The New York Yankees are hosting the Houston Astros to cap off Derek Jeter Week in The Bronx, and boy was their opening game fun.
Let’s start at the end of Houston’s 3-2 victory, because, really, this throw from Jake Marisnick with two outs in the ninth inning is all anyone is going to want to talk about.
The Yankees entered the bottom half of the final frame trailing 3-1, but with a few of their best hitters due up. After Aaron Hicks and Jacoby Ellsbury made it to second and third, Gary Sanchez came up to the plate as the winning run. Sanchez drilled a 1-1 slider from Ken Giles into left field that scored Hicks and put the Yankees in a position to send Ellsbury home.
That’s when left fielder Jake Marisnick picked up the ball mid stride and threw a bullet to home plate.
Ellsbury was a few feet from scoring the tying run when Marisnick’s throw reached catcher Brian McCann, who’d already positioned himself perfectly. The Yankee failed to get around McCann and couldn’t escape the tag.
Boom. Game over.
Jake Marisnick is the first outfielder to win a game for the #Astros throwing a runner out at home since Darin Erstad on May 24, 2008.
— Ryan M. Spaeder (@theaceofspaeder) May 12, 2017
It was as perfect a throw as you’ll see in that situation and gave the Astros a huge win heading into an emotional weekend at Yankee Stadium as the team prepares to retire Derek Jeter’s number on Sunday.
Marisnick knew he’d nailed it right away, too. After the game, the outfielder told reporters he started to celebrate the win a little bit early, then pulled it back to make sure McCann actually got the tag.
Here’s what he had to say in the clubhouse:
And that was only one of the many things that went right for the Astros on Thursday.
Starter Dallas Keuchel picked up his league-leading sixth win of the season, going six innings with nine strikeouts on one walk. He gave up just five hits and one run on the night to lower his ERA to 1.69.
On top of that, shortstop Carlos Correa — who idolized Jeter growing up — continued his streak of demolishing baseballs at Yankee Stadium with a two-run blast in the first inning.
Correa has now played four games in The Bronx and homered in each of them.
To recap: Houston got dominant pitching from a Cy Young caliber starter, received run support from their star infielder and closed the game down with a show-stopping throw to the plate.
Yeah, that’ll win you some games.
Look out, baseball. The first place Astros are not messing around.
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