Sometimes, baseball is weird. Sometimes, struggling up-and-down pitcher Chad Green takes a no hitter into the fifth inning against one of the best offenses in the league. Sometimes, Troy Tulowitzki and someone named Darrell Ceciliani notch the first two hits of the game for the Blue Jays. Sometimes, Rule-5 pick Joe Biagini loads the bases with one out…and gets out of it without ceding a run. Sometimes, Dellin Betances walks the leadoff batter, falls behind 2-0 on the next two batters, gives up a hit, and gets out of the inning. Sometimes, the Yankees strand 14 runners in scoring position but win the game. And sometimes, the Yankees manage to win six of their last eight.
If you had asked me to predict the final score of this game earlier today, I probably would have said something along the lines of 9-6 Blue Jays. What could possibly go right between a shaky Quad-A pitcher in Chad Green and struggling knuckleballer by the name of RA Dickey, especially with one high powered offense and bandbox of a ballpark? Well, every now and then baseball doesn’t make sense, and that certainly was the case today.
The star of this game was, naturally, from an unexpected source. Chad Green, despite a mid-90’s fastball and gaudy minor league numbers, hasn’t been good as a starter in the majors, yet somehow was dominant against a daunting Blue Jays lineup. He started the game with 13 straight outs, before Troy Tulowitzki and Joe Biagini notched a pair of this in the fourth. Green would get out of trouble, though, and continued on an impressive performance through the sixth inning.
Upon exiting with 104 pitches under his belt, Green had given up just two hits and no walks, while striking out eleven Blue Jays. His fastball was sharp and the slider better than ever, allowing Green to turn in one of the best Yankees pitching performances of the season.
The Yankees bullpen, anchored by a new Big Three, preserved the shutout. Tyler Clippard and Adam Warren were perfect, and Dellin Betances gave New York another heart attack, but saved the game with a massive double play.
The outstanding pitching performances saved the Yankees’ offense, who were able to get baserunners but do little else. The 14 baserunners stranded isn’t anything to be proud of, but the Baby Bombers, once again, saved the day. Aaron Judge delivered what would be the game winning hit—a double to score Brian McCann, while also notching another single and a walk. Gary Sanchez, for his part, also drew a walk to go with a pair of hits.
It may have been a frustrating night for the lineup, and particularly Jacoby Ellsbury and the nine runners he stranded on base, but it was a big win after an incredible pitching performance by Chad Green. He probably isn’t going to continue on a streak of dominance, but this game should keep him in the rotation for at least a few more starts.