I’m honestly at a loss of words to describe this Yankee season. By all calculations I have made this year, what the Yankees are currently doing, simply makes no sense. I mean, I’m not complaining, but it just makes no sense. At the end of April, they were sitting at 8-14, yet now here they are fighting for a playoff spot, a mere 4 games out of 1st place in the East, and only 2.5out of the wild card. This series with the Blue Jays is just one of many important series’ the Yankees will play in September, and they are not rolling over, having finished off the sweep earlier tonight with a clutch homer from Castro and stellar pitching. But what a finish the second game of the series featured.
Due to my dorm room having no cable, I am subject to blackouts online so I was not able to watch it, (had to settle for Houston vs. Cleveland) but I was still following it play-by-play (Okay so maybe I wasn’t really watching the Indians game), and my god what a game it was. With the Yankees offense being so hit or miss, I thought for sure it was game over when the Blue Jays took that 4-3 lead in the top of the 8th, but, like many, many times this year, I was wrong. Ellsbury gets the leadoff walk, then later a triple by Gregorius scores him to tie the game. Then, next at-bat, Castro hits a sac fly to give the Yanks a 5-4 lead. After that, I thought, Perfect, that’s all we need with Betances on our side, yet the Bronx Bombers weren’t done.
With two outs, McCann draws a walk to bring up Chase Headley, who has really improved since his slow start to the year. On a 0-1 count, Headley drives a scorcher to right that just barely gets out to give the Yankees some insurance runs.
Going into the ninth, I was confident the Yankees had the win in the bag. A three run lead going into the ninth with Betances on the mound? Who wouldn’t be confident? Yet Betances comes in and walks the first two batters he faces, then throws a wild pitch to allow the runners to move up, which sets up Encarnacion for an RBI single to bring in Bautista. Okay, okay, don’t panic, it’s just one run, he’s got this. Next at-bat, Betances strikes out Martin. See self, you have nothing to worry about. Buuuuuuuut then he walks the pinch hitter Navarro, aaaaaand then gives up a single to the player formerly known as BJ Upton.
By this point I had already tied the noose and had the noose around my neck. Betances was pulled and in comes Blake Parker, a player acquired off waivers from Seattle a month prior. To be quite honest, with the amount of bullpen arms the Yankees go through in a season, I had never even heard of this guy, but I damn sure will not forget him. Parker comes in and gets two quick strikes on Pillar. On an 0-2 count, Parker proceeds to throw a wild breaking pitch that Sanchez manages to miraculously block with his forearm by sliding all the way to Cambodia, saving the day once again. Parker recovers to strike out Pillar on the next pitch. 2 down now and I put the noose down. Now, up comes Justin Smoak, and I’m pretty confident in myself. We can get Smoak out no problem, he’s only a .225 hitter. Then, BAM! First pitch he takes to deep left field. I immediately pick the noose back up and put it around my neck. But right as I was about to end it all, Gardner makes an incredible catch at the wall to save the game. I threw that noose aside and began to weep tears of joy.
This team is truly magical and keeps making me happier and prouder every day to call myself a Yankee fan. It seems the Evil Empire is destined for their return to being the villain of baseball, and I cannot wait.