The New York Yankees are level with the Boston Red Sox in the Wild Card standings after an exciting game on Saturday evening. With the Bombers trailing after the 7th, slugger Giancarlo Stanton stepped up to bat with the bases loaded.
Stanton, who had 32 homers on the season before the most crucial moment of the evening occurred, has been on fire as of late. With a .275 average and .514 slugging percentage, Stanton drilled a long-ball over the Green Monster, clearing the highest point, driving in Brett Gardner, Aaron Judge, and Anthony Rizzo. The Grand Slam put the Yankees ahead 5-2, providing closer Aroldis Chapman with a perfect opportunity to steal a win in Boston.
Good news and bad news for the Yankees:
The emotions following the game were positive, as Stanton provided his insight into what allowed him to hit his most important home-run of the season yet.
“Great feeling. A lot of emotions going on. Just glad I was able to do it,” Stanton said. “Compress everything and be on time for the fastball. Something good happened.”
Skipper Aaron Boone was equally as giddy, enjoying the energy of winning two consecutive games against Boston when the team needed it most.
“We love it right now,’’ manager Aaron Boone said. “[Sunday] becomes really important. Whether we win all these games, you’ve just got to live in the moment. I think our guys love being in this environment with a lot on the line. We’re gonna give you our best shot. It’s fun to be a part of.”
Despite all the positivity, the Toronto Blue Jays managed to overcome the Minnesota Twins, keeping them in the race. Currently, the Yankees have a two-game lead over Toronto and a three-game lead over the Seattle Mariners, but with an important series against the Blue Jays coming up, the Bombers can’t get too comfortable.
In the final game of a three-game series against Boston, the Yankees will feature Jordan Montgomery on the mound, who has a 3.55 ERA this season. On the other side, Eduardo Rodriguez will take on a strong Yankees lineup, hosting a 4.97 ERA. Against an inconsistent pitcher, the Yankees have an excellent opportunity to take a significant lead in the Wild Card and also overcome Boston for the top spot, providing them with home-field advantage.