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Wednesday recap: Long balls, long innings lift Yankees over Indians 5-4

The Yankees outlasted the Indians, who failed to capitalize on offensive opportunities and excellent pitching from all relievers not named Pestano

Dat indegestion
Dat indegestion
David Richard-USA TODAY Sports

Game 90: Yankees 5, Indians 4

Box Score

Tribe falls to 44-46

When Vinnie Pestano came out in the 14th inning, my initial reaction was pre-emptive disappointment. It looked for a second like he was going to prove me wrong, but then he grooved an 0-2 pitch to Jacoby Ellsbury, who blasted it into the RF seats for the go-ahead run. There isn't enough Old Milwaukee left in my cooler to wash down the taste of Vinnie's rancid meatball, and I have to admit I'm a bit ashamed to be his paisano right now.

For the second time this season, the Indians lost a game in 14 innings that they had plenty of chances to win. The longball spelled doom for the Indians in the end, but the offense had plenty of opportunities to make something happen. If it wasn't for a couple of rocky innings from Josh Tomlin and a bad pitch by Pestano, that point would have been moot.

The Indians jumped out to an early 3-0 lead in the first, thanks in large part to an error by Mark Teixeira. Carlos Santana rolled a grounder to Tex, who saw fit to throw the ball straight into Michael Brantley's back for no damn good reason rather than make an out. After Lonnie Chisenhall drove in a run with an RBI groundout, Brantely and Santana would come around to score on a Nick Swisher single. Teixeira was feeling like a fool, but he'd have his revenge.

Josh Tomlin was cruising through the first three innings, but Teixeira launched a solo homer to lead off the 4th and put the Yankees on the board. Cowboy was starting to look a little wobbly, and the wagon wheels came off in the 5th. A one out double by Ellsbury, followed by a Derek Jeter single and a Brian McCann sac fly put the Yanks within one. Tex, still looking for redemption for the 1st inning error, launched one into the RF seats to put New York in the lead 4-3.

The Indians, however, answered right back with a two-out, RBI single from Santana in the bottom of the 5th. That was the last bit of scoring we'd see until the 14th inning.

Credit where credit is due, Tomlin settled down and pitched a solidly through the 7th. It's a good thing, too, because the bullpen got some work tonight. Fortunately, it was (generally) excellent work. Scott Atchison, Bryan Shaw, Cody Allen, John Axford, and Marc Rzepczynski combined for six and a third scoreless innings with seven strikeouts. None of that mattered, though, because Vinnie effed the puppy with one pitch and the Tribe offense stopped playing after three innings.

Both the Yankees and the Indians had great chances to end the game in the 10th. Cody Allen allowed the first two batters to reach, but got Teixeira to pop out. A 3-6-1 double play was overturned on review as Allen's foot slid off the bag, but he managed to work out of the jam by K-ing Ichiro Suzkuki on a terrible half-swing. I'd like to think when Ichiro punches himself in the face on trips to Cleveland, he's a but more committal than he was in that at bat.

In the bottom of the 10th, the Indians had their best chance to score since their rally-killing double plays snuffed out hope in the 2nd and 3rd innings. the Yankees brought on L(OL)GFT David Huff, who walked the bases loaded on three straight 3-2 counts. But Nick Swisher struck out swinging so hard that he jostled Pat Riley's hair out of place, ensuring LeBron's return to Cleveland. David Murphy yanked a liner juuuuuuuust foul down the RF line that would have won the game, but then followed that with a worthless grounder to short to end the threat.

The Yankees went quietly in the 11th, 12th, 13th, and first two thirds of the 14th. But Ellsbury's bomb on an 0-2 count was enough to seal the deal. The Indians mounted a mini-rally in the bottom of the inning but to no avail. After Kipnis' one-out single and stolen base, Asdrubal Cabrera struck out and Michael Brantley flew out on a liner hit well enough to give us hope, but not well enough to get over Zoilo Almonte's head. That was all she wrote.

Tomorrow, the Tribe looks hopes for a split with New York before taking on Chicago in a pre-All-Star break series. It's going to be difficult to make headway even in the AL Central unless we can string together a few wins in a row, so going into the break on a streak would do wonders.

Random notes:

  • Brendan Ryan struck out four times tonight, earning the infamous golden sombrero
  • The Yankees have dudes named Zoilo Almonte and Zelous Wheeler
  • I also recapped the last 14-inning game
  • This game sucked, but was not as soul-crushing as that one

Win Expectancy Chart:

Source: FanGraphs

Roll Call:

Game Thread

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