What a game. The Yankees outlasted the Indians after four hours and 50 minutes (not including the two rain delays), marking the longest nine-inning game in MLB history, regular season or postseason. It was a wild ride that included a lot of back and forth, and so here is a breakdown of the win expectancy (WE) over the course of the game. For reference, this is win expectancy relative to the Indians, so the closer to 100 percent the more likely Cleveland will win, and the closer to zero percent the more likely the Yankees will win.
Jose Ramirez RBI double, 1-0 Indians: 65.3 percent
Ramirez’s RBI double in what seemed like near hurricane weather got the Indians off to a fast start. The tarp would proceed to come on after this at-bat, leaving us all wondering why they even started this game at all.
While a two-run lead is far from safe in the postseason (especially with the sweats the Yankees’ bullpen likes to give us), the Yankees seem to be taking control of this game. However, they fail to tack on any more runs in the inning.
Jose Ramirez 2-run double, 6-6: 68.6 percent
This was a huge moment in the game that seems to have gotten glossed over. Ramirez doubled in the tying runs, but he also was able to advance to third on the play. Runner on third, no outs. The Indians quickly took back control and were poised to take the lead.
Carlos Santana strikeout, 6-6: 63.0 percent
Franmil Reyes strikeout, 6-6: 55.3 percent
Josh Naylor fly out to right, 6-6: 50.0 percent
Chad Green held down the fort and did not allow Ramirez to score, getting the dangerous Naylor to fly out and end the threat. With the win expectancy for the Indians at a dead 50 percent, it’s anyone’s game.
Brett Gardner walk, 6-6: 45.0 percent
Gary Sanchez home run, 8-6 Yankees: 24.2 percent
And just like that, the Yankees took back the lead thanks to Gary Sanchez juuust getting the ball over the right-field wall. Whether it went 356 feet or 500 feet it didn’t matter — they all count the same.
Fun fact: the expected batting average of Gary’s homer was .120. Thank you to the wind.
Delino DeShields single, 8-6 Yankees: 34.8 percent
The Indians started to make some noise against Chad Green. First and second, two outs. Britton coming on. Lindor up. Nerve levels increasing…
Francisco Lindor double play, 8-6 Yankees: 20.6 percent
Huge, huge, huge double play on a full count. Maybe Britton is on tonight?
Cesar Hernandez strikeout, 8-6 Yankees: 20.6 percent
Jose Ramirez ground out, 8-6 Yankees: 17.5 percent
Oh yeah, Britton is definitely feeling it. He’s gonna get us through the seventh and potentially all the way to Chapman. Life’s good.
Carlos Santana walk, 8-6 Yankees: 19.9 percent
Oh no. Not good. Just shake it off.
Franmil Reyes walk, 8-6 Yankees: 23.5 percent
No, no, no, no. Here we go again. Good thing we have a stud-laden bullpen. Let’s see here, who’s coming in? Oh sweet cream cheese it’s Johnny Loaisiga. At least Naylor’s getting pinch-hit for and we have two strikes, so this should be easy, right?
Jordon Luplow 2-run double, 8-8: 56.5 percent
Of course. It’s never easy. The game has swung back in the Indians’ favor.
Gary Sanchez strikeout, 8-8: 55.1 percent
DJ LeMahieu walk, 8-8: 50.1 percent
Aaron Judge walk, 8-8: 43.5 percent
Back-to-back one-out walks and all of a sudden the Yankees are in a good spot again.
Aaron Hicks fielder’s choice, 8-8: 50.6 percent
Now runners on first and third with two outs and things are ever so slightly back in Cleveland’s favor. But luckily, we have Luke Voit — *checks lineup card* — oh no. It’s pretty-boy himself, Tyler Wade. The last thing I need right now is a guy who had an expected batting average of .213 this year. Oh, but we have Clint Frazier to pinch-hit? That’s better, right?
Clint Frazier strikeout, 8-8: 61.8 percent
It wasn’t better.
Delino DeShields walk, 8-8: 68.0 percent
Francisco Lindor walk, 8-8: 76.7 percent
With all the balls thrown in this game, surprisingly the Yankees pitchers were responsible for only seven of the nineteen (!) walks in this game. But things seem to be slipping out of hand here in the 8th. Chapman comes on perhaps two batters too late.
Cesar Hernandez RBI single, 9-8 Indians: 90.8 percent
Is all hope lost? At this moment, the Indians had a 90.8 percent chance of winning this game. Too bad the calendar had flipped to October by this point, and they don’t do so well in that month.
Jose Ramirez strikeout, 9-8 Indians: 87.6 percent
The Indians still had first and second with nobody out, so they had a chance to break this open with their best hitter at the plate. Big strikeout.
Carlos Santana double play, 9-8 Indians: 81.6 percent
I told you we would come back to that Gio fella. Even though based on WE the Indians were still in control of this game, three outs away from forcing a do-or-die Game 3, this play saved any hope the Yankees had of coming back.
The ever-daunting leadoff walk. Brad Hand ranked 14th in all of baseball among qualified relievers with 1.64 walks per nine innings. Yankees have life.
Gio Urshela single, 9-8 Indians: 54.4 percent
This guy again! He pokes/lines a single up the middle on an 0-2 count. Hitters were 1-for-12 off of Hand this year in an 0-2 count. Can the Yankees do it? Can they come back?
Gleyber Torres infield single, 9-8 Indians: 36.0 percent
Gleyber is having himself a series, isn’t he? I’ve lost count of how many infield hits he’s had, but like the home runs, they count the same as a line-drive single to the outfield. Bases-loaded, no outs. In the moment, I was having some PTSD from the regular season thinking that we somehow wouldn’t score. But the WE has swung in our favor.
Full count, bases loaded, down by one. If that wasn’t stressing you out, I don’t know what would. But this seemed typical: bases loaded, now one out, and a not-insignificant chance that Gary Sanchez grounds into a game-ending double-play.
Gary Sanchez sac fly, 9-9: 53.3 percent
He did a thing! That’s all we needed from him. Three RBI for Sanchez constitutes a great night for him. But we need to take the lead here with the guy we would pick to have up in this spot: DJ LeMahieu.
DJ LeMahieu RBI single, 10-9 Yankees: 18.1 percent
Did you have any doubt?! Again, on an 0-2 pitch. The Yankees now are back in the driver’s seat and have a chance to close out the Indians. Let’s just hope Chapman has his command.