That WPA graph says it all, doesn’t it? The Yankees blew opportunity after opportunity on Friday night — they loaded the bases three times and scored a total of zero runs in those situations — and looked to be heading towards a frustrating and disappointing loss. All the air was about to be let out of the Blue Jays sweep balloon.
Instead, Carlos Beltran came out of his offensive slumber to club a two-out, three-run, walk-off homer against Zach Britton, turning an ugly loss into the unquestioned best win of the season. At +0.83 WPA, it was the Yankees’ biggest hit since Jason Giambi hit a walk-off two-run homer against B.J. Ryan back in June 2008 (+0.89). I remember that game well and I will remember this one well as … well.
Pretty much everything before the homer is an afterthought. Hiroki Kuroda took a no-hitter into the sixth, Mark Teixeira doubled in Brett Gardner for the game’s first run in the first inning, and Brian McCann singled in a run ahead of Beltran’s dinger to extend the inning. It was a really good at-bat against the tough lefty. McCann’s at-bat and single in that ninth inning should not be forgotten.
I spent a good chunk of the game sitting in traffic and following on Gameday, so I can’t go into much more detail. I did see the ninth inning rally though, and that’s really all that matters. MLB.com has the box score and video highlights, FanGraphs some other stats, and ESPN the updated standings. The Blue Jays rallied to win after being down 8-0, so thanks for nothing Reds. The Yankees remain 1.5 games back of first place in the AL East.
Anyway, Yankees and Orioles meet again on Saturday afternoon, when Vidal Nuno and Bud Norris meet. The Yankees will add a plaque to Monument Park in honor of Tino Martinez before the game.