W: Rodriguez, 1-0
L: Warren, 1-2
HR: Texeira (7)
WPA MVP: Weeks .323; LVP: Overbay -.211
K-Rod finally blew a save, but it did not matter because Rickie Weeks and Mark Reynolds came through with hits in the bottom of the 9th to give the Brewers their first walkoff winner in 2014. Weeks was 3-5 on the day and drove in 2 runs. Remember when I said batting Weeks 3rd was putting him in a sink or swim situation where he would either earn more playing time or lose his job? Today, he swam.
Matt Garza had another Matt Garza start, walking 3 and giving up 3 runs in the first. He ended that inning with 40 pitches. It was so ugly that Wei-Chung Wang started warming in the first inning. Garza was able to turn it around and chug through 5 innings. His final line was 5 IP, 6 H, 4 K, 4 BB, 3 ER, on 106 pitches.
The Brewers had early baserunners in nearly every inning but only were able to get through in the 3rd against Yankees starter David Phelps. Garza doubled (?!) to lead off the inning and Carlos Gomez was hit by a pitch in the hand. Run producers Rickie Weeks (stay hot, buddy) and Lyle Overbay drove in runs with back to back singles, just as we predicted.
After a scoreless but shaky inning from Brandon Kintzler, the Brewers chased Phelps in the 6th by putting runners at the corners with no outs. Roenicke announced Scooter Gennett to pinch-hit but pulled him back for Jonathan Lucroy when the Yankees brought out LOOGY Matt Thorton. Lucroy singled up the middle to tie the game. After Carlos Gomez popped out on a bunt attempt (more on this later), Logan Schafer ripped a hit that Ichiro could not handle in right against tough righty Dellen Betances. With the infield in, Rickie Weeks hit a hard grounder to short that Jeter made a nice play on to hang up Schafer, allowing Lucroy to score. The 3-run inning gave the Brewers a 5-3 lead.
Zach Duke came on for the seventh to face a string of lefties and switch hitters and gave up his first run since early April (a home run in Philadelphia). Yangervis Solarte hit a fastball to center field to score Jacoby Ellsbury and bring the game within a run. With 2 out and a runner on, Roenicke went to Rob Wooten, who struck out Alfonso Soriano swinging on 5 consecutive sliders on the outside corner.
The setup crew that has been so good early on this year came within an out of doing it once again. Will Smith came on to hold the lead in the 8th, and backup catcher John Ryan Murphy led off with a weak grounder between Weeks and Overbay. Weeks charged and made a fantastic flip with the glove to Overbay, but the call was overturned to let Murphy stay at first. Expecting a bunt on the next pitch, Mark Reynolds fielded a chopper from Brian Roberts that bounced above his head and fired to Weeks at second, who turned the double play. Smith then struck out Brett Gardner, throwing a 95 mph high fastball for strike 2 and then burying a slider for strike 3.
In the ninth while the roof closed due to incoming rain, K-Rod got Yankee shortstop Derek Jeter to ground out to start the ninth, and was given a nice round of applause for doing so. Next, Ellsbury hit a line drive to right that Logan Schafer snagged with a running grab. But with 2 outs, Mark Teixeira somehow hit a full count changeup on the outside corner (a pretty good pitch, I swear) well out to right field to tie the game at 5.
Logan Schafer led off the ninth ended a long at bat against Adam Warren (in his second inning of work) with a flyout to the warning track in deep right-center field. With an out on the board, Rickie Weeks broke his bat but snuck a ground ball past Teixeira at first that allowed him to get to second base with a double, his 3rd hit of the day. Overbay swung and missed at the first two pitches from Warren, low breaking balls, but then took a wild pitch from that allowed Weeks to move to third. Overbay then struck out on a 2-2 changeup out of the zone. Mark Reynolds took a slider for strike one and then inexplicably missed a bunt for strike 2. But it did not matter as he drove a low slider through a hole on the left side of the infield for a walk-off single on the 0-2 count.
*On Gomez: He walked and then bunted in consecutive plate appearances after the HBP in the wrist, but X-Rays came back negative and he swung away in his final plate appearance.