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Yankees 7, Phillies 8: DJ LeMahieu’s late heroics not quite enough

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After Taillon floundered in the first, LeMahieu saved it in the ninth ... only to see Chapman blow it in the tenth.

MLB: New York Yankees at Minnesota Twins Jesse Johnson-USA TODAY Sports

If this had been a boxing match, it would have been scored a first-round knockdown by the Phillies. Jameson Taillon gave up four runs while only recording a single out, and this deficit proved almost too steep to overcome. However, the Yankees were able to get up after a nine-count only to see Aroldis Chapman blow it in extras. Let’s see how it unfolded.

The Yankees came out swinging, and went down in order on six pitches in the top of the first. Things couldn’t have been different for Taillon in the bottom half, as he was on the ropes from the first pitch he threw. The Phillies loaded the bases with three straight leadoff singles.

Bryce Harper knocked in two with a single up the middle to put the Yankees in a first inning two-run hole. Taillon then reloaded the bases with a walk to Rhys Hoskins, only for Andrew McCutchen to drive in the Phillies’ third run with a sac fly to the warning track. They then added a fourth on an RBI single from Alec Bohm, which knocked Taillon from the game.

This was by far the worst we have seen from Taillon this season. He pushed most of the counts to two-strikes, but proved utterly incapable of putting guys away. Phillies hitters had no issue fouling off pitches until Taillon made a mistake, and they made him pay every time.

Courtesy of Statcast

That’s 14 two-strike pitches without recording a single out. Yikes. Taillon’s final line: 0.1 innings, five hits, four runs, one walk, no strikeouts, 34 pitches. Nestor Cortes came on in relief and promptly loaded the bases once more on a Ronald Torreyes single. He did escape the inning with strikeouts of Vince Velasquez and Odubel Herrera to limit the deficit to 4-0.

Gary Sánchez took a bite out of the Phillies’ lead with his solo home run to deep left-center in the top of the second off Velasquez, as he continued to make his case to regain the permanent starting catcher role.

After Miguel Andújar muscled a single to left, Brett Gardner reduced the arrears to two with an RBI triple to right.

Cortes worked into and out of trouble in the home half, walking Realmuto and surrendering a Harper single, but escaped with the score still at 4-2. DJ LeMahieu led off the third with a double down the right field line but was left stranded. Nothing much happened until the bottom of the fourth when Herrera doubled to lead off, took third on a wild pitch, and scored on a Jean Segura single to make it 5-2 Phils.

The Yankees created some traffic in the fifth with a leadoff Gardner single and pinch-hit walk by Chris Gittens, but Velasquez retired the next three in order. The Phillies tacked on two more in the bottom half, with Luis Cessa looking like the Cessa of old. He walked Hoskins, and then gave up two straight singles and a double to Torreyes before recording a single out in the inning. He settled down the rest of the frame, but not before the Phillies extended their lead to 7-2.

Rougned Odor clawed back a consolation run in the sixth with a 428-foot solo shot off the facing of the upper deck in right.

There was one positive on the pitching side for the Yankees, with Zack Britton making his season debut after working back from offseason surgery to remove bone chips from his throwing elbow. Even though the velocity sat between 92 and 94 mph, his sinker displayed its trademark bowling ball action as he retired the side in order on eleven pitches.

Sánchez collected his second RBI of the night with an eighth inning single. The bloop to right field scored Aaron Judge, who led off the inning with a single of his own and advanced to second on a Gio Urshela groundout.

Just when all hope seemed lost, the Yankees mounted a ninth-inning rally. Gardner and Tyler Wade each drew one-out walks, bringing LeMahieu to the plate. He drilled a 2-2 Hector Neris splitter into the seats in left center. The 109.1 mph, 397 foot three-run shot brought the Yankees all the way back to tie it all up at 7-7.

Chad Green looked poised to spoil the comeback after giving up a leadoff double to Harper in the bottom of the ninth. However, he buckled down and retired the next three hitters, including a game-saving diving play by Gleyber Torres, to send this one to extras.

The Yankees wasted their chance to grab a lead in the tenth. Torres started on second, but misread an Urshela grounder and failed to advance. Sánchez and a pinch-hitting Higashioka both struck out, and you could feel this one slip away.

Indeed, Aroldis Chapman came on in the bottom of the tenth, and sailed a throw to first on a Travis Jankowski sac bunt attempt, allowing Torreyes to go to third. He scored the winning run on a Segura infield single that Urshela gloved on a diving play, but could not throw fast enough to home.

It wasn’t as immediately devastating as Chapman’s recent blown save against the Twins and didn’t exactly have a lot of hard contact, but the result was the same: a Yankees loss. They now sit just two games over .500, or exactly where they were after the Red Sox swept them last weekend.

The Yankees will try to split this series tomorrow, with Domingo Germán taking on Aaron Nola. First pitch is scheduled for 1:05 p.m. ET, so join us in the game thread.

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