Greg Bird, New York Yankees
(Photo by Abbie Parr/Getty Images)

Greg Bird‘s go-ahead solo blast in Game 3 not only kept the New York Yankees alive. It also put him on an incredibly exclusive list.

The New York Yankees avoided elimination in Game 3 of the American League Division Series thanks to a huge solo home run by first baseman Greg Bird. Now that the win has settled into everyone’s system, let’s pay tribute to the context of the home run.

Bird’s homer, which was a go-ahead shot in the seventh inning, was his second career postseason dinger and his second consecutive game with a homer. With that, he is the first Yankee to homer in consecutive postseason games since Robinson Cano homered in Games 4 and 5 of the 2010 ALCS.

The 24-year-old is now just the third Yankees’ hitter to homer in a 1-0 postseason win in team history. The last was Jorge Posada in Game 3 of the 2001 ALDS against the Oakland Athletics and the first was Tommy Henrich in Game 1 of the 1949 World Series.

In terms of team history, the blast marked the Yankees’ first go-ahead postseason home run in the seventh inning or later since Raul Ibañez’s walk-off home run back in Game 3 of the 2012 ALDS against the Baltimore Orioles.

It’s always fun to tie in modern occurrences with key moments in the storied franchise’s history. Bird’s homer certainly delivered.

Other Yankees’ Notes: 

  • Indians’ manager Terry Francona announced after Sunday’s loss that Game 1 that his starter, Trevor Bauer, will get the start in Game 4 on Monday at Yankee Stadium. Josh Tomlin was originally listed as Monday’s starter, but Tomlin registered two innings in relief during Friday’s extra-inning affair, so Francona will turn to Bauer on three days’ rest. The 26-year-old handed in 5.1 innings of no-hit baseball in the series-opener and finished with eight strikeouts over 6.2 innings during the 4-0 win.

  • Yankees’ right fielder Aaron Judge may be 0-for-10 with eight strikeouts in the ALDS, but he is the reason New York avoided elimination on Sunday night. In the top of the sixth inning with one out, he sprang up and extended his massive wingspan at the right-field wall to rob Francisco Lindor of a potential two-run homer.

  • Masahiro Tanaka proved on Sunday night that all of the Yankees’ $155 million investment in him was worth it. The 28-year-old tossed seven scoreless innings including seven strikeouts, making him the first Yankee to pitch at least seven scoreless and strike out at least seven in the postseason since Roger Clemens fanned nine batters in eight scoreless innings in Game 2 of the 2000 World Series against the Mets. Tanaka also joined Mike Mussina, Ralph Terry, Whitey Ford, Bob Turley and Johnny Kucks as the sixth Yankee to toss seven scoreless innings in a potential elimination game.