Talk about saving it for the eleventh hour! I had the initial recap all ready to submit, resigned to seemingly another disappointing loss, but the Yankees had other plans in the bottom of the seventh. And you know what? There is not a happier person to have to scrap everything I wrote. Especially when the game ends in an extra innings walk-off.
The Yankees never really looked in it as they were out-pitched and out-hit by the Mets for the first six innings. However, you can never write off this team (or the Mets’ bullpen) to make things exciting late. The Yankees have a quick turnaround, as game two of the doubleheader is minutes away, but in the meanwhile let’s recap the talking points of the game.
- Let’s start with the obvious highlight - Today brought double delight for the Yankees, as not only did Gio Urshela return to the lineup after missing time with bone spurs in his throwing elbow, he provided the walk-off single to win the game in extras. Mike Tauchman started the inning on second, and Mike Ford walked. With two outs, Urshela inside-outed an Edwin Diaz slider into right field. Michael Conforto’s throw pulled Wilson Ramos up the third base line, and Mike Tauchman was able to sneak by the tag to score the winning run.
Take this world and give me Gio. pic.twitter.com/Kl6ZjykJM9— New York Yankees (@Yankees) August 30, 2020
- Hicks to the rescue - The Yankees would never have found themselves in a position to win if not for Aaron Hicks’ last minute heroics to extend the game. Down to his last strike with two outs and a runner on second, Hicks roped a wall-scraping line drive over the short porch to tie the game. The ball exited at 106.1 MPH and traveled 347 feet.
- Mets doing Mets things - The bottom of the seventh inning could not have proceeded in a more Metsian fashion. Up 7-2, they brought in Jared Hughes to get the last three outs. Mike Ford reached on an error, after which Hughes was able to get two quick outs. However, he surrendered a walk to Tyler Wade and a hit-by-pitch to Thairo Estrada to load the bases. Luke Voit singled Ford and Wade home, but Estrada appeared to make a basic base running error and looked dead-to-rights to make the final out at third. Andrés Giménez mishandled the throw from right, however, allowing Hicks to come to the plate. On came closer Edwin Diaz, and everyone knows how that story is going to end.
- Dinked and dunked to death - Small ball was the name of the game for the Mets, as they walked and singled their way to what appeared to be an easy victory in the making. It seemed like there was traffic on the basepaths every inning for the visitors, and they capitalized on those opportunities more often than not. Many of their singles were bloops into the shallow outfield, and while they surely will not top any exit velocity leaderboard with today’s performance, all that mattered was the growing number in the hit column.
- Shake off the cobwebs - The Yankees’ bats were once again nowhere to be found for most of the game. It felt like the majority of the batting order slept in late and never got up to game speed. As has been the story over the last handful of games, the majority of the Yankees’ offense came from the 1-2 hitters, with Voit and LeMahieu accounting for almost half the team’s baserunners. So far the next-men-up are not able to fill the void created by injuries as they did last year, and only a late inning miracle salvaged a win from this game.
- Pounding the zone...with hittable pitches - Yankees starter Michael King looked decent enough through his first three innings of work. He poured sinkers and four-seamers over the plate, at times touching 95 mph, but ran into the singles buzzsaw in the fourth. The Mets rattled off five one-baggers in the top of the inning, ending King’s outing. David Cone raised an important point on the YES broadcast. While it is beneficial to generate soft contact, sometimes that is not enough, and as a pitcher you need put-away stuff to miss bats to escape a jam.
- Bottom of the bullpen barrel - Aaron Boone’s reliever options were severely limited by injuries, the volume of recent games, and Boone’s own arbitrary rules about consecutive days. Therefore, he was left with the likes of Brooks Kriske and Ben Heller to limit to eat innings after King’s departure.
- Bounce-back outing for Chad Green - After two straight horrific performances that put the status of Yankees bullpen in extreme uncertain, Green returned to the dominant form we got used to seeing at the beginning of the season. He struck out the side in the eighth, getting whiffs on both the fastball and breaking ball.