If the Yankees somehow pull off a miracle and make the playoffs, Chris Young is going to get his own Yankeeography. How about that?
The former Mets outfielder -- who was the fans' symbol of all that's wrong in Flushing this season -- broke up Alex Cobb's no-hitter with a one-out double in the eighth inning and then hit a walk-off three-run homer off Jake McGee in the ninth to give the Yankees a most unlikely 5-4 win over the Tampa Bay Rays Thursday night at the Stadium.
"He's done an awful lot,'' Joe Girardi said of Young, who went 6-for-11 with two doubles, two home runs and seven RBIs in the three-game series after hitting .205 in 254 at-bats for the Mets and getting released.
"We said he's a talented player and he's had a rough year . . . It's got to be gratifying because players are competitors, and when they have tough years, it's difficult.''
It already was a positive night for Young even before his ninth-inning moonshot. An inning earlier he ended Cobb's no-hit bid, lining a double into the right-centerfield gap.
Pinch hitter Martin Prado, nursing a strained hamstring, then hit a two-run home run off Brad Boxberger to make it 4-2.
The Yankees moved within four games of the Tigers in the race for the second wild-card spot. But it wasn't all positive.
They suffered another significant injury, and in the game's scariest fashion. Chase Headley was hit in the jaw by a 96-mph fastball by McGee leading off the ninth.
Bloodied and in obvious shock, Headley managed to walk off the field with some help after being tended to by two Yankees trainers and team doctor Chris Ahmad. Girardi said Headley was headed for a facial X-ray.
Austin Romine pinch ran for Headley and Ichiro Suzuki followed with a double to left-center off McGee, putting the tying run in scoring position.
After pinch hitter Zelous Wheeler struck out, Young fouled off McGee's first pitch and then jumped all over a 97-mph fastball, lining it over the leftfield wall. As he raced around the bases, his Yankees teammates sprinted out of the dugout to meet him at home plate -- and he was all too glad to greet them by jumping into the mosh pit of a celebration.
But the comeback would not have been possible without Prado's big shot. And that might have been every bit as unlikely, considering that he was supposed to run for the first time in four days before the game. Girardi hoped he would be available to play Friday.
But the timeline moved up and Prado paid immediate dividends, launching a home run to leftfield. There's good reason why Girardi wants Prado's bat in the lineup. In his last 19 game he's 28-for-72 (.389) with five homers and 13 RBIs.
Young's shot made a winner out of Shawn Kelley, who got the final two outs of the ninth, and also took Michael Pineda off the hook.
Pineda gave up four runs and 10 hits in 71/3 innings and has a new nemesis in Yunel Escobar. He entered the game with only four home runs in 443 at-bats this season and then hit two in three at-bats against the righthander to drive in all four runs.
After picking up the first two outs of the fourth on three pitches, Pineda gave up consecutive singles by Wil Myers and Matt Joyce. Then Escobar turned on a flat 2-and-1 slider and lifted it a few rows beyond the leftfield wall for a 3-0 lead. He homered again in the seventh.