Monday, June 30, 2014

With Rob Refsnyder breathing down his neck, Brian Roberts, for the moment, saved the Yankees' night with a solo homerun in the 9th inning with the Bombers down by a run, tying up the score. The Yankees and Rays would go to extra innings, where Tampa Bay beat New York, 4-3, in 12 innings on Monday night.

David Phelps, who came into the game 2-0 with a 2.81 ERA in eight career appearances (four starts) against the Rays, gave up a pair of solo homeruns early in the game that put Tampa up 2-0. The first off the bat of Matt Joyce, who hit one to right field with two outs in the 1st, and then two innings later, in the 3rd, when Kevin Kiermaier lead off the inning with a solo blast of his own to right field.

The two homeruns were the worst parts of Phelps' night, as he wasn't that bad overall on the mound. Tampa only got to him with four hits, two of them dingers, in 5 2/3 innings. He also walked three and struck out four on 101 pitches.

Luckily enough, Phelps didn't have to take the loss because the Yankees' lineup wold come back to tie the game in the bottom half of the 3rd inning.

Ichiro Suzuki was hit by Chris Archer pitch to open the frame, then Brett Gardner hit an RBI triple into the right field corner -- his 5th of the year -- to put the Bombers on the board. The next batter, Derek Jeter, grounded out to the second baseman, Logan Forsythe, to even up the score.

Offensively, both teams were pretty quite throughout the night. If you're a fan of offense, this game was definitely not for you.

Archer, who started on the mound for Tampa Bay, was very impressive, as is usually the case when he starts against the Yankees. Outside of the third inning, they had trouble putting things together against him. He only gave up the two runs on five hits, with two walks and four strikeouts peppered in across seven innings. Because the Yankees tied the game in the 9th, it took away Archer's chance at becoming the first pitcher since Walter Johnson to win his first five career starts against the Yankees.

After working out of a two on, two out situation in the 6th inning when he took over for Phelps, Adam Warren pitched out of another big jam in the 7th, this one with the bases loaded and two outs -- Kiermaier singled, then Warren issued walks to Desmond Jennings and Ben Zobrist. Warren was lucky enough to get out of this one, too, inducing a groundout to first base by Matt Joyce to end the inning.

Dellin Betances, who has been used often recently, started on the mound in the 8th. After getting the first two outs of the inning, he walked Brandon Guyer and Forsythe. Joe Girardi clearly didn't trust him to go any further, taking him out of the game in favor of David Robertson. When I say that Betances has been used a lot lately I mean it -- 109 pitches in 4 outings over 7 days. Girardi is usually good with his bullpen, but his overuse of Betances is something to look at.

The Rays made Betances and the Yankees pay for those two outs walks, as Robertson was greeted by Ryan Hanigan, who promptly singled into center field to score Guyer, putting the Rays up 3-2. Robertson retired Kiermaier, then tossed a scoreless 9th inning.

The Yankees tried putting something together against Rays left-hander Jake McGee in the bottom half of the 8th inning. Jacoby Ellsbury singled with one out, then two batters later, Brian McCann dumped a two-out single into left field, putting runners on the corners. However, Carlos Beltran ended the rally with a pop-out to the catcher behind the plate.

Roberts tied up the game with a solo homerun in the bottom of the 9th inning, sending the game in extra innings, where the Yankees would have a very good chance tow in the game in the 10th inning after Jeter singled to open the inning. He stole second base on a Mark Teixeira struck out, and then McCann struck out to end the inning.

Shawn Kelley tossed two scoreless innings, working out of a big bases loaded jam in the 11th inning by striking out back-to-back hitters to end the frame.

Forsythe drove in the game-winning run in the top of the 12th inning, singling to center field to score Guyer, who walked then stole second base against Jose Ramirez, who was on the bump to pitch the inning, putting the Rays up 4-3. The Yankees, as you would imagine, went down quietly in the bottom of the 12th.

At the midway point of the season, the Yankees are 41-40. Looking to stay above .500, Hiroki Kuroda will face off with David Price on Tuesday night at 7:05 pm.


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