Aaron Judge Carries Yanks to Win; Break Losing Streak. Yankees 8 Mets 7

Aaron Judge hit 2 homers — including a HUGE game-tying 2-run homer in the 8th — and made a spectacular diving catch in the 9th to carry the Yanks to an 8-7 win over the Mets on a Saturday night at Citifield on the 20th anniversary of September 11th.

It was a wild game that see-sawed between the Yankees having a 5-0 lead and the Mets coming back to take a 7-5 lead and included The Aroldis Chapman High Wire Act in the 9th inning, all on a nationally televised game on Fox.

The win broke the Yankees 7-game losing streak and enabled them to hold onto the 2nd wild card position — now tied with Toronto which swept a double header.

1. Yanks JUMP On Top 5-0

The Yanks jumped on top with 5 runs in the top of the 2nd off Mets 29-yr-old, 6’4 right-handed starter Taijuan Walker. Gleyber Torres led off with a single, and Kyle Higashioka hit a homer to left giving the Yanks a 2-0 lead.

With 2 outs, DJ LeMahieu singled and Brett Gardner hit a homer to right to make it 4-0 Yanks.

Then Aaron Judge hit a 3-2 fastball for a BOMB to the second deck in left for a 5-0 lead.

2. Kluber Clubbed

But the Mets came right back in the bottom of the 2nd against Yankee starter Corey Kluber.

Kluber walked Javier Baez to start the inning, then with 1 out Kevin Pillar doubled in Baez, James McCann tripled in Pillar, and Taijuan Walker (yes the pitcher) singled in Pillar and it was 5-3 Yanks.

Finally Kluber got the last two batters to end the 2nd but allowed a homer to Baez in the 3rd to make it 5-4 Yanks. Kluber pitched a shutout 4th and left with a line of 4 innings, 5 hits, 4 runs, 6 K’s, 2 walks.

Kluber is clearly still trying to find his rhythm and get his mojo back after the long layoff (this was his 3rd start since being out since May; the game after the no hitter) — but at least he is pitching.

“I had some good, some bad,” said Kluber afterwards. “I didn’t really control the count that great. When I wasn’t in the count it worked fine; when I fell behind in the count, I kind of backed myself into hitter’s counts and that’s kind of when they took advantage of it.”

3. Mets Get Green Light

Lucas Luetge came in and pitched a shutout 5th but walked the 1st batter of the 6th and was gone for Chad Green.

Green has allowed the second most homeruns for any reliever this year and he came through again when James McCann homered with 2 outs to put the Mets ahead 6-5.

And then Clay Holmes came in to pitch the 7th — getting the first 2 outs but the Mets launched a 2-out rally — single (Baez), single (Jeff McNeil), single (Kevin Pillar) — and it was 7-5 Mets.

4. Judge to the Rescue

Meanwhile the Yanks were getting completely shut down after the 5-run second inning. Taijuan Walker retired the next 13 Yanks in a row after the Judge homer in the 2nd, finishing with a line of 6 innings, 6 hits, 5 runs, 8 K’s and the RBI single, gaining praise from Joe Buck the national tv broadcaster: “What a night for Taijaun Walker.”

Seth Lugo pitched a 1-2-3 7th inning and so 15 Yanks had been retired in a row (you can imagine Yankee Twitter at this point) when Brett Gardner led off the top of the 8th with a single off Trevor May.

And then Aaron Judge stepped up, and hit the 2nd pitch HIGH and DEEP to left. Homerun tie game 7-7. Jubulation on Yankee Twitter.

“I’m not sure I have words to say — 2 big homeruns, the diving play in the 9th, he made a nice play in the 4th — he can impact the game in so many ways,” said Corey Kluber afterwards of Judge. “He’s a very underrated outfielder, he’s a good baserunner — there are numerous ways that he can help a team win a ballgame and tonite he showed a lot of them.”

Stanton Follows Judge

Giancarlo Stanton followed with a single to right, and was pinch run for by Andrew Velazquez. Gleyber Torres got an infield single, and with 1 out — Luke Voit hit a double play grounder — but Torres came in hard at 2nd and Javy Baez threw the ball away in attempting to complete the double play! Velazquez scored and the Yanks were back on top 7-6.

5. Abreu High-Wire Act

Albert Abreu pitched the 8th — walking 2 after 2 were out and then faced Pete Alonso — slashing a 32-85-.264 — who hit a HIGH FLY BALL TO DEEP CENTERFIELD — where Brett Gardner backed up and caught it on the warning track. PHEW.

6. Chapman High-Wire Act

And so it was to the 9th for the Aroldis Chapman High-Wire Act.

Javy Baez led off with a line drive to right that Aaron Judge made a terrific diving catch on.

That catch¬†ended up saving the game because the next batter J.D. Davis doubled. Chapman then struck out Pillar on 3 pitches but the final pitch — an 88-MPH splitter in the dirt — got past Kyle Higashioka — who hustled back — grabbed the carom and threw a strike to 1st to get Pillar anyway. HUGE play by Higgy.

With the tying run on 3rd and Chapman wild all of Yankee universe’s hearts were in their stomach when Chapman threw 4 straight 98-MPH fastballs to James McCann and got him to fly out to Judge in right for the old ballgame.

Etcetera

  • There were many allegations on Yankee Twitter that the balls were juiced for this special event game, as they most assuredly seemed to be for the Field of Dreams game.
  • Aaron Judge went 2-4 with the 2 homers and 3 RBIs and is now slashing 32-79-.294 (.378 OBP). He remains 9th in batting average and 4th in OBP.
  • Gleyber Torres went 2-4 to raise his average to .252 (.324 OBP)
  • Giancarlo Stanton went 2-4 to raise his average to .270 (.359 OBP)
  • Brett Gardner went 2-5 to raise his average to .222 (.332 OBP)

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