All eyes were on Shohei Ohtani in the lead up to this series, but it was Griffin Canning who stole the show early. His career day largely silenced the Yankees bats, allowing Ohtani to take center stage with a game-tying two-run bomb in the seventh. Their combined effort set the stage for a pinch-hit, walk-off single in the 10th as the Bombers got walked off in extras for the second-straight night, 4-3. They now fittingly find themselves in the AL East basement.
For a player who experienced an up-and-down first half, Canning displayed remarkable command of the glove-side edge of the strike zone, peppering the black with four-seamers and sliders for called strikes. He struck out Giancarlo Stanton in the first before really turning things on, punching out three in each of the second and third and another pair in the fourth to take his tally to nine. It felt like the whole lineup was way early on the slider as if they had been told to go up and swing as if every pitch was a fastball.
The early innings weren’t without some traffic. Oswald Peraza led off the contest with a walk before getting picked off at first, but followed it up with a single in his next AB and walks in the fifth, seventh, and ninth to reach safely in all five trips. Gleyber Torres singled in each of his first two times up to give him six straight multi-hit games. However, the surrounding cast had no answer early against Canning.
After an initial hiccup which saw an Ohtani grounder zip past Torres’ glove for a first inning single, the Yankees defense helped out Luis Severino. Anthony Volpe made a slick stab on a sharp Hunter Renfroe grounder in the second, initiating a double play to erase a leadoff walk. Then in the third, Zach Neto singled followed by a stinging Ohtani liner to split left-center gap. However, a perfect Harrison Bader throw and Volpe liner nabbed Neto at home with a few steps to spare to keep the game scoreless.
Canning struck out Torres and Rizzo to open the sixth inning, giving him a career-high dozen on the outing. However, seemingly from the moment his pitch count hit triple digits, Canning lost some command giving up a pair of well-struck singles to Bader and Volpe. With his pitcher sitting at a career-high 115 pitches, Phil Nevin emerged from the dugout, but Canning shooed him away, only to walk Isiah Kiner-Falefa to load the bases and end his own night.
In came Jimmy Herget to promptly serve up a two-run double to Oswaldo Cabrera to open the scoring before a Torres sac fly in the seventh made it 3-0 Yankees.
While far from perfect, Severino battled for six innings, the only blemish a Matt Thaiss solo shot in the sixth.
The right-hander flashed some of his best stuff of the season after running into trouble in the fifth when a Renfroe leadoff walk and Trey Cabbage double put runners on second and third with no out. Severino struck out Eduardo Escobar on a 100.1-mph fastball, his fastest pitch since October last year. Neto bounced a grounder Peraza, whose accurate throw cut down Renfroe trying to score, and after an intentional walk of Ohtani to load the bases, Sevy induced a lineout from Mickey Moniak to strand all three ducks on the pond. He would end his night giving up a run on six hits and three walks with three strikeouts on 98 pitches.
Unfortunately, the Yankees could only hold down the best player on the planet for so long. Michael King came in for the seventh and fanned Cabbage and Neto sandwiched around an Escobar walk. Despite intentionally walking him two innings prior, the Yankees decided to attack Ohtani and even ran him to two strikes before King inexplicably dealt him a belt-high fastball that the 2021 AL MVP deposited over the left-center field fence to level the scores, 3-3, extending his MLB lead to 35 home runs.
King lost all feel for the strike zone after that, walking a pair of batters and hitting Mike Moustakas with a 2-2 pitch to reload the bases. Ron Marinaccio partially atoned for giving up the walk-off home run in the series finale against the Rockies by stranding the bases loaded before working a scoreless eighth.
The Yankees gave themselves a chance in the ninth, with pinch-hitter DJ LeMahieu leading off with a single before advancing to second as Renfroe bobbled the ball in right. Peraza walked for the fourth time to put two on for Stanton, who narrowly missed a home run to left, and in the blink of an eye the threat was over with Torres bouncing into an inning-ending double play.
Nick Ramirez pitched a scoreless bottom of the ninth to send this game to extra innings, where again the Yankees had a shot after a Rizzo grounder advanced zombie runner Torres to third with one out. Bader and Volpe struck out (the latter earning a golden sombrero) to bring the total to 17 for the Yankees offense — the most times they’ve struck out in a game since 2021 against Max Scherzer and the Nationals. The home team didn’t prolong the misery for long, with pinch-hitter Michael Stefanic lacing a single to left to walk it off, 4-3.
Since the Red Sox beat the A’s out in Oakland, the Yankees are now not only further behind in the Wild Card mix, but they have the ignominious distinction of holding sole possession of last place in the AL East. It’s the latest in a season that they’ve been in the division cellar since 1990, when ace Gerrit Cole was less than a month old, MVP Aaron Judge wasn’t born, and former captain Derek Jeter was in high school.
One "last" thing: The Yankees now have sole possession of last place in the AL East. Delightful! pic.twitter.com/t4BcDxSRur— Pinstripe Alley (@pinstripealley) July 18, 2023
Like it or not, it’s right back to the grind tomorrow night, with Domingo Germán facing Patrick Sandoval. First pitch is scheduled for 9:38 pm ET so be sure to join us in the game thread.