Brosseau's eighth-inning home run lifted the Rays to a thrilling 2-1 victory over the Yankees in Game 5 of their American League Division Series on Friday, clinching Tampa Bay's first berth in the American League Championship Series since 2008.
Tampa Bay will now face the defending American League champion Houston Astros in the ALCS, beginning Sunday at Petco Park in San Diego. It's a rematch of last year's ALDS, which the Astros won in five games.
Only two innings after entering the game as a pinch-hitter, Brosseau ended a 10-pitch at-bat against Yankees closer Aroldis Chapman by sending a 101-mph fastball over the left-field wall. The homer came just over a month after Chapman sparked a benches-clearing incident between the teams at Yankee Stadium by throwing a fastball over Brosseau's head.
"Hands down, greatest moment I've ever been part of in baseball," Rays manager Kevin Cash said, according to Bob Nightengale of USA Today.
Chapman is now the only pitcher in postseason history to allow two go-ahead home runs in the eighth inning or later with his team facing elimination, according to Sarah Langs of MLB.com. He also surrendered Jose Altuve's pennant-winning blast in Houston last year.
"I wasn't thinking about (the Brosseau incident) at all," Chapman said, according to Bryan Hoch of MLB.com. "That happened about a month ago. This is the way it worked out. He put a good swing on that pitch. I've got to give him credit."
Diego Castillo followed Brosseau's heroics by closing out the series for the Rays with a perfect ninth. Castillo struck out four batters in his two innings of work.
"It's awful. The ending is cruel. It really is," Yankees manager Aaron Boone said, according to Marc Carig of The Athletic.
The Yankees only managed to plate one run in support of ace Gerrit Cole, who started Game 5 on short rest. Cole allowed just one hit - an Austin Meadows homer - over his 5 1/3 innings of work while striking out nine and walking two. He became the first pitcher in Yankees history to record at least eight strikeouts in three consecutive playoff games, according to Hoch.
The Rays pieced together nine innings using four pitchers, holding the Yankees to only three hits while striking out 11. Tyler Glasnow started on two days' rest and gave his team 2 1/3 scoreless innings with a pair of strikeouts; Nick Anderson, Pete Fairbanks, and Castillo followed. Anderson allowed the Yankees' lone run, a solo homer from Aaron Judge in the fourth.
Tampa Bay's series against the Astros will see Houston general manager James Click face a Rays team he helped build. Click spent 15 seasons in the Rays' front office and was their vice-president of baseball operations before joining the Astros in January.
The Yankees, meanwhile, failed to advance to the World Series for the 11th straight season. It's the storied franchise's third-longest pennant drought since Babe Ruth joined the club in 1920, according to JJ Cooper of Baseball America.