Volpe Hits Rocket Walk-Off HR — Just Foul. Boston 3 NY 2

Anthony Volpe came up with 2 outs and 2 on in the 9th and the Yanks down 3-2, and hit a 3-2 cutter for a rocket down the left field line that everyone thought was a game-winning homer — but it hooked foul by 5 feet. On the next pitch he popped out for the old ballgame.

Boston 3 NY 2 on a June Friday night at Yankee Stadium.

Gerrit Cole pitched well enough for a win — 6 innings, 2 runs — both coming off the bat of Rafael Devers. But the Yanks were shut down by former Yank Garrett Whitlock, the guy they famously lost in the Rule 5 draft who turned into an elite reliever in Boston — and who over the last 2 years has been pressed into a starter.

Albert Abreu relieved Cole and immediately allowed a HR to make it a 3-1 game at the time, and prove to be the dagger.

“It’s one of those really good games that you’re mixed up in,” said manager Aaron Boone afterwards. “Great closers, and Anthony had what I thought was a really good at bat — controls the strike zone, got him to 3-2, just misses winning the game there down the line. I felt that the guys did a lot of good things tonite, but couldn’t get that big hit in the end; stick one in the seats with a guy on. But I thought we did a lot of good things tonite.”

NY falls to 37-28, 9.5 behind Tampa and 3 behind Baltimore. Boston improves to 32-32.

1. Cole Good

Gerrit Cole pitched well — he was locked in a 0-0 pitchers duel when in the top of the 4th he allowed a 1-out double to Rafael Devers, got a strikeout for the second out, but then allowed a single to 6’5 lefty batting Triston Casas for a 1-0 Boston lead.

Devers got to Cole again in the top of the 6th with a 1-out homer to left center for a 2-0 Boston lead.

And that was it — Cole pitched 6 innings, 7 hits, 2 runs, 6 K’s. But he took the loss to go 7-1 2.84 on the season. He left after 6 and 101 pitches thrown.

“I thought Cole had a really good heater,” said Boone afterwards. “2 runs in 6 innings — we have to make that work obviously. He got hurt a little bit with some secondary, is where they got their hits on him. I think Devers hit 2 changeups. You look at that pitch — down and away — to be able to hit it into the other bullpen is pretty impressive. But I thought Gerrit’s fastball was really good tonite; I thought it played up. He was doing a good job of locating with it; getting some swing and miss with it. I thought fastball wise he was really good.”

2. Whitlock Better

But meanwhile Whitlock was stymieing the Yankees — he had a shutout going into the 6th. Whitlock has been struggling this year — coming in with a 2-2 5.61 record. But he looked like the elite reliever of 2021 on this night — using almost exclusively a 95-MPH sinker and 80-MPH sweeper with intermixed 81-MPH changeup to get the Yankees out.

3. Donaldson HR Gets Yanks on Board

Josh Donaldson finally got the Yanks on the board leading off the bottom of the 6th by ripping a 94-MPH sinker into the left field seats for a 2-1 game.

4. Abreu Coughs One Up

With Cole gone at 101 pitches, Albert Abreu came in to pitch the 7th.

Abreu had not allowed an earned run in his last 8 relief appearances, covering 9.2 innings, with only 3 hits allowed, and 8 K’s.

He struck out the first batter Connor Wong, but then made a mistake with a 97-MPH sinker — getting too much of the plate — and Enrique Hernandez deposited it into the left field seats. Boston 3 NY 1.

Yankee Twitter erupted, with some asking why Abreu was still on the team. Abreu always seems to make the glaring mistake.

5. Kiner-Falefa Produces Run; Yanks Close to 3-2

Isiah Kiner-Falefa led of the 7th with an infield single, stole 2nd, and went to 3rd on a throwing error by catcher Connor Wong. Gleyber Torres came up as a pinch hitter.

Torres had been given the night off even after hitting a decisive 2-run homer the game before. This was due to DJ LeMahieu playing 2nd and Josh Donaldson at 3rd. One could fault Boone for resting a guy after hitting a homer — but LeMahieu had 2 hits the prior game, and got 2 hits in this game and Donaldson hit the homer — so it is more to do with the Yanks having 3 players for 2 positions.

Gleyber worked a 3-2 at bat and Whitlock threw ball 4 in the dirt for a wild pitch as Kiner-Falefa scored from 3rd. Boston 3 NY 2.

6. Volpe “Just Misses”

Nick Ramirez and Jimmy Cordero combined for 2.2 shutout innings to keep Boston at 3 runs, but the Yanks were running out of time. They went out 1-2-3 in the 8th against Chris Martin, and then faced Kenley Jansen in the 9th.

Jansen struck out Jake Bauers and got Kiner-Falefa on a fly out, but with 2 outs, Billy McKinney singled, and then Gleyber Torres reached on an infield single.

That brought up Anthony Volpe, who worked the count to 3-1, then fouled off a tough pitch, and then ripped a 3-2 cutter to left — what looked to all as a game-winning homer down the line — but hooked just foul. Volpe then popped out on the next pitch for the old ballgame.

The Boxscore


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