Yankees' Joey Gallo 'overcome with emotion' after game-winning home run against Mariners

·3 min read
Joey Gallo uppercut home run home uniform
Joey Gallo uppercut home run home uniform

Joey Gallo’s first six games as a Yankee did not go as he or the team had hoped, as he entered play Thursday hitting .087 (2-for-23) with 10 strikeouts in pinstripes.

But the slugger did his best to change that narrative against the Seattle Mariners on Thursday, blasting the go-ahead three-run home run in the eighth inning, as the Yankees went on to beat Seattle, 5-3.

Gallo’s blast off Paul Sewald was a sky-scraping shot with a 48 degree launch angle, the highest of Gallo’s career. The ball landed just out of reach of right fielder Mitch Haniger, who made a leaping effort, but it had enough to get out.

“I was just hoping that it would stay fair and I was hoping that it would get out,” Gallo said afterwards. “Once I saw it get out, obviously I was overcome with emotion a little bit. But it was just such a big at-bat in a big moment.

“You could feel that that could be a game-changing at-bat, and I was happy that I was able to come through and help the team win, because I feel like there were a couple opportunities where I could have done that this week and I didn’t. Obviously, it felt pretty good to do that today.”

And while Gallo admitted that it’s been a long first week for him as a Yankee, manager Aaron Boone saw a lot of good things from Gallo, even before he hit his first home run with his new squad.

“Big night for him, but the way I look at it is he’s been having good at-bats every night,” Boone said. “The defense has been there. You’re seeing the athleticism. He’s grinding at-bats, so for me it was kind of a matter of time before he really broke through and hit one out of the park, and a huge one at that.

“I think he’s looked very good in the first week, frankly.”

Gallo grew up in Nevada as a Yankees fan, and he admitted that receiving a curtain call at Yankee Stadium was a bit of a surreal moment.

“The 10-year-old me would be crying right now and not believing what’s going on. It’s really crazy,” Gallo said. “It’s something that I have to take a step back from and be like ‘I’m in Yankee Stadium getting a curtain call from Yankees fans.’ It’s crazy to me, but it’s just an honor for me to play for this organization and help them win.”

The Yankees are now 6-1 since the July 30 trade deadline. Boone explained that the team has undoubtedly benefited from new faces like Gallo and Anthony Rizzo in the lineup, but he also believes the team was playing good baseball even prior to the new faces coming on board.

“I feel like guys are playing really well. We’ve obviously added really good players that have come in and been key contributors, and I think it’s a continuation of, frankly, how we’ve been playing now for the better part of a month,” Boone said. “We’ve mixed in some tough losses, but have managed to play pretty good baseball against a lot of good teams as well. We’ve got to keep it up, though.

“That’s a really good team we’re playing over there. Nice to get the first one, but we’ve got another important one tomorrow.”

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