Nail Biter — May 10, 2019: NY 4 Tampa Bay 3

The Yankees went back to the partial “master plan” for the second night in a row and it worked again! Domingo German with a good 5-inning start, and then the vaunted ballpen came in for 4 shutout innings. And the Yankees mustered “just enough offense” for the 4-3 win (the part of the plan that is partial as the Yanks await Aaron Judge, Giancarlo Stanton, and Didi Gregorius to form the heart of a bazooka lineup.)

It was a duel of 1st place Tampa vs 2nd place NY — the Yanks 1.5 games back of Tampa — in the dome in Tampa where the Yanks have a hard time winning. And it was a game that had Yankee fans biting their nails for the duration. With the win, the Yanks are now 23-15; the Rays are 23-14.

Matchup of MLB’s Two Top Winning Pitchers

It was also a matchup of the Major League’s two win leaders — Domingo German came in 6-1; Tyler Glasnow at 6-0. The Yanks jumped on Glasnow in the 1st — loading the bases with nobody out. But he struck out Clint Frazier and you started to fear the Yanks might not score.

But a passed ball scored a run, and a single by Gleyber Torres plated another — Yanks 2 Tampa 0. Miguel Andujar hit into a double play to end the inning.

How Many Runs Should the Yankees Have Scored?

Some fans on Twitter wished the Yanks had gotten more than the 2 runs that inning off Glasnow after they had bases loaded, nobody out. It gets one to thinking — how many runs should a team score with bases loaded nobody 0ut?

  • If you get a leadoff triple, what’s the odds on that run scoring? 90%? So you can expect .9 runs.
  • If you get a leadoff double, what’s the odds on that run scoring? 50 to 60%? So you can expect .55 run.
  • If you get a leadoff single, what’s the odds on that run scoring? 10-20 %? So you can expect .15 run

Add it up it’s 1.6 runs. Multiply that by some unknown variable of the pitcher having “lost it”.

Or put another way — if you get a leadoff double, do you really expect the run to score? You hope so, but it’s 50-50. If you get a leadoff single, do you really expect the run to score? Yet with bases loaded, nobody out, everyone expects all 3 runners to score (and even the guy at the plate).

According to Fangraphs, a team should expect to score 2.28 runs with bases loaded, nobody out. .

German Outdueled Glasnow Early

German outdueled Glasnow early — and was scintillating through 4 innings; but he tired in the 5th at the 80-something pitch count, coughing up a double and two homers — a 2-run shot to tie the game by Austin Meadows and a solo shot to Ji-Man Choi to put Tampa ahead 3-2. He managed to get out of the inning with a groundout — and because of it would eventually get the win to go 7-1 2.70.

Yanks Got their Machine Guns Out

The Yankees immediately got their machine guns out to have a go at Glasnow — Gary Sanchez hit the roof with a popup that fell for a single; Clint Frazier singled, and after an out, Glasnow asked to be taken out of the game due to an apparent arm injury. In came Emilio Pagan with a 0.90 ERA, who had allowed 1 hit all year (in 10 innings). Miguel Andujar got an infield single to load the bases, and up stepped Gio Urshela.

How Many Runs?

Which begs the question: How many runs should a team get with bases loaded and 1 out, and a relief pitcher pitching with a 0.90 ERA who’s allowed only 2 hits all year… and Gio Urshela up with 2 strikes on him? Answer = at least 2 runs.

The Ballpen

And then the Yankee ballpen came in to hold onto that lead. First came Tommy Kahnle who was light’s out in the 6th. Then came Adam Ottavino — who loaded the bases with nobody out, went to a 3-2 pitch on Tommy Pham, but then struck him out and got Choi to hit into a double play on a phenomenal play turned by DJ LeMahieu to save the lead.

How Many Runs Again?

How many runs should the other team score with bases loaded, nobody out, a 3-2 count on the batter with Adam Ottavino pitching and constantly missing the strike zone — and DJ LeMahieu is your 2nd baseman? Answer = 0.

In the postgame, Adam Ottavino said this about DJ LeMahieu: “He’s the best player I’ve ever played with and I’ve played with him a long time.”

The End Game

Zack Britton pitched the 8th — allowed the first runner on but then got a double play and pitched a scoreless inning. And then Aroldis Chapman came in for the 9th in the 4-3 game; he went to 3 balls on the first batter, but came back to strike him out, got the first 2 outs, then a single, then a strikeout to end it.


Other Yanks

Brett Gardner, batting 9th, went 0-4 and is batting .205. Luke Voit also went hitless but got a walk. LeMahieu came into the game leading the American League in batting average, but went 0-5 to drop to .331.

Cameron Maybin continued to play terrific defense — made a spectacular diving catch in this game — and get hits (1-3 with a run scored).

Here’s the replay of that Sanchez roof-aided single:

The Boxscore

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