Yanks Win Wild One in Extras to Go 6-1. NY 6 Arizona 5 in 11

Alex Verdugo with a clutch 2-run BOMB in the 10th to put NY ahead 4-2.

Caleb Ferguson — the Yanks’ new late-inning lefty — struck out the Arizona pitcher (Scott McGough) in the bottom of the 11th with the bases loaded to secure the win for the Yankees, 6-5 over the Diamondbacks in Arizona on a Thursday afternoon.

Manager Aaron Boone had just intentionally walked good-hitting catcher Gabriel Moreno to load the bases to get to the pitcher — Arizona having lost their DH due to an injury. The Diamondbacks had 1st and 2nd, 2 outs — so the intentional walk moved the tying run to 3rd base — a ballsy move. With no room for error, Ferguson came through, pouring in four straight 4-seam fastballs, the final one getting McGough looking.

A Gleyber Torres single to move the inherited runner to 3rd, and then a balk put NY ahead in the top of the 11th, and then Aaron Judge‘s clutch RBI double gave NY a 2-run lead that proved to be the game winner. Judge hit his first homer of the season earlier in the game.

Alex Verdugo was the temporary hero with a 2-run homer in the top of the 10th, but an Anthony Volpe error helped kick away the lead in the bottom of the 10th.

Carlos Rodon started the game for NY, and was commanding, pitching 2-run ball into the 6th — it was one of his best starts as a Yankee.

“Both starters pitched well — (Arizona’s Merrill) Kelly and Rodo were really good, and the bullpens were tough,”, said manager Aaron Boone afterwards. “Really good at bats by GT, setting us up again with that 2nd run; obviously Dugie with the big swing in the 1st go around. Clay (Holmes) was outstanding; we didn’t make a play behind him but we just keep playing; that’s part of it; that’s going to happen, and then Fergie coming in and finishing it off — it was a fun, exciting way to end the road trip.”

“Judge was great,” added Boone. “Obviously getting us on the board with one of his patented ones. Did that go in the pool out there? It did? I told him I wanted him to go visit the pool at some point this road trip; I’m glad he checked that box. Then a really good at bat there in the 11th to give us the insurance run.”

NY comes away from a 7-game road trip to start the season at 6-1, sweeping Houston and beating the NL champs Arizona 2 of 3. The Diamondbacks fall to 4-3.

1. Judge Homer Puts NY Up 2-1

Aaron Judge hit his first homer of the season — a drive to right center off Arizona starter Merrill Kelly that put NY ahead 2-1 in the 4th inning. Judge went 2-4 in the game with a walk, a good development for NY.

2. Rodon Commanding

Another good development for NY: Carlos Rodon looked good. As good as he’s looked as a Yankee (which isn’t saying much). Finally he looked like the top-of-the-rotation ace-like starter the Yanks thought they were signing.

His four-seam fastball had life and was clocking 96 MPH early in the game, then ratcheted up to 98 MPH by the 5th inning. He threw lots of 4-seam fastballs early, then started mixing in changeups, a cutter, and a slider, with the occasional curve.

Arizona shortstop Blaze Alexander hit one of his 4-seam fastballs clocking 95 MPH for a homer in the 2nd inning to give Arizona a 1-0 lead, and DH Ketel Marte hit one out in the 5th to tie the game 2-2.

Rodon was relieved in the 6th after striking out the first batter but then allowing a double to Eugenio Suarez and single by Blaze Alexander to put 1st and 3rd, 1 out.

3. Hamilton Lights Out

In came Ian Hamilton, who got out of the 1st & 3rd, 1 out jam with a lineout double play to 2nd base — Suarez doubled off 2nd — to end the 6th.

Hamilton then pitched lights-out, shutout ball in the 7th and 8th — striking out the side in the 7th and getting popup, groundout, strikeout in the 8th. He used his 98 MPH sinker and 98 MPH four-seam fastball with his 91-MHP slambio (combo slider-changeup unicorn pitch).

But Merrill Kelly pitched 7 solid innings — allowing only the Judge homer — and Joe Mantiply and Ryan Thompson came in to pitch a shutout inning each, holding the Yankees down.

4. Loaisiga Sharp

Jonathan Loaisiga pitched a 1-2-3 shutout 9th — strikeout, ground out, ground out — sending the game to extra innings.

5. Verdugo Hero #1

And that’s when Alex Verdugo became hero #1, leading off the inning by socking the first pitch he saw from Kevin Ginkel for a 2-run homer to right, scoring the inherited runner for a 4-2 Yankee lead.

6. Not Holmes’ Fault — Volpe Error Kicks Away Lead

Clay Holmes came in for the save, and got the first batter on a groundout — moving the inherited runner to 3rd base.

Holmes got the next batter Geraldo Perdomo to hit an easy chopper to shortstop that Anthony Volpe fielded but threw wide to 1st — the ball bouncing off Anthony Rizzo‘s glove into short right field with the runner scoring and Perdomo going to 2nd. Perdomo sprained his right knee on the dash to 2nd and had to be replaced for a pinch runner — Jake McCarthy.

Holmes got Ketel Marte to ground out, moving the runner to 3rd, but then with 2 outs, Corbin Carroll hit a little quibbler in the infield that Volpe charged and made the play on — but Carroll beat it out and the run scored to tie the game.

7. Gleyber & Judge Put NY Up 2 in the 11th

Gleyber Torres led off the top of the 11th with a single, moving inherited runner Jon Berti to 3rd.

A Balk was called on Scott McGough, allowing Berti to score (and Gleyber to move to 2nd) — giving NY the lead at 5-4.

After Juan Soto lined out, Judge ripped a double to right center for a 6-4 lead.

8. Ferguson K’s the Pitcher to End It

The injury to Perdomo caused Arizona to have to put Ketel at shortstop, moving him from the DH role which meant Arizona lost the DH. This would prove decisive.

Clay Holmes came back out to pitch the 11th, and immediately hit the first batter with a pitch to put 1st and 2nd, nobody out.

But Holmes struck out Eugenio Suarez for 1 out.

In came Caleb Ferguson — NY’s new late-inning lefty they picked up from the Dodgers in the off season, replacing Wandy Peralta. Ferguson struck out lefty Joc Peterson for the 2nd out.

But Jorge Barrosa singled to make it a 6-5 game with runners on 1st and 2nd.

Due up was catcher Gabriel Moreno — a highly regarded hitter who slashed 7-50-.284 (.334 OBP) last year as a 23-year old rookie.

The pitcher, McGough, was on deck.

Boone decided to intentionally walk Moreno to load the bases so Ferguson could face the pitcher McGough.

The right move but a balsy move — all of Yankee Twitter was waiting for the 2-out, bases loaded, bloop single to win the game for Arizona.

It was McGough’s first at bat in the majors. He had hit in college and in the minors.

Ferguson threw straight heat — four straight 94-95 MPH four-seam fastballs to strike McGough out looking for the old ballgame.

The Boxscore


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