Still, it would have been time to confiscate all the belts and shoelaces had Jacoby Ellsbury not hit the ball out of the park after 13⅔ innings and more than 4½ hours of excruciating play.
The 5-4, 14-inning win may not compensate for the loss of Tanaka, but it sure beats the alternative and gives the New York Yankees a chance to leave here with three wins out of four games, following their 3-1 trip to Minneapolis. Chase Whitley, who lost his starting job last week but may regain it now that Tanaka is down, got the win in relief after going two strong innings (1 hit, 3 Ks), and David Robertson earned save No. 22, despite putting the tying run on second with one out.
Ell-Bomb: Ellsbury hammered an 0-2 pitch from Vinnie Pestano into the right-field seats with two out in the 14th to break a 4-4 tie -- and an 8⅔-inning scoreless streak by the Yankees' offense. Up until then, the Yankees had had one -- one! -- scoring opportunity after the fifth inning, and that only came because Yankees manager Joe Girardi successfully challenged an out call at first on what appeared to be an inning-ending double play. But it didn't matter, because with runners at first and third, Ichiro Suzuki struck out on a check swing to kill the threat.
Walk away: Girardi went to David Huff with one out in the 10th to pitch to lefties Michael Brantley and Lonnie Chisenhall. Huff promptly walked both of them, and Carlos Santana in between for good measure, to load the bases for Shawn Kelley to clean up. Which he did, by striking out an over-swinging Nick Swisher and getting David Murphy to ground out.
Worm-killer: After a rocky first inning, McCarthy pretty much came as advertised, giving the Yankees distance (6⅔ innings) and their infield plenty of grounders (13 of the 20 outs he got were on the ground). Take away the first two innings, in which he allowed six hits, and McCarthy made a very solid Yankees debut.
Welcome to the Yankees, Brandon: McCarthy's night began with an inauspicious three-run first inning, although all three were unearned due to Mark Teixeira's throwing error, when, after making a nice sliding stop on Santana's potential double-play grounder, he fired the ball into the back of Brantley's head, giving the Indians the bases loaded with none out. That set the stage for an RBI groundout by Lonnie Chisenhall and a two-run single by Swisher, who had three hits in his first eight at-bats against his former team this series, including two home runs, and five RBIs.
Making amends: Teixeira got back one of those runs with a solo homer off Josh Tomlin leading off the fourth, his team-leading 16th of the season. An inning later, he repaid his debt in full with another HR, this one with Jeter aboard, to give the Yankees a 4-3 lead. That was career HR No. 358 for Teixeira, tying him with Yogi Berra and Carlos Lee for 83rd on the all-time list.
Short-lived: The Yankees' lead didn't last even one half-inning. In the bottom of the fifth, McCarthy allowed a one-out double to Asdrubal Cabrera and a two-out RBI single to Santana, tying the game at 4-4.