In his first ML start, Dellin Betances struggled with control early but settled down enough to toss two scoreless frames.
But this is about the night, not just this one game.
For most of the evening, the Yanks had a comfortable lead against an anemic offense. It was only until Boone Logan entered that Tampa staged a historic comeback. They score six runs in the eighth to get within one of the Yanks. Cory Wade came in to close it out and recorded two outs and had Dan Johnson down to two strikes before he launched a line drive just over the rightfield wall to the tie the game. Scott "Punching Bag" Proctor came within an out of pitching three innings before another line drive home run, off the bat of Evan Longoria, sailed over the leftfield seats in the 12th inning to win not just the game but the Wild Card for the Rays. (Crazy game graph.)
How did it win the Wild Card? Boston held a one run lead through most of their game with Baltimore. But just like the Rays, the O's were down to their last out before staging a comeback off Jon Papelbon to win in the bottom of the ninth, 4-3. Mind you, this came literally moments before Longoria's walk-off homer. It was some night for baseball, and imagine being a Tampa or Boston fan. How emotional was that five-minute stretch? Just amazing. (Also crazy game graph.) (A third graph showing the epic collapse. Just laughable.)
Comment of the Game: Not a comment, but a brilliant story from January.
Play of the Game: Johnson's ninth-inning, two-out, solo shot to tie the contest at seven apiece (-49%).
So enjoy the night. This was easily the best loss of the year.
Notes (that I wrote whilst the Yanks had a 7-0 lead)* -
1st inning: Jesus struggled a bit behind the plate, bobbled a pitch on a stolen base, but somehow managed a shutout (just a coincidence that his injury began Tampa's comeback?) despite his horrible catching abilities (spread over something like seven pitchers.)
Dellin Betances had very little control. It's clear he could use a full year at Triple-A. He threw a good changeup to Damon for a swing and miss. He was effectively wild though and threw two scorless frames.
7th: Burnett came in and got one out. Does that mean he's starting game 3, or relieving in the postseason?
8th: Don't ever say Boone Logan isn't impressive. He managed to hit two players with one pitch. Unfortunately, Jesus had to leave the game after the pitch deflected off Casey Kotchman and to hit him in the knuckles of his right hand.
12th: I've got to give credit to Scott Proctor for gutting out the game when it was clear Girardi didn't want to use any other pitchers.
* So I'm not going to waste them. ;)