Thanks to the weather, the general meh-ness of the 2023 Yankees, and the circumstances of this game, you might not ever have guessed that it was the home finale for this year. A fairly sparse* crowd filed into wet Yankee Stadium to watch a rescheduled from Saturday and shoehorned into a Monday afternoon. Even though the contest still meant a lot for the visiting Diamondbacks, much of the game itself seemed to match the sleepiness of its playing atmosphere.
*The Yankees announced 41,069 as the official attendance but that was just tickets sold. It was quite empty.
On three separate occasions, Arizona took leads, and all three times, it felt like the Yankees were just going to let the game drift away after that. However on all three occasions, they battled back. On all three occasions, it was the youngsters who stepped up in pivotal parts of the rallies. Moonshot homers from Austin Wells and Oswald Peraza evened things up the first two times, and then a group effort got them the lead in the bottom of the eighth.
This season has felt like a slog, but the Yankees at least sent the Bronx faithful home happy this time, as they picked up a 6-4 win over the Diamondbacks. It secured one last Yankee Stadium series victory in 2023 as well.
It didn’t take long for Arizona to pick up a couple runs off starter Clarke Schmidt. While the Yankees’ starter got two quick outs in the first, they were sandwiched around a walk to Gabriel Moreno. Schmidt then hit Christian Walker with a pitch, keeping the inning alive for Alek Thomas. The D-backs’ center fielder then delivered a double that got into the right field corner, allowing both runners to score. The Yankees had a chance to answer right back after DJ LeMahieu and Aaron Judge reached to start the game, but naturally that amounted to nothing.
Judge was then annoyingly robbed of a potential RBI in the third before the Yankees finally got on the board in the fourth. With Gleyber Torres on after a double, Wells crushed a 420-foot home run into the right-field bleachers to knot things up.
After that first-inning trouble, Schmidt was mostly okay. He battled through that, and getting hit on the elbow by a comebacker, to put in four so-so innings. In his outing, Schmidt gave up two runs on three hits and three walks, striking out three. Greg Weissert replaced him, and looked pretty decent in two scoreless frames.
For the seventh inning, the Yankees went with Nick Ramirez. He got off to a decent start, getting an out on the very first pitch he threw. However on the second pitch he threw, Corbin Carroll singled. After a steal of second, the NL Rookie of the Year frontrunner scored when Moreno added another single. Ian Hamilton then reliever Ramirez and got out of the inning, but the Yankees were behind again.
However once more, the Yankees answered back thanks to an absolute rocket from a youngster. In the bottom of the seventh, Peraza crushed a 443-foot shot into the left-field bleachers, bringing the game back to even.
Hamilton came back out for the eighth, but ran into some trouble. After getting the first out, he hit Lourdes Gurriel Jr. with a pitch and then gave up a double to Emmanuel Rivera. Following a walk to load the bases, Hamilton got a big strikeout to get on the verge of escaping the inning. However on the first pitch of the next at-bat, Carroll singled to score Gurriel and put the Diamondbacks in front once again.
Yet, once again, the Yankees battled back in the bottom half of the inning. Torres and Wells got things going by hitting back-to-back singles to lead off the inning. At that point, Arizona reliever Kevin Ginkel got wild and walked Anthony Volpe to load the bases. He then struck out Oswaldo Cabera, but he couldn’t avoid issuing another walk to Peraza, which tied things up. With the bases still loaded, Estevan Florial hit a fly out that was deep enough for Wells to tag up and score, giving the Yankees their first lead of the day. After a pitching change, Everson Pereira singled, which scored another run and put the Yankees up two going to the ninth.
For the ninth, the Yankees brought in Clay Holmes to try and finish things off. He did the job smoothly, and it went down as win for New York, hurting Arizona’s Wild Card chances (though they remain tied with the Cubs for a spot).
With that, baseball at Yankee Stadium is done for 2023; the Yankees went 42-39 at home after going a far better 57-24 in 2022. The Yanks will spend their final two series of the season on the road, starting tomorrow night in Toronto against the Blue Jays. It will be Michael King vs. Kevin Gausman with first pitch from the Toronto ace at 7:07pm ET.