Yankees outlast Red Sox in 16 as Didi delivers the game winning hit

The Yankees started the second half of the season off last night with a painful loss, walking in the winning run with the bases loaded in the ninth. They had a tough task in front of them on Saturday afternoon, as they were up against the best pitcher in the American League: Chris Sale. Luis Severino had the ball for the Yanks, and despite throwing a gem, he was out dueled by Sale,who went into the eighth inning and struck out 13. Holliday would tie the game in the ninth with a solo home run to send the game into extra innings. With not much action happening in extras until the top of the sixteenth, Didi Gregorius stepped to the plate and drove in the go ahead run, and was followed by two more Yankee runs, as the Yanks won it in 16 innings by the score of 4-1, with the game ending exactly at 10 PM eastern after starting at about 4:10 PM ET. 

Photo Credit: AP Michael Dwyer

After an uneventful first inning inning, Severino got into trouble in the second after surrendering back to back one out base hits that both found their way through the infield. Severino would recover, and get Jackie Bradley Jr. to strike out swinging, and get the next batter to ground out to short to keep the game scoreless.

Gary Sanchez had himself a nice two out double down the third base line in the third, but like Castro in the inning before, he would be stranded in scoring position after Judge struck out for the second time of the day. Severino loaded the bases with two walks and an infield single in the third, and let in the first run of the game on a sacrifice fly off the bat of Mitch Moreland, to make it 1-0. Severino would get the next man to line out to Chase Headley at third to avoid the disastrous inning. Severino would shut down the Red Sox throughout the middle innings, with just the one bad inning on his line.

Photo Credit: AP Michael Dwyer
Sale did his part in continuing to mow down Yankee hitters throughout the day, only allowing two hits and striking out ten through six. The Yanks had a leadoff man on in the seventh, as Starlin worked an eight pitch walk against Sale, but nothing would come of it, and after Severino pitched a perfect seventh, the Yanks would once again have a chance to get on the board in what was still a 1-0 game.

The Yanks would get their first hit since the third inning off a Gardner bloop single, putting the go ahead run at the plate in Sanchez. Sanchez would become the thirteenth strikeout victim, and would be followed by Judge, who would not get to face Sale, who was pulled after striking out Sanchez. 

Photo Credit: AP Michael Dwyer
Judge had to face shutdown closer Craig Kimbrel with two outs in the eighth, and after a grueling ten pitch at-bat which featured six foul balls, Kimbrel won the battle, as Judge flew out to right field to keep the Yanks off the scoreboard headed to the bottom of the eighth.  

To the horror of all Yankee fans, Tyler Clippard was on the mound in the eighth with the Yanks down one, and thankfully got out of the inning without any wild pitches or home runs given up. Clippard kept the Red Sox lead at one, with a little help from a beautiful play by Starlin and Gary to get a baserunner out, sending it to the ninth and giving the Yanks one last chance to avoid their first shutout of the season.

Photo Credit: AP Michael Dwyer
The first batter of the ninth was Matt Holliday, who was 0 for his last 18 before the at-bat, but he would deliver a huge hit for the Yanks. Holliday took a Kimbrel fastball over the monster seats, helping the Yanks avoid their first shutout of the season, and to put the Yankees on the board and tie the game at one. After an error by Bogaerts, Jacoby Ellsbury came into the game to pinch run for Starlin.
Photo Credit: AP Michael Dwyer
Ellsbury stole second base upon entering the game, as the call was confirmed by a challenge. Ellsbury would be added to the list of Yankee runners stranded in scoring position, as the next three batters, including two pinch-hitters, struck out to send it to the bottom of the ninth.

Dellin Betances was the next reliever to come in, looking to work a stress free inning. Betances worked a perfect one, two, three inning, and sent the game in to extra innings,  the seventh extra inning game of the year for the Yanks. The Yanks bats were silent in the tenth,and Chasen Shreve was the next Yankee arm out of the bullpen, and he would struggle. 

Shreve faced two batters, and both got base hits, removing him from the game and bringing on Adam Warren to try and get out of the jam and send it to the eleventh. Warren got a big first out, striking out pinch-hitter Chris Young on a 3-2 slider, getting the first out of the inning. Warren would then get Tzu-Wei Lin to fly out to right field, and would have to get Mookie Betts out in order to extend the game. Warren got Betts to fly out to shallow right, bringing the game to the eleventh inning. 

A four pitch walk to Holliday to start the eleventh inning caused the Red Sox to bring in lefty Robby Scott to face Ellsbury. Ellsbury grounded out to first and in an odd sequence of events, Holliday slid back into first after being forced out at second, and the play went under review to determine if there was interference. The play was ruled not interference, and the game resumed with the Yanks unable to bring the go ahead run across, with the score remaining 1-1. 

Jonathan Holder was the sixth Yankee pitcher to step on the mound, and he would not get off to the start he was hoping for, giving up a base hit to Pedroia and allowing him to advance on a wild pitch in the dirt. Ellsbury would make a nice sliding play in the outfield for the first out of the inning, and Holder would strike out Moreland for the second out of the inning, bringing Hanley Ramirez to the plate. Ramirez would fly out to Judge, sending the game into the twelfth. The twelfth was also uneventful, and the game went into the thirteenth inning. 

The top of the thirteenth would end with Judge getting thrown out on an attempted steal to second, giving the Red Sox yet another chance for their second straight walk off in as many games.  It didn't happen in the thirteenth for the Sox, as Holder pitched his third straight scoreless inning, with the game headed to the fourteenth inning.
Photo Credit: AP Michael Dwyer
The Yankees would get a rally going in the fourteenth, with Ellsbury leading off with a walk and Headley chopping a ball over the third baseman's head, putting runners on first and second with nobody out. Didi would get the chance to deliver the big hit the Yanks needed, but would line out to  Pedroia at second, and would be followed by a Romine fly out, and a Torreyes strikeout, to leave two runners stranded on base and end the inning.

Aroldis Chapman came in to pitch in the bottom half of the fourteenth, trying to improve from his putrid performance the night before. Chapman walked the first man he faced on four straight pitches, but would get the next three men out to send the game into the fifteenth inning, surpassing the five hour mark since first pitch. The fifteenth inning did not feature any runs, as the two rivals prepared to play a sixteenth inning in Fenway, making tomorrows doubleheader even more brutal to think about for both teams and pitching staffs. 

The sixteenth inning begun with an Ellsbury double off the bottom of the monster, putting the go ahead run on second with no one out. Headley followed Ellsbury up with a bloop single, putting runners on the corners, bringing up Didi.  Gregorius would come through for the Yanks, delivering an RBI single into center, giving the Yanks their first lead of the game at 2-1. Romine would follow Didi up with an RBI base hit of his own, making it a 3-1 Yankee lead with still two runners on and no one out. A Torreyes sacrifice bunt and a Gardner intentional walk sent Gary to the plate with the bases loaded and one out and a chance to give the Yanks a big lead. 

Sanchez hit a ball to deep left, but Fenway held it, and it would only be a sac fly for Gary, to extend the Yankee lead to 4-1. Judge would fly out to deep right to end the inning, and give the Yanks a chance to finally end this marathon of a game. Ben Heller came back out for his second inning of work, looking to secure the win for the Yanks against the heart of the Red Sox order. 

Heller shut the door, setting the Red Sox down in order, as the Yanks outlasted their rivals in 16 by the score of 4-1. The Yanks are back at it in what should be a battle of wills in the doubleheader that will be played on Sunday, with both teams likely needing to make some roster moves in order to have some fresh arms and legs. This was a huge win for the Yanks, who would have Allen to five and a half games out of the division lead if they would have lost. Bryan Mitchell and Masahiro Tanaka will be the two Yankee starters tomorrow, with both needing to give the Yankees some innings.


Winning Pitcher: Ben Heller: (1-0, 0.00 ERA): 2.0 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 3 K
Losing Pitcher: Doug Fister: (0-3, 6.75 ERA): 2.2 IP, 4 H, 3 R, 2 BB, 1 K
Notables:
Matt Holliday: 1-6, HR (16), RBI
Didi Gregorius: 1-4, RBI
Starlin Castro: 1-3, BB
Brett Gardner: 1-6, BB 
Gary Sanchez:  1-6, RBI, BB
Austin Romine: 1-2, RBI
Luis Severino: 7 IP, 4 H, 1 R, 2 BB, 6 K
Chris Sale: 7.2 IP, 3 H, 0 R, 2 BB, 13 K

Article by: Matt Luzzi

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