The Baby Bombers were nine outs away from being dubbed “The Baby Bummers,” in the postseason. The Yankees, in a 2-1 series hole already, were down 4-0 in the bottom of the seventh to the Houston Astros in Game 4 of the ALCS.
To that point, the Bronx’s young superstars, Aaron Judge and Gary Sanchez, failed to produce in the postseason.
Sure, Judge homered in the AL Wild Card game vs Minnesota, which feels like two months ago give his gaudy strikeout numbers in the eight games since then (3-30, 21 K’s). And sure, he homered in Game 3 of the ALCS when the Yankees were already winning 5-0.
Like Judge, Sanchez also lacked a signature moment coming into Game 4. Sure, he clubbed a two-run home run off of Corey Kluber in Game 2 of the ALDS, a game the Yankees would lose, but he entered Game 4 of the ALCS hitless and under fire for not scooping a relay throw home that allowed the Astros to win in walk-off fashion in Game 2.
But in the seventh inning of Game 4 of the ALCS, everything changed with one pitch.
Houston pitcher Lance McCullers Jr. was spinning a gem, as well as a wicked curveball that had Yankees hitters off balance all night long. That wicked curveball McCullers featured was just the pitch Judge sat on in the seventh to deliver a towering, solo shot to put the Yankees on the board, 4-1.
The stadium rose, the crowd was rocking, and McCullers’ night was over.
Meanwhile, the Baby Bombers’ night had just begun.
The other face of the Baby Bombers, Sanchez, cut the deficit to two with a sacrifice fly, two batters after Judge.
And in the bottom of the eighth inning, it was again, The Baby Bombers coming through in big moments,
The AL Rookie of the Year favorite and MVP candidate, Judge, continued to swing his gavel, delivering a game-tying double that brought bedlam to the Bronx.
And Sanchez, with one out and runners on first and third, facing a pull-heavy defensive shift, reminded everyone of the pure hitter he is, smacking a gap-splitting double that put the Yankees on top, 6-4.
The stadium exploded, reminding fans of the days in Old Yankee Stadium where they watched young players like Jeter and Posada and Williams make their postseason mark like Judge and Sanchez were in Game 4.
The Yankees’ season was on life support facing a 3-1 series deficit with Dallas Keuchel and Justin Verlander looming for Houston in Games 5 and 6, and just like the Wild Card game down 3-0 in the first inning, and just like the ALDS down 2-0 in the series to Cleveland, the Yankees pulled through.
This time was different though. This time, The Baby Bombers provided the October heroics.