Yankees somehow waking up in ninth vs. Tigers has to be most shocking walk-off ever

Detroit Tigers v New York Yankees
Detroit Tigers v New York Yankees / Jim McIsaac/GettyImages

The New York Yankees have certainly pulled some rabbits out of their hats in recent years, but most of those times, those hats weren't also in the refrigerator for the game's first eight innings.

There's "defying the odds," and then there's what the Yankees did in the ninth inning Friday against Tigers closer Jason Foley, who entered with a 1-0 lead and left defeated without recording an out.

Aaron Judge began the inning, in the funk of all funks, by grounding a hard single up the middle. Alex Verdugo, after flirting with a bunt earlier in his at-bat, unsarcastically dragged one perfectly to third, setting up Giancarlo Stanton for a double play. You know, this team's patented response to runners in scoring position, something they'd done for the 40th time in 2024 in the seventh inning (Gleyber...).

Instead, Stanton...lined an absolute rocket down the right field line on a 97 MPH pitch on the outside part of the plate? After eight utterly silent innings, it seemed perfectly fair to wonder whether that was still legal.

Yankees walk off Tigers on Anthony Rizzo single (after Giancarlo Stanton double)

In came the infield, and up came Anthony Rizzo. Would AJ Hinch walk him intentionally to set up, once again, the Yankees' favorite response to a budding rally? Would he bring in a lefty to help neutralize him somewhat?

He would not. Foley was left out to dry, Rizzo snuck one through the drawn-in infield, and four batters after the fans' bile had reached its nastiest point, the Yankees were winners, sitting 21-13 on the season.

Unsung heroes from Friday's game include Ian Hamilton, who danced through Marcus Stroman's raindrops in the sixth, and Victor González/Dennis Santana, who brought the game to the ninth at 1-0.

But if you had any faith in the offense -- especially the troubled Judge, Stanton and Rizzo -- getting off the mat against a top-tier closer, you are lying through your teeth.

This team remains plenty frustrating, and while so many players have disappeared from the 2023 lineup, Judge and Torres' regressions have been more than enough to make the two rosters look quite similar. But, for one night, they've stolen one. Feels good to bank wins while you figure things out.