The Yankees offense was looking lifeless Thursday afternoon in Detroit.
Tigers starter Matt Manning held them scoreless over his six strong innings of work and the bullpen followed suit. New York found themselves trailing 3-0 heading into the top of the ninth.
With runners on first and second and one out, Gleyber Torres busted down the line to break up a potential game-ending double play, bringing up Anthony Volpe with one last chance representing the tying run.
After taking a first pitch strike, Volpe cracked a 96 mph Alex Lange sinker and snuck it just over the right-field fence for a game-tying three-run home run, giving the Yankees life in the ninth.
They, of course, went on to lose in the tenth on a walk-off error, but Yankees manager Aaron Boone had nothing but praise for the 22-year-old who continues to show big-time poise in clutch moments.
“He’s a guy you want up there in a big spot and has a knack for those things,” he said. “He’s been good out there. It’s been fun watching him play the game, he’s gotten a lot of big hits for us.”
Volpe’s blast wasn’t just a big moment for the Yanks, it also marked a huge accomplishment in what’s been an extremely strong rookie campaign for him.
That homer secured a 20/20 season for the talented youngster, making him the 15th rookie in baseball history and the first Yankee rookie to reach that mark. He also became just the second Yankee shortstop to accomplish such a feat.
The New Jersey-native, who grew up a fan of the Bombers, admitted it’s definitely pretty cool to be able to etch his name into the team’s record books.
“It’s pretty crazy,” he said. “I never really had any goals set coming into the season numbers-wise, but when you can put yourself into Yankees history it’s definitely pretty crazy.”
While not much has gone right for the Yanks this season, at least Volpe has been one of the lone bright spots. His skipper had nothing but praise about how he’s played on both sides of the ball.
“It’s eye-opening for a kid from Jersey who is 22 years old and wins the job in spring and goes out and does this,” he said. “The other part of it is the defensive side, playing shortstop for the New York Yankees and in my eyes right smack in the middle of the Gold Glove conversation.
“I’m excited to see what he can do for the rest of his career.”