Curtis Granderson already had made an indelible imprint on the game, if not the outfield wall. The Yankees center fielder had slugged his 25th homer and run down a hellacious blast by the Angels' Mike Trout, finally hauling in the extra-bases bid about two subway stops from where he began the third-inning play.

Now Granderson was up in the ninth, part of a furious Yankees comeback attempt from five runs down. The bases were loaded, the Yankees were still down three and Granderson faced lefty reliever Scott Downs, against whom he had been 0-for-12 in his career — with one walk. And eight strikeouts. He made it two walks.