The last thing the Yankees needed nor wanted was a long game after the final game of the series against the Twins, and in classic cruel baseball fashion, that’s exactly what the Yankees got with this 13-inning marathon. After sitting on the bench for the entire game, All-Star candidate Jose Trevino was the hero once again, scoring Joey Gallo with the winning run.
On a night where both teams combined to go hitless with runners in scoring position through their first 36 tries, it was the sole RISP hit that drove in the winning run in the bottom of the 13th inning. It wasn’t ideal, but the Yankees got the job done and took the opener against the Cubs by the score of 2-1.
The game started off with a nice ritual from Cubs rookie, Christopher Morel. The leadoff hitter begins the game by greeting both the catcher and umpire with enthusiasm, and also tips his helmet at to the opposing starter (Luis Severino in this case). Morel would go on to strike out on three pitches, as Severino had his stuff working early. The right-hander retired five of the first six hitters he faced by way of the K.
The bottom of the second inning had an interesting start, as Josh Donaldson took an 0-1 changeup low and away for a double down the left-field line. The hit had a .160 expected batting average according to Statcast.
Gleyber Torres had a chance to drive him and the Yankees’ second baseman drilled a ball with an exit velocity of 110.4 MPH, and an expected batting average of .850. Unfortunately, it found the glove of Nick Madrigal at second. Cubs starter Wade Miley would go on to get Aaron Hicks and Kyle Higashioka, stranding Donaldson in scoring position and helping set the tone for the night.
The Cubs began the next inning with a leadoff double as well by Jason Heyward. The Cubs outfielder advanced to third, and also failed to score as he was thrown out at home on a weak grounder from Morel.
The Yankees thought they had Morel picked off at first and challenged the play, but the call stood and it gave Willson Contreras (the best-hitting catcher in baseball right now) a chance to get a single and create a scoring situation for the Cubs. He would do just that, setting the stage for Ian Happ.
Happ seemed to split the gap with a liner to left-center that could’ve driven in a couple of runs for the visiting Cubs, but Judge — who’s been getting more and more playing time in center field — proved why he was granted that opportunity by tracking it down with a diving catch, thus keeping the score at 0-0.
In the bottom of the third, Giancarlo Stanton batted with one out and runners on the corners. The Yankees’ right fielder took a 3-2 cutter that was just in off the plate but could’ve been called either way. That at-bat passed the baton to a man you would want up with the bases loaded in Donaldson, a career .379 hitter with five grand slams in those situations. This time, the DH lined to center to end the inning.
There was a bit of a delay to start the bottom of the fourth inning, as Miley felt something during the warm-up tosses after pitching three scoreless frames. He had to be pulled from the game early and entrusted the scoreless matchup to the Chicago bullpen.
Daniel Norris came in and needed some time to get properly warmed up, and the first hitter he faced took him deep. The lucky recipient of this unusual opportunity was Torres:
Gleyber’s opposite-field home run was his 11th of 2022 — two more than he posted last year in over 300 more plate appearances.
Sevy had been on cruise control through the first but ran into trouble against the bottom of the order in the fifth inning. Jason Heyward — who had already hit him hard in his previous plate appearance — took Sevy deep to tie the game. The Yankees’ starter allowed the next two baserunners to reach base but managed to keep the damage to one run, getting Contreras, Happ, and Frank Schwindel consecutively to finish the frame.
In the top of the sixth inning, a specific pitch went a long way in helping Severino finish six strong in another extremely positive outing. Sevy had a 3-2 count on Rafael Ortega after walking Patrick Wisdom to lead off the frame. The runner took off, and what appeared to be ball four was called a strike, and Higgy threw out Wisdom, who didn’t even slide:
What could’ve been two on with no outs, turned into two outs and the bases empty for the Cubs. Severino’s final line included six innings of one-run ball with seven hits and one walk. For the second-straight outing, he struck out 10 batters.
On a night when Rizzo saw the Cubs for the first time after the trade last season, the Yankees also saw an old acquaintance in David Robertson. The 2009 playoff hero managed to keep the home team off the board in the eighth despite allowing a couple of batters to reach base, as he struck out Torres and Hicks to escape the gem.
Manager Aaron Boone used Miguel Castro, Michael King, and Clay Holmes to bridge the gap after Severino went six in this tightly contested game, each pitched a scoreless frame from the sixth through the ninth. For Holmes, it was his 28th consecutive shutout inning.
Clarke Schmidt faced a big task in the 10th against the heart of the Cubs order. Contreras grounded out on a hard-hit ball, and after falling behind 2-0 in the count to Happ, Schmidt intentionally walked him and Schwindel hit into a double play to end the threat.
The Yankees came into the bottom of the 10th inning needing only a single run to win the game, and Aaron Judge was the first batter up. Unfortunately, the downside of the extra-inning rule is that Cubs skipper David Ross had an easy decision to intentionally walk Judge, and take his chances with Rizzo.
With runners on first and second, and needing only a run to win the game, the Yankees failed to capitalize. Rizzo struck out looking on a fastball right down Broadway, Gallo followed with a soft grounder to the mound, and Donaldson flew out to the track in left field.
The game remained tied at 1-1 through 10, and Schmidt went back out there for a second inning of work. After a popout by Wisdom, Schmidt got himself a double play on a line drive out right at him, and a throw back to second:
Once again, the Cubs intentionally walked the leadoff batter in the bottom of the 11th. The walk-off specialist Torres had to take his base, and once again they failed to score. Hicks had what appeared to be the winning hit taken away from him with a line drive to third that was caught. Higashioka and Isiah Kiner-Falefa were retired as well. The game dragged on.
Yankees relievers Wandy Peralta and Ron Marinaccio did excellent work to continually frustrate the Cubs’ hitters, keeping them off the board in the 12th and the 13th, respectively. Although the trio of DJ LeMahieu, Rizzo, and Gallo came up short in the former, the Yankees finally managed to push a run across in the latter.
The bottom of the 13th started with a couple of outs from Donaldson and Torres. Hicks was due up and the Cubs decided to intentionally walk him to face Higgy. Boone countered with Trevino off the bench and the pinch-hitter said enough is enough:
Just like that, the ballgame was over and Trevino was mobbed on the field. He’s now batting .290/.340/.462 with a 133 wRC+ in 38 games — a remarkable start to his 2022 campaign.
Jordan Montgomery takes the ball on Saturday against Matt Swarmer for the second game of this series. First pitch is at 7:15pm ET on Fox.
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