Yankees 6, Cardinals 4: NYY breaks through in the 12th inning

Jeff Curry-USA TODAY Sports

We had some rain delay shenanigans before the game could start. Radar said there was rain coming, so the Busch Stadium grounds crew put the tarp on and we waited. And we waited. Then we waited some more. Eventually they took the tarp off because nothing was happening and it still looked nice out. After an hour-long rain delay with no rain, the Yankees and Cardinals were about ready to start the game when it finally started raining. Good job, everyone involved. At least we got to see this:

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The players took the field in the rain and the Yankees struck early against Michael Wacha. Brett Gardner worked a walk and both Derek Jeter and Jacoby Ellsbury notched base hits to make it a 1–0 right away. Unfortunately, the Cardinals answered back against Chase Whitley. Matt Carpenter led off the inning with a hit off the wall that became a triple because Ichiro Suzuki is too short to grab a ricocheting ball that close to the wall and that high in the air. Kolten Wong then knocked in the run with a double. Things could have been much worse if Wong wasn't caught stealing third base when he over-slid the bag. The Matt Adams single that followed would have given St. Louis the lead.

Wacha and Whitley traded zeros for the next few innings until the Yankees broke the tie in the fifth. Ichiro walked, Brian Roberts singled, and Kelly Johnson knocked in the run. Gardner hit a sac fly to bring another run home and made it 3–1. Whitley finally made it through five innings for the first time in his career, but he struggled in the sixth. It started when Matt Holliday hit a double that missed being a home run by a matter of inches. Whitley was then chased from the game after he allowed a hit to Matt Adams and hit Yadier Molina to load the bases for...Preston Claiborne!

I'm not sure how bringing him into a situation like this was a good idea, sixth inning or not, but I hope Joe Girardi got what he wanted because St. Louis tied the game on a ground ball and a sac fly. Sure, you could say that he got what he needed and that the ground ball should have been a double play, but the method isn't judged by the result. You use your best players when the game is on the line, and Girardi didn't do that here. Maybe a strikeout pitcher like Dellin Betances would have been a better option. But what do I know, I'm just a guy with a laptop. After Claiborne and Matt Thornton pitched a combined clean inning in the seventh, Girardi finally sent out Dellin Betances for the eighth and ninth innings where he struck out two and didn't allow a baserunner. Huh.

We went to extra innings and we were subjected to Alfredo Aceves for two whole innings. In the 10th, he gave up a leadoff hit to Jon Jay, and that looked like the beginning of the end. Instead, first baseman Brendan Ryan was able to make a big stop and turn the double play to get out of the inning. In the 11th, Aceves hit Matt Holliday and everyone held their breath again. It was only by the heavenly skills of Brett Gardner that he didn't give up the game there. Yadier Molina hit a long fly ball to left that may or may not have gone over the fence, but Gardner was able to jump and catch it next to the wall. The BABIP odds were in Alfredo's favor today because every out he got was off a hard hit ball that managed to find a glove.

The Yankees set themselves up in the 12th when Jacoby Ellsbury walked, stole a base, and Brian McCann got hit by a pitch. They had three outs to get at least one run in, but Joe Girardi decided that Yangervis Solarte should bunt. He moved the runners over, but it meant the Cardinals were going to walk Ichiro to load the bases and set up the double play for Brian Roberts. Thankfully, it all worked out in the end as Roberts singled and finally broke the tie game. Alfonso Soriano then hit a pinch-hit sac fly and Brendan Ryan singled to give them a 6–3 lead.

The ninth was made a little interesting when Jhonny Peralta reached off David Robertson due to a Derek Jeter throwing error. He ended up scoring on a Jon Jay double to make it a 6–4 game, but D-Rob shut the door and struck out two to get the save.

Tomorrow's game is at 8:15 EST and includes the matchup of David Phelps vs. Lance Lynn

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