Written by: Daniel Correa (@DanielCorrea001)
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Two days fresh off the 10-day disabled list, Matt Holliday delivered one of the more clutch hits of the 2017 season for the New York Yankees.
With the Bombers trailing 1-0 entering the top of the ninth inning, Holliday led off the inning facing All-Star closer Craig Kimbrel and hit a first-pitch 443-foot blast over the Green Monster to tie the game at 1-1. It was Kimbrel’s first home run allowed in 30 chances at Fenway Park.
The Yankees seemed to be headed to their third straight loss after being absolutely dominated by Boston starter and A.L. CY Young candidate Chris Sale.
The first nine innings of the game lived up to its hype, as a pitcher’s duel took stage between Sale and A.L. All-Star Luis Severino.
Sale pitched seven and two-thirds strong innings and tossed a three-hit shutout in the process, walking only two and striking out 13 batters. Severino tossed seven brilliant innings, allowing one run on four hits and striking out six men.
The game seemed to end with a Boston victory in the bottom of the tenth inning, when the Red Sox put runners on first and second with nobody out.
Yankee middle-inning reliever Chasen Shreve gave up two leadoff singles to Andrew Benintendi and Jackie Bradley Jr. until Yankee manager Joe Girardi pulled Shreve and brought in Adam Warren, who just recently came off the disabled list.
Warren came on and retired the next three Red Sox hitters, striking out pinch hitter Chris Young, and getting Tzu-Wei Lin and Mookie Betts to fly out. Warren has simply proved all year that he has been one of the Yankees’ best stoppers out of the bullpen and has been somebody that Girardi can rely on in pressure situations, particularly in jams like the one he was in the middle of last night.
This was the longest game between these two traditional rivals at Fenway Park since 1966; the game lasted just under six hours, at 5 hours and 50 minutes.
As long as this game lasted, Red Sox manager John Farrell protested the game after losing 4-1 in 16 innings. The reason for protesting was one of the most bizarre plays you will ever see in a baseball game.
In the top of the eleventh inning, Holliday was on first and Jacoby Ellsbury hit a double play ground ball to first. Boston recorded the force out at second (Holliday), but then Holliday slid back to first to break up the double play.
Ellsbury was hit with the ball as he ran down the line to first and the umpires ruled him safe at first. Farrell came out looking for an explanation but didn’t get one; he vowed that he would protest the game.
Finally, in the top of the sixteenth inning, Didi Gregorius hit a go-ahead RBI single to score Ellsbury and give New York the lead as the game played out into the night.
The Yankees tacked out a few more runs, giving them a 4-1 cushion heading into the bottom of the sixteenth.
Yankee reliever Ben Heller threw a scoreless bottom half of the sixteenth and gave the Yankees their 46th win of the season.
This win didn’t advance them up in the standings because Tampa Bay won again over the Angels. However, for the Yankees sake, the win proved how gritty, gutty and resilient of a team they could be.