The final game of the 2013 Yankees' season took 14 innings to complete. In a season of frustrating games, the fact that this one wouldn't end put it fairly high up on the list. But in the end, the Yankees came away with a 5-1 win to send Mariano Rivera and Andy Pettitte out on a high with a sweep of the Astros.
Houston took an early lead with a run in the bottom of the first. Jonathan Villar led off the game for Houston with a double. Two batters later, he scored when Matt Dominguez hit a one-out single. David Huff struck out the next two hitters to end the inning with the Astros leading 1-0.
After the run, both teams' offenses went to sleep. Curtis Granderson had doubled in the top of the first, but that had amounted to nothing. Through seven innings, Erik Bedard held the Yankees to three hits. After the run, the Astros just managed one other hit against Huff. The day ended for Huff after the fifth inning. He went five innings, allowing just the one run on three hits, while striking out seven. Brett Marshall came in for him in the sixth. Marshall went two innings, allowing one hit and one walk.
The Yankees' offense finally managed to get something going in the eighth inning. After Zoilo Almonte struck out, Eduardo Nunez doubled, giving the Yankees their first runner in scoring position since the second inning. J.R. Murphy then struck out, bringing Granderson to the plate. Granderson singled to center, scoring Nunez from second, which tied the game at one.
The Yankees threatened to take the lead in the ninth when David Adams hit a two-out triple. However, Brendan Ryan struck out to end the inning. Dellin Bentances pitched a 1-2-3 ninth inning to insure that the season would end in the most "2013 Yankees" way possible: extra innings against the Astros.
After the Yankees went down in order in the tenth, Bentances came back out to pitch the bottom half of the inning. After getting the first out, Girardi went back to the bullpen. It was a nice showing for Dellin, though. He went 2.1 innings, striking out four and allowing no one to reach base against him. Lord Preston Claiborne came in and got two easy outs to send the game on to the 11th inning.
From the 11th inning to the 13th, the game turned into a dumpster fire of nothingness. Matt Daley and David Phelps both made appearances from the bullpen, where they held the Astros hitless. In the top of the 13th, I decided that both teams were playing an elaborate practical joke on the 17 people that were still watching. In the top of the 14th, the Yankees' offense, mercifully, decided to end the joke.
Mark Reynolds led off the top of the 14th with a home run. And then the Yankees decided to troll the people watching instead, by scoring more runs. After Travis Hafner and Adams struck out, Ryan and Almonte hit back-to-back singles. That was followed by a Nunez double that scored them both. The Yankees now found themselves with a 4-1 lead. J.R. Murphy then hit a single to tack on another run. The Yankees stopped their trolling there, but they now had a 5-1 lead and were three outs away from the end of the season.
David Robertson came in to pitch the bottom of the 14th. Robertson got three quick outs to finish off the game and give the Yankees a 5-1 win.
And with that, that 2013 New York Yankees season is over. It was a season of ups and downs and ends with the Yankees' record at 85-77. See you soon, Yankees' baseball.