The Yankees appeared to be heading to another frustrating loss and Koji Uehara trotted in from the bullpen to protect a 4-3 lead. Three batters later, Mark Teixeira had tied it with homer and after a Brian McCann (hard hit) line drive out, Chase Headley hit a bomb to the third deck to win the game in walk-off fashion. Headley was met at home to a frenzied celebration and a Gardner Gatorade bath. Uehara is really struggling right now and his big out pitch, the split-fingered fastball, is just not sinking and when that pitch doesn't work, it becomes a batting practice fastball. Living in Maine with the blackout rules, I had to watch the game on NESN and the post game show featured Dennis Eckersley savaging Uehara. Hey, the guy won them a World Series last year, lighten up!
The game to the ninth inning was pretty tough to watch. Stacey Gotsulias was hurling epithets all over Twitter and who could blame her. Red Sox' starter, Brandon Workman, sat in the middle of the plate most of his outing and the Yankees could not put anything together. Derek Jeter was one of the few Yankees that squared Workman up consistently and hit some 1,100 feet worth of fly balls and only one of them fell in safely.
But that one safety for Jeter was a double over the head of Mookie Betts who was playing shallow for Jeter. The double drove in two runs and erased two of the three runs the Yankees were behind at the time. Jeter then scored on a Carlos Beltran single to tie the game, 3-3. In typical 2014 Yankee fashion, that was it for the offense for the rest of the game...until the ninth.
Meanwhile, Yankee starter, Chris Capuano, committed the cardinal sin of not only giving up a home run to David Ortiz in the first inning, but a two-run bomb to the Red Sox' slugger during his next at bat. Another homer allowed to Brock Holt in the fifth ended Capuano's night short of five innings worth of work. In somewhat of a defense for Capuano, Ortiz's first homer and Holt's just barely cleared the short porch in right.
Even so, Joe Girardi is going to have a decision to make on whether to keep running Capuano out there when every game is important.
Anyway, the Red Sox had the lead, 4-3, after the top of the fifth and it stayed that way until the bottom of the ninth.
The outcome of the ninth inning would not have been possible without the work of the Yankee bullpen which pitched four and two-thirds innings of scoreless relief. Rich Hill, Esmil Rogers, Josh Outman, Shawn Kelley and Adam Warren really saved the day.
The Yankees did have more adventures on the base paths, the offense was again frustrating but as the old saying goes, it's not how you start, it's how you finish. And the Yankees finished with two bombs into the night off a clearly struggling relief pitcher.
Oh! And before I wrap this up, something amazing happened in this game. Mark Teixeira innings before his game-tying homer hit a ball to the left side of the infield as a left-handed batter. I do not know if he did it on purpose and it sure looked like an excuse me kind of thing, the fact that Mark Teixeira beat a shift was truly shocking..
Until then, the Yankees kept their fragile hopes alive with a huge bullpen effort and two big swings in the ninth by Mark Teixeira and Chase Headley.