Talk about an instant classic! This game was a top 2 to 3 regular season game I’ve seen. The Yankees and Twins bludgeoned each other. It’s as if they both knew what pitches were coming. The launch angle was on display. Emotional rollercoasters and momentum shifts ran rampant.
I won’t dig too heavy into stats on this piece. Did went 5 for 5 with 7 rbi. The only AL SS to do that. Also, the third Yankee to have two, 4 hit, 7 rbi games. Incredible. The Yankees saw a balanced offensive attack. A relentless one. That saw them continually come back. No matter the score or situation. 7 for 21 with risp. Not too shabby, eh?
At one point it was 8 to 2 Twins. Domingo German had his first stinker since returning. Let’s just say he gets a mulligan. In my eyes, anyway. German fell out of rhythm early and paid for it. The Twins were mashing homers once again. Miguel Sano had two of them. Including a big 3 run homer off German, that knocked him out for good.
It seemed like nobody wanted to win this one. Twins starter Kyle Gibson bent but didn’t break, until Didi tagged him for a 3 run shot, to make it 8 to 5. From then on, the Yankees just chipped away. The Twins seemed to answer, though. This was like Ali vs Frazier going 15 rounds.
The Twins stretched it to 9 to 5, but the 8th inning saw the Yankees plate 5 runs. Tauchman, Judge and Didi all had doubles. The latter two for multiple rbi. Giving the Yankees a 10 to 9 lead. Not to be forgotten was Gleyber Torres’ who drew a key walk in the inning. The will and desire for this Yankees team is unfathomable.
The Yanks turned to Britton, who usually shuts the door. Not today. This game was where pitchers went to die a horrible death. It was like they were throwing beach balls. Britton served up a lead changing, two run shot, to Sano. The Twins thought they finally finished NY.
As we headed to the top of the 9th, it was 11 to 10, Minnesota. Twins closer Taylor Rodgers retired the first two hitters. Up stepped Mike Tauchman, who drew a gutsy walk. Hicks proceeded to work his late inning magic, again, by belting a go ahead two run blast. A stunning turn of events for everyone watching or playing this game. It felt like a playoff game. It Could be a preview? Buckle up.
Chapman entered the game and looked rusty. 95 mph fastballs initially, which lead to him walking the bases loaded. He had no control or rhythm. Jorge Polanco tied it on a sac fly, but Chapman managed to wiggle out of further trouble. An under the radar, key moment.
We headed to extras tied at 12. Gleyber Torres laced a rbi single to right, in the midst of another rally. Romine, who had taken over for Sanchez, scored on a wild pitch. The Yankees once again had the lead. Sanchez had been struggling mightily and seemed to have tweaked something running down the line. The Yankees catcher went 0 for 5 but hit 3 balls hard that were caught. Let’s hope he’s ok.
Ottavino entered the game, looking to mercifully put the Twins to bed. Otto struck out Sano on a knee buckling slider. He too then lost control. After a force out at 2nd, thanks to a dazzling flip to second by Didi, Ottavino loaded the bases with 2 out. Chad Green was called on. Aaron Boone must have been pleading with him. To get someone out, finally. Green faced Kepler and fired a 97 mph fastball on the outer edge. Kepler rocked it the other way into the left center field gap. Off the bat, it seemed like it was a sure double.
Twins win? Wrong. The heroic Hicks sprinted and leaped with an incredibly athletic dive. Which saw the ball land in his glove. There was no way that could of happened. It actually did and the Yankees won a wild one, 14 to 12. With an elated Chad Green’s hands in the air. Hicks burned his old team, twice.
Jim Lampley put his mic down, and the betters and judges all went home. What an instant classic.