The New York Yankees Are Making The Ninth Inning Great Again 1
May 5, 2017; Chicago, IL, USA; New York Yankees left fielder Brett Gardner (right) celebrates his three-run home run with catcher Gary Sanchez (24) against the Chicago Cubs during the ninth inning at Wrigley Field. Mandatory Credit: David Banks-USA TODAY Sports

The New York Yankees have mounted several comebacks so far this season and their late-game stats prove just how dominant they have been.

There was once a time when the New York Yankees would fall short, give up once the score got out of reach.

However, that isn’t this 2017 Yankees squad. They’ve become the team to fear in the late innings, consistently proving that Yogi Berra was right. They are living out Berra’s famous quote, “it ain’t over til it’s over.”

Right now, the Yankees are sitting atop the American League East with a 22-13 record. They are leading the league in runs (201), home runs (56), RBIs (187) and OPS (.809) while being a pleasant surprise when everyone expected this year to be a lackluster rebuilding year.

But why are they so good? Sure, they have an incredible cast of characters playing their roles perfectly. It seems that growing pains are practically non-existent with this group.

But what is really keeping them afloat is that fact that they are not giving up. Down by three runs? No problem. The mindset in this dugout is that they can and should win. They never roll over until the final out is recorded.

Which helps explain why they’re so successful. With starting pitching struggling as of late, the Yankees are doing their best to stay in the game. Despite Sunday night’s disappointing loss, the Yankees still managed to bring the tying run to the plate after trailing 9-0 early to the Houston Astros.

With 10 come-from-behind victories this season, they Yankees have proven they are a legitimate threat in the late innings. In fact, they are downright dangerous when the end of the game nears.

Need proof? According to Baseball Reference splits, the Yankees have batted during 23 ninth innings this year. In that span, they’ve scored 22 runs, including multiple games where they’ve scored multiple runs. Not only that, but the Yankees are showcasing an impressive .333/.447/.434 line during the ninth inning alone. They are hitting far better in the later innings, something they have struggled with in previous years.

They have hit three home runs in the ninth inning but, more impressively, they’ve executed more patience at the plate. They’ve walked 22 times in the ninth inning, far more than any other inning during their games.

This is not one of the past Yankees teams, who struggled mightily in the clutch. They’re not swinging freely but being more patient and finding better pitches to hit. They are a team you don’t want to find yourself up against in the last inning.

Brett Gardner slugged a three-run home run off the Chicago Cubs on the final strike of the game. The Yankees overcame a 9-1 deficit at the hands of the Baltimore Orioles to win on a wild walk-off.

These Yankees are redefining the comeback and showing off their “never say die” attitude. Being down early doesn’t get them down. In fact, it seems to make them more determined to fight back because they have that confidence.

They’ve come back before, so why not do it again? The Yankees reek confidence when they’re down instead of cowering away and giving up.

That’s what we’re seeing from this year’s Yankee team. They’re making the comeback cool again. I’ve seen more exciting comebacks this year than I have in the past ten years.

They are dominating in the ninth inning and have only been shut out once in 35 games. They are rewriting the comeback narrative and we are all witness to this impressive showing by our late-inning heroes.

Teams may be able to beat the Yankees in the early innings but when it comes to the ninth inning, beware. The New York Yankees own it and are destined to keep those comebacks coming.


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