It almost happened again.
The Yankees were a no-hit on Saturday, and they didn’t get their first hit until the seventh inning on Sunday, when a fed up, Giancarlo Stanton turned the mid-mid fastball into his 17th homer of the year. All those struggles were conveniently forgotten when Aaron Judge threw a walk-off homer into the Astros’ bullpen, their second walk-off hit of the controversial series.
“You feel it pre-pitch, walking up to the plate,” Judge said of the moment to meet in big venues. “They’re playing a walk-up song and the crowd is going crazy. But once you get into the box, dig in and take a deep breath, it doesn’t stop. But you shut it down.”
The Yankees’ second consecutive unqualified offensive became a 6–3 victory, one for the season-ending montage. DJ Lemahieu, with his four-bagger, leveled the game at 3-3 in the eighth inning. The stadium darkened in the ninth inning when Gleber Torres fell to the ground with a very serious visible leg injury, one Aaron Boone said was later a “mild ankle sprain”, but at a walkoff those feelings. There is a way to reverse it.
“I’ve been saying this for years,” the judge reminded. “It doesn’t matter what the score is or what happened the night before. Whenever we go out there, we get a chance to win the ball game.”
It’s astonishing how a team at the pace of breaking Major League Baseball’s single-season win record can look so bad in two games on the plate. The Astros are clearly a great team — and the Yankees stand a class above the rest of the American League in terms of hardcore competitors — but the performance at Yankee Stadium over the past 48 hours was pretty embarrassing. That is, there was no choice until they tied the knot and decided to lose the series. Stanton’s homer broke a streak of 17.1 straight innings without a hit, and the team ended Sunday’s defeat with just four, enough to win in front of yet another disappointing home crowd.
It doesn’t seem like the judges can do anything this season. There are probably three or four people on earth who can say they are better than him and don’t laugh out of the room. When the Yankees need something to happen, not only is the judge man for the job, it seems his turn in the sequence is always due.
“I wish he was in those situations more,” Boone said of the judge, who now has three walk-off hits this season. “I like when his space rotates.”
“He’s the best baseball player in the world,” said Michael King. “Every time he is in the box I expect a home run. I am surprised when people get him out.”
On Sunday, the judge was out only twice. His home run and eighth inning walk added to his team-high .369 on-base percentage, and even if a ball off the wall would have been enough, the walk-off homer pads his league lead in homers. The judge now has 28 years old, with Mike Trout and Yordan Alvarez following him on 22.
Astros starter Jose Urquidi, through no fault of his own, would be relegated to consideration later in the game. He pitched like he was trying to one-up teammate Cristian Javier, who handled the first seven innings of Saturday’s United no-hitter. Urquidy 6.1 went unheard of until Stanton’s dead center home run put the Yankees in the hit column. Still, the Astros enjoyed a wonderful day from their starting pitcher (seven innings, one hit, one run), with the only note being that his three moves created some gel of their own design.
Although Urquidi escaped each time, and his crime was a wonderful companion. Jose Altuve gave the Astros the lead, before the traditional roll call began from the right field bleachers. He took a powerful hack on Nestor Cortés’ first pitch of the day and slammed it into the left field wall. It was Altuve’s seventh leadoff homer of the year and a forceful middle finger for the stadium-dwellers, who drenched him in booze throughout the weekend.
Cortés was fine, but he needed to get better than Fine to top Urquidi. The Yankees’ beloved lefty got seven strikes (his most since June 2), but Houston turned down some delicious pitches he threw. Two more runs came in the fourth innings when Cortes knocked out Yuli Guriel, Jeremy Pea and Mauricio Dubon twice each. Those at-bats served as a good linkage on their opponent’s start, as the Yankees missed their first two chances for a two-out hit with a runner on base until Lemahieu’s clutch home run.
The Yankees’ bullpen gathered their strength to catch Cortes. Miguel Castro hit three hitters in his work two innings, Vandy Peralta followed with a clean innings, and Clay Holmes took over the top of the ninth in the tie game, the perfect managerial move by Aaron Boone. Michael King hit 100 mph for the first time in his life, while pulling himself out of a base-loaded jam in the tenth—the automatic runner certainly didn’t help—setting up his superstar teammate for glory. did.
The Yankees would have liked to have won the series, but they may hang their hat on coming back and splitting Sunday’s game. Apart from injuries, the squad has not faced much adversity this year. Leaving three out of four at home to his most challenging opponent may have sparked some of the first baseball-related concerns of the year, but now that’s all out the window.
The judges, who gave the bat to one lucky fan with their game-winning hit, were delighted that the Bombers’ bats were heating up back.
“I’ll have it now instead of October,” the judge said of the Mini, the team facing a disappointment. “You don’t want to go through this, but every team needs a little bit.”