Ruth and Gehrig, Maris and Mantle. Those “dynamic duos” have powered the Yankees to a number of championships over the years but, in 2018, they may have the makings of another awesome twosome in Gleyber Torres and Miguel Andujar.
The latest “awe-pair” delivered big time last night to give the Yankees a 6-5, 10 inning, come from behind win over the World Champion Astros at Yankee Stadium.
With two out and no one on in the tenth, Andujar, the first part of the “trooks” (two-rookies) stroked a 0-2 pitch into left field from loser Brad Peacock for a double to set up his “better half.” Torres atoned for two errors by dropping a single into right field to score Andujar with the winning run. The 21-year old has only been in the majors for five weeks but that was already his second career walk off hit.
The two youngsters gave you both sides of the learning curve. They both made mistakes as they combined for three of the five Yankee errors on the night but, what was impressive, was the way they were able to redeem themselves at the end. “The game’s not always easy and you’re gonna take your lumps at times,” Manager Aaron Boone said after the game.
Torres has made some errors on this home stand and it continued on the first pitch of the game. George Springer got into scoring position after a single and a throwing error by the young second baseman but a 9-9-3 double play erased the threat. Jonathan Holder, who has been one of the Yanks’ best pitchers out of the pen of late, worked around Torres’ second error of the game in the 7th.
Andujar’s throwing error to start the fifth, led to a pair of unearned runs and a 5-2 deficit, but a second year player and the 2017 AL Rookie of the Year, Aaron Judge, slammed his 15th home run into the second deck in right field as the Yankees began the comeback.
If the Yankees are to beat the Astros in the playoffs, they will need to do just what they did in this game. They made starter Charlie Morton work, which forced Astros Manager A.J. Hinch to go to his bullpen which has been shaky at times and was already drained from a 14-inning loss two days previous. “Obviously our bullpen has been beat up a little bit,” he said.
Chris Devenski was called on to protect a 5-3 lead in the ninth but he walked Andujar, who is a free swinger, to start the inning. “The walk is what killed me. That walk is unacceptable in that situation, it caused a lot of damage there,” Devenski said.
After Torres struck out, Brett Gardner lifted a high fly ball that carried into the right field seats, just out of reach of a leaping Springer, to tie the game. “I was just trying to put him away with my best stuff, you know try to work the count there and beat him with a heater,” Devenski said. “You know he (Gardner) put a good piece on that and kudos to him” The blow was Gardner’s second home run of the game (he led off with a home run off of Morton) and it keyed a four hit night.
In the tenth, Aroldis Chapman issued a two out walk to Tony Kemp. After a wild pitch put the go ahead run on second, Chapman uncorked a 100 mph fastball that went to the back stop and appeared to put a runner on third, but, as luck would have it and the Yankees seem to have it this season, the ball bounced right back to catcher Gary Sanchez who threw out Kemp at third. Like everyone in the ballpark, the young Astros’ outfielder was stunned to be thrown out. “I was just prepared to be on third base, looked up and the ball was in his (Andujar) glove,” he said.
Brad Peacock was called on to pitch the tenth and got the first two outs and was 0-2 on Andujar but he hung a breaking pitch and the young third baseman smoked a two out double. “I stayed with my plan, I stayed positive to finish my at-bat,” said Andujar.
Torres has already shown an uncanny ability to seize the moment and he didn’t disappoint the 45,458 fans. Boone appreciates what he’s watching from the “trooks.” “To see young players go through those failures, successes and have it not impact the rest of your game, that gets me excited,” the Manager said.