Game 29. Yanks win 18-inning marathon 5-4, sweep Cubs.

Yankee Stadium Frieze

For those of you (and that would be most of you) who were NOT up at 2 A.M. watching the end of this one….

Luis Severino, maturing in front of our eyes, went seven strong innings, making only one mistake, but saw his good effort wasted by an Aroldis Chapman bad performance that put the game into extra innings.

The game went on, and on, and on, and on, and on, and…

the Yanks wound up winning it in 18 innings, 5-4, to sweep the defending World Champion Cubs and go to 20-9 on the season.

The Yanks struck first. Ellsbury singled but was picked off first by the catcher. Cubs starter Jon Lester is infamous for not wanting to field his position or throw to first on pickoffs and Ellsbury took a big lead. But that doesn’t mean the catcher can’t try to pick you off. When the catcher threw down, Ellsbury should just have taken off to second. Who knows, maybe the first baseman makes a bad throw. Instead, he was a dead duck.

But Hicks walked, Holliday singled, and they executed a double steal. Good. Have to be aggressive on the basepaths against Lester. Castro’s RBI groundout plated a run.

Severino retired the first eight guys he faced, but gave up a HR with two out and two strikes in the third.

So it stood until the seventh. Good pitcher’s duel.

In the seventh, Castro reached on a two-base error and Judge tripled him in.

Now I have to criticize Girardi a bit. As people who consistently read me know, the only criticism I have of Girardi is that he NEVER squeezes. Ever. With Judge on third and no one out, Didi popped up on the first pitch, Headley grounded to third, and Romine lined to third. They didn’t get Judge in. Luckily it didn’t bit them.

But think of this. Judge, 6’7″, 282 pounds, at third. No one out. You squeeze. If you are the other team’s catcher, how would you feel having Judge barreling down the line at you and you have to tag him out? Know what I’m saying here?

In the eighth, Gardner PH for Severino and singled. Ellsbury followed with a two-run HR (4) to put the Yanks up 4-1. Well, that made up for before.

Chapman struggled in the ninth and was awful.  I HATE bringing in a closer just because “he’s your closer”. Use your damned eyes. If the setup guy is doing well, LEAVE HIM IN THERE. Chapman blew the lead and forced the game into extra innings.

Honestly, it isn’t difficult. Too often managers over-manage and take the easy way out.

I really feel managers lose games more than win them.

One thing about playing in an NL park without the DH—- Aaron Judge was double-switched out of the ball game. Think about that for a minute. I hate NL rules. Sorry.

Finally, in the 18th, Hicks bunt singled and went to second on a throwing error. Torreyes bunted him to third, and Hicks scored when Castro grounded out, beating the play at the plate. The Yanks put more runners on, but Shreve made the last out. The Yanks were out of position players.

In the bottom of the 18th, the Cubs put runners on but the last out of the game was made by the pitcher, since the Cubs ran out of position players and in fact, a couple times in the game, had to PH one better hitting pitcher for a weaker-hitting one, and this was one of those cases.

There were 48 strikeouts in the game, a major league record.

Severino 7 IP, 1 R, 4 H, 1 W, 9 K. Gave up 1 HR, 3.40
Betances 1 IP, 0 R, 1 H, 1 W, 2 K. 0.84
Chapman (BS, ) 2/3 IP, 3 R, 3 H, 2 W, 2 K. 3.00. 1 HBP w/the bases loaded that tied the game.
Clippard 1 1/3 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 0 W, 3 K. 1.35
Warren 2 IP, 0 R, 1 H, 2 W, 2 K. 0.51
Holder 3 IP, 0 R, 1 H, 1 W, 3 K. 2.08.
Shreve (w, 1-0, 0.00) 3 IP, 0 R, 1 H, 3 W, 5 K.

With the bullpens being used so much, I won’t be surprised if a move is made today.

Let’s hope Tanaka throws a complete game victory against the Reds tonight.

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