09 April 2018

Orioles Win 14-Inning Game That Had Just About Everything

Sometimes you watch a game and know you're going to remember it for a long time -- even in a season in which each team plays 162 games. That's how crazy of a game the Orioles' 7-3 win over the Yankees on Friday night was. Yes, it was a Birdland classic.

As it turns out, the Orioles and Yankees played another fun, extra-inning game on Sunday, which the O's also won (8-7, in 12 innings). That come-from-behind win had its share of storylines and strange plays.

Still, Friday's absurd, 14-inning game had so much going on, including:
  • A go-ahead grand slam from Pedro Alvarez.
  • Early exits for CC Sabathia (hip injury) and Gary Sanchez (calf injury). 
  • Aroldis Chapman getting two visits to the mound (the second one being health related).
  • Manny Machado reaching base six times (2 HR, 2 1B, 2 BB).
  • Mychal Givens's mad dash home after a wild pitch to cover the plate and save the game.
  • Aaron Judge robbing Caleb Joseph of a home run in the 13th inning.
  • An incorrectly called rundown play that should have led to two outs instead of one. (The umpires admitted after the game that they were wrong.)
  • Excellent work from both bullpens: 19 combined innings, only four earned runs allowed.
  • Didi Gregorius's game-tying homer in the 8th.
  • Two shutout innings from Rule 5 pick Pedro Araujo.
  • Tim Beckham going 0-6 with five strikeouts.
  • Chris Davis hitting a home run.
There's more, but already that's an action-packed list. Let's take a closer look at some of the most memorable moments:

Machado's monster night

In seven trips to the plate, Machado reached base six times. No one else in the game reached more than three times.

Machado had four hits, including these two blasts off of CC Sabathia:

No one else in the game had more than two hits.

This nugget after the game made Machado's performance look even more ridiculous:
Not bad, Manny.

A confusing rundown

In the sixth inning, the Yankees, who were caught in several rundowns just in this series, did this:

After a lengthy discussion, the umpires ruled that Giancarlo Stanton gave himself up (even though he passed Gary Sanchez at third base) and that there would only be one out instead of two.

The umpires were wrong. The crew chief, Jerry Meals, admitted that after the game:
"OK, what we had on the field, what Ronny (Kulpa) had on the field, was as soon as Stanton ran by him into foul territory there, he had him out for abandoning his effort, which gave Sánchez the base, so when they tagged him he wasn’t out. That was our explanation on the field. We were incorrect.

"The ruling is when a runner from second, in that situation, when a runner from second has occupied third and the lead runner goes beyond third base to the outfield or wherever, runs past it, the interpretation is the runner from second is passed that runner, the lead runner, so he is out automatically without being tagged. Sánchez should have been out automatically for passing Stanton. Then Stanton had the right to come back and touch third before being tagged or be called out for abandoning his effort."
It's not often that umpires admit that they messed up. Fortunately, the Yankees didn't score with that extra out in the sixth inning, so it ended up not mattering much.

Givens saves the game

With two outs in the bottom of the 11th (and the score still tied), Mychal Givens uncorked a wild pitch. In the moment, it seemed like the game was about to end. But thanks to great hustle from both Joseph and Givens, it wasn't, because this happened:

Immediately after the play (and still after the call was upheld), there were cries of how the run should have counted because "Givens blocked the plate!" Now, catchers can't block the plate, of course, or at least they are not supposed to. However, things are different for pitchers. Jon Meoli of The Baltimore Sun summed up the situation well:
And though a recent rule change prevented catchers from blocking the plate, the relevant rule — Rule 6.01 — says nothing of pitchers covering the plate, and Givens was making a play to catch the ball.
The game went on, and Givens's game-saving play will be remembered for quite some time.

Aaron Judge robs Caleb Joseph

Off the bat, I thought Joseph's ball was gone. Unfortunately, I didn't account for the giant, skilled baseball player in right field:

Thirteenth inning. Large outfielder. Short porch in right field. New York fans who managed to not reach over the fence and interfere! It all added up to a soul-crushing moment for Joseph and the Orioles and a euphoric one for the Yankees.

Alvarez's blast puts it away

The Orioles were not going to be denied, though. That's because Pedro Alvarez, who entered the game as a pinch hitter in the 10th inning and reached base in his three trips to the plate, did this in the 14th inning:

Cue the Napoleon Dynamite GIFs (Vote For Pedro) and anything with a bull reference (Alvarez's nickname is El Toro). Amazing.


At this moment, who knows exactly how the Orioles season will turn out? There's still a lot to learn about this team that's in the middle of a brutal stretch of games to start the year.

Still, no matter if things go south or not, this game will be one to remember. What was your favorite moment from such an epic game?


Anonymous said...

There can never be too many good things about the O's taking three of four from the Yankees. And this series was a doozy.

Unknown said...

So far it seems Alvarez is locked in this season. Productive lefty bat off the bench is nice to have.

Unknown said...

The Givens play, just because I truly had no idea what the rule is and the entire game hinged on it.