The Yankees got the sort of start they were looking for out of Geritt Cole. They got a go-ahead homer out of Aaron Judge. The game was progressing just as Aaron Boone and the Yankees had drawn it up. But then, the Tampa Bay bullpen remained stingy, not allowing the Yankees a second run. Then finally, Aroldis Chapman was asked to do something he has almost never done in his career, pitching on no rest after getting more than three outs the previous night. He made one mistake. Mike Brosseau made Chapman and the Yankees pay for it.
Mike Brousseau didn’t just come to the plate and ambush Chapman’s first offering. Oh no. In fact, he fell behind in the count 0-2. The at-bat wet 10 pitches before Chapman made a real mistake, one which Brousseau managed to get his bat around to take advantage of, sending Chapman’s 100.2 mph down-and-in fastball into the stands.
Call it fate, karma, luck - call it whatever you want. Sometimes the cosmos just seems to want you to win. That’s how the Rays had to feel last night. After silencing the Yankees at the plate, they got the most unlikely of home runs from one of the most unlikely sources to take the lead. That wasn’t the end of the game though. The Yankees still had their ups in the bottom of the ninth. That’s when Gio Urshela stepped to the plate looking to tie things back up, at least sending the game into extra innings. On the first pitch he saw, he ripped a liner down the third base line at a whopping 109 mph which was barely snagged by third baseman, Joen Wendle. That in itself, is not a big deal. However, as he came up from making the play, it plain for the whole world to see how the ball had nearly torn its way through the glove to make its way into left field as there was an ice cream cone sitting on the back of Wendle’s glove.
Other Baseball News
Blake Snell will take the ball Sunday evening for Game 1 of the ALCS. This could prove to be problematic for the Houston Astros who, unlike the Yankees who killed left-handers this season, rank among some of the worst teams in baseball against left-handed pitching.
It seems unlikely there will be many qualifying offers this season. Some prime candidates are exempt from it. The shortened season and “new financial situation” of baseball will also play into the offer. Trevor Bauer likely ranks at the top of this offseason’s free agent rankings and is certain to be tagged, getting that out of his future contract negotiations.