Wandy to the Rescue. Yanks Edge Atlanta 5-4 for 11th Straight

Wandy Peralta came in with bases loaded, 2 out, and a 5-4 game in the bottom of the 9th, and dueled Freddie Freeman in a 9-pitch at bat — including 4 straight 3-2 pitches fouled off — before getting Freeman to hit a high fly to deep left that Joey Gallo tracked down by the warning track to win the game for the Yanks. PHEW. A hearts-pounding, finger-nails-chewed-off win.

1. Wandy to the Rescue

Aroldis Chapman had put the Yanks into the bases loaded predicament — entering the 9th with a 5-3 lead but allowing 2 singles and 2 walks in a stinkeroo performance. To Chapman’s credit — he got 2 of the first 3 batters he faced, and then with 1st and 2nd, struck out Ozzie Albies on a 3-2 pitch in the dirt — but the umps ruled it a foul ball as John Sterling was saying “Ballgame over, the Yankees win — theeeeee…. no. Don’t do it John. Don’t do it” on the radio.

Chapman then got Albies to ground the ball to 3rd to seemingly end the game — but Rougned Odor double clutched the throw and Albies beat it out to load the bases.

Manager Aaron Boone gave Chapman as much rope as he possibly could — keeping Chapman in with the bases loaded, leading 5-3. Chapman then walked Jorge Soler on a 3-2 pitch to force in a run and make it 5-4, still bases loaded.

Boone finally pulled Chapman — handing Peralta the ball with no room for error. Peralta entered the game by slapping his own face repeatedly as he walked up to the pitchers mound to psyche himself up in the intense situation.

And all the while, Yankee Twitter and Yankee universe were tuned in all over the world, biting their fingers or bouncing off walls. Or pulled over, off the highway into parking lots to hear the final at bat — win or lose.

Then the 9 pitch at bat — with Peralta going 3-1 then throwing 5 straight changeups — all fouled off by Freeman — who has a 27-70-.296 (.393 OBP) slash line — until he hit the final one to deep left, where Gallo flagged it down for the old ballgame.

“Tremendous. Just gutsy,” said manager Aaron Boone afterwards of Peralta’s performance. “Freddie’s putting together a tremendous at bat, and he (Wandy) keeps filling up the strike zone. Just a classic matchup there, and Wandy just kept making pitches. Kept making pitches. You know Freddie is going to control the zone so if he’s out of the zone it’s probably ball 4. And he just kept making pitches. As tough a situation that you can probably be brought into. Freddie Freeman staring you down with the bases loaded, and he executed. Just a tremendous job by him.”

2. Heaney Was Ok

A million years earlier, Andrew Heaney started the game and looked good for the first two batters (easy groundouts to shortstop), then walked Fryman and apparently struck out Austin Riley to end the inning but the umps called it a hit-by-pitch. Yankee Twitter strenuously disagreed. Atlanta shortstop Dansby Swanson then doubled in 2.

After that Heaney rolled — striking out the side 1-2-3 in the 2nd, getting a 1-2-3 third, and allowing 2 singles in the 4th but getting out of it.

3. Yankee Offense Pounces Back

Meanwhile the Yankees got right back into it: Giancarlo Stanton homered to centerfield off Atlanta starter Charlie Morton in the top of the 2nd to make it 2-1 Atlanta.

Aaron Judge led off the 4th with a double, and Gary Sanchez later singled him home with 2 outs to tie the game 2-2.

Andrew Velazquez led off the 5th with a single, and DJ LeMahieu hit a 1-out homer to left for a 4-2 Yankee lead.

Albert Abreu allowed a hit and a walk in the 5th, and lefty Joely Rodriguez was brought in to get lefty swinging Freeman to ground out, but righty Austin Riley knocked in a run with a single to narrow the NY lead to 4-3.

But Rougned Odor got the run back — an insurance run — with a homer in the bottom of the 7th — a run that proved to be the game winner.

The Boxscore


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