The four plus hours of this game included eight ejections, 11 pitchers, three bench-clearing incidents, 16 runs, and a guy wielding a flamethrower. Okay, that last one is an exaggeration, but only a slight one.
The series finale in Detroit was an eventful one, full of batters getting hit and fights. Between all that, there was occasionally some baseball played. The Tigers came out with a 10-6 win eventually, but the route there was eventful.
The very long day started with Detroit getting on the board first. In the bottom of the first inning, Justin Upton crushed a Jaime Garcia pitch, giving the Tigers the early lead.
The Yankees answered right back with a run in the top of the second. Aaron Judge led off the inning with a single, moving to second on a wild pitch, and to third on a Didi Gregorius ground out. Chase Headley then punched through a single, scoring Judge.
After Garcia escaped a bases loaded jam, the Yankees took the lead in the fourth. Gary Sanchez continues to absolutely own the month of August, as hit another home run, his 11th of the month. August Gary Sanchez cannot be stopped. Well maybe now he can, but more on that later.
The lead did not lost long, as the Tigers struck right back in the bottom of the fourth. Nicholas Castellanos led off the inning with a double, and scored two batters later on a John Hicks single. Garcia got into a little more trouble after he walked Jose Iglesias, but he again got out of it with the game tied.
The Yankees retook the lead in the fifth thanks to some infield defense mistakes from the Tigers. First, Torreyes reached after an Ian Kinsler fielding error. Then Iglesias couldn’t cleanly field a possible double play ball. He only managed to throw out Austin Romine at first, allowing to Torreyes to move up to second. Brett Gardner reached on an infield single, allowing Torreyes to move over to third. An Aaron Hicks fly out allowed Torreyes to tag up and score, putting the Yankees back in front.
After that, Sanchez was hit by a pitch. Michael Fulmer and the Tigers played it off by looking at him for a potential injury. The other possibility is, of course, a revenge plunking for the homer, however, Fulmer wasn’t warned for it. The HBP didn’t lead to any additional runs, but it becomes important later.
Garcia kept getting into and out of jams, but he wouldn’t escape another one as things unraveled in the fifth. It all started when Didi Gregoirus made a fielding error, letting a grounder get past him. Upton followed that with a double, putting two runners in scoring position and chasing Garcia from the game. Garcia lasted just four innings, allowing four runs on five hits and three walks.
Adam Warren came in, and things started fine when he struck out Miguel Cabrera. Castellanos then flew out, but it was deep enough for a run to tag up and score. Warren then lost control, walking the next two batters to load the bases. A JaCory Jones single and a double from Iglesias scored all three runners, and caused the Yankees to go back into the bullpen and remove Warren. Tommy Kahnle came in and finally ended the inning, but the Yankees were now down three.
The bottom of the sixth saw things go completely haywire. With two outs in the inning, Kahnle was ejected after he threw behind Cabrera. The ejection came under the (likely correct) assumption that it was retaliation for Sanchez being hit. Joe Girardi did not enjoy Kahnle being ejected after there was no warnings for either team after the Fulmer/Sanchez HBP. That led to Girardi also getting ejected.
After things calmed down and the game was about to restart, Cabrera got in Austin Romine’s face and began to talk to him. Whatever he said got Romine’s attention, and they began jawing. That led to the two of them throwing punches, with Cabrera swinging first. Benches cleared, bullpens were emptied.
Romine and Cabrera were ejected and will probably both be suspended. Sanchez threw some punches during the dogpile, and he’ll presumably get some sort of suspension too. Aroldis Chapman, who had come in for Kahlne, got the final out and ended a very crazy sixth inning.
Despite all that, the Yankees did mount a comeback the following inning. Torreyes and Jacoby Ellsbury led off the top of the seventh with two straight walks. Fulmer, who was still in at that point despite technically starting this whole mess, was removed with Detroit going to the bullpen. Gardner then singled, scoring Torreyes and moving Ellsbury to third. Hicks very nearly gave the Yankees the lead when he took one deep to left field. Upton made a catch at the wall, preventing a home run. Ellsbury tagged up and scored however, with Gardner moving to second. A Sanchez single scored Gardner, and the game was tied again.
In the bottom of the seventh, Dellin Betances came in. On the second pitch he threw, he hit James McCann in the head and the benches cleared again, with no fights this time, however. Considering it was the second pitch of the at bat and it was now a tie game, it doesn’t seem like it was on purpose. However after all that happened, it’s understandable that Betances had to be ejected.
David Robertson came in for him and hit the first batter he faced. That one was definitely not on purpose as Robertson was ahead 0-2 in the count, and he wasn’t ejected. He walked the next batter, and then allowed a bases clearing double. After all that work to tie the game, the Yankees were down three again.
The ejections and nonsense weren’t over, however. Alex Wilson hit Todd Frazier with a pitch in the top of the eighth. He and Brad Ausmus were ejected, and benches cleared yet again. Gardner and Iglesias tangled with each other during this particular mess, but that was the extent of this incident.
A home run from McCann in the bottom of the eighth gave the Tigers an insurance run.
The Yankees put a runner on in the top of the ninth, but that was as close as they got in this particular rally, and the Tigers won. Thankfully, these teams do not play again this season.