Donaldson Walks It Off! NY 5 Boston 4 in 10 Innings

‏Josh Donaldson knocked a game-winning RBI single through the left side for a walk-off win in the bottom of the 10th inning against the Red Sox at Yankee Stadium, on a cool September Thursday night — clinching a Yankee playoff berth.

Another walk off — ho hum — important and exciting but not as exciting as Yankee fans wanted it: Aaron Judge had come “this close” to winning the game in the bottom of the 9th, and hitting his 61st homer — when he sent a Long Fly Ball to Because in centerfield — caught at the centerfield wall by Enrique Hernandez.

It was a comeback win for NY — they were losing 4-3 in the 8th when small ball and a sac fly by Harrison Bader tied the score. Earlier Giancarlo Stanton hit a 2-run bomb to put NY up 3-0, before Clarke Schmidt yielded 4 runs in seemingly 4 minutes in the 7th.

Toronto lost to Tampa so the Yanks are now 7.5 games in 1st over Toronto, 8.5 over Tampa, 13 over Baltimore, and 19 ahead of Boston. NY is 91-58.

1. Boston Pitched Around Judge All Night

Michael Wacha started for Boston — coming in with an 11-1 2.61 record. But he and Boston pitched around Judge for most of the night — including Judge’s first at bat in the bottom of the 1st, when Wacha threw Judge 4 straight balls.

Wacha pitched Judge carefully in the 3rd — walking him on 7 pitches.

In the 5th, Judge came up after the Yanks had scored a run on a walk by Oswaldo Cabrera, consecutive singles by Harrison Bader and Isiah Kiner-Falefa, and a sac fly by Kyle Higoshioka. With runners on 1st and 2nd and 1 out, Wacha had to pitch to Judge — and struck him out on a 1-2 changeup.

In the 7th, with Kyle Higashioka on 2nd after a leadoff double, John Schreiber walked Judge on 5 pitches.

2. Taillon Terrific

Meanwhile Jameson Taillon was Terrific for NY — 6 shutout innings allowing only 4 hits and striking out 8, walking 1.

He was in line for a win, leaving with a 3-0 lead, but didn’t get it. He lowered his ERA to 3.90.

3. Giancarlo Bomb for 3-0 NY Lead

Josh Donaldson led off the 6th with a single off Wacha, and Giancarlo Stanton hit a bomb to right center for a 3-0 Yankee lead.

4. Schmidt Coughs Up Lead In Minutes

With the Yanks up 3-0, Clarke Schmidt came in to start the 7th — and didn’t have it. He allowed a leadoff homer to Red Sox rookie Triston Casas — the 6’4 lefty power hitter who was the #26 overall pick in the 2018 draft — then a single, walk, and homerun to Reese McGuire. In minutes the Red Sox turned a 3-0 deficit into a 4-3 lead.

Schmidt then found it — getting a fly out, ground out, and line out to end the inning.

Bronx Cheer.

5. Trivino Terrific

Aroldis Chapman got an out but issued two straight walks in the top of the 8th, NY down 4-3, and was yanked by Aaron Boone. In came Lou Trivino, who walked his first batter to load the bases with 1 out.

But Trivino got tough — a pop out and strike out of Reese McGuire to end the inning. PHEW.

6. “Master” Bader

Losing 4-3 in the 8th the Yanks tied it with small ball: a walk to Giancarlo Stanton, stolen base by pinch runner Tim Locastro, who moved to 3rd on a groundout, and scored on a sac fly by Harrison Bader = 4-4 tie.

Pinstriped Empire acknowledged Harrison as “Master” Bader on Twitter.

7. Judge Does It All

Tommy Pham led off the top of the 9th with a shot to right off Clay Holmes that had double written all over it, but Judge threw him out at 2nd with a perfect throw from the wall in right.

8. Judge “This Close” In the 9th

With everyone standing in the bottom of the 9th, including Roger Maris’ sons, Aaron Judge hit his shot to center — sending Yankee Stadium into momentary frenzy — then disappointment.

9. Holmes Terrific

More good news for the Yanks: Clay Holmes pitched a 1-2-3 inning in the 9th — helped by the Judge throw to nail Pham leading off — and in the 10th with the inherited runner on 2nd, struck out Alex Verdugo and then got a fly out and ground out — another 1-2-3 inning.

10. Donaldson Walk Off

And then to the 10th with Kaleb Ort pitching, and Marwin Gonzalez running for inherited runner Anthony Rizzo. An intentional walk to Gleyber Torres and single through the left side by Josh Donaldson for the walk off win! Donaldson had a walk-off winning hit the first time the Red Sox played the Yanks this year.

The Boxscore

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