Clutch hitting wins the game for the Yankees in 10

The New York Yankees looked to avoid getting swept in Cleveland in Sunday afternoon’s bout with the Indians.  The Yanks went with the opener today and sent Chad Green to the mound to face off against Cleveland’s Shane Bieber.  It took almost 4 hours and 10 innings to get it done, but the Yankees left Cleveland with a 7-6 win over the Indians.

Photo Credit: David Dermer | AP

There were no runs scored in first inning, but Brett Gardner started a Gardy Party in the second.  He lifted a ball just over the wall in right for his ninth home run of the season.  Gardy invited Clint Frazier to the party too, who was on first base by way of a single. That single by Clint Frazier was the beginning of a tremendous two-out rally and Shane Bieber could not get off that mound fast enough. 

DJ LeMahieu delivered yet again with a runner in scoring position for his 41st RBI of the year and Luke Voit then ripped a double to the wall that brought in two runs.  Shane Bieber ended his day giving up five runs on five hits and two walks; all with two outs.  AJ Cole replaced him to get the final out of the inning. The Yankees led 5-0 as the top of the second came to a close.

For a moment it looked as if Chad Green was going to experience the same misfortune Bieber just had. But fortunately for Yankee fans, the results weren’t nearly as treacherous.  It took him 35 pitches in total, but he finally got the last out without giving up a run.  Admittedly, Green is one of the most frustrating pitchers for me to watch, but when he gets guys to swing through his fastball, it’s a beautiful sight.  His day as the opener was done after 2 scoreless innings.

Cleveland reliever, Nick Goody, found himself in trouble in the top of the fifth.  The Yankees had runners on the corners with 2 away when the Indians looked to former Yankee-Great, Tyler Clippard to get them out of the inning.  He did just that, but on a questionable call.  It didn’t appear that Cameron Maybin went around on the strike three call, but nevertheless, the Yankees left two on in the inning and their lead remained at five runs.
The opener proved to be very effective for the Yankees today.  Chad Green only gave up 1 hit through two innings and Nestor Cortes followed up by pitching three perfect innings; nine up, nine down.  Tommy Kahnle did not share the same success, however.  He gave up four runs on four  hits, two of which were homers.  The Indians put four on the Yanks and closed the lead to one run.

Adam Ottavino got the call for the seventh inning.  With one away, Ottavino got behind in the count on Jake Bauers.  Bauers got the green light on a 3-0 pitch and smashed the ball 430 feet.  His seventh home run of the year tied the game at five runs apiece.

The score remained tied all the way up until the ninth inning.  The Yankees were able to get after the side-arming righty, Adam Cimber.  Voit reached on a single and Gary Sanchez doubled him over to third.  After an intentional walk to Gleyber Torres to load up the bases, Clint Frazier stepped to the plate with one away.  Clint had swung a hot bat to this point, hitting a single and a double to his credit.  He worked the count full and ultimately lifted a sacrifice fly to left-center.  It was truly an excellent at-bat for Clint Frazier.  He was behind in the count, worked it full, and drove in the go-ahead run in a big spot. 

Yankee closer, Aroldis Chapman, came in for the save.  The first two hitters of the inning got on. Aroldis was able to pop up the bunting Jake Bauers for the first out.  The second out of the inning was much louder.  Pinch-hitter, Kevin Plawecki, drove the ball deep to left, but it stayed inside the ballpark and Brett Gardner was able to get underneath it.  Chapman then got Francisco Lindor to ground to short, but Didi whiffed on the grounder.  He botched it into the outfield, E6.  An incredibly tough break for Chapman and the Yankees who would have otherwise won the game.  Instead, the Indians scored on the error and sent the game to extra innings.  The plus side is free baseball, I guess.
In extras, Cameron Maybin slapped a double to center and ultimately scored on an Aaron Hicks RBI double.  The Yankees were now three outs away from a victory in Cleveland, but the bullpen was very thin since the Yankees rolled with the opener today.  

Stephen Tarpley got the nod in the tenth for his first MLB save opportunity and came through in a big way.  He struck out the side and the Yankees closed the series out with a win.  They ultimately concede the series to the Indians 2-1, but today’s victory was a strong showing of perseverance by the team.  The win today will jumpstart them into tomorrow’s game as the face off against the Mets for a two-game subway series. 

Recap by: John Messina


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