Despite being without some of its more familiar names, the Yankees bullpen delivered one of its best performances of the season in Saturday’s 7-6, 11-inning win over the Athletics in The Bronx.
Five relievers, none more surprising than A.J. Cole, who hadn’t pitched since April 28, combined for six no-hit innings.
The right-hander, whom the Yankees picked up from the Nationals last month in exchange for cash considerations, pitched two scoreless frames after walking the first two batters he faced to start the 10th.
“To be able to not flinch, stay poised, make pitches,” Aaron Boone said when asked what impressed him from Cole. “He went through a tough part of their lineup. He really battled out of trouble and then settled in and gave us a couple of really good innings.”
Cole said he was able to settle down after the first two batters and was ready to pitch as long as was needed, but Neil Walker hit the game-winning single in the 11th.
The game almost didn’t get to Cole, though, because Aroldis Chapman walked the bases loaded with no one out in the ninth then dealt with a split fingernail before he escaped without allowing a run — thanks to some help from Brett Gardner, who threw out Matt Olson at the plate to end the inning.
Boone sounded confident Chapman will be OK.
Before Chapman’s entrance, Jonathan Holder, Chad Green and Dellin Betances combined to retire all nine batters they faced.
Brandon Drury has begun wearing tinted glasses to help deal with the blurred vision that has bothered him for much of his career, but only came to light this season.
“It’s something he requested,” Boone said. “The yellow [lenses] brighten things up in the evening. Hopefully, it’s something that can help him along.”
But that’s hardly ideal and Boone said he remains optimistic that the treatment Drury is receiving, including from Dr. Gil Chimes, the team’s consulting sports medicine chiropractor, will do the trick.
“We think treatment … is more of a long-term solution,’’ Boone said.
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