With the Yankees trailing by two runs in the sixth inning on Sunday at the Stadium, Chase Headley gave fans a glimmer of hope, launching Carlos Torres’ 0-and-1 offering into the second deck in rightfield near the foul pole.
The three-run homer gave the Yankees a one-run lead over the Brewers, but that lasted for only 71 seconds. That’s how long it took for it to be overturned by a replay review. The drive was foul — by inches.
After plate umpire Larry Vanover signaled it was a home run and Headley rounded the bases, catcher Stephen Vogt was among the many Brewers pointing at the foul pole.
Headley said he had “a pretty good feeling” it was foul, as evidenced by his reaction out of the batter’s box.
“It goes one inch the other way and we’re winning the game,” he said. “But it didn’t.”
Said on-deck hitter Clint Frazier, “I just looked at Headley and saw his hesitation, and I guess everyone else knew it was foul in the Brewers’ dugout.”
After stepping back into the batter’s box with an 0-and-2 count, Headley struck out three pitches later. Frazier flied out to rightfield and Ji-Man Choi struck out to end the threat — and the Yankees went on to a 5-3 loss in their final game before the All-Star break.
That’s the way it’s been for the Yankees of late. It’s been “oh so close” for much of the past month, and they’ve lost 18 of the last 25 games to drop from 38-23 (and four games ahead of the Red Sox) to 45-41 (3 1⁄2 games behind Boston and in a virtual tie for second with the Rays). Nine of those losses have been by one run.
“Yeah, it’s been a rough three weeks for us,” Headley said. “We have to find a way to win games. What we’re doing right now isn’t working, so we have to figure out how to get people out and drive guys in and catch the ball and throw the ball.”
Headley had a hot stretch from June 13-26 in which he went 15-for-33 with seven RBIs in 10 games. That helped him post a .296/.410/.383 slash line for the month.
This after a horrid month of May in which he went .165/.211/.235 and had fans clamoring for top prospect Gleyber Torres, who was lost for the rest of the season on June 19 with a UCL tear in his non-throwing elbow that required Tommy John surgery.
July hasn’t been the best month for Headley, but his 2-for-4 showing Sunday boosted a slash line that stood at .192/.276/.308 entering play.
Headley has performed well against righthanders, as evidenced by his .271/.385/.399 slash line in 188 at-bats entering Sunday. But against lefties, he was .195/.222/.287 in 87 at-bats.
Headley said the break is coming at a good time for the Yankees, given their recent woes in most aspects of the game.
“We just haven’t been very good lately,” he said.