Retribution. Down 6-0, Aaron Judge & Yanks Rip Tampa 9-8

Aaron Judge hits 2-run BOMB in 6th to give Yanks 7-6 lead.

Last Sunday, the Yanks had a 6-0 lead over Tampa in the 5th inning and their ace Gerrit Cole on the mound, who was 5-0 1.35 at the time. But Cole tired in the 6th and manager Aaron Boone left him in too long — the result: Tampa 8 NY 7.

On this Saturday, Tampa had a 6-0 lead over NY in the 5th inning and their ace Shane McClanahan on the mound, who was 7-0 1.76 coming in. Final score: NY 9 Tampa 8.


And the Yanks are now 7 games back of Tampa, no longer in last place, and ps it’s only middle of May — the season just started.

Aaron Judge was the hitting star — with two 2-run homers. But it was a relentless attack by the Yankee lineup up and down that murdered Tampa pitching.

“I think we just got into good counts,” said Aaron Judge afterwards. “With a pitcher like that, we just were able to lay off some good pitches and get ourselves into some good hitter’s counts — and he had to come into the zone and we took advantage of it. That’s what got us going in that one inning there, to put up some runs against him — because all year, and even at the beginning of the game he was pretty ‘lights out’.

1. Cortes Lost It in 5th

Nestor Cortes was on the hill for NY — coming in with a less-than-stellar 3-2 4.74 record — as he has been hit hard in the 5th inning on, lately. And this game was the same thing — it was a 1-0 pitchers’ duel into the 5th.

Nestor allowed 3 straight singles to lead off the 2nd but got a double play to get out of the inning with only 1 run allowed. Nestor then pitched shutout ball the next few innings to keep it 1-0.

Cortes was helped by a terrific play behind him at 3rd by DJ LeMahieu in the 4th.

But in the 5th, Nestor got the first out but then allowed two walks and a single, and then a Grand Slam to Randy Diaz. Tampa 5 NY 0.

A double to Wander Franco and Cortes was gone — replaced by Jimmy Cordero, who allowed an RBI single to make it 6-0.

“It seems to be the story of my season this year, kind of in the 5th inning on, losing command then starting to search and give up that big hit,” said Cortes afterwards. “It’s happened a couple of times and I have to fix that. It’s a matter of making pitches at the time in a crucial moment. Hopefully if we come out with a zero there I probably come out for the 6th and things look a lot better on the boxscore.”

When asked if the cause was 3rd time through the lineup, Cortes said “It could be a number of things — it could be 3rd time through the lineup. It could be running out of gas. Command hasn’t been great. I think if I was able to command the ball a little bit better, things would be different.”

Cortes said he felt fine physically. “I have no restrictions. I don’t feel any pain anywhere. It’s just a matter of commanding the ball when I need to the most. Feels like 5th inning on I start losing command — so I need to focus more; I have to work on it; hopefully I can fix it.”

2. McClanahan Lost It in 5th

NY was down 6-0 to McClanahan with his 7-0 1.76 record.

Game seemingly over.

The Yanks had shown some resistance against him — a walk in the 1st, a single and a walk leading off the 3rd, a leadoff single in the 4th — but McClanahan was up for the challenge — the Yank offense was just denting him.

But Jake Bauers led off the bottom of the 5th with a walk. And then Kyle Higashioka homered to left for a 6-2 game. Hope?

Gleyber Torres walked. And Aaron Judge hit an opposite field homer to right and it was 6-4. Ballgame back on.

Anthony Rizzo doubled to send McClanahan to the showers but NY didn’t score him off reliever Ryan Thompson who got groundout, flyout, lineout. Good enough it was a 6-4 game headed to the 6th.

3. Cordero Holds Court

Jimmy Cordero pitched a shutout 1-2-3 top of 6th — strikeout, strikeout, groundout — important because it put Thompson right back on the mound against the now hungry Yankee offense.

“Jimmy Cordero came in when it was a 6-0 game and said, ‘Hey guys — we got this; we got this’ — and that kind of pumped everybody up,” said Aaron Judge afterwards.

4. Volpe Is the Spark in 6th

Anthony Volpe led off the bottom of the 6th with bunt single — then stole 2nd base. But Jake Bauers lined out and Willie Cordero flied out and it was 2 outs — Volpe still on 2nd.

So he stole 3rd.

And it paid off as Thompson — with pressure on — threw a wild pitch to Gleyber Torres on his second pitch with Volpe on 3rd — and it was a 6-5 game!

5. Judge Brings the Artillery

Thompson then walked Gleyber, and Aaron Judge BOMBED a homer to left for a 7-6 Yankee lead. World Series back on, as they say.

Anthony Rizzo then reached on a bunt single against Thompson, and DJ LeMahieu walked and Thompson was finally gone.

One can imagine Tampa fans were thinking the same thing about their manager Kevin Cash that Yankee fans were thinking about Aaron Boone last week in the Cole start.

Javy Guerra came in and walked Jake Bauers, and Oswaldo Cabrera singled in another run — which would loom large. NY 9 Tampa 6.

6. Marinaccio Off Again

That extra run became the game winner. Ron Marinaccio came in for the 7th, and struggled in his 3rd straight appearance — a single, hit-by-pitch, groundout and he was gone after facing the minimum 3 batters (new baseball rule the last 2 years).

7. Holmes Dicey But Gets It Done

Clay Holmes came in for Marinaccio in the 7th and got a strikeout — but with 2 outs Randy Arozarena singled in 2 runs and it was 9-8 NY. Holmes allowed another single to put 1st and 2nd, 2 outs — before getting a groundout to end the inning. Phew.

Holmes allowed a leadoff single in the 8th — and here we go again.

But then Holmes settled down — fly out, strike out, strike out.

8. Wandy the Save

Wandy Peralta came out for the 9th to attempt his second save in 2 nights — he got a groundout and strikeout but walked Arozarena and up stepped Brandon Lowe.

Lowe worked a seemingly endless 10-pitch at bat — fouling off everything Wandy threw — before hitting a fly to Oswaldo Cabrera in left for the old ballgame.

The Boxscore

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