It took the New York Yankees almost five hours on the field, going from Wednesday to Thursday and even September to October to finish off the Cleveland Indians to punch their ticket to the 2020 ALDS.
In a wild game of constant lead changes, DJ LeMahieu poked a single up the middle to give New York a 10-9 lead in the longest game in MLB history.
Game 2 of the Wild Card series lasted 4 hours and 50 minutes, plus two rain delays. By the time Aroldis Chapman got the final out of the ballgame, it was well past 1:00 in the morning. The game felt like it was never going to end with all of the pitching changes and long at-bats.
The game start time was delayed a little over 50 minutes due to impending rain in the area. When Carlos Carrasco came out to pitch the top of the first there was a little bit of rain coming down. Not to mention there were also 21 MPH wind gusts. But when Masahiro Tanaka came out for the bottom half of the inning, it was a downpour. Tanaka gave up a run via a Jose Ramirez double down the right-field line, giving the Indians a 1-0 lead before the tarp came out yet again.
Post Rain Delay
Once the next rain delay ended, Tanaka gave up three more runs to make it 4-0 Cleveland. This put the Yankees in a big hole to start the game. Giancarlo Stanton got a run back in the top of the second by launching a deep home run to right field. That cut the Cleveland lead to 4-1.
The biggest part of the game so far came in the top of the fourth inning. With the Yankees knocking Carrasco out of the game, the Indians brought in James Karinchak with bases loaded. But Gio Urshela launched a grand slam to deep left-center giving the Yankees their first lead of the ballgame, making it 5-4 New York. Giancarlo Stanton also added another run on in the top of the fifth, extending the Yankee lead to 6-4.
1st Blown Lead
Tanaka exited the game in the bottom of the fifth inning, with Chad Green coming in relief. Green gave up a two-run double to Ramirez to tie the game at 8.
At the top of the sixth, the Yankees took the lead yet again. This time the runs coming via a Gary Sanchez blast to right field which gave the Yankees an 8-6 lead.
2nd Blown Lead
The lead did not last long. Jordan Luplow doubled to deep center field off of Jonathan Loasiga to tie the game at 8. At the bottom of the eighth Loasiga got into big trouble. A single off the bat of Cesar Hernandez gave Cleveland a 9-8 lead heading into the ninth, the last chance for New York.
The Ninth Inning
Cleveland brought their closer Brad Hand on to close it out in the ninth, but a walk to Stanton, a single from Urshela, and an infield single from Gleyber Torres opened up a huge chance for the Yankees with bases loaded and nobody out. Gary Sanchez delivered with a sacrifice fly which tied the game at 9. With two outs, DJ LeMahieu stepped in and he delivered with a single up the middle which scored Urshela. The Yankees took a 10-9 lead.
Aroldis Chapman came back out for the ninth to close it out for New York and he did just that. Chapman got the final three outs closing out this wild game and securing the series sweep of Cleveland. The Yankees punched their ticket to the ALDS in San Diego for a date with the Tampa Bay Rays. The series starts on Monday, October 5th.