Yankees general manager Brian Cashman raved about outfielder Clint Frazier’s “legendary” bat speed after trading for the 22-year-old last summer.
Nearly one year later, Frazier put that speed on full display after turning on a 97-mph fastball from Brewers All-Star closer Corey Knebel for a three-run, walk-off home run rallying the Yankees to a 5-3 win Saturday afternoon at the Stadium.
He nearly tied the game in the seventh inning when his RBI triple hit the wall, plating Jacoby Ellsbury to make the score 3-2 heading into the eighth. Frazier finished the day 3-for-4 with a career-best four RBI and a double shy of completing the cycle.
The Yankees’ bullpen slammed the door with the duo of Dellin Betances and Aroldis Chapman recording the final six outs, five of them via strikeout.
Luis Severino threw seven innings, allowing six hits and recording his fourth double-digit strikeout game after fanning 10 hitters in the matinee. He allowed three earned runs, all in the first inning, but rebounded to put together a quality performance.
PLAY OF THE GAME
Frazier’s walk off, three-run home run off Knebel, a no-doubt shot off the bat which sent the Yankee faithful into a frenzy and gave the Yanks (45-40) a badly needed win after they had lost 17 of their previous 23 games.
Brewers starter Brent Suter cruised through six innings until Chase Headley doubled with one out in the top of the seventh. Headley advanced to third on a Jacoby Ellsbury single and would come into to score after an errant pickoff attempt to first base went into right field. Frazier followed with an RBI triple to make it a one-run game.
STAR OF THE GAME
Frazier was the lone star on offense for a Yankee team that managed just six hits on the day. Frazier broke up Suter’s no-hit bid with a single to right field in the fifth inning and pulled the Bombers within one after blasting an RBI triple to left in the seventh inning. Then of course came the big blast in the bottom of the 9th.
20. Domingo Santana’s three-run home run off Luis Severino in the top of the first inning was the 20h first-inning home run the Yankees have surrendered this season, worst in MLB.
Gary Sanchez, who batted third and went 0-for-4. He struck out twice, popped out to second base in the sixth and grounded out to shortstop in the eighth.
Ellsbury, who has failed to live up to his $153 million contract but played an important role Saturday. He singled in the seventh and scored on Frazier’s triple and drew a walk right before Frazier’s homer.
QUOTE OF THE DAY
Girardi’s postgame reaction: “That’s a big win. Clint’s at-bats all day were good, and to hit a three-run walk-off homer, we needed that. (Sunday) we have a chance to take the series, we have (Masahiro) Tanaka going, and I think it’s a really important game.”
Yankees vs. Brewers: Sunday, July 9, 1:05 p.m. TV: YES
RHP Masahiro Tanaka (7-7, 5.25) vs. RHP Jimmy Nelson (7-4, 3.20)