Girardi's questionable bullpen decisions cost Yankees another game in late innings

After losing two straight games to the Angels, the Yankees continued their west coast road trip, visiting the owners of the worst record in the American League, the Oakland Athletics. Rookie Jordan Montgomery got the start for the Yanks, attempting to follow up his back to back impressive starts. In what was a wild back and forth game, the Yankees were forced to turn to Giovanny Gallegos in the 10th inning. With a one run lead, he blew his first save opportunity of his career on a walk-off single by Khris Davis.
Photo Credit: Ben Margot | AP


The Yanks were in business early after a leadoff double by Brett Gardner and a base hit by Aaron Judge, putting runners on first and third. Following a Starlin Castro strikeout and Gary Sanchez walk, Didi Gregorius stepped to the plate with the bases loaded and two outs. Didi would go down in the count 0-2 and fly out to right field to end the threat, leaving the bases loaded.

The A’s were on the board first in this one, when Jed Lowrie took a Montgomery breaking ball deep to left field to make it 1-0 after the first inning. The A’s were once again threatening in the second inning, as two consecutive hitters reached base with two outs. The number nine hitter Adam Rosales was up next, and wasted no time, as he ripped the first pitch he saw down the third base line for a two run double to make it a 3-0 game after two.

In the third inning, Montgomery found himself in a difficult situation once again. After getting the first out of the inning, Lowrie came to the plate for the second time of the game. Lowrie hit a soft line drive down the line in right field, causing Judge to dive for the ball, only to see the ball go past him and to the wall, as Lowire cruised into third with a triple.  Montgomery would bail his fellow rookie out however, as he got the next two batters out as the score remained 3-0 headed to the fourth.

After a Sanchez single, a Headley walk, and a wild pitch, the Yanks had yet another opportunity to get on the board with Chris Carter at the plate with two outs. Carter worked the count to 3-2, but struck out looking on a pitch that was low and should have been ball four, but nevertheless the Yankees were still scoreless after four.

Montgomery settled in after his rough start, but the problem was Gray, who had a shutout through five innings in this game. Gray gave up three hits in the first two innings, but was close to untouchable from innings three through five, striking out four in the process. Gray would run back into trouble in the sixth however, as the Yanks loaded the bases for the second time of the game.

Chase Headley added to his hot June and came through for the Bombers, as he punched a ball past the shortstop for a base hit, scoring Castro and Sanchez, and making it a 3-2 game. The Yankees were not done, as Carter was the next man up, and smacked a 3-2 pitch into left field for a RBI single scoring Gregorius, tying the game, and knocking Gray out of the game. Sean Doolittle came on in relief, and got Austin Romine and Gardner out to keep the game tied.

Montgomery was on cruise control working in the sixth, until Yonder Alonso launched his 17th home run of the year to dead center, giving the A’s the lead back at 4-3. Montgomery exited the game with two outs in the sixth, in what was an overall shaky performance, and was relieved by Chad Green who got the first man he faced to fly out to left, keeping the score at 4-3 after six.

The Yanks got back even in the seventh. Ryan Madson was the second pitcher to come out of the Oakland bullpen, and came on with already one out in the inning.  After getting Judge out, Starlin singled to left and stole second base, his first stolen base of the season. Stealing second put Gary in a good spot to tie the game, and he did. Sanchez smoked a double over the center fielder's head, tying the game for the second time in as many innings. Didi would hit next and strike out leaving Gary on second, with the score remaining tied.

Oakland would respond, starting the bottom of the seventh with a pinch hit base hit and sacrifice bunt, putting a runner on second. It wouldn't take long for that runner to come home, as Chad Pinder took the first pitch he saw from Green right up the middle for an RBI single, giving the A’s the lead right back at 5-4 at the end of seven innings. The Yanks would yet again answer in the top of the eighth. With one out, Carter took a John Axford offspeed pitch up in the zone deep to left field and gone, his seventh homer of the year, and tying the game for a third straight inning.

Tyler Clippard came on to pitch for the Yanks in the bottom of the eighth, and had another rough appearance. He got an out, but also surrendered a hit and a walk, forcing Joe Girardi to bring in Dellin Betances with runners on first and second in a tie game.

Betances walked the first batter he faced to load the bases, and Matt Joyce was the next hitter, who grounded out to second and just beat out the double play ball, allowing Alonso to score from third to give the A’s the lead for the third straight inning. Betances would strike out the next man he faced to send it to the ninth with the Yanks down a run…….

...and for the fourth consecutive inning, the Bronx Bombers answered. After a Starlin double, Gary drove him in with an RBI single up the middle, his third hit of the night and making it a 6-6 game. Sanchez would leave the game after sliding into second awkwardly after his stolen base, and Aaron Hicks would also leave the game with an undisclosed injury. The score would remain 6-6 as Carter struck out with two men on to end the inning, giving the A’s a chance to answer back as they did in the three previous innings.

Dellin Betances came back out for the bottom of the ninth. and despite letting up a hit and a walk, and hitting a batter to load the bases, Betances escaped by striking out Matt Chapman, who was making his MLB debut, to send the game to extra innings. Betances threw a season high 39 pitches over his one and two thirds innings of works.

Gardner got it started in the tenth with a one out base hit, and Rob Refsnyder followed that up by beating out an infield single with Gardner advancing to third. Judge would come to the plate and work a walk to load the bases and bring up Starlin, who lofted a fly ball to right field, scoring Gardner for the sac fly and giving the Yankees their first lead of the game. Matt Holliday would pinch hit for Ronald Torreyes and strike out, keeping the score at 7-6.

Giovanny Gallegos got the ball in the bottom of the tenth looking for his first career save. After getting the first two batters of the inning, the next two both got hits, and after an intentional walk to Lowrie, the bases were loaded for Khris Davis. Davis hit a blooper in between Castro and Gardner, and Starlin could not make the tough play, as the ball hit off his glove and scoring the tying and winning run and giving the A’s the victory by a score of 8-7.

Winning Pitcher: Liam Hendriks (3-1, 3.99 ERA): 1.0 IP, 2 H, 1 R (1 ER), 1 BB, 2 K
Losing Pitcher: Giovanny Gallegos (0-1, 7.15 ERA): 0.2 IP, 3 H, 2 R (2 ER), 1 BB, 1 K
Notables:
Starlin Castro: 3-5, 2B, 3 R, RBI, K
Gary Sanchez: 3-3, 2B, R, 2 RBI, 2 BB
Chase Headley: 2-3, 2 RBI, 2 BB, K
Chris Carter: 2-5, HR (7), 2 RBI, R, 2 K
Jordan Montgomery: 5.2 IP, 7 H, 4 R (4 ER), 1 BB, 5 K, 2 HR
Sonny Gray: 5.1 IP, 8 H, 3 R (3 ER), 3 BB, 6 K
Jed Lowrie: 3-5, HR (8), 2B, RBI, R, K
Yonder Alonso: 2-5, HR (17), RBI, 2 R, K
Khris Davis: 1-5, 2 RBI (walk-off single in 10th), BB, 2 K


Article By: Matt Luzzi

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