Aren’t walk-off wins fun?
Especially when a walk-off home run is hit by a member of the Yankees’ youth movement. Tonight’s hero was first baseman Tyler Austin who hit an opposite field home run with two outs in the ninth to win the game, 5-4.
The rest of the game leading up to those ninth inning heroics was rather odd. The teams, or more specifically three players on the teams, were playing a mini-version of home derby. CC Sabathia only lasted four innings and surrendered three solo home runs—two to Kevin Kiermaier and one to Steve Souza Jr. But he also struck out four batters and didn’t walk anyone. Tampa Bay starter Alex Cobb, who was making his second start back from Tommy John surgery, also had an issue with the long ball, surrendering a couple of solo home runs to Brian McCann. McCann’s first shot landed in a luxury box in right field and the second one was hit to the first row of the second deck in right. Souza hit a second home run off reliever Jonathan Holder to tie the score 4-4 in the sixth.
After Sabathia departed, the bullpen shut down Tampa’s lineup aside from Holder’s blip.
Following the game, Didi Gregorius sent out his customary celebratory tweet. I assume these are Tyler Austin’s feet.
— Sir Didi Gregorius (@DidiG18) September 9, 2016
The Yankees have now won five straight and the playoffs don’t seem very far fetched anymore. New York is now two games back of the wild card and four behind in the AL East.
The Play: Austin Wins the Game With His Third Career Home Run (WPA .465)
Tyler Austin walked off a hero and that’s always a fun thing. He delivered on a 3-2 fastball with two outs in the ninth and sent the fans home happy. Also, I finally figured out who he resembles. When Austin’s at the plate and making goofy faces, he looks like Eli Manning. When he’s not making goofy faces, he looks like Jake Ryan from “Sixteen Candles.”
Kiermaier and Souza Jr.: 7-9 with four runs and four RBI
McCann: 3-4 with two home runs and a single
—Kiermaier never had two home runs in a game before tonight. He hit two off Sabathia.
—Souza’s second home run was an absolute bomb and hit the Mohegan Sun sports bar.
—Austin became the first Yankees rookie to hit a walk-off home run since Melky Cabrera did it on July 18, 2006 vs. the Mariners.
—The Yankees are now within two games of a Wild Card spot and only four games behind Boston in the American League East. So much for punting the season at the trade deadline.
The Highlight: McCann’s Second Dinger and the Old Man’s drop
At first I felt bad for the old guy who missed McCann’s second dinger because that’s not a fun thing to have happen, and then I noticed that he missed catching the home run while using a glove. I didn’t feel so bad after that.
The Yankees will try for their sixth straight win on Friday night. Michael Pineda (6-11, 5.10 ERA) will be going up against Blake Snell (5-7, 3.39 ERA). The game starts at 7:05 p.m.
Photo Credit: Brad Penner / USA TODAY Sports