Stanton Grand Slam in 8th Saves Yanks! NY 5 Boston 3

Giancarlo Stanton hit a MASSIVE Grand Slam into Outer Orbit and Out of Fenway Park with 2 outs in the bottom of the 8th, turning a depressing and tenuous Yankee 2-1 deficit into the most incredible of wins — 5-3 over the Red Sox on a Saturday night.

The victory catapulted the Yanks into a tie with Boston for the top Wild Card spot with 7 games to go. Toronto won so they remain 2 games back of both.

The Slam caused Yankee Twitter to explode in raucous joy that lasted through the evening until the next morning. Yankees Analytics Nerds posed the question — this was “the biggest regular season home run since…?” — and Yankee fan Alonzo had the answer: “Yesterday’s 3 run shot by no other than Giancarlo.” — which carried the Yanks to Friday night’s victory over Boston.

1. Cortes Pitched Well

Nestor Cortes Jr.— who has become the Yankees’ #2 starter this season — pitched a good game. He allowed a solo homerun to catcher Kevin Plawecki in the bottom of the 3rd on an 85-MPH cutter that he golfed off the light pole above the Green Monster to give Boston a 1-0 lead.

In the 5th, Cortes allowed a leadoff single, and then was helped by Aaron Judge, who saved a homerun with a terrific on-the-run catch in right, reaching over the wall to snare the ball just before it went out.

Plawecki then singled to send Cortes to the showers after 80 pitches — Aaron Boone managing as if it was a playoff game — which essentially it was.

2. King Gets Huge Outs

Michael King — who has been brilliant — came in with 1st and 2nd, 1 out — and allowed an infield single to load the bases.

King then threw a wild pitch to Enrique Hernandez and it was 2-0 Boston — 2nd and 3rd, still only 1 out.

With Nick Pivetta pitching brilliantly for Boston, any more runs seemed like it would doom the Yankees.

But King struck out Hernandez and then struck out Hunter Renfrow leaving the runners stranded on 2nd and 3rd which was HUGE.

3. Yanks Finally Get a Run

The Yankees finally got to Pivetta in the top of the 6th — his 3rd time through the lineup. Rougned Odor (who was robbed of a homerun in the 3rd on a ball that Renfrow caught over the wall by the bullpen in right center) flied out — but with 1 out, Gio Urshela singled and Brett Gardner doubled — and the Yanks were finally in business with 2nd and 3rd, 1 out.

Pivetta was relieved by Hansel Robles, who threw a wild pitch that was nowhere near the plate — pulling the Yanks to within 2-1.

Aaron Judge hit a grounder to 3rd, and Brett Gardner was running on the play — making him an easy out at home. Yankee Twitter extremely criticized the illogic of the run-on-contact play.

4. Severino Terrific

King allowed a leadoff single in the 6th, but then got a fly out and line out, and was helped by Lucas Luetge who got the final out.

In came Luis Severino to pitch a shutout 7th, striking out 2. He’d pitch a shutout 8th too, striking out 2 more (more on that below).

5. Stanton’s SLAM

Nick Pivetta was never supposed to pitch so long in this game — he’s had a poor second half of the year and it was reported before the game that Tanner Houck would be waiting in the wings. Houck finally made his appearance in the 7th — pitching a shutout inning — and he struck out Odor and Gio Urshela to lead off the 8th.

With 2 outs, nobody on, and the Yanks trailing 2-1 in the bottom of the 8th — things did not look good for NY.

Houck went 1-2 on Brett Gardner.

But Gardner worked a walk.

And then Aaron Judge — who went to a 2-2 count — worked a walk.

And Houck was gone.

Boston manager Alex Cora made the decision of the game — going to lefty Darwinzon Hernandez to face lefty Anthony Rizzo.

It was a curious move — as Yankee Twitter was well aware of Rizzo’s reverse splits — that he hits lefties better than righties. Also — the new rule in baseball is that a reliever must face at least 3 batters. And Giancarlo Stanton, a righty, was on deck.

The count went 3-1 on Rizzo when Hernandez hit him with a pitch — loading the bases.

Up stepped Giancarlo Stanton. When asked afterwards what was going thru his mind when Boston brought in the lefty to face Rizzo, he said: “That they better get him out. I’d obviously rather face a lefty than a righty at any time.”

Stanton hit a GRAND SLAM “To the Moon Alice” — as John Sterling put it afterwards.

Or as John Sterling called it:

Or as the Boston announcers called it:

6. Severino the 8th; Chappy the Save

After the Slam, Severino came out for his 2nd inning — pitching the bottom of the 8th shutout ball with 2 K’s.

On Severino, manager Aaron Boone said, “It was awesome. It was big man — 2 innings there — ends up going thru their big boys too. Just a great job by him. I thought he threw the ball really well. He was willing to use the changeup a lot to go with the slider-fastball combo. You could tell he relished in being out there in this kind of atmosphere; in this kind of game with a lot on the line. Another huge step for him in making his way back.”

Aroldis Chapman came in for the 9th.

Chappy got the 1st out on a groundout, but then allowed a homer to Bobby Dalbec to make it 5-3, and hit the next batter, Plawecki, to put the tying run to the plate with 1 out.

But Chapman reared back and struck out  Jose Iglesias and got Enrique Hernandez to hit a sharp grounder to 3rd, that Gio Urshela ate up and threw to 1st for the old ballgame.

The Boxscore

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