The Most Amazing Roller Coaster Game of the Year — July 23, 2019: NY 14 Minn 12

The Yankees were BURIED in this one — down 8-2 to start the 5th inning; the announcers talking about how this would be the first series the Yankees had lost since early June. Then began the most amazing roller-coaster comeback win of the season and maybe ever. If you thought it was over, it wasn’t over — until it was over.

It ended with the bases loaded, 2 out in the 10th inning, and a drive to DEEP left that had bases-clearing, game-winning-for-Minnesota-hit written all over it, until Aaron Hicks did this — getting the first walk-off catch in recent memory.

The same Aaron Hicks whose miracle homerun with 2 out in the 9th had turned a loss into a possible win (we’ll get to that in a minute). Aaron Hicks who was the former top prospect of the Minnesota Twins (#2 prospect in organization in 2013) whom they had given up on (see bottom of article for his reaction to that).

How the Comeback Began

The Yanks rode the RED HOT bat and Defense of Didi Gregorius to get back in the game — he started the comeback with a 3-run homer in the 5th to cut the deficit to 8-5.

The 5-Run 8th

In the top of the 8th, down 9-5, the Yankees exploded for 5 runs capped by a Didi Gregorius 2-run double to put the Yanks ahead 10-9.

Zack Britton immediately gave back the lead, allowing a 2-run homer in the bottom of the 8th to Miguel Sano to put Minnesota back on top, 11-10 — devastating Yankee fans everywhere. Elation turned to defeat and a pissed-off Yankee twitter.

The Backs-to-the-Wall Hicks Homer in the 9th

The Yanks made the first 2 outs of the 9th, and were being laid to rest when Mike Tauchman worked a big walk to give them the slightest bit of hope, and then Aaron Hicks stepped up from the right side and smashed a homer to left to turn a loss into a 12-11 Yankee lead — causing SCREAMS in houses all over the NYC area at the midnight hour.

Chapman Blows It In Slow Motion

Aroldis Chapman came in for the save and walked the first 3 batters in the 9th — it was like falling down in slow motion. Pitch after pitch, ball after ball — the heart of Yankee fans everywhere went from jubulation to worry to despair. Aaron Boone did not have anyone warming. Jorge Polanco hit a sac fly to center to tie the game. Finally Chapman started locating his fastball — and got a line out to centerfield and a bloop liner to Didi at shortstop for the final out. PHEW.

Game-Winning Rally

In the top of the 10th, Didi Gregorius singled with 1 out; Austin Romine hit a bloop single to center; and Gleyber Torres hit a single to put the Yanks ahead. Romine later scored on a wild pitch.

Game-Saving DEFENSE

Adam Ottavino came in for the 10th and looked in control — his fastball was finding the strike zone and he struck out the first batter Miguel Sano. But he proceeded to walk right fielder Marwin Gonzalez and 2nd Baseman Luis Arraez. With one out, runners on 1st and 2nd — Ehire Adrianza hit a possible basehit up the middle but Didi Gregorius made a spectacular stop and flip to Gleyber Torres for the force at 2nd and just missed getting a double play !!! Game Saver.

Ottavino walked Mitch Garver (who came in as a pinch hitter) — so Chad Green came in with Bases Loaded, 2 outs, Yanks up 14-12 — to face centerfielder Max Kepler (25-65-.263) — and the line drive to left for the game-saving catch by Hicks. Here’s another version — John Sterling’s call:

Hicks said it was “awesome” to have such a great game against his former team.


Earlier in the game, Domingo German got BOMBED for homeruns. The ball is juiced, and Minnesota is acting as a homer dome. His counterpart, Kyle Gibson — left after the Didi 3-run homer with 5 runs allowed in 5 innings, so no pitcher escaped in this one — except Tommy Kahnle who pitched a shutout inning with 2 strikeouts.

The Yanks got 20 hits; Minnesota 14. Aaron Judge went 3-6 and is now batting .308 with a .437 OBP. Edwin Encarnacion got 2 hits, Luke Voit got 2 hits, Gleyber Torres got 2 hits, and Didi ended up 5-5 with 7 RBI’s and the phenomenal defensive play above.

Only Gary Sanchez went hitless — 0-5 to lower his average to .229 but at least he did not strike out.

The Boxscore

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