What a Comeback. Ball Don’t Lie! NY 4 Cleveland 3

The Yankees were on the ropes in this one — down 3-0 in the 4th — not because Clarke Schmidt was pitching badly, but because he was blooped to death in the 1st inning — then got out of it with a splendid catch and throw-’em-out-at-2nd double play by Aaron Hicks — a call that was illegally overturned by the umpires many minutes after it happened even though Cleveland didn’t initially challenge the play!

The umpires saw the replay on the scoreboard — Hicks didn’t catch the ball — and went over to Guardians manager Terry Francona and offered him ability to challenge — he did, and the run scored and it was 1st and 3rd, 1 out again.

But ball don’t lie — Kyle Higashioka stroked a 2-RBI double in the 5th and the throw from center — as if ordained from above — hit umpire Larry Vanover in the head forcing him out of the game.

That set the stage for Franchy Cordero — who hit a BOMB to center in the 7th to tie the game, and Oswaldo Cabrera — who got a Huge, 2-out RBI double off Cleveland ace reliever Emmanuel Clase in the 9th to put NY ahead.

And then to finish it — the Yanks just missed getting a double play in the 9th to end the ballgame — but the runner beat it out at 1st and then Clay Holmes proceeded to walk 2 batters on 9 pitches to load the bases — and went 2-1 on Amed Rosario before getting him to swing and miss at 2 straight sliders for the old ballgame.


“They bailed them out,” said manager Aaron Boone about the umpires’ call in the 1st. “We’ve been told all winter and all spring that we need to be up and ready…. They got the play right, I will say that. But there is no way the environment didn’t create the end result.”

Incredible comeback. Incredible win. And to top it off NY takes 2 of 3 in the series against Cleveland after losing the first game. It is only the 4th time in Yankee history that they’ve won the first 4 series of a season. The Yanks are 8-4. Cleveland falls to 7-6. Tampa won again to go 12-0.

1. Umps Break MLB’s New 15-Second Challenge Rule

Clarke Schmidt took the mound with all eyes upon him — Yankee management as well as Yankee fans — to see if he could get it done after two poor starts so far this season.

And right off the bat he allowed a bloop single to Steven Kwan. Then a bloop double to Jose Ramirez with 1 out. And then another bloop — to Josh Naylor — but this one was caught — or so it seemed by Aaron Hicks, who doubled off Ramirez at 2nd for an inning ending double play!

The inning ended. The Yankees left the field and the Guardians took the field. The centerfield scoreboard showed the replay and it appeared Hicks trapped the ball. The fans started booing. The umpires saw the replay, and then went over to Cleveland manager Terry Francona and offered him ability to challenge the play. He did — and the umps overturned their call — allowing a run to score and putting Ramirez at 3rd.

Yank Manager Aaron Boone blistered at the umps and was ejected.

Afterwards, Manager Terry Francona admitted he did not challenge the play on purpose because he thought Kwan left early.

Afterwards — Aaron Hick said the thought he caught the ball and the inning was over. “I thought I made the catch and I thought that as soon as I threw the ball to 2nd we were out of the inning.”

Clarke Schmidt went back out — and struck out Andres Gimenez — but then allowed another bloop to Josh Bell and it was Cleveland 2 NY 0.

Yankee fans, media, and MLB twitter were confused as to how the umpires could break their own new 15-second rule.

2. Schmidt Blooped & Blasted to Death But Pitched OK

Schmidt allowed a no-doubt-about-it 387-foot homer to right center to Amed Rosario in the 3rd and was down 3-0.

But other than that Schmidt pitched OK. He finished with a shutout 4th — his line: 4 IP, 6 H, 3 ER, 3 K’s, 1 walk.

The first inning were all bloops and if the umps don’t break their own rule, Schmidt’s line would have been much better.

“Other than the Rosario AB, I felt like I was at a really good point today as far as execution, throwing a lot of strikes, being on the attack,” said Schmidt afterwards. “I think it was a really good step in the right direction.”

3. Higgy and Ball Don’t Lie

Meanwhile Cleveland rookie Peyton Battenfield looked invincible shutting down the Yanks with his 88-MPH cutter with intermixed 90-MPH fastball. Until the Yanks second time around against him — in the 5th, one-out singles by Oswaldo Cabrera and Isiah Kiner-Falefa brought Kyle Higashioka to the plate — who ripped a shot off the wall in deep center.

Gimenez got the cut-off throw and whipped the ball home — but accidentally nailed ump Larry Vanover in the head. He left the field on his own power.

4. Franchy BOMB Ties It

That set the stage for Franchy Cordero to be the hero yet again — he led off the 7th with a 439-foot BOMB to center. Tie game.

5. Marinaccio, King and Wandy Heroes

Meanwhile, Ron Marinaccio pitched a shutout 5th, Michael King was filthy in pitching a shutout 6th and 7th, and Wandy Peralta pitched a shutout 8th — all huge for the Yanks.

6. Oswaldo Clutch

The Yanks were up against Cleveland ace reliever Emmanuel Clase in the 9th. With 1 out, Giancarlo Stanton legged out an infield hit, and shortstop Amed Rosario‘s throw to 1st was errant, allowing Stanton to go to 2nd.

Clase struck out Franchy Cordero, but with 2 outs, Oswaldo Cabrera RIPPED a pitch off the right-field wall for an RBI single. Yanks 4 Cleveland 3!

7. Holmes Agita 9th

And then to the 9th. Clay Holmes got the 1st batter and was 1-2 on Will Brennan when he hit him on the foot.

Holmes got Myles Straw to hit into a double play grounder to 3rd, that the super fast Straw JUST beat out at 1st.

Then Holmes lost all control — 9 of the next 10 pitches were balls — as he walked Gonzalez on 4 pitches and then Kwan.

Holmes went 2-1 on Rosario, before getting him to swing and miss at consecutive 88-MPH sliders for the old ballgame. PHEWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWW

“Obviously they can apply a lot of pressure with their ability to steal bases and ability to put the play,” said a very calm Holmes afterwards. “I kinda made a pitch when I had to. Obviously the walk to Gonzalez was what made things interesting there.”


  • Anthony Volpe was made the leadoff batter for NY, and led off the game with a double. He went 1-4 on the day.
  • Aaron Judge was 0-3 with a walk to extend his consecutive on-base string to 45 games.

The Boxscore



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