose previous longest was six hours, 35 minutes in an 18-inning game Aug. 25, 2001 at Texas. Boston also used 21 players, everyone on the 25-man roster except outfielder Brock Holt and starting pitchers Clay Buchholz, Rick Porcello and Justin Masterson.
The first extra-innings game in the American League this season also was the first extra-innings game between the Yankees and the Red Sox since Sept. 5, 2013, a 9-8, 10-inning Boston victory at the Stadium. It was the longest extra-innings game between the clubs since a 20-inning, 4-3 Yankees victory in the second game of an Aug. 29, 1967 doubleheader at the Stadium.
Yankees manager Joe Girardi used all but four of his players in the game – starting pitchers CC Sabathia, Masahiro Tanaka, Michael Pineda and Adam Warren, the latter of whom was sent home after the ninth inning to be well rested for Saturday’s start. Indeed, Warren pitched fairly well Saturday (one earned run, five hits, two walks, one strikeout in 5 1/3 innings) but had to absorb the loss because of his teammates’ failures with their bats and gloves.
Chase Headley sent the game into extras with a two-out, solo home run in the bottom of the ninth. Mark Teixeira also hit a game-tying home run, in the 16th, by which time the clock had gone past midnight and it was Tex’s 35th birthday. It marked the latest a Yankees player homered in a game since Alfonso Soriano and Jorge Posada both went deep in the top of the 17th inning of a 10-9 victory June 1, 2003 at Detroit’s Comerica Park
Esmil Rogers, the last Yankees pitcher used, went 4 2/3 innings, just one day after working 2 1/3 innings of relief Thursday night against the Blue Jays. Girardi said if the game had done beyond the 19th, Garret Jones would have pitched for the first time since high school. Jones, a first baseman by trade, entered the game as a pinch runner for Alex Rodriguez in the 11th inning and remained in the game as the designated hitter.
Rodriguez was supposed to have Saturday off, but since he did not play the final eight innings of the previous game made his first major-league start at first base and somewhat set the tone of the game by committing an error in the second inning that led to an unearned run off Warren. A-Rod also failed to keep his foot on the bag reaching for an errant throw by Headley for what should have been the third out of the eighth inning when the Red Sox rallied to load the bases and scored three runs on a bases-clearing double by Holt, who had four hits.
The Yankees, who were expected to be stronger defensively this year than last, had three errors in the game and now have eight in the first five games, the most in the league. Catcher John Ryan Murphy had a throwing error and was also charged with a passed ball. Jones in right field with Rodriguez at first base and left fielder Brett Gardner failed to glove catchable balls that fell for run-scoring hits. Shortstop Didi Gregorius inexplicably held the ball instead of relaying home on Holt’s double that might have prevented the third run scored by catcher Ryan Hanigan.
The Yanks did no better at the plate. They had only one hit through the first seven innings off Red Sox starter Joe Kelly, who got himself in trouble only in the second when he threw a wild pitch, walked two batters and allowed a single to Rodriguez, who eventually scored on a sacrifice fly by Gregorius.
Kelly retired the last 17 batters he faced. The streak went to 19 before Gregorio Petit and Gardner singled with two down in the eighth off Alexi Ogando. Both scored on Chris Young’s first home run of the season and the first of six Yankees homers this year that accounted for more than one run.