NEW YORK — A ninth inning filled with a historical hit and memorable ending will go down in Yankee history as the New York Yankees defeated the Pittsburgh Pirates 9-8 in an unbelievable win in the Bronx Tuesday night.
Where to start?
We’ll start with why most Yankees fans packed the navy blue seats circling the stadium that house the current American League East division leaders. As the Yankees trailed 8-4 in the hollow depths of the ninth inning, they started the inning with a stagnant amount of attention, as all eyes were lasered to the batter’s box that rested on the right side of home plate. As Aaron Judge planted his cleats into the bronze-colored dirt, he awaited a 95-mph sinker on a 3-1 pitch from Pirates Yohan Ramírez.
For the first time in his resilient and power-struck career, No. 99 of the New York Yankees, Aaron Judge, hit his 60th home run of the season. A year in which the 30-year-old decided to decline a seven-year, near $214 million extension from the Yankees. A contract that did not reflect the caliber player he was when negotiations were ongoing before the start of the 2022 season, and without a sliver of a doubt, it fails to reflect the player he is today.
Despite the Yankees trailing 8-5 after Judge’s blast, the rumbles that echoed around Yankee Stadium reflected the Postseason nights in October. As the MVP candidate ran around the bases, Yankees fans around the stadium raised their hands in the air, hugged, and cheered at the top of their lungs as they witnessed Yankee history. Judge now joins Babe Ruth, Roger Maris, Sammy Sosa, Mark McGwire, and Barry Bonds, becoming the sixth player in Major League Baseball history to hit 60 home runs in a single season.
As an immeasurable joy hovered, the Bronx Bombers still needed to find a way to win their first meeting with the Pirates. After a standing ovation, the Yankees found ways to continue the inning. An Anthony Rizzo double, a Gleyber Torres walk, and Josh Donaldson single led Giancarlo Stanton to the plate with the bases loaded and no outs in the bottom of the ninth.
The inning started with a historical hit that will rest in Yankees history until the end of time, but what preceded that historic hit will live on in the memory of every Yankees fan across baseball. With an even count, a changeup on the left rim of the plate hung in place as the 6’6” designated hitter launched a rocket into the night sky, sending the Yankees faithful into a chaotic frenzy.
Walk-off grand slam.
This season, the Yankees closed out a game for the second time by walking off with the bases loaded. But, this time, it was a part of a historical inning and night that will forever live on in the memory of Yankees fans.
The cherry on top.
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