Well that was a wild game. The Yankees survived a rain delay that knocked out their ace starting pitcher, multiple blown run scoring opportunities early, a blown 4-run lead, and more bad bullpen decision making by their manager to steal the second game of this KC series.
That early lead came against Edinson Volquez, who absolutely sucked last night. Aaron Judge tagged him for a 2-run home run in the top of the 2nd inning and Jacoby Ellsbury hit an RBI double later in the inning. The Yanks loaded the bases with nobody out in the 3rd and got another run on a sac fly. They also didn't get any more runs in that inning, wasted a great chance in the 1st, and left 2 men on base in the 4th. They beat up on Volquez, but they really could have blown things open early.
They didn't, and after a solid 5 innings of 2-run ball from Tanaka and the 1-hour rain delay, they paid the price for it. KC picked up a run in the 6th against Adam Warren on a Lorenzo Cain ribbie double, and another in the 8th on a leadoff walk, stolen base, advance on the throw, and a sac fly. That came after Joe decided to let a gassed Tyler Clippard start the 8th and then replaced him with Dellin Betances after the walk.
No matter. The Yankees loaded the bases on a pair of singles and a 2-out walk in the top of the 10th and Jacoby Ellsbury picked up the go-ahead run on an infield single that deflected off the pitcher. With Warren, Clippard, and Betances used up, Joe had to go to Ben Heller for the save. Heller mucked things up into a bases loaded/1 out situation, and then Joe had to go to Chasen Shreve for the save. Shreve got Kendrys Morales to strike out on 3 pitches, then coaxed a fly ball out from Salvador Perez to end the game. It sure wasn't pretty, but I'll take it.
- Brett Gardner went 2-3 with 3 walks, Ellsbury went 4-6, and they combined to score 1 run in the game. Talk about leaving ducks on the pond.
- That's 13 ducks left on the pond, to be exact. And 2-16 with RISP as a team.
- Big ups to Clippard for his work in getting through the 7th. He had to battle and he threw a lot of pitches, but he got it done. If his night ends there, the game probably never goes to extras.
- Why Joe felt the need to send Clippard back out when he had Betances ready, I'll never know. Why would you want to create a smaller margin for error for your best pitcher and give KC an easy opportunity to steal a base off him, which they did to create the game-tying run, if you could just start Betances clean to open the inning? That run was 100% on Joe. Mind numbing stupidity on some of his bullpen moves lately.