Don’t look now, but Jacoby Ellsbury is heating up.
After going 3-for-5 in a loss to Oakland on Thursday, Ellsbury was given Friday off with left-hander Matt Moore on the bump. When he was forced into action in the fifth inning after an apparent Aaron Hicks injury, Ellsbury efforted a tying run with a single to left, and a steal of home.
With Brett Gardner batting in a 3-2 count, Ellsbury took off from third, surprising Moore and catcher Curt Casali, to record the Yankees’ third run.
It was the first straight steal of home by a Yankee since Derek Jeter in 2001, and the first steal of home of any kind since Chris Young did it as part of a double steal in Sept. 2014.
— MLB (@MLB) April 23, 2016
The risk here was great for Ellsbury. Gardner had already been awarded first base on a walk, and Ellsbury would have ended the inning with an out at home if he were caught. It was a big gamble, and one that surely paid off.
He’s done this once before, against the Yankees in 2009, but it wasn’t nearly as hard. Andy Pettitte threw a speed that lacked some power toward the plate on that play, whereas Moore was throwing full speed on Friday.
This might be what the Yankees need to wake up.
Lead photo: Andy Marlin / Getty Images