Lost in Slow Motion. Cleveland 4 NY 2 in 10 innings

Giancarlo Stanton hit a 2-run homer in the bottom of the 1st inning, and then the Yankees seemed to lose in slow motion — 9 innings and 5 hours later Cleveland scored 2 in the 10th to win the game 4-2, and tie the ALDS at 1 game apiece.

If you’ve ever tripped and staggered a bunch of feet — trying to keep yourself up but to no avail — you experienced this loss. It was like falling in slow motion. And there was nothing you could do about it.

The Yanks had a chance to make it 4-0 in the 3rd when Josh Donaldson ripped a sinking line drive to left with runners on 2nd and 3rd and 2 out — but the ball didn’t fall fast enough and Steven Kwan came in to catch it off his shoe laces.

The Yanks had bases loaded in the 8th with 2 outs, but a Kyle Higashioka line out to 3rd ended it. So close.

Aaron Judge went 0-5 and struck out 4 times, and Yankee batters overall struck out 15 times and went 0-7 with runners in scoring position, leaving 11 on base.

In the end the Yanks were done in by two bloop hits in the 10th off Jameson Taillon, who came in for relief.

The darkest depths of mordor. On a beautiful sunny Friday afternoon at Yankee Stadium — the game moved from the night before due to rain. The bright sun and ensuant shadows caused trouble for batters and outfielders.

“It’s a good team over there,” said Aaron Boone afterwards. “They can run pitchers out there — they had their ace on the mound today; on a day where it’s tough to hit, they run good guys out of the pen. So we just couldn’t break through today. We never thought this was going to be easy. We’ll get on that plane and go and try to grab one tomorrow.”

1.  Giancarlo Puts Yanks Up

All looked Great early on the Sunny Friday — game start 1pm — when Giancarlo Stanton ripped a Shane Bieber 3-2 pitch to opposite field right for a 2-run homer and 2-0 Yankee lead in the bottom of the 1st. Giancarlo had just taken what appeared to be ball 4 low and outside but it was called a strike to Giancarlo’s chagrin. It was Stanton’s 4th homer in his last 5 games, having hit 3 in his last 3 games of the regular season.

2. Cortes Pitched Well Enough

Nestor Cortes pitched ok but was not on top of his game. He allowed baserunners and had to throw a lot of pitches to get out of innings.

After getting the first 2 outs of the 4th, he allowed an infield single, walk, and RBI single to Andres Gimenez to make it 2-1, and in the 5th, allowed a homer to center by former Met Amed Rosario for a tie game, 2-2.

“2 runs in 5 innings — I kept them in the game but I think I should have been better,” said Cortes afterwards. “Like I said the Gimenez pitch I wish I could get it back, and we wouldn’t be talking about this right now.”

Cortes helped himself out with one of the spectacular defensive plays of the game, when with bases loaded and 2 outs in the 3rd, he snared a comebacker while falling down and threw to 1st for the out to end the inning.

3. Yanks Had Chances

Part of the losing-in-slow-motion feeling was due to watching the Yanks have so many chances to go up — but not be able to get the big hit.

  • In that 3rd, when Josh Donaldson ripped a sinking line drive to left with runners on 2nd and 3rd and 2 out —  Steven Kwan came in to catch it off his shoe laces.
  • In the 6th, Josh Donaldson walked with 1 out, and Isiah Kiner-Falefa singled with 2 outs sending Beiber to the showers. Cleveland brought in Trevor Stephan; the Yanks pinch hit Matt Carpenter. With the go-ahead run on 2nd, Carpenter ripped a foul ball on a 2-2 pitch and looked poised to get a big hit. But struck out on a 90 MPH splitter from Stephan.
  • And the Yanks loaded the bases in the 8th with 2 outs. But Kyle Higashioka hit a line out to 3rd off Cleveland closer Emmanuel Clase. So close.

4. Yank Relievers Keep them In it

With the game tied 2-2 every inning became edge-of-your seat drama. Every out Huge. The Yankee bullpen kept NY in it.

  • Lou Trivino pitched the 6th — strikeout, walk, strikeout — and was yanked with 2 outs to the sarcastic amazement of John Sterling. “Why did they take him out with 2 outs after just striking out (Austin) Hedges? And the answer is we don’t know,” said Sterling on the radio. Sterling has regularly questioned why Boone has made a habit of lifting pitchers who were pitching well, with 2 outs in an inning.
  • Jonathan Loaisiga got the last out of the 6th, pitched a 1-2-3 inning in the 7th. Loaisiga was helped by a tremendous leaping grab of a bloop to end the 7th — you can see the shadows in the replay — which were playing havoc with hitters and fielders alike.

  • Loaisiga got the 1st out of the 8th before Boone pulled him to have Wandy Peralta pitch to the lefty hitting Josh Naylor. Loaisiga was on the top of his game — 5 straight retired batters — one of the best news items of the day for NY.
  • Wandy Peralta got the last 2 outs of the 8th and the first out of the 9th before Boone pulled him for Clay Holmes. Wandy pitched Great.
  • Clay Holmes got a strikeout, but then walked Myles Straw, and allowed a line shot to 1st by Kwan that bounced off Anthony Rizzo‘s glove for an error and 1st and 3rd, 2 outs. But Holmes got Ahmed Rosario on a grounder to end it. PHEW.

5. Cleveland Wins on Bloops

And then to the 10th when luck bounced to Cleveland’s favor. Boone brought in starter Jameson Taillon, who had never pitched in relief before.

First batter Jose Ramirez blooped a ball to left that Oswaldo Cabrera just missed catching — Josh Donaldson picking up the ball and throwing to 2nd just wide of the base — Gleyber Torres blocked by the umpire from reaching over to grab it — and the ball went into right field.

Ramirez sprinted around the bases and was on 3rd with nobody out.

Then a bloop to right for a single. Cleveland 3 NY 2.

Then Josh Naylor ripped a double to right center and it was Cleveland 4 NY 2.

Clarke Schmidt came in and got three straight groundouts to end the inning with no further scoring and Yankee Twitter BLASTED Boone for bringing in Taillon in relief instead of Schmidt.

Emmanuel Clase was back to the mound for the bottom of the 10th — Clase the best reliever in baseball (stats wise, and reputation wise). Josh Donaldson walked with one out but Clase struck out Cabrera and got Isiah Kiner-Falefa to ground out for the old ballgame.

The Boxscore


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