By Ilan Luttway
On April 28th, The New York Yankees were down 9-1 to the Baltimore Orioles in the bottom of the 6th inning. All hope seemed to be lost. Even after Aaron Judge’s huge second home run of the night, his first multi homer game of his career, the Orioles came back with another 2 runs in the top of the 7th to make the game 11-4, diminishing all hopes of a comeback. But in the bottom of the 7th inning, after a single by Austin Romine on a soft ground ball to third baseman Manny Machado, and starting pitcher Kevin Gausman was replaced by reliever Vidal Nuno, a glimmer of hope for the Yankees emerged. After a double from the third baseman Chase Headley and a walk to designated hitter Matt Holliday, Jacoby Ellsbury came through and hit a grand slam to right field, the 100th home run of his career.
While the Orioles were still up 11-8 after the top of the 9th inning, Yankee Stadium felt as vibrant as ever… a comeback was on the way. After a walk to Chase Headley, a sharp single from Matt Holliday, and an RBI groundout from Jacoby Ellsbury, the score was now 11-9 in the bottom of the 9th with Starlin Castro up to bat. As Castro dropped his knee to the ground, as he often did on home runs, fans at Yankee Stadium and at home gazed at the ball traveling through the air and shouted with excitement. 11-11. As the top of the 10th came to a close for the Orioles batters, fans screamed and yelled, knowing that this was the moment for the young and talented Yankees roster to complete their heroic comeback. Reliever Jayson Aquino must have felt it too, dishing out two walks in a row to Aaron Hicks and Kyle Higashioka.
As Matt Holliday came up to bat with one out, runners on 1st and 2nd, everything began to slow down. As the first pitch breaking ball came running down through Aquino’s fingers, veteran Matt Holliday remained calm and put bat on ball, smashing a three run home run. Before he knew it, Holliday was being doused with water, jumped on by his teammates. Holliday’s walk-off three run home run capped off one of the most improbable comebacks in MLB history, a game that should never be forgotten.
But this game is only the beginning for the 2017 New York Yankees as they look to continue their success throughout May and make a statement to the AL East about who the best team in their division really is.