Folks, we are finally here! After a series of posts, we have arrived at the three best games of the 2011 New York Yankees season. What a fantastic season it was, despite the end result.
3. August 25- Yankees 22, Oakland Athletics 9: I remember this game like it was yesterday. The night before I attended the Yankees loss to the Athletics in extra innings, and fumed at Rafael Soriano. One day later I was yelling and clapping and witnessing history.
After falling behind 7-1 to the Athletics, the Yankees exploded. Russell Martin hit a solo home run in the fourth inning to cut the deficit to five runs. After that, the grand slam parade started.
Robinson Cano launched a grand slam in the sixth, then Russell Martin hit a grand slam in the very next inning. Martin finished the day 5-5 with two home runs and six RBI. After a small ball outburst of six more runs in the bottom of the seventh, the Yankees scored another run in the eighth. Following that run came Curtis Granderson to the plate, with the bases loaded.
Granderson destroyed a Bruce Billings offering and just like that the Yankees had three grand slams in one game, a record. Not just a Yankees record, but the MLB record as well. History is a recurring theme in the top three, as you will see...
2. September 19- Yankees 6, Minnesota Twins 4: This game may seem like any other ballgame at first glance, but it is more a testament to the amazing career of Mariano Rivera. In this game Mariano Rivera broke the all-time saves record, recording his 602nd save.
For some reason it isn't the excitement I felt when I saw Mariano Rivera finish off Chris Parmelee that jumps out at me. It isn't the part where Jorge Posada pushed Mariano Rivera back out to the pitchers mound to get some more applause from the Yankee Stadium crowd.
What jumps out at me is that with Mariano Rivera, for the entirety of my life as a Yankees fan, this is what he has done. Every single Yankees win that I have ever seen feels like Rivera closed it out. Rivera makes a job that should be quite difficult look so amazingly simple.
It has been an honor watching Mariano Rivera pitch, and it was an honor watching Rivera end yet another ballgame.
Follow me after the jump for number one, and the entire list.
1. July 9- Yankees 5, Tampa Bay Rays 4: Thinking back through all the games I have watched, this may be in the top three. Derek Jeter, following an injury, a slow start to the season, and tons of ridicule, shut up all of his critics for one day in the Bronx.
Jeter hit his 3,000th hit in the bottom of the third inning off of David Price. Not only was it his 3,000th hit, but it was also a game-tying home run. Jeter was mobbed at the plate by his teammates, and was called out for a curtain call by the fans.
The game wasn't over, however, and Jeter was far from done. Jeter doubled, singled, singled again, and finally came up to the plate in the bottom of the eighth with the chance to make this one of the greatest games ever.
Jeter had the chance to go five for five, and also give the Yankees the lead going into the 9th inning. Jeter did just that, singling up the middle off of Rays reliever Joel Peralta.
5-5, 3,000th hit, game winning hit, Yankees win. Jeter does have a flair for the dramatics, and loves nothing more than winning. On this day, he was the ultimate winner.
Following the self-created jump is the list of best games of the 2011 Yankees season. Hope you enjoyed the series.
1. July 9- Jeter 3,000th hit
2. September 19- #602
3. August 25- Three Grand Slam game
4. September 21- Posada clinches it for Yankees
5. July 26 - CC K's 14, flirts with no-no
6. May 24 - Down 4-1, come back to win in eighth in ninth
7. September 5- Yankees win 11-10 thanks to 2 HR
8. July 10 - CC CG Shutout
9. May 8-Jeter hits 2 HR, Cervelli hits GS
10. May 30 - Bart's CG shutout
11. June 20- Nova gem vs. Reds
12. June 16 - Gardner walkoff single against
13. April 14 - Jorge ties it in ninth, Swisher walkoff sac-fly
14. August 21- Yankees win 3-0 thanks to Nova great performance, Grandy Inside the Parker, then Teixeira HR
15. Aug 13- Posada GS in return to line-up
16. May 18th-Noesi debuts, wins game for Yankees vs. Orioles
17. Sept 1 - Series win over (finally)
18. May 22nd- Yankees score 8 in 7th, beat Mets 9-3
19. March 31- Opening day win
20. September 3rd- Robertson gets 2 inning save
21. Apr 7- Nova first start, Posada HR
22. Sept 24- Yankees win 9-1 thanks to Montero
23. July 30- Yankees score 12 in 1st, win 17-3 vs. Orioles