OJTB: Yankees rally in regulation, beat Cubs in 13 innings
Through eight innings at Wrigley Field on Wednesday afternoon, the Yankees’ bats were anemic, and leading by 2-0, the Chicago Cubs appeared poised to sweep the two-game set. But as has often been the case throughout their history, the Cubs (16-28) couldn’t close the deal.
After rallying to knot the game in the ninth inning, the Yankees (24-21) prevailed, 4-2, with two runs against RHP Jose Veras in the 13th inning.
Veras (0-1; 12.96 ERA) was ineffective on Wednesday. After 2B Brendan Ryan commenced the 13th inning with a single, Veras walked 3B Yangervis Solarte. Then, one out later, the former Yankee unleased a wild pitch, which allowed Ryan to score the eventual winning run. C John Ryan Murphy culminated the rally with a RBI single.
RHP Preston Claiborne was an unsung hero for the Bombers. In addition to throwing 1.2 scoreless innings, Claiborne (2-0; 3.14 ERA) executed a perfect sacrifice bunt against Veras to set the stage for the game-winning wild pitch.
The Cubs wasted another excellent start from RHP Jeff Samardzija, who fired seven shutout innings. Samardzija is now winless (0-4) in 10 starts despite holding the lowest ERA, 1.46, in the majors.
Making his second major league start, RHP Chase Whitley held the Yankees in the game by surrendering one run over 4.1 innings. He was pulled in favor of dominant RHP Dellin Betances with a runner at third base in the fifth.
Betances held the Cubs off the board with another stellar outing. He struck out three over 1.2 perfect innings.
The Cubs took a 1-0 lead on a sacrifice fly by 3B Mike Olt in the fourth inning. Chicago then doubled this edge against RHP Adam Warren in the seventh inning, when CF Emilio Bonifacio brought home PH Ryan Kalish with a safety squeeze bunt. Warren mitigated the damage, however, by inducing SS Starlin Castro to bounce into a 6-6-3 double play.
The Yankees tied the game, 2-2, against RHP Hector Rondon in the ninth. With the bases loaded and nobody out, RF Ichiro Suzuki hit a groundball to short. Trying to turn the double play, 2B Darwin Barney instead yanked the return throw to first base as the tying runs scored.
RHP David Robertson worked around a one-out single in the 13th inning to record his ninth save in as many chances this season.
1) RHP Shawn Kelly, who has been on the disabled list since May 13 with a back injury, suffered a setback on Tuesday and will be shut down indefinitely.
2) With one out and a runner at third base in the fifth inning, Cubs’ 1B Anthony Rizzo was plunked by consecutive pitches from Betances. However, Rizzo swung at both offerings, turning a free base into a pair of strikes. He eventually struck out.
3) Until he singled in his final two at bats, CF Jacoby Ellsbury was hitless in four at bats and just five for his previous 53 (.094) overall since May 4.
4) The Yankees are now 2-1 in extra-inning games this season. Previously, they beat the Tampa Bay Rays by 5-1 in 12 innings on April 20 and lost to the Rays, 10-5, in 14 frames on May 2.
Tuesday: Cubs 6 Yankees 1
1) The pitching matchup, which pinned Yankees’ RHP Masahiro Tanaka against Cubs’ RHP Jason Hammel, was a rematch of the matchup in New York’s 3-0 win over Chicago in the first game of the doubleheader at Yankee Stadium on April 16. In the former contest, Tanaka surrendered only two infield hits over eight shutout frames, while Hammel gave up just three runs on five hits over seven innings.
2) Unfortunately for Tanaka and the Bombers, the rookie hurler endured a mediocre start on Tuesday. Tanaka (6-1; 2.39 ERA) allowed four runs, only three of which were earned, on eight hits over six innings; he struck out seven and walked one.
3) For the first time in nine starts this season, Tanaka failed to pitch into the seventh inning. He did, however, record his ninth consecutive “quality start.” A “quality start” is earned when a pitcher surrenders three or fewer earned runs over a minimum of six innings.
4) Tanaka suffered his first loss of the season. His six consecutive wins to begin his major league career marked the longest such streak by any Yankees’ rookie since Hall-of-Fame LHP Whitey Ford won his first nine decisions in 1950.
5) Hammel (5-2; 2.91 ERA) surrendered only one run on four hits over 5.2 innings. The hurler recovered nicely from a scare in the opening inning. There, LF Brett Gardner commenced the game with a hotshot single off Hammel’s right arm. Hammel appeared to be in pain, and his first toss for the trainers was airmailed to the backstop, but he regrouped and remained in the game.
6) 1B Mark Teixeira drove in New York’s sole run with a sixth inning single.
7) Tanaka and C Brian McCann flashed the leather in the bottom of the fourth inning. With the Cubs leading by 2-0, Tanaka corralled consecutive squeeze bunts to initiate 1-2 putouts at home plate; McCann applied the tags to record both outs.
8) There was a replay conundrum in the bottom of the fifth inning. With one out and nobody on, Rizzo appeared to swing and miss at a 1-2 pitch. Yankees’ Manager Joe Girardi challenged Umpire Lance Barrett’s ruling of a foul ball, but after a delay, the situation was deemed unreviewable. In any event, Tanaka fanned Rizzo on the next pitch.
9) The RBI single by Bonifacio with one out in the third inning snapped the Cubs’ 20.1-inning scoreless streak against the Yankees this season. The Cubs were blanked in both games of the April 16 doubleheader at Yankee Stadium.
The Yankees will now head to the South Side of Chicago for a four-game set against the Windy City’s other team, the White Sox.