The New York Yankees couldn’t have picked a better moment to mount one of the best comebacks of the season, courtesy of a Giancarlo Stanton Grand Slam in the bottom of the 9th inning.
After the Bombers gave up four runs in the 8th to Pittsburgh, trailing 8–4 with their final batters getting one last crack, all focus was on Aaron Judge and his historical home run numbers.
Judge entered the game with 59 homers, one shy of reaching Babe Ruth and tying his single-season record. After looking a little jittery early on in the game, Judge finally settled in, launching a solo shot off Wil Crowe, bringing him within one of tying the AL record set by Roger Maris.
The Yankees put together a vintage rally:
However, despite Judge’s heroics, the Yankees still trailed by three runs, but they managed to load the bases for a struggling Giancarlo Stanton.
Anthony Rizzo doubled to centerfield, with Gleyber Torres walking and Josh Donaldson singling to shallow center. This gave Stanton an opportunity to end the game, despite having a dismal September.
Entering the game, Stanton was hitting .130 with a 21.6% on-base rate, but with one swing of the bat, he changed his trajectory as the Yankees near the finish line of the regular season with 15 games remaining.
All it took was one powerful swing for Stanton to rocket the baseball to shallow left field, securing a storybook finish.
Aside from the last-minute victory, starting pitcher Nestor Cortés performed well, recording 5.0 innings of action, giving up five hits and one earned run on 87 pitches. Cortes lowered his ERA to 2.67 on the year, further justifying his relevance as a playoff starter. The bullpen wasn’t as successful, giving up six runs, with four total attributed to Ron Marinaccio and Jonathan Loaisiga.
The Yankees will host Pittsburgh for one more game in the Bronx before welcoming the Boston Red Sox over a four-game series starting on Thursday. Luis Severino will feature on Wednesday, his first start since hitting the injured list on July 14.