We’ve seen so few New York Yankees wins like the one that was delivered to fans on Tuesday night.
The 6-5 victory over the Toronto Blue Jays was the antithesis of the 2021 Yankees. The lineup and pitching staff remained resilient throughout, despite the performances not being great. They escaped tough situations and refused to fold. You can probably count on two or three fingers the amount of times that’s happened this year.
But here we are. Improving to 34-32 never felt so momentous. Coming into this one, the Yankees had lost seven of their last nine while the Blue Jays boasted the most powerful offense in MLB (they lead the lead in homers and have the second-best OPS).
And New York could’ve have gotten off to a worse start.
Jordan Montgomery loaded the bases on walks after facing the first three batters of the game. The Yankees went down 1-0. Then 2-1. Then 5-2. Every time they punched back, they either shot themselves in the foot or the Jays punched harder.
In the end, Monty provided enough length to keep the Bombers in it. It was a bad start, but he deserves credit for going 5.1 innings. If not for a passed ball by Gary Sanchez, it could’ve been better for the lefty.
You know what felt really good, though? DJ LeMahieu getting on base again. He’s started to (slowly) wake up. The Machine went 2-for-4 with a walk and a run scored, and it was a BIG run scored.
The Yankees’ resilient win over the Blue Jays could turn the season around.
Brett Gardner led off that seventh inning with a homer to make it 5-3. LeMahieu doubled and then made it home on two wild pitches. 5-4. We have a game. The Blue Jays’ bullpen is battered and bad. The Yankees simply need to take advantage.
On Tuesday night, it wasn’t the big guns coming through, however. Aaron Judge, Giancarlo Stanton and Gleyber Torres went 0-for-12 with three walks. Judge was 0-for-3 with runners in scoring position and the team was 1-for-9 as a whole.
The one hit? A pinch-hit double off the bat of Clint Frazier.
We’ve been waiting for that! A go-ahead RBI for the most struggling Yankees’ hitter. But then came the eighth.
Zack Britton came on to bridge the gap to Aroldis Chapman, but he walked Joe Panik, gave up a single, and walked Marcus Semien. Bases loaded. Two outs. Bo Bichette at the plate. The stress reached a boiling point, but Bichette lined out to right field. Inning over.
And a great defensive play from Tyler Wade in between!
It was all up to Chapman, who’s been going through a rough stretch. Of course, MVP frontrunner Vladimir Guerrero Jr. was leading off the inning. Red-hot Teoscar Hernandez was up next, and Yankee Killer Randal Grichuk followed. Bad news. Bad, bad news.
But Chappy got the saved and may have salvaged the season. Vladdy grounded out. Hernandez struck out. Grichuk grounded out. His splitter was tremendous and his fastball velocity was there. Game over. 6-5. Yankees win. Gigantic exhale.
We cannot overlook the contributions from Chris Gittens, who hit a game-tying homer in the fourth inning, or Gary Sanchez, who went 2-for-5 with a run scored and an RBI. Wade’s stolen base and defense were huge. Andújar putting forth good at-bats helped as well.
It sure does sound dramatic for Game 66, but the Yankees truly may have started the turnaround we’ve all been waiting for, simply because that victory had every element that we haven’t seen for most of the season jam-packed into those nine innings. Now go win the series and it’s an entirely new year.