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Yankees 1, Giants 2: Twelve innings means the return of bad middle relief

The Yankees almost won this game, but eventually they lost. Such is the story of 2016.

San Francisco Giants v New York Yankees Photo by Elsa/Getty Images

Every time you think Team Buy might start to make sense, Team Sell kicks Team Buy and stomps on its face. That’s how the Yankees’ 12 inning game against the Giants felt, at least. New York got on the board first, but their lead didn’t last long.

Ivan Nova had a strong outing on the mound, allowing just one run on six hits in seven innings. He struck out seven Giants and walked just two. It was better than Nova has shown as of late. Unfortunately, his offense did not reward his efforts.

Only Didi Gregorius managed to record more than one hit in the game. Mark Teixeira drove in the team’s only run on an error by Mac Williamson with a single that scored Gregorius. Williamson got the final laugh, however, by driving in the game-winning run in the 12th for San Francisco.

The Yankees were able to turn the game over to their trio of mega relievers after Nova departed, but they couldn’t hang around long enough for the offense to push across another run. Andrew Miller and Dellin Betances pitched one inning each and Aroldis Chapman was good for two. The stadium thermometer on the field read ~130 degrees, so it was miserable for everyone. It couldn’t have been easy to stay out there for more than four hours.

After Joe Giardi burned through his good relievers, he was forced to dip into the dreaded middle relief. Anthony Swarzak was the first one called upon, and he gave up two hits and the winning run in 1.1 innings of work before Richard Bleier got the final out. Nothing surprising, unfortunately. That is kind of how things have been outside of the Betances/Miller/Chapman innings.

Every player in the lineup had a hit except for Starlin Castro. New York loaded the bases in the tenth, but left them loaded after a bunt by Jacoby Ellsbury and outs by Brian McCann and Castro. The Giants did give the Yankees their opportunities, playing another sloppy game in the field. San Francisco committed two more errors tonight after committing three on Friday. Ultimately, it didn’t matter.

The Yankees fall seven games back in the AL East with the Orioles and Red Sox currently up in their respective games. The trade deadline is getting closer and closer, and decisions are going to need to be made about this team’s direction. Games like this make it seem like there are just too many missing pieces to go on any meaningful run this year. The front office may see it differently, but they are going to have to come to a definitive answer on that very soon because time is running out.