Top Yankee Games of the Decade (Part 1)

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

With the hot stove pretty cold right now and the end of the 00's decade coming to the end, we've compiled what we think are the top 10 Yankees games of this decade. Obviously we only chose games they won. Here is part 1 of our segment:

10. October 21, 2000 Game 1 World Series "Subway Series": In the first ever Subway World Series between the Yankees and Mets, the two teams started the series off with a thriller. In a scoreless game in the top of the 6th, Todd Zeile hit a fly ball off the top of the leftfield wall. David Justice threw it into Derek Jeter who fired a perfect strike to Jorge Posada to get Timo Perez out at home plate. Down 3-2 in the 9th Paul O'Neill worked a long at-bat off Armando Benitez into a walk. Luis Polonia would pinch run and score to tie the game at 3-3 on a Chuck Knoblauch sac fly. In the bottom of the 12th, Jose Vizcaino singled to left with the bases loaded giving the Yankees a 1-0 lead in the series. They would go on to win their third straight World Series in five games.

9. July 1, 2004 "The Dive": Entering the game the Yankees were 7.5 games up on the Red Sox and had spot starter Brad Halsey going up against Pedro Martinez. So it wasn't very meaningful, but it was at the height of the rivalry played at full intensity. The Yankees got out to a quick 3-0 lead. But the Red Sox came back, tying the game in the 7th 3-3. From there is where things got crazy. The Yankees threatened with runners in scoring position in the 9th and 10th innings, but the Red Sox escaped the jams. Mariano Rivera got out of an 11th inning jam with a key double play that got a force out at home.

The following inning with runners on second and third Derek Jeter chased down a Trot Nixon pop up making the catch and his momentum took him flying face first into the stands. His face was bruised and cut up and he was taken out of the game but the cameras continously showed Nomar Garciaparra sitting in the dugout with a "sore wrist" while Jeter was going face first in the stands. In the top of the 13th, Manny Ramirez hit his second home run of the game and it looked life the Yankees effort was going to be all for naught. But then Ruben Sierra singled up the middle with two outs in the 13th and Miguel Cairo followed with a game-tying double. John Flaherty, the last man off the bench, was up and doubled off the right-field wall giving the Yankees a 5-4 victory in one of the most thrilling regular season games you will see.

8. October 11, 2003 Game 3 ALCS "Pedro vs Zim": There was plenty of hype entering this game with Clemens facing Pedro with the series tied 1-1. What happened next nobody could have predicted. In the top of the 4th with the game tied 2-2 Pedro Martinez hit Karim Garcia in the back. Garcia did not appreciate the pitch being so close to his head and had a few words for Pedro. Pedro was then seen yelling at Posada in the dugout each pointing at their heads. Garcia then slid hard into second on the next play. As the Red Sox came up Roger Clemens threw a pitch high over the plate to Manny Ramirez which he thought was too close inside, prompting him to confront Clemens with the bat in his hands. The benches cleared and players had to be separated.

Then off on the side bench coach Don Zimmer was seen barking at Pedro and charging at him. Pedro then sidestepped him, put his hands on Zim's face and threw him to the ground. The mayhem did not stop there. Later in the game Jeff Nelson got into an altercation with a Fenway groundskeeper. When the game was over, the Yankees had won 4-3, but it was what happened in the fourth inning that will be most remembered in the history books.

7. October 9, 2009 Game 2 ALDS "A-Rod's Redemption": Alex Rodriguez's career with the Yankees has been a roller coaster ride. He's admitted using steroids, been criticized for unclutch play in the playoffs, won two MVPs, but only one playoff series in his first 5 years as a Yankee. On this day A-Rod became a Yankee legend. Down 3-1 in the bottom of the ninth, Yankees fans began to get that feeling of the previous three we go again, win the first game lose the next three. And with the "unclutch" A-Rod at the plate, hope was dim. But on a 3-1 pitch A-Rod sent an "A-Bomb" into the right-center bullpen tying the game at 3-3. Yankees fans everywhere went into pandemonium and you began to get that feeling this is our year.

But the Twins still threatened to win the game. In the top of the 11th, David Robertson faced a bases loaded nobody out jam. He pulled off the Houdini act by getting a lineout, groundout to first, and a flyball without giving up any runs. In the bottom of the 11th, Mark Teixeira earned his pinstripes (and a pie in the face) by hitting a walk-off home run giving them a 2-0 series lead they wouldn't look back on.

6. October 17, 2009 Game 2 ALCS "A-Rod Does It Again": In the following series the Yankees found themselves in a situation similar in the previous round. A wild fifth inning for A.J. Burnett allowed the Angels to tie the game up 2-2. From that point on neither team could get a rally going and they were tied up until the top of the 11th. Alfredo Aceves had given up a RBI single to the hitless Chone Figgins, putting the Angels up 3-2. As it looked like the Yankees were going to head to Anaheim tied 1-1, A-Rod decided he wasn't done with his postseason heroics.

With the rain begin to come down, A-Rod sent an 0-2 pitch from Brian Fuentes just over the rightfield wall, tying the game once again 3-3. It wouldn't be until the 13th inning when Jerry Hairston Jr. led off with a single. He moved to second on a bunt and two batters later Melky Cabrera hit a groundball to second when Maicer Izturis tried to turn two but threw the ball away from Erick Aybar sending Jerry Hairston home to win the game. It was the fifth longest game in ALCS history and was the second game of the postseason where the Yankees won in extra innings.

Check back either tommorow or later in the week for the rest of our countdown.


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