Yankees: Clint Frazier plays narrative-changing hero with walk-off and dive


As Michael Kay screamed as Yankees outfielder Clint Frazier’s shot hit the left-field seats, “Oh, did they need that.”

Perhaps Frazier needed it more than most.

With the game — season? — on the line, the man whose statistics since being named the “starting” left fielder to open 2021 have placed him among the league’s worst and least powerful delivered in the most dire of circumstances.

A loss would’ve stung enough on its own, but a loss to the Rays (the Bombers’ fifth since Friday’s disaster), would’ve been completely numbing. Add in the winning run residing on second in the ninth and third in the 10th (with one out), and it’s enough to make you think the Gods have flipped on you.

Frazier probably feels that way already, considering he’s been worth -0.9 WAR thus far this season, with a gig gifted to him on a silver platter. Powerful and a Gold Glove nominee in 2020, he’s returned to the team as one of many bats that’s regressed tremendously, while his fielding has also looked as if ’20’s progress never happened.

With one more out to go before the disastrous arrival of the top of the 12th, though, Frazier shrugged all that off and made it 2017 again.

Yankees outfielder Clint Frazier walked off the Tampa Bay Rays.

Frazier got a hanger, and unlike all his other friends, he didn’t miss it.

Remember 2017? On July 8 of that year, Frazier socked his only other career walk-off, a smash into the left-field seats to beat the Brewers.

That wasn’t the only similarity to today’s game, though. That contest came mired in the middle of an awful stretch for the Yankees that almost unraveled the 2017 season. After a promising start, the team had gone 6-17 in the preceding 23 games heading into the second contest of a three-game home set against Milwaukee. Following Frazier’s walk-off, the Bombers lost two more before finally shaking off their stink, ripping off an 11-4 stretch that buoyed them.

Of course, Todd Frazier and David Robertson joined along the way, too. Maybe the Yanks should consider making a trade?

Frazier saved the Yankees’ bacon twice in this game, diving on a bizarre blooper from Yankee Killer Joey Wendle (who choked on many occasions today, an indicator this was gonna be a weird one) to keep things tied in the eighth.

Credit is due to Lucas Luetge and Luis Cessa, who kept the Ghost Runner from scoring not once, but twice, turning the Rays’ offense into the Yankees’ briefly.

Credit is due to Aroldis Chapman, Chad Green and Jonathan Loaisiga, too, who bent, but did not break, contributing to a no-hit effort by the entire ‘pen.

Credit is especially due to Frazier, though, who harkened back to his impressive Yankee debut for at least one night, saving this off-the-rails campaign until tomorrow.