By Terrance Turner
Sept. 11, 2021
Today marks 20 years since the September 11th attacks. It’s been two decades since terrorists flew planes into the World Trade Center in New York City. Tonight, Major League Baseball remembered. The New York Yankees and New York Mets honored the city in a stirring, emotional ceremony before their match tonight.
At Citi Field, a packed crowd filled the stadium even before the game began. A series of bagpipers marched onto the field to open the ceremonies. The announcer had the crowd honor different groups of first responders representing the FDNY, NYPD, Port Authority Police Department, Department of Sanitation and Department of Corrections were introduced along the outfield fence from left-center to right-center field, accompanied by different members of the 2001 Mets. Then both current Mets and Yankees teams, who had been standing in their respective dugouts, walked onto the infield and lined up on each line amongst one another and shook hands as “one unified New York,” the announcer said.
After the singing of the national anthem by the New York Cops and Kids choir, the Yankees former manager Joe Torre and Mets former manager Bobby Valentine threw the first pitch.
In the first inning, Aaron Judge struck out. Giancarlo Stanton got a single; Anthony Rizzo had a hit but was thrown out at first base in the middle of first inning. Jonathan Villar and Francisco Lindor bat first for Mets with Corey Kluber pitching for Yankees. They were hitless until a 2-out base hit by Mike Comforto.
Catcher Kyle Higashioka hit a two-run homer in the second inning to put the Yankees ahead 2-0. Brett Gardner hit a two-run homer to double the lead. Aaron Judge hit a solo home run to make it 5-0. After going 0-1 to start, Judge hit the ball 424 ft, beyond the wall.
Mets bat. Pillar had an RBI double; Javier Baez scored. It was 5-1. Then Kevin Pillar scored off hit by catcher James McCann. Catcher James McCann scored off hit from pitcher Taijuan Walker. In the 3rd, Javier Baez hit a solo home run to make it 5-4.
Later, James McCann added to his memorable night with a two-run homer. The Mets took the lead, 6-5. But the Yankees would answer with a hit parade of their own. Brett Gardner had a hit in the 8th, and then Aaron Judge hit a two-run home run (his 32nd home run of the season).
Then, after a throwing error by Baez (the second baseman threw the ball over his head), and that allowed Velasquez to come in and score. The Yankees made it 8-7.
Yankees pitcher walked two batters from the Mets, one on first base, one on 2nd. Pitcher Aroldis Chapman came in to close. Pete Alonso, who’s known for hitting clutch home runs, hit one nearly to the back of the field — but it was caught, ending the inning.
In the 9th, the Yankees go scoreless. Javier Baez had a big hit at the plate, but Aaron Judge (in right field) had the save. Kevin Pillar struck out swinging. McCann, who had been so magical at the plate throughout, batted last. He drilled the ball towards what looked like the stands, but it was caught by Judge, ending the game. The Yankees won, 8-7. They snap a seven-game losing streak.