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  • Derek McAdam

About Last Night: Yankees 14, Pirates 2

by Derek McAdam

September 22, 2022

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While Aaron Judge was chasing Roger Maris’ single-season home run record for the franchise, the Yankees pulled off a two-game sweep of the Pirates at home, winning 14-2 last night.


Quick Stats:

  • Judge: 2-for-4, 2 R, BB

  • Luis Severino: 5 IP, 2 H, 1 ER, 1 BB, 6 K

  • Gleyber Torres: 3-for-4, 2 HR, 4 r, 5 RBI, Two HR In 8th Inning


Big Story:

Even if you are not a Yankee fan, the entire baseball community knows that the big story of the evening was whether or not Judge would tie, or surpass, Roger Maris for the franchise record for most home runs in a single season with 61.


Luis Severino made his first start for the Yankees since July 13, and gave the Yankees five solid innings, only allowing one run.


While Giancarlo Stanton walked it off for the Yankees Tuesday night with a grand slam, Oswaldo Cabrera followed up with a grand slam in the first inning, giving the Yankees a quick 4-0 lead off Roansy Contreras, who was traded to the Pirates as part of the deal for Jameson Taillon. Cabrera’s grand slam marked the first time in MLB history that a team had a walk-off grand slam followed by a grand slam in the first inning of the next game.


In the 4th, KeBryan Hayes hit a sacrifice fly into right field to score Rodolfo Castro, cutting the Yankee lead to 4-1. However, the Yankees extended their lead in the 5th, off a Torres RBI single and Josh Donaldson’s RBI double. In the following inning, Hayes singled to left field to give the Pirates another run, cutting the lead to 6-2.


In the 8th, Torres hit a solo home run in the 8th to give the Yankees a 7-2 lead. After two walks to Donaldson and Giancarlo Stanton, Cabrera laced an RBI double into left to extend the Yankee lead to 8-2. Harrison Bader followed up with a two-run double to extend the Yankee lead to 10-2, while also giving Judge a 5th at-bat in the game. After an Isiah Kiner-Falefa strike out, Jose Trevino drove in Bader with an RBI double, giving the Yankees an 11-2 lead. In the same inning, Torres launched a three-run home run to left to give the Yankees a commanding 14-2 lead, his second home run of the inning.


Player of the Game:

While there are several potential candidates for this honor, Torres has been hot at the plate and deserves the crown. It is only the 6th time in franchise history, and first since 2009, that a Yankee has hit two home runs in a single inning.


Notable Performances:

Luis Severino gave the Yankees a solid game in his return, while Judge put himself in sole possession of 1st place in batting average with two hits, in the race for the Triple Crown.


Better to Forget:

Anthony Rizzo had an 0-for-5 night with three strikeouts, and was the only Yankee starter to not reach base.


My Take:

While Judge is chasing history, this was a big win for the Yankees. They inch themselves closer to securing a playoff spot, and will hopefully do so during this upcoming series against the Red Sox.


There was so much to like about this game. First, a sold-out crowd witnessed Judge increase his batting average on the season, even though he was not able to tie Maris’ home run record. Whenever he came to the plate, the crowd came alive, almost as if it was a playoff game and the Yankees had the go-ahead run at the plate during a crucial moment in the game.


The Yankees also got solid outings from Severino, Lucas Luetge, Ron Marinaccio, and Greg Weissert, who held the Pirates to only two runs. The Yankees needed a solid pitching performance, which is exactly what they got.


And how about Torres? A two home-run night, that came in the same inning. He was the first Yankee since Alex Rodriguez accomplished the feat on Oct. 4, 2009, to homer twice in the same inning. It’s good to see Torres hitting again, and it’s good to see the Yankees winning, even if it’s only a brief three-game winning streak.


Let’s hope the team can keep it up as the Red Sox come to town, as there are several big scenarios on the table. The Yankees can potentially clinch a playoff spot, while Judge can also tie, and possibly pass, Maris’ home run record. An interesting note is that Maris hit his 61st home run to pass Babe Ruth as the franchise leader in home runs against the Red Sox. Will Judge follow in his footsteps?


Next Up:

The Yankees will welcome the Boston Red Sox to town for a crucial four-game series. Michael Wacha is scheduled to start for the Red Sox, while Taillon is set to start for the Yankees. First pitch is set for 7:15 p.m. EST from Yankee Stadium and will be broadcast on FOX.

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