Vernon Wells drove in two, scored twice, and played third base in the ninth inning tonight.
New York Yankees 3 – Colorado Rockies 2
Vernon Wells came through in many ways in tonight’s 3-2 win over the Colorado Rockies.
Colorado Rockies pitcher Juan Nicasio got into trouble early in tonight’s game. After a leadoff single by Brett Gardner, the speedy outfielder would steal second, his fifth stolen base of the season, on the first pitch of Cano’s at-bat. Nicasio’s attention would be divided but he would get Cano to fly out. He wouldn’t get Vernon Wells out though.
The Yankees left fielder, at that time, would get Nicasio to a full count before delivering his seventh home run of the season to put the Yankees ahead by two. Nicasio would settle down and keep the Yankees silenced through his five innings of work. Brett Gardner would get him to one more time though, as he would get Nicasio to balk in the third inning.
David Phelps got the start in tonight’s game. In the second inning, Rockies first baseman Todd Helton would tie the game with a two-run home run. Phelps would settle down from this point though. In six innings, David Phelps allowed just the two runs on three hits with one walk and four strikeouts.
The Yankees had an opportunity in the sixth and seventh inning thanks to defensive miscues by Dexter Fowler. In both innings, the Rockies centerfielder would overrun the initial single. In the sixth inning, Overbay would strikeout, ending that threat. Then in the seventh inning, former Rockies third baseman Chris Nelson would single and advance to third base on the second Fowler error in as many innings. Pinch-hitter Ben Francisco would ground out to waste away another opportunity.
The score would remain tied until the ninth inning. Rockies closer Rafael Betancourt gave up a leadoff single to Vernon Wells. Wells would steal his fourth base of the season to get into scoring position. Lyle Overbay would walk and Ichiro Suzuki would move the runners over with a successful sacrifice bunt. Travis Hafner would come up to pinch-hit for Chris Nelson, the Yankees third baseman, and would strikeout for the second out of the inning. Brennan Boesch would come in as a pinch-hitter and would come through. An infield single would score Vernon Wells and Jayson Nix would end up being caught off of second base but the Yankees would have the lead in the ninth inning.
However, there was a problem, Hafner cannot play third base, or defense in general, so who would play third base?
Vernon Wells would make his final impact on tonight’s game as he moved to play third base for the first time in his 15-year career. Mariano Rivera is nothing unusual as he goes for his 12th save of the season. After a fly out for the first out, the ball would find the newest infielder. Carlos Gonzalez would hit a ground ball to third and Vernon Wells would field the ball and throw out Gonzalez for the second out of the inning. Wilin Rosario would be the final out and Mariano Rivera would be a perfect 12-for-12 in save opportunities this season.
In tonight’s game, Joe Girardi put together an interesting lineup today. David Phelps was batting in the eighth spot. David Phelps can put himself in the same sentence as the great Don Larsen, as Larsen was the last pitcher to bat in the eighth spot, back on August 28, 1957. Preston Claiborne was put in a high-leverage role tonight as he got the seventh inning of a tie game. He would get his first major league strikeout of his career when he got Todd Helton to strikeout swinging to end his inning of work. David Robertson would also return from his minor injury and pitched a hitless inning but was a little wild, hitting Troy Tulowitzki with a pitch.
Win – David Robertson (2-0)
Loss – Rafael Betancourt (1-1)
Save – Mariano Rivera (12)
*Vernon Wells – 3 for 4, 2 R, 2-Run Home Run (7) in the 1st, 2 RBI (15)
*Brennan Boesch – 1 for 1, RBI (5)
*Todd Helton – 1 for 3, R, 2-Run Home Run (2) in the 2nd, 2 RBI (12)
*Wilin Rosario – 1 for 4, R, 2B
Current Yankees Record: 19-13
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