The New York Yankees needed one of their big hitters to come through in the clutch against Darwinzon Hernandez and the rival Boston Red Sox, and slugger Giancarlo Stanton was more than happy to supply the thunder in what turned out to be one of the most dramatic games of the season.
The Yankees had blown several chances to take the lead in this one. A Rougned Odor fly ball that would’ve been a homer in every other park fell short of the wall; Aaron Judge couldn’t punch a run home against Hansel Robles; and they failed to score after back-to-back Tanner Houck walks.
After two more free passes from Houck, Hernandez was brought in to get lefty Anthony Rizzo out, but he hit him with a pitch and loaded the bases for Stanton, who did not waste any time making his presence felt.
The first pitch Hernandez gave Stanton was a 94 MPH meatball right down Broadway, and Stanton completely decimated it for a grand slam deep into the Boston night.
Even for a guy that hits titanic home runs regularly, this one has to be among his most impressive given the circumstances.
He flipped the script on the Red Sox with one mammoth swing.
Giancarlo Stanton demolished a huge grand slam for the Yankees.
StatCast estimates that the home run traveled 452 feet after coming off the bat at 114 MPH.
Stanton has started to heat up with the weather this season, and his power stroke helped break open New York’s 8-3 victory against Boston on Friday night (he went 2-for-4 with a three-run homer). Boston’s pitching staff truly cannot wait until this series ends.
As for Hernandez, he has been an effective pitcher this season, but Alex Cora clearly made that move with the intent of getting Rizzo out. He was not planning for a bases-loaded situation with Stanton at the plate.
The Yankees looked dead in the water for most of this game, as a dominant outing from Nick Pivetta made it look like they were about to waste another good start from Nestor Cortes once again.
Instead, it turned into a 5-3 Yankees victory, which gave them the series win heading into Sunday’s finale on national television.