Yankees’ 9th-inning heroics against Giants give Judge a special reason to celebrate

New York Yankees’ Juan Soto, right, celebrates with Aaron Judge, left, after hitting a solo home run against the San Francisco Giants during the first inning of a baseball game Sunday, June 2, 2024, in San Francisco.
Joe Najarian
Monday June 3, 2024

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The Yankees’ latest ninth-inning rally, which secured a series sweep over the Giants, highlights “this team is different,” according to Aaron Judge. He noted that while previous Yankees squads might have faltered in similar situations, but the 2024 team consistently refused to give up.

Entering the ninth inning with a 5-3 deficit, New York mounted a comeback against Giants closer Camilo Doval. Gleyber Torres ignited the Yankees rally with a single, followed by Anthony Volpe’s triple, bringing the Yankees within one run. Juan Soto, then, hit his second home run of the day, a go-ahead shot to right field, leading a four-run surge.

The Yankees’ dramatic 7-5 victory marked their MLB-leading 18th come-from-behind win this season, compared to just 31 such victories last year. Judge expressed his admiration for the team’s tenacity, recalling past instances where they failed in similar scenarios against top closers. He emphasized that this year’s squad maintained a mindset of being in the game by getting the leadoff hitter on base in the ninth.

“I can go back over the years how many times we probably lose that game,” an elated Judge said after the game. “Teams bring in their closer up two runs and we kind of go 1-2-3. But this team’s different. They went up there with the mentality that, ‘Hey, we’re still in this ballgame, just gotta get the first guy on and see what happens.’ That was a fun one to be a part of.”

The Yankees captain described the victory as “a fun one to be a part of,” as the team celebrated their sweep of the Giants and concluded a successful 7-2 West Coast road trip against the Padres, Angels, and Giants. With a 42-19 record, the Yankees returned home for a day off on Monday, feeling confident about their resilience.

A comeback win by the spirited Yankees

New York Yankees' slugger Juan Soto celebrating his home run against the San Francisco Giants, on June 2, 2024

The Yankees were three outs away from losing the final game of a successful West Coast trip when their relentless rally began. Trailing 5-3 in the ninth inning, New York staged a dramatic comeback against Giants closer Camilo Doval to win 7-5 and complete a three-game sweep at Oracle Park.

According to manager Aaron Boone, the rally gained steam when Gleyber Torres led off the ninth with a single up the middle that “you could feel” energize the dugout. Jose Trevino then hustled down the line to prevent a double play, flipping the lineup over.

Judge praised Trevino’s heads-up baserunning, noting that “It’s little things like that that might get overlooked, but we all see it and it leads to a big inning.”

With the go-ahead run coming up in Juan Soto’s spot, Anthony Volpe followed with an RBI triple. Trevino again used his wheels to score all the way from first base on the play, which he called going “in the fastest gear that I have.”

“Obviously I know who’s hitting behind me and I know how important it is for those guys to get up to the plate,” Trevino said. “It’s just effort and playing for the guys in this clubhouse, plain and simple.”

Soto delivered a two-run homer, propelling the Yankees to a dramatic comeback victory. Trevino explained that his all-out effort was driven by the need to keep the lineup moving for Soto and the heart of the order.

Trevino noted the significance of who was batting behind him, emphasizing the importance of getting those players to the plate. He said it was all about effort and playing for the guys in the clubhouse.

Despite Trevino representing the tying run at first base during Volpe’s at-bat, Boone considered using a pinch runner, highlighting the Yankees’ determination to complete the West Coast sweep.

The manager praised the Yankees’ clutch ninth-inning at-bats, describing them as “big-time, big-time ABs in a comeback scenario” following their victory over the Giants.

New York Yankees’ Aaron Judge wipes his face in the dugout before taking the field for a baseball game against the San Francisco Giants, Saturday, June 1, 2024, in San Francisco.
AP Photo/Godofredo A. Vásquez

Boone remarked that the dugout was energized when Jose Trevino hustled to beat a potential double play, setting the stage for the heart of the order. The Yankees skipper expressed confidence, noting they had a chance to get their “big boys” to the plate. This set up Anthony Volpe’s RBI triple to right-center, bringing the Yankees within one run.

“Those are some big-time, big-time ABs in a comeback scenario,” he said. “There’s always that belief, but I think everyone was kinda fired up when Trevy frankly beat out the ball, like, ‘Ok, we got a chance we’re gonna get our big boys up there potentially. And then boom, Volp sticks that one in the gap.”

As Trevino raced from first to home on Volpe’s hit, Boone admitted he was internally cheering, “Please, come on Trevy! Come on Trevy!” with a broad smile.

Still down 5-4 with a runner on third and one out, Juan Soto approached the plate aiming to hit a sacrifice fly. However, when Giants closer Camilo Doval left a 97.6 mph cutter over the plate, Soto smashed it 398 feet to right field for a go-ahead two-run homer.

Soto commented on the 1-0 pitch, noting, “He left me one right down the middle,” which he hit with an exit velocity of 108.2 mph. Aaron Judge expressed his admiration, saying that Soto’s performance was consistent with what they had seen all year.

Boone summed it up, calling it “some savage at-bats,” as the Yankees completed their improbable four-run ninth-inning rally.

Juan Soto delivered a standout performance, hitting two home runs, including a crucial go-ahead two-run shot in the ninth inning, leading the Yankees to a comeback victory over the Giants. Soto also contributed a solo homer in the first inning and a bunt single that sparked a two-run fifth.

Soto revealed that his initial aim was to hit a sacrifice fly when he faced Camilo Doval with Anthony Volpe on third and one out in the ninth. However, when Doval left a first-pitch cutter over the plate, Soto took full advantage, launching a 398-foot homer to right field, punctuated by an emphatic bat flip.

New York Yankees' star Aaron Judge ranks first in OPS in 2024

Later in the inning, Giancarlo Stanton added an insurance run with an RBI double, marking his 1,500th career hit and extending the lead to 7-5. Clay Holmes then secured the victory with a flawless 1-2-3 ninth inning, earning his 17th save.

Following the dramatic rally, Soto commented on the Yankees’ unwavering positive mindset, regardless of the deficit. He emphasized that the team always believes they can make a significant impact, saying, “Everybody in that dugout is thinking we’re gonna do something, we’re gonna do damage. We all know how capable we are, so we always stay positive. Everybody is right there, always thinking positive, always believing we can do it.”

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