The Tampa Bay Rays are headed to the ALCS thanks to Mike Brosseau’s ALDS-winning home run against the New York Yankees on Friday
As they say, what goes around comes around. Mike Brosseau’s eighth-inning solo home run off of Yankees closer Aroldish Chapman not only clinched an ALDS series for the Tampa Bay Rays, it was a little bit of poetic justice, too.
The home run gave the Rays a 2-1 lead in the game, which they held to close out the best-of-five series over the Yankees three games to two.
It wasn’t the only bit of history between Brosseau and Chapman.
Video: Mike Brosseau hits ALDS-winning home run off Aroldis Chapman
On Sept. 1, with two outs in the ninth, Chapman unleashed a 101 mph fastball right at Brosseau’s head.
Brosseau ducked out of the way — somehow, barely — but for a frightening moment it looks like the ball went right through his helmet.
Video: Aroldis Chapman buzzes Mike Brosseau’s head in September
It wasn’t pretty. Four pitches later, Chapman got a strikeout swinging to end that game
Fast-forward to last night.
With one out in the eighth and a pitchers’ dual all night, Brosseau again stepped to the plate against Chapman, who’d been on the mound since Yankees manager Aaron Boone called on him in the seventh inning.
Chapman got ahead 2-0 with a couple of high-90s fastballs that induced swings. It looked like he was about to overwhelm Brosseau once again.
That’s when the battle started.
Brosseau took a couple of pitches to even the count at 2-2, the first of which was a gut-check offspeed pitch just on the edge of the strike zone.
He fouled off two more, took a 100 mph pitch just a bit inside for ball three, and really dug in.
The eighth pitch of the battle went approximately a mile foul into the empty leftfield upper deck stands. The ninth pitch soared backward over the catcher’s shoulder and into the backstop.
Finally, pitch 10: A 100 mph pitch just inside the strike zone that Brosseau delivered 375 feet, just barely above the fence and into the left-centerfield seats.
Undrafted Mike Brosseau out of Oakland University … in Michigan. Never-on-a-prospect-list Mike Brosseau who almost no one gave a shot to.
Nearly-took-a-100-mph-pitch-to-the-head Mike Brosseau.
Stood tall and sent the Yankees packing.
Poetic and the Rays Way, both at once.
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