ANAHEIM, CA. – Tyler Wade experienced one of the lowest lows and highest highs a baserunner can experience in a baseball game – all in the span of three innings Thursday.
After being embarrassingly caught off second base for a split second to kill the seventh-inning rally that tied the game, Wade redeemed himself as he scored the game-winning run in the top of the ninth.
Wade ignited a two-out rally with his single and subsequent stolen base off Angels righty Ty Buttrey. Four pitches later, DJ LeMahieu came through with an RBI single to right that gave the Yankees their first and only lead of the evening. Luckily for the Yankees, it was the only lead they needed to put No. 14 in the win column.
The Angels scored their five runs before the fifth inning, all coming via the homer. CC Sabathia allowed two solo homers to Andrelton Simmons, and a massive three-run shot to Kole Calhoun that appeared to seal the Yankees fate in the bottom of the fourth.
However, the Yankees offense woke up to pick up their veteran leader. Wade picked up an infield single to lead off the top of the sixth and promptly scored on a rocket of a double by LeMahieu. Luke Voit singled LeMahieu to third and he scored subsequently on a passed ball by Jonathan Lucroy during Gleyber Torres‘ at-bat.
The rally continued in the top of the seventh as the first three hitters loaded the bases: Mike Ford walked, Gio Urshela flared a single and Mike Tauchman walked. Luis García then walked Wade to force in a run.
LeMahieu hit a sac fly that moved up all the runners, and set up Voit who grounded into a fielder’s choice where Tauchman just beat Simmons’ throw to the plate to tie the game.
Disaster struck for Wade next. Brett Gardner hit a liner to center field that Mike Trout went a long way to haul in on the warning track. It seemed like a standard F8 (though Wade should’ve tagged and gone to third). Trout threw the ball in to the infield, Simmons held the tag on Wade and Wade took his foot off the bag for a split second. The Angels challenged and it went in the books as a 8-6 double play.
“I should have known. We went over it and it was in the back of my head. I just have to stay on the bag. It’s part of the game now and you have to know who’s defending you and who does stuff like that. From now on, I’m going to keep both feet on the bag.”Tyler Wade, via Bryan Hoch.
Stuff like that isn’t what replay is for, but it’s kind of like the catch rule in the NFL: the current rule isn’t great but no one has proposed an actual solution.
On the other side of things, Jonathan Loáisiga had an unreal relief outing. He allowed just two hits across three shutout innings that allowed the offense to push the Yankees back into this game. Naturally, he was rewarded with a trip back to Scranton/Wilkes-Barre.
Aroldis Chapman walked one in an otherwise uneventful bottom of the ninth inning to lockdown his fourth save of the 2019 campaign.Embed from Getty Images
- Gary Sánchez is rusty. He went 0-for-4 with four strikeouts and also had an error in the fourth inning. I think the Yankees really pushed to have him back as quickly as his body would allow and he only got three at-bats with Low-A Charleston before coming back. I think his timing is just off and he’ll be able to adjust. Please, please, do not tell anyone affiliated with us that Austin Romine is a better option.
- CC Sabathia is three strikeouts away from 3,000. He’s on turn to start next in Arizona, and it feels almost inevitable that he’ll get the three K’s he needs to be just the 17th pitcher in MLB history to record 3,000 strikeouts. It’s been amazing to watch CC rework himself into a successful pitcher who doesn’t throw hard and relies on location after so many years as a power pitcher.
- I wrote last night that DJ LeMahieu would snap out of his funk soon and it appears to have worked. A double, single and sacrifice fly marked his highly productive night out of the leadoff spot, including the go-ahead single in the ninth. It’s just a matter of finding grass for DJ, who had a ridiculous .065 BABIP in the nine games before last night.
- Clint Frazier‘s ankle is worse than everyone thought. After an MRI revealed a small tear, he was placed on the 10-day injured list and Joseph Harvey was recalled from Scranton/Wilkes-Barre. The Yankees, once known for having “too many outfielders,” are basically out of them. Tyler Wade has played a solid left field defensively but Frazier’s bat was starting to cash in on all the potential we’ve been hearing about for years. “We don’t think it’s a long thing,” Boone said via MLB.com’s Bryan Hoch. “Fraz very much feels like he can play or is close to playing, but the MRI revealed enough in there … of some partial tear and it’s going to cost him the 10 days.”
Masahiro Tanaka pitches for the sweep against pinch-hitter extraordinaire from Game 1, Trevor Cahill. The game will start at 9:07 p.m. EDT, so a bit less tortuous.