The New York Yankees entered Sunday night's game against the Boston Red Sox with a chance to steal a road series at Fenway Park as they desperately try to stay in the playoff race. They actually scored seven runs, a stunning accomplishment for a lineup that featured the corpses of Vernon Wells and Travis Hafner in addition to Eduardo Nunez, Chris Stewart, and Luis Cruz at the bottom of the batting order. Normally, seven runs would be plenty for this team; they entered the night 23-0 when scoring at least six runs.
Regrettably, they let this rare display of offense go to waste as CC Sabathia had a poor night, but they could have easily scored more than seven runs had first baseman Lyle Overbay not gone through one of the worst games in the history of the Yankees. In fact, it was the seventh-worst game in Yankees history by WPA, even more miserable than Hafner's 0-for-8 in the nightmare 18-inning game in Oakland:
|1||Juan Rivera||6/1/2003||NYY||DET||W 10-9||7||6||0||0||0||0||0||0||1||0||0||0||0||0||0||3||0||0||-0.820||-4.504||2.396||8||LF|
|2||Graig Nettles||8/7/1973 (1)||NYY||TEX||L 1-2||4||4||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||-0.619||-2.629||2.600||6||3B|
|3||Mark Teixeira||10/2/2012||NYY||BOS||W 4-3||6||6||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||2||0||0||-0.618||-4.121||2.825||4||1B|
|4||Butch Wynegar||5/11/1984||NYY||SEA||L 3-4||5||5||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||1||0||0||-0.612||-2.128||3.324||8||PH C|
|5||Thurman Munson||8/13/1977||NYY||CAL||L 5-6||6||6||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||2||0||0||0||0||1||0||0||-0.608||-3.584||2.773||3||C|
|6||Chris Chambliss||7/22/1976||NYY||OAK||L 5-6||5||5||1||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||1||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||-0.571||-2.880||2.872||4||1B|
|7||Lyle Overbay||7/21/2013||NYY||BOS||L 7-8||6||6||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||2||0||0||0||0||2||0||0||-0.567||-4.026||2.185||4||1B|
|8||Jerry Kenney||4/22/1970||NYY||WSA||L 1-2||8||8||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||2||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||-0.565||-2.326||2.703||2||3B|
|9||Travis Hafner||6/13/2013||NYY||OAK||L 2-3||8||8||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||3||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||-0.545||-2.660||2.455||5||DH|
|10||Robinson Cano||7/31/2005||NYY||LAA||W 8-7||6||6||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||2||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||-0.541||-2.635||2.947||2||2B|
While Pronk needed eight plate appearances to reach his -0.545 disaster, Overbay did it in just six.
1st inning, -.05
Overbay had an opportunity to knock in some early runs against a struggling Ryan Dempster. One run was already in for the Yankees on some sloppy defense, and Overbay had the lefty/righty advantage on Dempster with runners on first and third and one out. A fly ball could have scored a run, but Overbay struck out on five pitches.
2nd inning, -.03
One inning later, Overbay was immediately offered a reprieve. Cano had scored the Yankees' third run on a two-out single, again putting runners at the corners for Overbay. Two pitches and a meek comebacker later, the inning was over and Overbay was 0-for-2 with four runners stranded.
5th inning, -.02
The Red Sox rallied to take a 6-3 lead by the time Overbay came up for a third chance, this time with no one on base. Dempster needed just two pitches to induce a fly ball to center. At this point, Overbay's day was 0-for-3 with a -.100 WPA. It was not the day one would hope for, but it was far from disastrous. His next three at-bats obliterated the normal standard for a poor day.
6th inning, -.21
The Yankees knocked Dempster out of the game during the sixth, and lefty specialist Craig Breslow relieved him with two men on, one out, and the score 7-4, Red Sox. His mission was to take care of the lefties Ichiro Suzuki, Cano, and Overbay (if needed). Breslow did not do his job against Ichiro and Cano, who hit back-to-back singles, making the score 7-5. Although at a big disadvantage facing a lefty, Overbay could tie the game with a single since Ichiro and Gardner were on second and third. Hell, even a fly ball would make it a one-run game. One pitch later, NOPE; it was an easy 4-6-3 double play to kill the rally.
8th inning, -.04
Another lefty was on for the Red Sox in the eighth, the recently-acquired Matt Thornton. A two-run rally against Breslow and Junichi Tazawa had completed a very nice four-run comeback by the Yankees to even the score at seven after seven. In the eighth though, Cano struck out swinging, Overbay struck out looking, and Wells grounded out. Overbay was now a ugly 0-for-5.
10th inning, -.22
The game went to extra innings, and the Yankees faced rookie southpaw Drake Britton, appearing in just his second career game (the first was the previous day). Gardner walked, Ichiro flew out, and Cano singled Gardner to scoring position. Overbay could bloop a single to give the Yankees the lead. Even if he struck out, Red Sox manager John Farrell would have to make a move to bring in Pedro Beato unless he wanted Britton to face the righty Wells up next. It did not matter. Overbay hit a 1-0 pitch to second for yet another 4-6-3 double play to kill the rally.
An inning later, the game ended on a Mike Napoli homer, and Overbay's horrible day was set in stone at 0-for-6 with eight men left on base and a -.567 WPA that clinched him "Mitre of the Game" distinction. Overbay has been a relative surprise this year at a 104 OPS+ with solid defense while replacing Teixeira, but Sunday night was certainly one game to forget for the veteran.