Thursday, September 29, 2016

Teixeira's Slam Walks Off Sox, 5-3

On a misty night in the Bronx, the New York Yankees staved off playoff elimination with a walk off victory over the Boston Red Sox. Rookie Brian Mitchell got the start for New York and was absolutely phenomenal in seven innings of shutout ball, recording his best outing of his young career. On the other side of tonight's pitcher's duel for Boston was righty Clay Buchholz, who tossed six shutout innings but received yet another no-decision. In a sweet ironic twist, the Yankees(like Boston in last Thursday night's game at Fenway) never had the lead until the final batter of the game walked off the opposition with a HUGE homerun that sent the faithful home happy.

Both Mitchell and Buchholz did well to limit the offensive action early on, as both teams combined for just one hit and two walks through the first three frames. Buchholz did not allow the Yankees first base hit, a squibbed infield single by Brett Gardner, until the bottom of the fourth. Mitchell gave up only one hit through the Red Sox's first five innings, a line drive single by Jackie Bradley Jr. in the top of the second, but did walk four men(three in the fifth alone) during that same time frame.

In fact, Brett Gardner was the only Yankee to reach base at all against the crafty Buchholz, gathering the only hit and two walks over six innings against the righty.

Although Mitchell pitched seven stellar shut out innings of work, Adam Warren came on in the eighth and proceeded to serve up the first runs of the night. Sandy Leon began the frame by reaching on a fielding error by second baseman Starlin Castro, advancing to third on a ground-rule double off the bat of Dustin Pedroia. After Xander Bogarts lined out to third for the first out, Warren intentionally walked Yankee killer David Ortiz to load the bases for Mookie Betts. The MVP caliber season continued for Betts as he hit a ground ball to third that hopped over the head of Chase Headley and into left field, scoring two of the three baserunners to give the Red Sox a late 2-0 lead. Warren was lifted for lefty Tommy Layne, who allowed Ortiz to score on a passed ball by Gary Sanchez to extend the Red Sox lead to three.

The Yanks battled their butts off in the bottom of the ninth to get back in the game against the Red Sox closer Craig Kimbrel. After Brett Gardner reached with his second single of the night to lead off the frame, three consecutive walks to Ellsbury, Sanchez and McCann led to the Yankees pushing across their first run of the night, 3-1. Kimbrel was then lifted for right-hander Joe Kelly, who proceeded to get Castro and Gregorius out before serving up a walk-off grand slam to our retiree Mark Teixeira. The longball, a deep blast to dead center, kept the Yankees slim playoff hopes alive as Baltimore also beat Toronto tonight, shrinking New York's "tragic" number to one while simultaneously crowning the Red Sox as AL Eastern Division champs.

The Bombers look to complete the three-game sweep over their rivals tomorrow night; saying goodbye to the retiring David Ortiz, capitulated by a special pregame ceremony prior to first pitch which is scheduled for 705 PM/EST.

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Sorry for the Capatcha... Blame the Russians :)