Oh Captain, My Captain: Yankees 3, Rays 2

This game looked like it was going to be one of those heartbreaking, walk-off contests that end up making Yankee fans wish they hadn’t tuned in at all but it actually turned out to be a much needed win for the boys from the Bronx.

Sure, poor Shane Greene‘s really strong start was wasted when Shawn Kelley gave up the tying run in the seventh but Dellin Betances came in to pitch the eighth and did Dellin Betances stuff, the Yankees scored their third run in the top of the ninth and David Robertson closed out a game for the first time since Jesus was a boy. Yankees win, the Yankees win!

It was a typical 2014 Yankees game in the sense that they scored two runs early, couldn’t do more than that and then allowed the opposing team to tie the game in annoying fashion late in the game but it was an atypical result because old man Derek Jeter stepped up and knocked in what ended up being the winning run. And from the reaction of the crowd in Tropicana Field, it sounded like a home game for the Yanks.

Brett Gardner set up the scoring chance by inducing an error and overthrown ball to first which placed him on second. I’ll admit I was thinking of how many ways the Yankees were going to screw up having a runner in scoring position with no outs. Can you blame me? You’ve watched this team for 121 games. Anyway, Jeter hit a single, Gardner scored and luckily it was all they needed to win.

Now, I don’t like saying that a win on August 16 is big but this was a big win. The Yankees now have a chance to win the series tomorrow and take two out of three which is what they need to do the rest of the way (winning series) to have any chance of making the playoffs. I know, I know, it’s a pipe dream but stranger things have happened.

Some notes:

  • Martin Prado got the scoring going when he hit a two-run home run off Drew Smyly.
  • Betances picked up his fifth win of the season.
  • Robertson picked up his 32nd save of the season.

Stacey is co-Editor-in-Chief of It's About The Money, co-host of the It's About The Money, Stupid podcast and is a monthly contributor to ESPN's SweetSpot Blog. She is a former contributor at Aerys Sports and High Heat Stats. She has contributed to group projects at Baseball: Past And Present and the Hall of Stats. Her work has appeared in USA Today's Sports Weekly and most recently, she wrote four pieces for Derek Jeter: Celebrating the Yankees' Captain Clutch, a magazine printed by i5 Publishing.