Beltran Blasts Yanks Back Into First Place

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Carlos Beltran slugs a pinch-hit, three-run home run to right-center field, giving the Yankees a 4-3 lead in the top of the 8th on August 14, 2015 at Toronto

Game 114 / 63-51 / 1st / +0.5GB : Instant Yankees Classic. No other way to characterize this game. It had the feel of October, with everything on the line. And for 7 full innings, it looked dire for the visiting Yankees. David Price was in control, New York was back in it’s offense funk and another lost weekend — possibly a lost season — was in the balance. Then the magic happened. Down 3-0 in the 8th, a Chase Headley RBI knocked Price out of the box, and a dramatic 3-run homer from Carlos Beltran stunned the entire nation of Canada and gave New York a 4-3 lead, which would hold up as the final score.

Here’s the box score, full recap, and video highlights.

Yankees 4, Blue Jays 3

Showdown In Canuckistan

$12 seats in the outfield upper deck at Rogers Centre were going for $500 bucks a pop. With the trade deadline acquisitions of shortstop Troy Tulowitzki and ace starter David Price, and the 11-game winning streak, baseball fever has captivated the hockey-centric hamlet of Toronto with an intensity not seen since the early 1990s when the Blue Jays ruled Major League Baseball.
On the heels of Toronto’s Yankee Stadium sweep of the Bronx Bombers last weekend, this series — at least according to the social media cesspool — was supposed to be the dagger. The fatal blow to New York’s dreams of a division title. The Blue Jays juggernaut would steamroll the reeling Yankees, leaving them to scrap for the crumbs of a Wild Card ‘play-in’ game.
Just like we heard before the 2014 season, might as well go ahead and engrave Toronto’s name on the World Series Trophy now. No sense playing out the rest of the campaign, as the Jays will not lose again.
Forget the inconvenient fact that there are 45+ games left, not to mention 7 head-to-head contests between New York and Toronto — 4 in The Boogie Down and 3 up there — all in September.

Not So Fast

Enter Ivan Nova and Carlos Beltran.

  • Carlos Beltran   Not only was Beltran’s game-deciding blast high drama — it was historic. It’s been 21 years since anyone in New York Yankee pinstripes has hit a pinch-hit home run on the road — in the 8th inning or beyond — that gave the team the go-ahead run. Last time that happened was by Don Mattingly on July 24, 1994 against the California Angels. In Anaheim, the Yankees were down 4-2 in the 9th. Angel reliever Joe Grahe faced pinch-hitter Mattingly with 2 on and 1 out. Grahe served one up to Donnie on a 2-2 count, which was ripped over the right field fence for a 5-4 New York lead, and eventual win.

“As soon as I hit it, I knew it was going to leave the ballpark. It’s a good feeling being able to come off the bench and come through and help the team win.” ‐ Carlos Beltran  

MEMORY LANE : On today’s date in 1966, the Yankees were hopelessly out the running for the American League crown — in 7th place, 23.5 games out, and underwater with a 52-65 record. The Ralph Houk-managed club pulled off a 7-3 victory over the 3rd place Cleveland Indians in the first game of a old-school double-header. Behind a 3-4 day from Joe Pepitone, including a solo home run, and a 3-4 outing from shortstop Horace Clark, Dooley Womack recorded the win in relief of Fritz Peterson. In the lineup that day was Mickey Mantle, Elston Howard, Bobby Richardson, Tom Tresh and Clete Boyer

The Yanks would go on to sweep the twin-bill, with a 6-4 victory in the nightcap behind the pitching of Steve Hamilton and hitting contributions from Tresh and Mantle (solo home runs), and an RBI single by Hamilton, plating Roger Maris in a 4-run fourth inning … (h/t: Baseball-Reference.com, Today in Baseball History)

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