Tuesday night wasn’t billed as a pitcher’s duel, but that’s what the fans at Yankee Stadium got. And after six innings, it was a battle of the bullpens.
Normally, such late-inning affairs fall in favor of the Yankees. However, in an occurrence as rare as finding a unicorn, the Yankees bullpen was outpitched on Tuesday. Oakland’s relievers combined for 5 1/3 innings and only allowed one baserunner — a Chase Headley single in the ninth — but New York couldn’t push across the winning run.
Then in the 11th, with Johnny Barbato one strike away from sending the Yankees up to bat, Mark Canha drove in the game-winning run and the A’s held on to win 3-2 in New York’s first extra inning game of the season.
The Play — Mark Canha’s game-winning single (.336 WPA)
Johnny Barbato hadn’t given up a run all season before tonight, but in the 11th inning he ran into trouble. As Jed Lowrie stood on third with two outs, Mark Canha lined an 0-2 pitch off Didi Gregorius’s glove and into left field. Lowrie would ultimately score the winning run after Ryan Madson came in to shut the door for Oakland in the bottom of the 11th.
Athletics — Jed Lowrie, 4-for-5, 2B, RBI
Yankees — Alex Rodriguez, 2-for-5, RBI
— Michael Pineda started the game for the Yankees and pitched well, allowing two runs over six innings on 97 pitches. His day could have been better though, as the second run came on a triple that glanced off Brett Gardner’s glove in the sixth. Still, it’s a positive start for Pineda and hopefully he can continue the momentum into his next start and find some consistency.
— Starlin Castro batted in the No. 2 hole for the first time this season and went 1-for-5. Castro has had severe home/road splits so far this season, hitting much better in the hitter-friendly Yankee Stadium.
Starlin Castro likes Yankee Stadium.
In six home games: .480 (12-25), 2 HR, 8 RBIs.
In five road games: .118 AVG (2-17).
— Bryan Hoch (@BryanHoch) April 19, 2016
— Carlos Beltran got another hit tonight, going 1-for-4 with an RBI and run scored. The veteran outfielder is now hitting .333/.340/.600 on the young season.
— In the ninth inning, after Didi Gregorius failed to lay down a bunt, pinch-runner and would-be-winning-run Jacoby Ellsbury was caught stealing second off a perfect throw from A’s catcher Steven Vogt. On primary day, most Yankees fans probably “Vogt-ed” for a mulligan. His defense earlier in the game probably saved the Yankees however, making a really nice backhand and throw right after Pineda exited.
— Yankeesource (@YankeeSource) April 20, 2016
— Andrew Miller’s dominance out of the bullpen continued, although his consecutive strikeout streak ended. Miller had struck out eight straight batters before Marcus Seimen grounded out in the ninth.
The Highlight — Betances strikes out Khris Davis
— Matthew Stucko (@MatthewStucko) April 20, 2016
Dellin Betances had a surprisingly rough outing tonight, but with the go-ahead run on second base he blew a fastball by Khris Davis and got through the 8th inning unscathed.
The Yankees continue their series against Oakland tomorrow night at 7:05 p.m. Kendall Graveman (0-1, 2.38 ERA) will face Nathan Eovaldi (0-1, 6.94) on the mound. Graveman went 6 innings and allowed only one run on four hits in his last start, while Eovaldi gave up fo runs on seven hits in 6.2 innings, but struck out eight.