Rizzo CLUTCH Hit in 8th Makes ‘Near Perfect” Taillon a Winner! NY 2 LA Angels 1

Jameson Taillon pitched a Perfect Game into the 8th inning, when Jared Walsh broke it up with a hard grounder up the middle that Yank shortstop Isiah Kiner-Falefa tried to backhand but failed — it went into the outfield for a double. The Angels then scored a run to take a 1-0 lead and it looked like Taillon would get a loss after all that, as the Yanks were getting shut out by Reid Detmers and the LA bullpen.

But Anthony Rizzo saved the day, with a CLUTCH, 2-out, bases-loaded RBI single up the middle in the bottom of the 8th to tie the game and put the Yanks ahead 2-1 with the one swing — causing Yankee Stadium to explode in playoff-intensity ecstasy!

Clay Holmes then loaded the bases with 2 outs in the 9th before getting the final out and the Yanks had a day-night double-header sweep and 3-game crushing of the Angels. NY improved their record to 36-15, a .703 winning percentage; the best record in baseball. They remain 5.5 games ahead of Toronto, which won its 8th game in a row. The Angels fall to 27-25.

Taillon improves to 6-1 2.30. He leads the Yankee staff in wins.

1. Taillon Perfect to the 8th

Taillon filled the strike zone with his 95-MPH sinker, 82-MPH curveball, 86-MPH slider, 94-MPH fastball, 92-MPH cutter, and 88-MPH changeup.

Afterwards, Taillon said that he was not pitching to preserve a Perfect Game. “Kind of the opposite because of the score of the game,” he said. “I was just telling myself no matter what don’t make a mistake in the middle to these guys; let’s pitch to the edges. Let’s keep making our pitches.”

“I’ve never been in that situation in the 8th inning before or even the 7th,” he added. “But the fact that the game was so close, and obviously for us, winning really matters here. I was not pitching to preserve a Perfect Game or No Hitter; I was pitching to win. Definitely didn’t want to walk guys; but also didn’t want to make a mistake in the middle to any of those guys. I was ok staying away from the slug. If I had to give up a single, or if I had to walk a guy I was willing to do it.”

After Walsh doubled to leadoff the 8th and break up the Perfect Game, Taillon got the next two outs — Walsh moving to 3rd base. Kurt Suzuki then singled to left for a 1-0 LA lead.

When Rizzo got his big hit in the bottom of the 8th, there was no bigger fan than Taillon. “I was fired up. I was kind of kicking myself for the pitch I threw Suzuki there,” said Taillon. “The slider got up on me a little bit, gave him an opportunity to get the barrel to it. So I was pretty sick about that.”

2. Yanks Couldn’t Break Through Against Detmers

Meanwhile the Yankees were banging hits off Detmers all evening but couldn’t score.

  1. Miguel Andujar led off the 2nd with a walk, and Isiah Kiner-Falefa singled him to 2nd. But Aaron Hicks and Joey Gallo struck out and a groundout ended the inning.
  2. Marwin Gonzalez led off the 3rd with a single and DJ LeMahieu walked, but again the Yankees offense ended there — a popout, foul out, and strikeout ended the inning.
  3. Kiner-Falefa led off the 4th with a single, but was picked off, causing an ensuing Joey Gallo single to go for naught.
  4. Marwin Gonzalez led off the 5th with a double, and after an out Aaron Judge walked — to again put Yanks on 1st and 2nd with 1 out. But a strikeout and groundout ended it.

3. Rizzo’s CLUTCH Hit

Finally in the 8th, with Oliver Ortega in to pitch for LA, Andujar hit a one-out double, Kiner-Falefa walked, and Aaron Hicks worked a big walk (his second of the game) to load the bases with 1 out.

LA brought in Archie Bradley, and Joey Gallo worked a 3-2 count before striking out.

With 2 out, bases loaded, the Yanks down 1-0 in the bottom of the 8th — New York looking squarely at a loss — Anthony Rizzo pinch hit, and on a 1-2 pitch, smacked a single right up the middle for 2 runs and an ecstatic Yankee Stadium.

4. Holmes Gets the Save, with Agita

Clay Holmes pitched the 9th. He was fresh off a lot of rest and looked too rested — he was wild. He got the first two outs but then walked Shohei Ohtani, and hit Mike Trout and Jared Walsh with pitches to load the bases.

Holmes went 2-1 on Renigfro — dangerously close to walking in the tying run.

All of Yankee Twitter were biting their nails as Renigfro hit a groundout on the 2-1 pitch for the old ballgame!

The Boxscore


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