Brosseau and Chapman have a history: The Yankees closer threw a 101 mph fastball near Brosseau’s head Sept. 1 in the ninth inning of a 5-3 Rays victory. Chapman likely had nothing against Brosseau personally, but the pitch was an apparent escalation of a feud between the AL East rivals, and it prompted Tampa Bay manager Kevin Cash’s infamous declaration that he has “a whole damn stable full of guys that throw 98 miles an hour.”
The storyline brewed again when Brosseau stepped to the plate in the eighth inning Friday night in San Diego.
The 26-year-old utilityman delivered, hitting a line-drive home run to left field after a 10-pitch at-bat to put Tampa Bay ahead for good, 2-1, in the finale of the best-of-five series.
“No revenge, We put that in the past,” Brosseau said. “We came here to win the series. We came here to move on, to do what we do best, that’s play our game.”
Brosseau became the seventh player to enter a winner-take-all game as a sub and hit a home run. The last player to do it was David Ross in Game 7 of the 2016 World Series while with the Chicago Cubs.
Brosseau’s feat was not lost on Rays manager Kevin Cash.
“Look, that was hands down the greatest moment I’ve been a part of in baseball,” he said. “There’s been some great ones; but for what that meant to this team, how we got there, that matchup — pretty special. A lot went into that game; but for Mikey to come up there, in that situation, and just come up as big as he possibly could.”
The Rays move on to play the Houston Astros in the AL Championship Series.
Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.