Game 138 // Ninth Inning, New York // Giancarlo’s Yankee Moment

BOTTOM OF THE NINTH: YANKEES 7 (5) – 5 MARINERS

 

“We have been waiting,” says Michael Kay, as Stanton walks up to the plate, “for his signature Yankee moment.

 

 

The Yankees were down 5-0 in the fifth inning.

They’ve scored five runs unanswered.

It’s 5-5, after a two-run shot from Gary Sanchez in the 8th.

Two outs now, in the ninth. With Didi Gregorius on base after a hit to center field.

And Giancarlo Stanton comes up.

 

 

His head fighting the creeping thought of one thing on the entire ballpark’s mind—like that scene in Inception, where one of the guys says:

“Don’t think about elephants. What are you thinking about?”

“Elephants.”

In his head, Stanton says:

“Don’t think about a walk-off. Don’t think about it.”

He takes a first-pitch slider for a strike. Fouls off a hittable fastball for the second. 0-2 count, two outs, the game tied.

“What am I thinking about?” he says, and he can’t help it. “A walk-off.”

And he sets up, his stance rigid, the front leg in front of his body as if… have you ever looked at that posture he has? He stands there, statue-like, his body twisted back behind his front leg as if he guarding some great force about to be released—part samurai, part matador, that front leg a wall with all his energy packed to the brim behind it.

Hidden behind his elbow guard, his plastic jaw protector, so that you almost forget how strong he is. Quiet, reserved, down 0-2 in the count.

And then, he gets that slider again. Over the inside half of the plate.

 

 

“There it goes,” shouts Michael Kay. “Signature moment, see ya!!”

 

 

 

The night before the summer solstice, Giancarlo Stanton and the Yankees making the city come alive like it did in the old days.

It’s going to be one of those summers again. 

 

New York on top of the baseball world.

 

 

 

 

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