Donaldson Saves Yank Season with Grand Slam in 10th! NY 8 Tampa 7

It was the shot heard all around Yankee Twitter and Yankee Universe. Josh Donaldson hit a walk-off Grand Slam in the bottom of the 10th to resuscitate the Yankees from a 7-4 deficit and win the game, 8-7 over Tampa!

Aroldis Chapman had just put the Yanks at their lowest nadir, by walking 2 and allowing a bases-clearing double in the top of the 10th — putting Tampa up 7-4 and on the verge of sweeping the 3-game set and sending NY to its 12th loss in 14 games.

But then — the rain that had delayed the game in the 7th seemed to act as magic — like with Thor or Robert Redford in “The Natural” — and put electric energy in the bat of “Maker of Rain” Josh Donaldson.

And it was World Series back on.

“I really wasn’t trying to do too much, just trying hit a line drive the other way,” said Josh Donaldson afterwards. “And was able to hit it out, so that was nice.”

The Yanks had been down 4-0 midway thru the game — getting shut out yet again — this time to old friend Corey Kluber — when Gleyber Torres began the comeback with a 2-run homer in the 6th.

Then came the rains; delaying the game in the 7th but good news — sending Kluber to the showers. The Yanks scored a run in the 7th and tied the game on a HUGE Anthony Rizzo homer in the bottom of the 8th.

On a summer Wednesday night in the Bronx.

With the win the now 73-45 Yanks push back their lead to 10 games — over Tampa and Toronto — with Baltimore 11.5 out and Boston 14 out.

1. German Started; Yanks Fell Behind

Domingo German started for the Yanks and he pitched pretty well — through 4 innings had allowed only 1 run — but got knocked out in the 5th.

German retired the side in order in the 1st and 4th innings, allowed a lone single in the 2nd, and a run in the 3rd on a walk and double.

But in the 5th he ran into trouble — yielding a 1-out double to Jose Siri, single by Francisco Mejia, and 2-RBI double to Yandy Diaz — and he was gone at 72 pitches. It was 3-0 Tampa.

Lucas Luetge came in to get the final 2 outs but he himself yielded a homer to Harold Ramirez in the top of the 6th and it was Tampa 4 Yankees 0.

2. Kluber Looked Like Cy Young

Meanwhile Corey Kluber was pitching like he was Cy Young. He struck out 3 Yankees in the 4th (while yielding a hit) and struck out the side in the 5th.

You can imagine what Yankee Twitter was like — the Yanks being shut out YET AGAIN. And Corey Kluber entered the game with 7-7 4.40 record so it wasn’t like he hadn’t been hit this season.

3. Gleyber Homer Pulls Yanks from Ledge

Then finally in the bottom of the 6th — the Yanks showed some life.

Aaron Judge led off with a double to opposite field right — and then Gleyber Torres ripped a Kluber 2nd-pitch 79-MPH curveball into the seats in left. Tampa 4 NY 2. Jubiliation at The Stadium.

4. Marinaccio Saves Trivino

Lou Trivino pitched the top of the 7th and struck out the 1st batter before allowing a single and a walk.

In came Ron Marinaccio and down came the rain.

The game was halted for 45 minutes while Yankee Twitter discussed why Lou Trivino had become an important pitcher in the Yankee bullpen — and why they acquired him at all — after he had gone 1-6 6.47 with Oakland this year. And why he was pitching and Clarke Schmidt was in AAA.

When the rain stopped, Marinaccio struck out David Peralta and got Ramirez to line out to end the inning — Estevan Florial coming in to make a good catch.

5. Judge Walks with Bases Loaded for RBI

The Yanks came to bat in the bottom of the 7th and Kluber was Gone — the rain delay had chased him. In pitching was Colin Poche, and the Yanks pounced.

Jose Trevino singled, DJ LeMahieu singled, Isiah Kiner-Falefa lined out to center, and Andrew Benintendi walked — bringing up Aaron Judge.

Tampa yanked Poche for Pete Fairbanks — and he pitched carefully to Judge — walking him on 4 pitches to force in a run!

Tampa 4 NY 3. Bases loaded, 1 out.

But Gleyber Torres hit 1st pitch for a room-service double play. (Despite the fact that Fairbanks had just come in and thrown 4 straight balls which drew commentary on Yankee Twitter.)

6. Rizzo Homer Ties It in 8th!

Marinaccio pitched a shutout 8th and Anthony Rizzo greeted Brooks Raley in the bottom of the 8th with a 360-foot homer over the short porch in right for a tie game!

7. Chapman Horrific

Scott Effross pitched a shutout 9th but NY couldn’t score in the bottom of the 9th and it was on to extras.

Aroldis Chapman has been pitching very well of late but not this time — two straight walks to start the inning loaded the bases (the inherited runner moving to 3rd).

Chapman reared back and struck out Jose Siri and then went 0-2 on Mejia before he ripped a double just fair inside the 1st base line to clear the bases and give Tampa a 7-4 lead — and send the Yankee season to the brink.

Desolation Row was Yankee Twitter.

8. Donaldson Saves Season

Some people turned off the game and went to bed. It was around midnight.

They would not have seen this: Gleyber Torres met Jalen Beeks with a leadoff single in the bottom of the 10th, and it was 1st and 3rd (inherited runner to 3rd).

Anthony Rizzo worked a walk. And that sent up Josh Donaldson — the much maligned Josh Donaldson — who Yankee Twitter has been bashing for weeks — with Tweets such as this:

Donaldson saved the season by hitting 2nd-pitch 96 MPH fastball 349 feet into the right field stands for the game winner!

The John Sterling call:

Another view:


  • The game started out with the Major League Debut of Oswaldo Cabrera — just called up to help give the Yanks some spark. He took his first Bleacher Creature call with flair.

  • Cabrera ended up going 0-4 but Just Missed hitting a homer his first at bat — getting just under it for a high fly to deep right.
  • Estevan Florial was also called up to give NY spark and started in centerfield. He went 0-2.
  • To make room for Cabrera and Florial, Miguel  Andujar and Tim Locastro were sent down.

The Boxscore

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