Game 115: A nightmare at the Field of Dreams game

This kind of game has been a recurring nightmare for the Yankees in 2021. Far too many times have the Yankees had agonizing losses this season, and tonight was no different. Fitting that this nightmarish finish came at the Field of Dreams game, I guess.

The Yankees lost to the White Sox 9-8 in dramatic fashion. They improbably rallied for four runs against Chicago’s closer Liam Hendriks with two outs in the top of the ninth, only to have Zack Britton blow it in the bottom half. So it goes this year.

For a fleeting moment, it felt like the Yankees were going to steal a game they had no business winning. Chances felt slim with Andrew Heaney delivering another poor performance and the White Sox vaunted bullpen dominating the sixth through eighth innings. And then, we were reminded of why the Yankees can be so dangerous: the trio of Aaron Judge, Joey Gallo, and Giancarlo Stanton delivered huge at-bats late. If only Britton could have held on.

With that, let’s get to the takeaways from tonight’s game.

The Yankees badly need more games like this from their sluggers. As Bobby pointed out in his thoughts post this morning, the recent numbers for Aaron Judge, Joey Gallo, and Giancarlo Stanton are not good since the All-Star break. But tonight? They reached base in 6 of 15 plate appearances and all three had pivotal at-bats in the team’s ninth inning rally.

And wow, was that ninth inning comeback fun, huh? I know things didn’t end well, but it was good to see the heart of the order deliver with their backs against the wall. It went from 7-4 to 8-7 in a blink of an eye, didn’t it? It all happened with two outs too.

The White Sox have a pretty incredible bullpen, and the likes of Michael Kopech, Aaron Bummer, and Craig Kimbrel had blanked the Yanks since the sixth inning. With closer Liam Hendriks coming in, this one felt over. Until this happened, with a Gallo walk in between:

Hopefully this is a sign of Judge, Gallo, and Stanton feeling better at the plate. If they all get going at the same time, look out.

The Andrew Heaney experience has run its course. Yeah, I think we’ve all seen enough. It’s been just three starts, but with the likes of Gerrit Cole, Jordan Montgomery, and Luis Severino returning soon, Heaney has to be the odd man out. When you do things like this…

…you can’t remain in the rotation.

Heaney did give the bullpen a little bit of a breather tonight, at least. He pitched five innings. That said, I think there’s an argument that Aaron Boone should have pulled him after the third. The White Sox turned their lineup over in that frame and quickly put up four runs to make it 5-3. Then, Heaney gave up two more in the fourth. Not great. And yes, the ‘pen has been worked hard in this 17 games in 17 day stretch, but they are off tomorrow.

We got to see Cole and Montgomery with the team prior to today’s game, so their returns seem fairly imminent. Severino needs one more successful rehab start before his return. There’s a chance Heaney gets one more start depending on everyone’s timing to get back, but that should be it at the most.

Now, as for what to do with Heaney? I don’t expect him to be DFA’d. We’ve seen enough injuries and COVID cases that the Yankees can’t simply part with a warm body. Just have him be the last guy in the bullpen who can throw mop up innings.

I didn’t care for the Field of Dreams Game. No, not because the Yankees lost. And not because I didn’t like the movie. Rather, there’s a lot more to this than the guise of an thirty year old film and a cornfield. Just read what JD Scholten has to say about it here. Difficult to disagree with anything he wrote about all that’s wrong with MLB and this game.


  • Another nice game for Tyler Wade, who went 2-for-4 with a stolen base. He started that ninth inning rally, by they way. He led off with a single.
  • Brett Gardner seems to have some life again too. He went 2-for-5 with a homer.
  • Lefties Wandy Peralta and Joely Rodriguez combined to throw three shutout innings after Heaney’s departure. Nice work to keep the Yankees in this one.

There’s no game tomorrow, but these two sides resume their series in Chicago on Saturday. See you then.


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  1. MikeD

    Worst game of the year in Iowa, Mike.

  2. Samuel Spitzberg

    Can you say Steve Trout?

  3. The Original Drew

    Anytime a pitcher is the same company as Jeff Weaver, you know you f**ked up.

  4. Alex

    Britton has a 7 ERA and has been awful all season. I like the guy but that’s just the truth. Picking up that option after last season is looking like a worse move by the day. Why exactly is he closing out a game instead of Loaisiga? Boone completely squashed any momentum this team built last night. Another game of completely inept managing by the team’s overmatched manager.

    • Moooooooose

      gosh, britton & green have not inspired the confidence they once did (at least this summer). not sure who else fills in high leverage situations right now.

      leutge has been great. loisaga too. then…?

      • MikeD

        Britton will likely be fine. There are two problems: 1) He had surgery, missed most of the year, and has now been thrown into game action against hitters at their peak when he’s still rounding into form. 2) Boone has decided Britton’s in top form despite evidence to the contrary, all be naming him to replace the closer-in-absence because Britton has the most experience, ignoring that this Britton is not that Britton.

        They need to move Britton to lower-leverage spots until his pitches are crisper. You can see him improving each outing, but he’s not there yet.

        This is a Boone problem.

  5. DZB

    Yeah, Heaney has to go. The moment I saw the dimensions of that field I though “oh no, Heaney is going to give up a heap of homers, what a nightmare”. And sure enough, the obvious happened.

  6. Terry from LA

    Get rid of Heaney NOW!!! I never thought they had a chance. Then came the 9th. Then Britton, (who’s next) blows it. This team blows!

  7. Wire Fan

    Heaney should be cut as soon as Cole and Monty are back. Also Severino will need a 40 man spot when his rehab is over (one more start?)

    The Yankees don’t need “warm bodies”, they need bodies that haven’t given up 8 Hrs in 13 or 14 innings. We are at a point in the season where “eating innings” is not an accomplishment. His command has been absolute garbage – he was missing the target all night long. He is frankly lucky he didn’t give up more runs.

    • Alex

      Should move Heaney to the pen and shut down Britton. He’s either washed or just completely not right this season with all his injuries.

  8. Michael Thompson

    I think this performance tonight reinforces a lot of what I thought and said about Tyler Wade, and Refsnyder and Girardi. Girardi would not have let this kind flourishing happen from a good young player like Wade, as we saw with what he did to Refsnyder.

  9. Joey Galleddardo

    I thought it was the worst loss of the season, Derek. I did like the gimmick of the game. It was fun and different. They must have juiced the baseballs to get some action, though with Fly Ball Heaney on the mound the balls are always juiced. Heaney needs to go when Cole and Monty return. He’s a worse version of Jeff Weaver and Cash gave up assets for him! We traded Junk and got junk in return. I just worry they’ll take Gil or Nestor out of the rotation and leave Heaney in because he “kept us in the game” and “his perephials suggest he’s an ace.” Put him up like a scarecrow and leave the bum in the Iowa cornfields. And Britton was another doozy. Never shoulda been signed for that kind of money. It makes you want for Chappy. Britton always has to walk a guy or two and I just can’t take him anymore. Where was Loisaga?

    I did like Judge and Stanton hitting dingers. They should do that more often without juiced baseballs. Gardy even hit one out so that tells you something was off. Wade stayed hot and the best announcer in the game, John Smoltz, even gave him a nice compliment. Wade “does everything very well” Smoltzy said. Very high praise from a man who knows of what he speaks. But what the hell was wrong with Kevin Costner in the booth? He was telling incoherent stories and I couldn’t understand a damn word he was saying. And if Gerrit could talk to FOX why couldn’t he pitch? He looked fine to me. Anybody woulda been better than Heaney. Sign Costner and throw him out there. He can’t speak in complete sentences but he can throw a baseball.

  10. Alemadgt

    The season is over!

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