It took five hours and 34 minutes, but the Athletics finished off a three-game sweep of the Yankees with a 3-2 win in 18 innings this evening at O.Co Coliseum.
Nate Freiman played hero for the Athletics, as he dropped a one-out single into left field off Mariano Rivera to drive in John Jaso for the winning run. Preston Claiborne began the inning and got Derek Norris to ground out to second base, but he was pulled in favor of Rivera after he gave up a single to Jaso. Rivera then allowed a bloop single to Seth Smith and intentionally walked Jed Lowrie to set-up Freiman for the game-winning hit.
By the way, this was the latest that Rivera had ever pitched in a game. Yes, even in his 19th and final season, the all-time saves leader still has some firsts left.
The Athletics nearly won the game three innings earlier on a single by Coco Crisp. However, Vernon Wells made a strong throw to the plate and Chris Stewart held on after a collision with Brandon Moss to get the out.
The Yankees got a two-run homer from Robinson Cano off Jarrod Parker in the first inning, but they were held off the board for the next 17 frames. Mark Teixeira, Travis Hafner, Kevin Youkilis, and Wells went a combined 0-for-28 and had three strikeouts each. Ouch.
This is the third game this month to go 18 innings or more, joining Rangers-Blue Jays (18 innings) and Marlins-Mets (20 innings) from this past Saturday. As ESPN’s Jayson Stark notes, that doesn’t happen often.
According to Paul Hoynes of the Cleveland Plain-Dealer, the Indians have placed right-hander Zach McAllister on the disabled list with a right finger sprain. Carlos Carrasco has been called up from Triple-A Columbus in a corresponding roster move and will make the start this afternoon against the Tigers. In turn, Justin Masterson has been pushed back to tomorrow.
McAllister told reporters earlier this week that he felt discomfort in his finger when he gave up a season-high five runs (four earned) and walked four during his most recent start on June 2 against the Rays. The injury prevented him from throwing his curveball, so the Indians are hoping that some extra rest will get him back on track physically. The 25-year-old right-hander has quietly been very effective this season, posting a 3.43 ERA and 45/22 K/BB ratio in 65 2/3 innings.
You may remember that Carrasco was handed an eight-game suspension for throwing at the Yankees’ Kevin Youkilis on April 9. He’s appealing the suspension for now, but he could drop it after today’s start. The 26-year-old right-hander has a 3.21 ERA and 50/14 K/BB ratio in 47 2/3 innings over nine starts and one relief appearance this season in Triple-A.
After the Yankees lost five in a row — including four at the hands of the crosstown Mets — they turned to ace CC Sabathia last night to stop the bleeding. He was up to the task.
Sabathia allowed just one run over 7 1/3 innings and matched a season-high with 10 strikeouts as the Yankees defeated the Red Sox 4-1 at Yankee Stadium. The big left-hander scattered six hits and didn’t walk a batter in the victory. The only run scored on an RBI double by Mike Napoli in the seventh inning.
The Yankees’ offense against Jon Lester was supplied by RBI singles from Jayson Nix, Ichiro Suzuki, the returning Kevin Youkilis, and Brett Gardner. And after going three games without a walk against the Mets, they drew four of them last night. Mark Teixeira went 0-for-3 with a walk in his season debut.
It was an encouraging performance from Sabathia, who was knocked around for a season-high seven runs last time out. While much has been made about his velocity, he threw harder last night than he had all season, topping out at just over 94 mph on his fastball.
(Hat-tip to the excellent Brooks Baseball for the velocity data)
Ivan Nova went 16-4 with a 3.70 ERA for the Yankees as a 24-year-old in 2011, convincing quite a few people that he was a future star, but he’s been terrible since then and now he’s headed back to Triple-A.
Nova, who hasn’t pitched in the minors since 2011, was demoted in tandem with the Yankees activating Kevin Youkilis and Mark Teixeira from the disabled list. They needed to make space on the roster and Nova has a 5.16 ERA in four starts and two relief appearances after posting a 5.02 ERA in 28 starts last year.
He’ll no doubt be back and if the Yankees have truly soured on Nova they could almost surely get something for him in trade, especially since his 179/66 K/BB ratio in 193 innings since 2012 is a whole lot better than his ERA. At age 26 he still has plenty of upside, but the Yankees are predictably running out of patience.