Editor's note: We've welcomed several new writers to the Pinstripe Alley staff, so please give them a warm welcome.
The year is coming to an end, and we haven't had Yankees baseball for over two months now, so I thought it'd be fun to ask the staff to reflect on 2015 one last time.
Question: What are your three favorite Yankee-related moments from 2015?
2015 was definitely entertaining for Yankees fans, but my three favorite moments (in no order) have to be A-Rod's three-home run game in Minnesota, Brian McCann's walk-off home run against Tampa Bay on July 3 in an extra-inning comeback, and Carlos Beltran's game-winning home run against Toronto on August 14. There were plenty of moments that didn't make my cut, like Pineda's 16 strikeouts and Heathcott's game-winning homer, but 2015 was a year filled with drama for the Yanks.
1. Dellin Betances closing out the Wild Card clincher
2. Greg Bird's 2-homer game in his first home series
3. Andrew Miller wins the duel with Tulo
As a noted fan of weird games, I feel like I have to pick something strange. On August 28th, the Yankees beat the Braves 15-4. Down ten runs in the ninth inning, the Braves brought in Johnny Gomes to pitch. He got through the first two outs, but allowed two runs on three hits in the process. With two outs in the inning, the fifth spot in the order was due up. Due to NL double-switching shenanigans, Brian Mitchell was due up. Not wanting to send up a pinch hitter and waste a pitcher in a blowout, the Yankees let Mitchell hit. On that night, we got to see a NL position player pitching to a AL pitcher. Mitchell actually worked the count full before striking out looking. The Yankees won the game easily and a weird thing happened. It was pretty much the perfect game.
1. A-Rod's 33 home runs. Mainly cause I called 31 HRs and somehow, he exceeded my expectations. What a guy.
2. Retiring Bernie William's number. Bernie Williams holds a special place in my pinstriped heart. He is my favorite Yankee of all time and I was so happy to see his number get retired.
3. Michael Pineda's 16K game. Definitely the best game I saw live that year. It was amazing to see in person.
2. JRM's drinking quote
3. Turning Shane Greene into Didi
1. Debut of Luis Severino
2. Slade Heathcott's homer against the Rays on 9/14
3. Michael Pineda's 16k game against the Orioles
1. It would be a cop-out to say "Alex Rodriguez's entire season" so I'll pick his three home run game in Minnesota in late July to represent his comeback campaign. That 8-5 win left the Yanks five and a half games up in the division, and A-Rod nudged his OPS all the way to .914. Happy days, those were.
2. Carlos Beltran's pinch-hit three-run game-winning homer in Toronto demands a mention. Beltran's heroics, coupled with Andrew Miller ending the 4-3 victory by striking out Troy Tulowitzki with the bases loaded, made for the most dramatic game of the season. Yankee fans spent much of 2013 and 2014 bemoaning the lack of pulse-pounding, meaningful baseball down the stretch. This game was exactly what we were talking about, and then some.
3. This may seem odd, but I'll take Brian Cashman standing pat at the deadline. Watching a team in a playoff race do nothing to improve itself is frustrating. But it was heartening to see the front office fully commit to the on-the-fly rebuild and refuse to mortgage the next several years in an attempt to cash-in on 2015. To me, the most important moment of 2015 will be the development of the younger players and the refusal to flip them for immediate help.
1. Slade Heathcott's home run in the game against the Rays. The Yankees were still in it at the time, and I remember going absolutely crazy in my apartment when he hit that. After making the majors after countless injuries, then getting hurt again and returning to the minors, he finally got his shot at heroism in the bigs and did not disappoint.
2. Mark Teixeira's All-Star selection in an incredible bounce-back year. He's my favorite player, and I was so glad he proved me right this year when I predicted he'd show up.
1. Heathcott's home run against the Rays. I was yelling and jumping around my house, and it felt like one of the most exciting games of the season.
2. Teixeira's comeback season (minus the fractured leg). Not knowing what to expect from him after a rough 2013 and 2014, it was really fun to see him back to his old self.
3. Severino's debut.
What were your favorite Yankee-related moments from 2015?