Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Yankees blow 9th inning lead to Rangers after 3.5 hour rain delay

In a Yankees season full of disappointing defeats, Monday night’s crushing loss to the Rangers might go down as the worst — if not the longest.

With New York leading 6-5 and a Texas runner on first base following a leadoff walk in the top of the ninth inning, the game entered into a three-hour, 35-minute rain delay, beginning at 10:40 p.m. with play resuming at 2:15 a.m. before finally ending Tuesday morning at 2:45 a.m..

After the early morning locker room wake-up call, Kirby Yates entered the game to pitch for the Yankees and couldn't get his second career save, allowing a two-run single to Adrian Beltre and an RBI single to Elvis Andrus as the Rangers went on to stun the home team, 9-6.

Joe Girardi — who successfully lobbied for a rain (which never came) delay to suspend the game 20 minutes at the start — got the tarp on the field once again after the leadoff walk (which the Yankees manager later denied) in the ninth.

The choice to delay the game belonged solely to crew chief, first-base umpire Paul Nauert, not Girardi or Rangers manager Jeff Banister. Being that the game had lasted longer than five innings, it was reasonable that Nauert could have called the game then, but he elected not to, leading to the extended delay later in the ninth.

Prior to that, when the rain did come in the 5th inning, umpires decided to let the teams play through the soggy conditions. Rangers fielders had trouble fielding some balls, slipped a couple of times and overall had a tough time with the slick grass, but the game pressed on until the ninth.

Before the stoppage, the Yankees broke out offensively with 15 hits. Mark Teixeira provided the big blast, smacking the Yanks' first non-single of the day, a home run to lead off the seventh inning that extended the Yankees' lead to 6-4. But it was the Yankees bullpen which let them down.

Happily for the Rangers, their 50th win of the season was worth the wait.

As for the Yankees, they might be glad to know the stands were empty and TVs off by the time they blew the game. 

Maybe if Girardi didn't call for that bogus pre-game suspension things might have ended differently for the Yankees — well, at least a whole lot earlier.

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