The Chicago White Sox defeated the New York Yankees, 9-8, on Thursday evening in Major League Baseball's Field of Dreams Game, played at the movie site in Dyersville, Iowa. The White Sox and Yankees combined to crush eight homers over the fence and into the Iowa corn. Tim Anderson got the last laugh, hitting a two-run walk-off off of Zack Britton in the ninth inning.
The White Sox jumped ahead early and were able to pad and sustain their lead throughout the night, in what proved to be a homer-friendly environment. The win improved the White Sox's record to 68-48 on the season, while the Yankees' loss dropped them to 63-52.
Below, you'll find five takeaways from the night's game, as well as our complete live blog coverage.
1. Yankees rally late, but Anderson walks it off
Although the Yankees trailed 7-4 with two outs in the top of the ninth, they nevertheless forced a bottom of the ninth. First, Aaron Judge hit a two-run homer to cut the White Sox's lead to one. Judge's home run, his second of the game, also gave him five runs batted in on the evening. After Joey Gallo walked, Giancarlo Stanton then launched a two-run home-run off Liam Hendriks that momentarily completed the comeback, giving the Yankees an 8-7 lead heading into the bottom of the ninth.
Hendriks came into the evening with a 2.40 ERA and 26 saves in 31 opportunities. Obviously those numbers will look worse come Friday morning.
It proved to be a moot point, as Anderson hit a walk-off two-run home run during the bottom of the ninth off Britton to give the White Sox the victory. Take a look:
2. Abreu moves into tie for third on franchise HR list
White Sox's first baseman José Abreu opened the night's scoring with a solo home run to left field in the bottom of the first inning to give Chicago a 1-0 lead.
Abreu's home run had greater significance than within the context of Thursday's game; it was his 221st career home run in the majors and with the White Sox, moving him into a tie for third place on the franchise leaderboard with Harold Baines.
Abreu will surely surpass Baines in the coming days. After that, he'll have to wait some time before he can improve his standing: second place belongs to Paul Konerko, who homered 432 times with the White Sox, while first place is occupied by -- who else? -- Frank Thomas, with 448 home runs.
Abreu, it should be noted, is signed through the 2022 season, so he'll have time to close the gap between himself and Konerko.
3. Jiménez continues hot streak
White Sox outfielder Eloy Jiménez missed most of the season after suffering a torn pectoral muscle in spring training. He made his seasonal debut on July 26, and he's since proven that he can shake off the rust quickly.
He came into Thursday's game hitting .289/.319/.711 with five home runs. He then delivered his sixth home run and his 15th, 16th, and 17th runs batted in.
Jiménez's next home run will give him seven on the year, or half as many as he had in 55 contests last season.
4. Heaney's home-run problems continue
Veteran left-hander Andrew Heaney has now made three starts for the Yankees since being acquired from the Los Angeles Angels in July. He's been plagued by home-run issues throughout.
Heaney entered the night having allowed 10 hits in his first 10 innings in pinstripes, with five of those clearing the fence. On Thursday, he yielded five hits, with three of them leaving the park. It stands to reason that Heaney won't continue to give up home runs at this rate, but the Yankees have to be nearing the point where they reconsider his role on their pitching staff.
That's not ideal considering that the Yankees traded for Heaney in part to stabilize the back of their rotation.
5. Aesthetics were a highlight
Whether or not you're a fan of the movie, it was certainly a change of pace to see rows of corn in the outfield. Furthermore, the Yankees and White Sox both wore throwback uniforms to add to the setting's nostalgic vibes.
It's to be seen if Major League Baseball makes the Field of Dreams Game a permanent annual occurrence (Rob Manfred did confirm the game will be back in 2022, however), but there's enough aesthetic difference to make it instantly recognizable on highlight reels. It's possible that MLB could use more special attraction-like events as it attempts to regain popularity; at minimum, it could use more weeknight regular-season contests that are broadcast on over-the-air networks.