Wednesday, July 23, 2014

I never thought baseball could be this bad.

As the clock struck midnight, Chase Headley, who was not even at the stadium for the first pitch of the game, smacked a walk-off single into left-center field to send the Yankees and their fans home with a 2-1 win over the Texas Rangers nearly five after later in 14 innings.

Jeff Francis made his long-awaited Yankees debut after being acquired by the team about two weeks ago, and took home the win after pitching a scoreless 14th inning.

It was pretty amazing that this game lasted as long as it did, because the Rangers are terrible at baseball and in no way deserved to win this game. With that said, the Yankees hadn't scored a run in 18 innings before tying the game on an RBI single in the 13th, so it's not like they should have won either. But in the end, the team with the most runs wins, and it was the Yankees in this one.

Another Chase, Chase Whitley, started for the Bombers and delivered a decent quality start. He pitched six shutout innings, giving up seven hits while striking out six and walking none. The Rangers never actually put a serious scoring threat together against Whitley; Robinson Chirinos doubled in the 5th, and that was really as close as they got.

Whitley opened the 7th inning on the mound, but Adrian Beltre singled off of him, and that's where Joe Girardi went to the bullpen. He brought in Matt Thornton for a second straight night to face Leonys Martin, who was out after a two-strike bunt foul. Adam Warren then came in, also for the second straight night, and recorded the final two out of the inning.

Dellin Betances worked a scoreless 8th, striking out a pair of hitters. Then David Robertson retired all six batters he faced in the 9th and 10th innings to keep the game scoreless.

The Yankees had a great chance to win the game in the bottom of the 9th inning after Derek Jeter hit a one-out double then the Rangers intentionally walked Jacoby Ellsbury to get to Carlos Beltran, who, naturally, hit into a double play to send the game to extra innings. The Yankees, again, had a pair of runners on in the 11th after Brett Gardner and Jeter walked ahead of Ellsbury with two outs, and he grounded out to end the frame.

The Yankees' best wasted chance of the game came in the 12th, when Beltran opened with a single then moved to second on a wild pitch. Brian McCann "singled on a shallow fly-ball to left field" when it was actually another dropped fly ball on a McCann popup. Ichiro Suzuki sacrificed both runners over, then the Rangers walked Brian Roberts to face Francisco Cervelli with one out and the bases loaded. Cervy ripped a ball to third base, as Beltre snagged it for the out, then Headley grounded out to end the inning.

Texas broke the scoreless tie in the 13th inning when JP Arencibia kicked off the inning with a solo homerun off of David Huff, who pitched two innings. It pretty much seemed like the game was over at that point.

The Yankees, though, tied the game in the bottom half of the inning. Gardner opened with a double, Jeter moved him to third with a bunt, then Ellsbury singled home Ellsbury to make it a 1-1 game. The Yanks were then forced to bring in Francis, the last pitcher in their bullpen. So you know this game had to end quickly, or else Ichiro was going to pitch.

Roberts hit a one-out ground-rule double in the bottom of the 14th, followed by a single from Cervelli, setting up runners on the corners for Headley, who ended the game with his first hit has a Yankee.

The Yankees and Rangers will continue this four-game series on Wednesday night with David Phelps facing Yu Darvish at 7:05 p.m. ET.


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