As all good pitcher’s duels should, this game ended on a Ronald Torreyes walk off.
The Yankees got eight excellent, scoreless innings from Masahiro Tanaka, who allowed just three hits and two walks, striking out nine. However, they couldn’t take advantage of that because Yu Darvish was just as good on the other side. The Rangers’ starter allowed just two hits in his seven innings, getting ten strikeouts.
Despite getting an excellent outing from Tanaka, it nearly all went to waste in a mistake-filled ninth inning. The Yankees fell behind and needed a Brett Gardner home run in the bottom of the ninth to keep them in the game. That homer got the game into extra innings, and eventually a Torreyes walk-off single gave the Yankees a 2-1 win over the Rangers.
After eight inning of flawless pitching from both teams, the Yankees fell behind in the stupidest possible way. Aroldis Chapman came in for Tanaka to start the ninth, and things started well enough as he quickly got the first out. But he then allowed a single to Elvis Andrus and hit Nomar Mazara.
During the next at bat, Andrus stole third, putting the go ahead run 90 feet away. Chapman proceeded to strike out Adrian Beltre, but strike three got past Gary Sanchez and allowed Andrus to score. After eight innings of impeccable pitching, the Yankees were now three outs away from losing.
The Yankees themselves had only managed two hits against Darvish and the Rangers’ bullpen. They got their third in the ninth, and it was the exact type of hit that was extremely needed. With one out, Gardner tied the game with a solo home run.
In the top of the tenth, the Yankees survived Chad Green and Chasen Shreve loading the bases. With one out in the ninth, Sanchez singled and moved to third when Didi Gregorius also singled. Chris Carter then struck out, and left the inning up to Torreyes. On the second pitch of the at bat, Torreyes dropped a single into center, scoring Sanchez to win the game.
The Yankees very nearly added another frustrating loss to what has been a frustrating recent run. Instead, Ronald Torreyes is the hero because baseball is cool.