Some games are memorable because of good performances: walk-offs, great pitching outings. Some are memorable for other reasons. Reasons that aren’t always because of well-played baseball. Baseball is a weird sport, and weird things can happen. Here are the top five weirdest games of the 2016 Yankees’ season.
5. May 29: Yankees 2, Rays 1
Starlin Castro broke up a no-hitter with a two-run home run in the seventh inning. It was also the only hit the Yankees got. Yet somehow, the Yankees still won the game. Nathan Eovaldi allowed one run in six innings, and the bullpen allowed zero in three. For the second time in their history, the Yankees won a game despite getting just one hit.
4. August 31: Yankees 5, Royals 4
Due to a rain delay, this game started to resemble another that may or may not be mentioned later. Because of the rain, the Yankees lost Masahiro Tanaka after just five innings, as they couldn’t bring him back out after the delay. After the Royals’ lead-off hitter got on in the eighth, the Yankees brought in Dellin Betances for a six out save with just a one-run lead. After a throwing error on a stolen base attempt moved a runner to third, the Royals tied the game on sac fly.
Betances pitched a scoreless ninth inning, and the Yankees took the lead in the 10th. The Yankees then had to piece together the bottom of the 10th, and sent in rookie Ben Heller. Heller hit a batter, allowed a single and two stolen bases before finally getting the first out of the inning. With the winning run in scoring position and just one out, the Yankees intentionally walked the bases loaded and then brought in Chasen Shreve. Shreve wasn’t on the major league roster at the start of the series, but retired Kendrys Morales and Salvador Perez to somehow end the game, over five hours after it started.
3. September 27, Yankees 7, Blue Jays 5
This game started with two bench-clearing incidents that ended with Luis Severino, Joe Girardi, and Larry Rothschild getting ejected. Heading into the top of the ninth, the Yankees trailed 3-2. In the ninth, the Yankees got all their frustrations from the game out, and scored five runs to take the lead. One of those came on a Mark Teixeira home run that lead to this bat flip:
Mark Teixeira took his time admiring career homer No. 408 tonight in Toronto. #YANKSonYES pic.twitter.com/PRPbXpbtPD— YES Network (@YESNetwork) September 27, 2016
A Yankee bullpen (which was now being coached by Tyler Clippard, as Mike Harkey had to become pitching coach), sent Betances to pitch the bottom of the ninth. Betances loaded with bases without getting an out and was removed for Tommy Layne. The Blue Jays scored a couple runs, but Layne finished off the game thanks in part to this play:
Stay in your Layne! https://t.co/zX8KthP6HT #NYYSunrunSaves pic.twitter.com/uApjU9ZRwn— New York Yankees (@Yankees) September 27, 2016
What occurred in this game, Mark?
Looks like this is @teixeiramark25’s new motto … pic.twitter.com/TVqWIvAZz5— MLB GIFS (@MLBGIFs) September 29, 2016
2. June 27: Yankees 6, Rangers 9
Leading 6-5 heading into the top of the ninth, the Yankees brought in Aroldis Chapman. Rain was coming down pretty steadily, and Chapman walked the lead-off hitter. At that point, the game went into a rain delay.
Literal hours later, the game resumed in what was now June 28th. The Rangers scored four runs off Kirby Yates. The Yankees couldn’t rally in the bottom of the ninth, and lost 9-6. The game lasted nine innings, and is listed in the box score as having a time of 3:43. In reality, it ended around 3:00 AM.
1. August 3: Yankees 9, Mets 5
Despite all that Gary Sanchez did this season, his first hit came in this game, but it is not one of the most memorable things about it. The teams combined for nine runs in the first two innings. Teixiera was hit by a pitch in the fifth inning, leading to the benches clearing. That wasn’t the end of Tex’s involvement in the absurdity, however.
In the seventh, Teixeira drew a walk of Mets’ reliever Hansel Robles. After that, Robles completely unraveled and though Teixeira was stealing signs. That interaction led to this:
August 4, 2016
Mark Teixeria’s involvement in the weirdness of baseball will be missed.