The “Luis Cessa Saves the Yankees’ Arse” Game — June 30, 2019: NY 12 Boston 8

This was the Luis Cessa Saves the Yankees’ Arse Game, coming in to pitch 4 shutout innings of relief to hold the enemy until the Yankee Air Force arrived with its B-17 bombers.

Cessa has been shot at by Yankee Twitter all season, but especially the last month. There has been question of manager Aaron Boone‘s loyalty to Cessa; why he is even on the team anymore. After a great spring training and good early-season success, he’s been horrible in June, his ERA ballooning from 3.16 on May 28 to 5.81 by June 14th. There was a disaster against the Red Sox June 2nd (5 runs in an inning — the Clint Frazier 3-error game) and against the White Sox June 14th (4 runs in an inning). Since then he’s been pitching decently in relief, slowly lowering his ERA.

Blitzkrieg, and Yanks’ Ballpen Was Out of Reinforcements

With scheduled “Opener” Chad Green and long-reliever Nestor Cortes Jr. having had to pitch in relief of Masahiro Tanaka the previous game, the Yanks had to turn to a whole new set of ballpenners for this one — and started Stephen Tarpley. Who could have forseen this at the start of the season with so much hoopla and preparation about this London series?

Tarpley was not ready for this one. He was CRUSHED in the 1st inning — getting the first out, but then all hell broke loose — a single by Rafael Devers, a homerun by Xander Bogaerts, a homerun by J.D. Martinez, and a homerun by Christian Vazquez. Blitzkrieg.

The Yanks got right back into it with 2 runs in the top of the 2nd off Eduardo Rodriguez — loading the bases and getting runs in on a groundout and infield single by Brett Gardner.

Red Sox on the Attack

But in a ballpark that seems inducive to hitting — with 30 runs scored the day before — due to several possible factors — a sealed environment created for Olympic track runners that causes off speed pitches to not sink, shallow centerfield wall, hard astroturf, etc — you felt the Red Sox would plaster the Yankee taxed ballpen and put big insurmountable numbers on the board.

In came Cessa. Yankee Twitter crapped all over him. And Luis Cessa proceeded to shut down the Red Sox for 4 innings — allowing the Yanks to stay in the game, as Red Sox starter Eduardo Rodriguez got into a groove and kept the Yankees scoreless as well.

Cessa uses mainly a fastball and a slider to get people out. He sometimes goes to his 3rd pitch, a changeup. After the game this tweet was retweeted by Cessa:

Yankee Bombers Arrive in the 7th

Adam Ottavino pitched a scoreless 6th and the Yankee Air Force finally arrived in the 7th — BOMBING the Red Sox ballpen for 9 runs. With Marcus Walden pitching for Boston, DJ LeMahieu led off with a double, Aaron Judge walked, Aaron Hicks doubled, Gary Sanchez — with 2 strikes on him — had an excellent at bat — staying within himself and serving a single into left to plate two runs and put the Yanks ahead 5-4. Then — Edwin Encarnacion in an excellent at bat, walked, before Didi Gregorius struck out for the first out of the inning.

Gleyber Torres singled, Gio Urshela singled in 2 runs to make it 7-4. DJ LeMahieu, up for the second time — doubled in more runs. This was like Dresden.

Didi Defense

Throughout the series, Didi Gregorius played spectacular defense — showing Brits that fine art of the game. In the 7th, he made this play:

In the 8th, Didi Gregorius made up for the fact he was the only Yankee in the 7th to not get on base, with this shot:

The homerun kept the Yankee record consecutive game team homerun streak alive at 31.

Sun Goes Down; Red Sox Counterattack

Leading 12-4, the Yanks put Chance Adams in the game. And that didn’t go well. He got the first out, and then a second out after two singles. But couldn’t get the 3rd out. One of the things that happened behind the scenes is that the sun went down. It was 2pm EST — the bewitching hour of when the 12 runs were scored in the 1st inning the game before. Prior to 2 pm (7 pm in England) that sun was causing a massive glare off the centerfield wall — which was painted black but the sun made it look white, causing a terrible batter backdrop.

Maybe it was the sun going down or maybe it was Chance Adams pitches but the Red Sox hitters strafed the Yanks and just like that it was 12-7 before Zack Britton came in — allowed a single and a walk to load the bases with 2 out, a 12-8 game — and tension rising to fever pitch with Yankee and Red Sox fans all standing cheering. Britton got Rafael Devers to hit a weak grounder to 1st base that DJ LeMahieu made a terrific play and tag on to save the inning, and possibly the game.

Aroldis Chapman threw smoke in the 9th for the save.

The Boxscore

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