Stop us if you heard this before this season, but the New York Yankees just managed a come-from-behind victory after looking dead in the water in the early goings.
Like most Yankees games this year, however, they put fans through an absolute rollercoaster of emotions before ultimately squeaking out the win.
Domingo German was unspectacular (to say the least) for the second straight start, but his lackluster outing was saved by Nestor Cortes, who bid the Yankees’ offense enough time before the A’s called upon their lackluster bullpen.
We’ll get more into Cortes’ courageous cameo in a moment. In the meantime, let’s shower some praise on Gio Urshela, who hit a go-ahead solo home run in the bottom of the eighth inning that helped set the stage for the Yankees to break this game open.
If anyone deserved to play hero on Saturday, it was Urshela after he took a splinter to the eye following a broken-bat double play earlier in the game.
The Yankees got a much-needed win over the A’s on Saturday.
Anyway, back to the man of the hour. Cortes’ number was called in the fifth inning after Oakland opened up a 4-1 lead. The left-handed reliever entered with runners on the corners and nobody out, but managed to limit any further damage with two strikeouts and a pop up.
After a solo shot from Gary Sanchez in the sixth brought the Yanks within a run, Aaron Judge singled home Clint Frazier with two outs in the seventh to make it 4-3. Keeping the two-out rally going, Giancarlo Stanton tied things up at four with a huge RBI single.
From that point, the Yankees’ had all the momentum. Chad Green struck out the side in the eighth and the bats came alive again. Urshela, of course, got the party started with a solo blast and DJ LeMahieu cushioned the lead further with two a two-run single.
The Yankees’ offense will get most of the praise for spearheading the comeback, but without Cortes, this game would’ve been lost in the fifth. After all, say the A’s string together a few more runs that inning. Who’s to say New York doesn’t mail it in at that point?
Everything we’ve seen from the Yankees this season suggests they would’ve started sulking and gone down without a whimper. However, Cortes wasn’t about to let that happen, as he allowed just one hit and one walk over three scoreless innings.
Because wins have been difficult (some would say impossible) to come by for the Yanks, Aroldis Chapman made fans sweat it out in the bottom of the ninth.
However, he ultimately sealed the deal by striking out Matt Chapman with a 103.4 MPH fastball…the fastest recorded pitch in MLB this season.
Bottom line? This is a game the Yankees lose 10 times out of 10 earlier in the season. We’re not saying they’ve turned the corner just yet, but things are definitely looking up for New York following a lifeless 5-13 stretch between late May and mid June.