Dennis Santana ruins clutch Alex Verdugo moment that saved Yankees from enemy umpire

Oakland Athletics v New York Yankees
Oakland Athletics v New York Yankees / Mike Stobe/GettyImages

The New York Yankees are going for the sweep in San Francisco, but the Giants brought the offense early on Sunday, chasing Nestor Cortes from the game before the left-hander could complete five innings of work.

At the time of this writing in the top sixth inning, it's a 3-3 ball game. And the Yankees might have the edge because their bullpen is better. Somebody's just going to have to notch a big hit to get another run on the board.

And it felt a lot more likely after Alex Verdugo plated two in the fifth to tie the game. The lefty slugger doubled down the right field line with the bases loaded off Erik Miller after Blake Snell was removed from the game with an injury.

But there's far more context to Verdugo's heroics, because the Yankees were about to throw a premier opportunity in the trash. Anthony Volpe singled and Juan Soto fooled the defense with a bunt single down the third base line with one out to put runners on first and second. A passed ball put them on second and third. Aaron Judge was ready to feast.

On a 2-2 count, Judge checked his swing on a Snell curveball, and the call could've gone either way, honestly. But Yankees enemy Hunter Wendelstedt, the man who ejected manager Aaron Boone earlier this year for what a fan yelled from the first row on top of the dugout, rung Judge up without hesitation for the second out of the inning.

Alex Verdugo's clutch hit saves Yankees from enemy umpire after Aaron Judge call

The moans and groans from Yankees Twitter got louder, and when they realized it was Wendelstedt, there was no holding back. The man was roasted by countless accounts even though the call wasn't egregious. But as long as you have some sort of negative connection to the Yankees, you're not safe.

The next batter, Giancarlo Stanton, worked a walk after laboring Snell closer toward his demise. Then Verdugo came up, but his at-bat was prolonged because Snell had to get examined by the Giants' medical staff before leaving the game with an injury.

Verdugo had to wait for the Giants to warm up another pitcher and bring him in, but managed to capitalize by turning on an inside changeup, ripping it down the line, and roaring toward the Yankees' dugout and he ran to first base.

At the very least, there won't be an unnecessarily loud "controversy" after this one, regardless of the outcome. The Yankees plated two runs even after Judge's unstoppable bat was removed from the equation.

Welp, nevermind. Dennis Santana, who relieved Cortes in the fifth, came out for the sixth and quickly coughed up the lead, which has gotten him closer to DFA territory. First, he allowed back-to-back singles to start the inning that put the pressure on. The right-hander nearlt redeemed himself by inducing two quick outs with backup catcher Curt Casali coming to the plate. Backup catcher. Worst hitter on the team. Just pitch to the No. 9 batter.

Santana, unfortunately, hit Casali with a fastball to load the bases and turn over the order. You can guess what happened next.

Bad pitch. Bad outing. Why isn't Ron Marinaccio here again? Oh well, the bright side is that this team looks great and won yet another series.

A sweep would be nice heading into an off day, but ya can't win 'em all. We're not doubting the fight in this team, but that type of immediate response hardly ever portends good things to come. So close.