This one is going to sting the Yankees for a long, long time.
New York faltered in a tight-as-could-be, winner-take-all ALDS Game 5 against the rivalrous Tampa Bay Rays 2-1 Friday night in San Diego.
For viewers with no vested interest, it was a remarkable pitcher’s duel that ended on a sharp and late crack of Mike Brosseau’s bat leading to victory and a trip to the ALCS.
However, for Yankees fans, it was a heartbreaking nightmare.
Pitching on only three-days rest for the first time in his career, Game 1 starter Gerrit Cole walked the bases loaded to start the game but worked out of the jam completely unscathed after putting three straight past third baseman Joey Wendle, regaining composure to spin a gem of a start.
Rays opener Tyler Glasnow went through the Yankee lineup once, setting reliever Nick Anderson to take over in the mound in the third inning to pitch down the game’s mid-stretch.
Outfielder Aaron Judge took Anderson for a ride to right field with a solo home run that put the Yankees up 1-0 in the fourth inning.
— YES Network (@YESNetwork) October 10, 2020
After Cole went 4.2 innings without allowing a hit, designated hitter Austin Meadows drove a game-tying home run over a leaping Judge, who became caught beneath an unfamiliar overhang on Petco Park’s outfield wall in the fifth inning.
Aaron Judge: All of us
Padding: 2020 pic.twitter.com/9wf6RSGTxt
— Michael Lee (@MrMichaelLee) October 10, 2020
The Yankees threatened to retake the lead in the sixth with runners on first and second base but instead, first baseman Luke Voit struck out against Peter Fairbanks to end the inning.
After outfielder Brett Gardner made a successful home-run saving catch on outfielder Randy Arozarena, Cole’s night ended after 5.1 innings thrown.
The Yankees’ ace allowed just the homer as his only hit on the night and accrued nine strikeouts in his outing.
After his Game 4 outing, reliever Zack Britton came in to close out the sixth, which he did without harm after allowing two runners on.
Closer Aroldis Chapman had an early start on his night after the Yankees tasked him with getting the seventh inning’s final out, which he did by striking out second baseman Brandon Lowe.
As fate would have it, a pinch-hitting Brosseau would get his long-awaited revenge on Chapman with a game-breaking, lead-changing solo home run that put Tampa ahead 2-1 in the eighth inning.
Tampa closer Diego Castillo put down the Yankees’ final three batters, which consisted of playoff hero and designated hitter Giancarlo Stanton, Voit, and third baseman Gio Urshela.
Aside from Judge’s big knock, the Yankees lineup stayed frigid throughout the elimination game as second baseman DJ LeMahieu went 0-4 with a strikeout, Stanton with 0-3 with a strikeout, along with both Voit and Urshela each having two strikeouts and a walk in their 0-3 nights.
It is also unlikely that any high school or college in the state of New York will design a new baseball field with overhanging padding on its outfield wall.