Close games of baseball have a special way of eating at your soul. Basketball and football have moments where a game can wildly swing on one play. In baseball, things have to develop somewhat. Other than out-of-nowhere solo home runs, game-changing moments rarely have no build up. And even in those, it requires your pitching to keep you within striking distance. Multi-run comebacks require smaller moments to happen before the big one. When the comebacks aren't completed, it can be very soul-crushing. But when they do happen...
Q: Carlos Beltran's go-ahead home run last Friday night completed a big rally. What's your favorite Yankees' comeback win?
The one enjoyed most was Game 2 of the ALDS, which I imagine will be a popular answer. A-Rod's home run off Nathan only tied a non-clinching game of course, but it felt like the dagger blow in the series, and was a great postseason moment for a player who had dealt with so much October negativity from fans, media, and even his old coach Joe Torre.
Honorary mention, the 2012 game against the Red Sox where the Yankees were losing a blowout 9-0 and turned it into a laugher the other way by scoring 15 runs.
My favorite comeback was in early 2010 against the Red Sox. It was a back and forth game that ended in a Marcus Thames walk off homer against Jonathan Papelbon. But don't take it from me, here are the highlights.
My favorite Yankees comeback win is a tossup between the "Jeter into the stands" game, and the Aaron Boone game in during the 2003 ALCS. Both were against the hated Red Sox, both involved thrilling comebacks when all seemed lost, and both were important victories (one obviously more than the other). If pressed to make a choice, I have to go with the ALCS game though. That game truly seemed lost, and the season seemed like it was going to be over, but we chipped away. Couple of Giambino bombs, a classic Yankee bloop hit by Posada, and Aaron "Bleeping" Boone. That game had it all. I had the pleasure of watching it in my college dorm surrounded by Red Sox fans (I went to BC), and that was amazing. They were all chirping early during the game, having the best time in the world, but the volume went down a level with every run the Yankees scored. When Posada's hit dropped in, you could feel the air leave the room. I never saw Boone's home run land in the seats, I was already running down the hallway of our suite, yelling with my buddy Tony (the only other Yankees fan in the room). The Sox fans, meanwhile, all slumped in their chairs, or went quietly into their rooms and slammed the doors. Brilliant.
My favorite is the Aaron Boone game without a doubt, but I'm sure someone else will take that one - and most of the other great postseason comebacks - so I'll go with June 21st, 2005, when the Yankees entered the 8th inning vs. Tampa Bay down 11-7, then put up a 13 spot and won 20-11. That inning featured, among a lot of other hits, four Yankee home runs including two from Gary Sheffield and a go-ahead 3-run triple from Bernie Williams.
Rays pitcher Travis Harper ended up with a line of nine earned runs in 0.2 innings pitched. Lou Piniella hung him out to dry for 46 pitches while also showing him up by throwing things around the dugout as the Yankees did their conga line around the bases.
I'll always have a special place in my heart for the absolutely absurd Yankees/Devil Rays game on June 21, 2005. Tampa Bay absolutely trashed Randy Johnson and had 10-2 lead going into the bottom of the fifth. An eight-run deficit was not easy to overcome, but fortunately, the '05 Yankees had a tremendous offense, and the '05 D-Rays had an atrocious pitching staff (5.39 team ERA, woof). Also Hideo Nomo started this game (lol). Anyway, a Gary Sheffield three-run homer, Bernie Williams two-run double, and a Derek Jeter solo shot chipped away at the lead, so by the bottom of the eighth, Tampa's lead was just 11-7. Then... this inning happened:
Yes, that shows 13 runs in one inning. Yes, the eight-run comeback was erased, finished off by Bernie's bases-clearing triple. Yes, Sheff, Alex Rodriguez, and Hideki Matsui went back-to-back-to-back to finish off the bludgeoning (Matsui's blast reached the black seats in center field). Yes, Travis Harper gave up 9 runs in 2/3 of an inning, as Lou Piniella "let him wear it," as the baseball expression says.
Lastly, yes, the final score was 20-13. Ludicrous. I wish there were easily accessible MLB Video highlights of this game because it was amazing.
I must say, even looking back at videos today, Raul Ibanez's two home runs in Game 3 of the 2012 ALDS gives me chills. I was pretty concerned it was over when they sent up Raul, and I jumped straight out of my seat when that ball came up. Then, when he hit the home run in the 12th, I screamed. Really loud. There have been plenty of comebacks in the Yankees' long history, but Ibanez in 2012 tops the list for me.
There are so many good ones to choose from. Some of the Yankees most memorable victories have been come from behind wins. I mean, Jeter's last game is just perfect in its storytelling. HOWEVER, the only answer I can give is the 2003 ALCS Game 7 come from behind win against the Red Sox. The only thing that makes Yankee victories even better is when they are seasoned gingerly with the broken, defeated, morose, salty tears of Red Sox fans. While Aaron Boone's walk-off dinger is incredibly memorable, the fact that the Yankees tied it in the bottom of the 8th after being down 5-2 is just beautiful. Then the Boone home run happened, and it was as if millions of Red Sox fans cried out in horror, and were suddenly silenced. I felt such joy with that win that losing the actual World Series didn't even bother me all that much.
So yeah, that game. Runners up are the Jeter walk-off last year and Game 4 of the 1996 World Series.
Arun briefly mentioned this game, but I'll select it as my answer. On April 21, 2012, Freddy Garcia allowed five runs in just 1.2 innings before getting yanked from a game against the Red Sox. After a brief appearance from Clay Rapada, David Phelps came in to mop up and didn't do much better. After five innings, the Yankees trailed 9-0. Felix Doubront had held the Yankees down for five innings before allowing a run in the sixth, which would be his final inning. Vicente Padilla, Matt Albers and Franklin Morales then combined to allow seven runs in the seventh, getting the Yankees within one run. Our good friend Alfredo Aceves would come out to pitch the eighth for Boston. Five runs and no outs later, the Yankees had a lead and would tack on more in a 15-9 win. That was fun.
Those are our answers and now we want to hear from you. What are your favorite Yankees' comeback wins?