"Now what do I do with this again?"
It took me ten tries to write this opening sentence for the recap due to extra innings, frustration, and the very notion that anything could happen in this clusterbunt. The Yankees wound up winning 10-9 due to an error by the A's first baseman, Brandon Moss. That is not the only reason the Yankees won. We still have nearly six hours of baseball to dissect here. Let us begin this high school biology class "frog day" recap.
Ivan Nova was the starting pitcher this afternoon. His previous start against the Rays was promising. His start today was the opposite of promising. Nova only managed to go 2.1 innings, giving up five hits and three earned runs, including a dinger, while striking out two and walking two. Nova really did not have any command with his pitches. Not the case you want to make for yourself to pitch in the postseason. It also gives Girardi a reason to pitch Phelps over him for the remainder of this very close regular season.
Nova's performance gave Girardi early on bullpen management. Yoiks, and away! Clay Rapada came in for a little over an inning and gave up a run and two hits while striking out two. That run tied the game. Yoiks, and away! Derek Lowe would then come in to pitch 2.2 innings, giving up one run and one hit while striking out two. That run tied the game.. Yoiks, and away! Boone Logan, Cody Eppley, and Joba Chamberlain would keep the game tied till the game went to extras and to Freddy Garcia. Yoiks, and away! Garcia managed two innings of smoke, mirrors, and an incredible defensive play by Steve Pearce to keep the game tied. Then the magic was lost as the A's pounded him for two dingers and three runs. Justin Thomas would follow Freddy by giving up a homer of his own. We'll get to Cory Wade in a bit.
Onto the offense and it's incredible journey from Happy County to Frustraiion Town to Dumpster Fireville to Heroic City to the Land of Confusion.. In Happy County, the Yankees would score early on thanks to an Ichiro homer, an RBI from Cano, and a Jones walk with the bases loaded. A wild pitch would score Alex Rodriguez in the second inning. On the way out of Happy County, Raul Ibanez would hit a PH dinger to give the lead back to the Yankees. Frustration Town would begin with the Yankees not hitting and going into extras.
Then a quick stop at Dumpster Fireville in the 12th inning. The opportunity to score and stop putting our hopes on Freddy's magic was there. No runs. A glimmer of light emerged from the smoke as the Yankees entered Heroic City. After giving up four runs in the top of the 13th, the Yankees managed to tie it again with a wild pitch, a Nunez sac fly, and another Ibanez homer. The final stop would be in the Land of Confusion. Cory Wade would pitch an effortless inning and the Yankees would win due to an error.
The Yankees won and maintained first place in the AL East. Now let us never speak of this route to a victory again! Tomorrow Kuroda will pitch against A.J. Griffin. The less bullpen usage tomorrow, the better.
-In sadder news, Brian Cashman's father passed away today. Best wishes and condolences to him and his family.