Aaron Hicks; Yes, Aaron Hicks.
The often ridiculed, sometimes completely unnoticed outfielder was the Yankees’ hero on Thursday night. The three-pointer, without a doubt at home, at the bottom of the ninth, equalized things. Five hits later, Aaron Judge’s exit line in the left corner of the pitch gave the Yankees an incredible 7-6 victory just hours before Judge was set for a refereeing hearing to decide his salary.
Hicks dropped just 0.288 in the game, the eighth lowest among any player with at least 200 appearances on the board. For his clash at the end of the game with his nearest Astro Ryan Presley, that was irrelevant. The only thing that mattered was the bat to meet the ball, and Hicks did it with laxative power.
Amid screams that he was overrated, overpaid and over his head, Hicks’ direct point to the sky as soon as the home run was successful meant one thing: I’ve gotten over it all.
“Dude, I feel amazing,” Hicks said later. “When you come in contact with the ball and you do not even feel it, you just know that you hit it well, especially in such a situation. “Having two kids in front of me who were at the base for me, and coming to a great extent and leveling the game there was huge.”
Jose Trevino later followed Hicks with a single in the middle in the seventh track of his at-bat. DJ LeMahieu kept the inning alive for Judge, leaving many pitches below his knees and winning a two-yard run. It was the kind of bats the Yankees missed for the previous eight innings, failing to capture Framber Valdez or one of Houston’s first two consolations. Valdez went to his sink again and again in large places. At the end of the day, 62 of Valdez’s 101 stadiums were submerged. The Yankees stayed with the referee quite often, as 17 of these submersibles landed for the so-called strikes. In total, 32% of its submersibles led to a called strike or smell. The average pitcher in 2022 receives a called strike or smell in 27.5% of cases.
It only took about 20 minutes for Pressly and his replacement, the right Ryne Stanek, to spoil it all. Not that they needed it, as basically everything has gone as it should this season, but the Yankees’ ninth inning was a huge boost to their spirit. Their return showed the kind of determination that will make them one of the toughest teams to beat in September, October, and for every poor soul who has to face them right now.
“There is a certainty where, if the game is in balance or within reason, they will find a way to win,” Aaron Boone said of his potentially historic team. “In the ninth, just some great, winning bats. What a huge swing from Aaron, both Aarons. ”
It’s not just that the Yankees are winning games. It is that they win games when their opponent turns 95%. This is still an A, but the Yankees are at an A + level. When Judge went to the plate with two outs and two runners, a base hit seemed inevitable. After a lost rally in the eighth race, the crowd was fully back in the game thanks to Homer Hicks and LeMachier’s abrupt walk. They became completely nuclear when Judge’s ball hit the grass of the left court and sent the Bombers to sprint out of their dugout to jam it. Somehow, a clean, probably confirmatory game for Astros became a disaster.
“We do not like to lose,” said Hicks.
Houston scored in a series, but could only do so early. They started with three in the first before facing another three in the third. The heart of their order – which really ranges from one to six – remains utterly scary. Yordan Alvarez, who is built like a statue with screens, continued the budding case of the MVP. While Judge is still losing the award, Alvarez appeared at the first Yankee Stadium recital of the year. Playing for a national television audience on the MLB Network, the Astros left laser show went 2-on-5 with three RBIs thanks to a missile seeking heat in the right field seats.
Alex Bregman matched him with his own three-pointer that a fan immediately threw back on the field. Both sluggers did their damage by Jameson Taillon, who arguably had the worst start to his otherwise brilliant season. The Taillon finish line showed ten hits, six wins runs and nine hits that the Astros scored at 100 miles per hour or better.
Alvarez and Bregman’s shots in the cheap seats were not enough to get the Astros a W, although the Yankees’ offensive performance for the first eight frames was extremely limited. Giancarlo Stanton, as he usually does, turned a lazy fly ball into a counter homer in the first. With a firing angle of 34 degrees, Stanton’s ball was held high enough in the air to send the entire stadium into a familiar thought process when watching the one-of-a-kind striker. “It does not go out, does it? It looked like it was barely moving. Wow, this is the second deck. “
But then came the ninth inning. Pressly and Stanek melted while the Yankees held steady. If they feel they may never lose again, it is because of games, players (the judge when asked about the impending hearing: “We’ll talk later”) and moments like this. As Frank Sinatra makes fun of the band’s trademark song, they want to be a part of it.