After losing back to back games to a very strong Boston team and lowly Oakland squad, the Yankees were able to grind out a much needed win today against the A’s by a score of 7-6 in 11 innings.
Obviously, any time a game lasts more than the standard nine innings, a team will need to utilize more players, especially bullpen arms. It was crucial for the Yankees to earn the victory this afternoon, not only to halt the mini two-game skid but to remain in first place as well.
Since the team will be slightly shorthanded on Sunday after burning through top-tier arms such as Aroldis Chapman and Dellin Betances, it was all the more important for the team to come out victorious.
Neil Walker was today’s hero, recording the game-winning hit in the 11th. This was already the team’s fourth walk-off hit so far this season, one short of tying last season’s total of five.
A.J. Cole was arguably just as important as Walker today, hurling two innings of no-hit ball while striking out four Oakland batters. Coming off an extended rest period of 13 days, Cole’s game-saving effort was certainly impressive considering he needed to dust off the spider webs before coming out of the bullpen.
Domingo German, coming off an eye opening six-inning, no-hit performance in his first career start, did not have his best stuff today, as the rookie hurler allowed six earned runs in five innings pitched after his offense gave him an early 2-0 fusion. His final stat line: 5.0IP, 6ER, 3BB, 1K, 75 pitches, 44 strikes.
Once German departed, the opposing lineup failed to score another run off the ‘pen, as the collective effort of Jonathan Holder, Chad Green, Betances, Chapman, and Cole turned in a six inning, 10 strikeout, no-hit performance.
Cole stood out this afternoon, throwing two scoreless innings in relief. The former Washington National walked the first two guys he faced, but kept the score tied and gave his team the opportunity to win the game in extras. Previously acquired for only cash, the Yankees are now able to consider this acquisition a success, solely based off today’s impressive outing.
Offensively, the Bombers struck first today, scoring two early runs off Oakland starter Andrew Triggs. This would be the only two runs the team would score until the fifth, when Aaron Judge mashed a two-run homerun off Triggs, scoring Brett Gardner.
Prior to picking up the game-winning run, Walker singled home Didi Gregorius, trimming the A’s lead to just one.
In the same inning, Miguel Andújar was responsible for tying the game at six by singling home Gary Sanchez. The game would remain tied until the bottom of the 11th.
With two runners on and Chris Hatcher on the mound, the Yankees were able to score the game-winning run when Neil walked it off (pun certainly intended) with an RBI single that drove home Gary Sanchez.
The first Yankee run on the afternoon, a drive by El Gary himself.