Brett Gardner Sparks The New York Yankees To Epic 3-2 Win (Highlights) 2
May 5, 2017; Chicago, IL, USA; New York Yankees left fielder Brett Gardner (right) celebrates his three-run home run with center fielder Jacoby Ellsbury (22) against the Chicago Cubs during the ninth inning at Wrigley Field. Mandatory Credit: David Banks-USA TODAY Sports

Down to their final strike at Wrigley Field, Brett Gardner‘s go-ahead three-run bomb helped the New York Yankees come from behind for the ninth time. 

  • New York Yankees: 3 (18-9)
  • Chicago Cubs: 2 (16-13)
  • Interleague, FINAL, Box Score
  • Wrigley Field, Chicago, IL
Just when you thought the New York Yankees would fall to the hands of the Chicago Cubs on windy Friday afternoon in front of a Wrigley Field crowd of 40,395, Brett Gardner happened.

Facing Cubs’ closer Hector Rondon with two outs and two on in the top of the ninth inning, the longest-tenured Yankee worked a seven-pitch at-bat before smoking an 83.3 mph slider deep to right field and gone.

It was Gardner’s fifth home run of the season and it gave New York a 3-2 lead. Closer Aroldis Chapman, who received his 2016 World Series ring prior to the contest, shut down his former team with a strikeout of Jason Heyward, a groundout by Willson Contreras and sent down Javier Baez on strikes to seal the deal by a score of 3-2.

The Yankees were able to overcome a deficit created by two solo home runs by the reigning National League MVP Kris Bryant and Kyle Schwarber off starter Michael Pineda.

In the bottom of the first, Bryant smacked a hanging 81 mph slider into the seats in right to give the Cubs a 1-0 lead. Pineda settled down until the sixth inning when Schwarber ripped his fifth homer of the year.

However, these Bombers don’t die, as Chase Headley got the ninth inning rally going with a single the other way off Rondon. After a wild pitch with Chris Carter at the plate, Jacoby Ellsbury followed a Carter strikeout with a five-pitch walk. Then, Gardner battled with the Cubs’ closer until hooking a low slider into the seats to pull victory out of the jaws of defeat.

Half of New York’s total wins (18) have come in comeback fashion and at 18-9, this marks their best 27-game start to a season since starting 19-8 back in 2010 — a year in which they appeared in the American League Championship series.

Now, That’s Just Spooky: 

Care to guess when the last time the Chicago Cubs blew a 2-0 lead at Wrigley Field? It just so happened to be when the Yankees were in town and took home a 13-inning 4-2 victory on May 21, 2014, after trailing 2-0 entering the ninth.

Who was the pitcher responsible for the collapse? Hector Rondon. Baseball works in mysterious ways, folks.

The Comeback Kids: 

By erasing the 2-0 deficit and coming away with a victory, it marked the Yankees eighth come-from-behind victory of 2017. That’s right, half of their wins have come via overturning deficits.

Inhuman Power: 

Aaron Judge‘s double to lead off the top of the second came off the bat at a nightmare-inducing 119 mph. That gives him nine batted balls hit at over 115 mph here in 2017, according to Statcast. While that’s amazing in itself, no other player in baseball has more than two hits at over 115 mph.

Pitchers Who Rake: 

When Pineda hit a single to left field off Hendricks in the top of the third, he became just the second pitcher in Yankees history to record a hit at Wrigley Field. The first was southpaw David Wells, who ripped a double in the top of the fourth inning off Carlos Zambrano on June 6, 2003, in an eventual 5-3 victory for New York.

Roster Move: 

In the wake of Sanchez’s activation from the 10-day disabled list, The Yankees announced that catcher Kyle Higashioka has been optioned back to Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre. The 27-year-old failed to get a hit in 18 at-bats while taking over the backup catcher duties while Austin Romine stepped in as the starter.

What’s Next: 

The Yankees and Cubs will square off yet again on Saturday night at 7:15 p.m. ET on FOX Sports 1 and rookie left-hander Jordan Montgomery will make his fifth Major League start.

In his last start on Sunday against the Baltimore Orioles, the 24-year-old recorded a no-decision in an eventual 7-4 extra-inning loss. Montgomery went five innings and allowed three runs while striking out seven.