It has been awhile since I booted up the annotated box score wayback machine, but today is a special occasion. On this day five years ago, the Yankees offense had a showing for the record books, becoming the first team to ever hit three grand slams in one game. It was August 25, 2011 against the Oakland A’s, and given that it was in the not-so-distant past, there is a very good chance that most readers remember this game well. The best part of it was that the game itself was such a funny one that it would have been somewhat memorable even without the slams.
The Yankees have scored more runs in a game just three times in franchise history. Twenty-two was their most since a 22-1 shellacking of the Red Sox on June 19, 2000. That game and this one were the only times in the past 60 years that the Yankees reached 22 runs in one game. So yeah, the slams helped.
The game was delayed an hour and a half because of rain. It then proceeded to last four and a half hours, keeping the most loyal fans at Yankee Stadium for, at the very least, six hours total. Woof. At least they got to see some fireworks.
Believe it or not, the Yankees were actually losing this game by a score of 7-1 at one point. This occurred after dropping the first two games of the series to a garbage A's team that lost 88 games and fired their manager. They were at risk of getting swept!
The prolific offense apparently decided that this was all rubbish and proceeded to outscore the A's 21-1 over the next five innings. Modest. The six-run comeback was their biggest since 2006, and no one was really even talking about that after the game.
Yes, Hideki Matsui was on the Oakland Athletics in 2011.
I am just as disturbed by these developments as Godzilla himself.
Future 2014 Yankee legends Bruce Billings and Scott Sizemore, reporting for duty.
Rich Harden wasn't even supposed to still be on the A's at this point. The Red Sox had a trade worked out at the deadline to acquire Harden in exchange for future bust Lars Anderson. In just about the most Rich Harden thing ever though, Boston looked at his medical records and said "Pass." He never pitched in the majors again after 2011. Ouch.
The Yankees had 21 hits on the day, but Mark Teixeira was the only player in the starting lineup who didn't get one. Of course he had two walks and two RBI anyway, so it wasn't all bad.
Jorge Posada, 2B
In one of my favorite ridiculous moments in baseball history, the Yankees let their former All-Star catcher return to the position where he originally played when they drafted him back in 1990. It was only possible because Posada and hitting coach Kevin Long badgered Joe Girardi about playing the field in a blowout. Once they had a 10-run lead, Girardi finally relented, and Posada took the field in the ninth.
He hadn't appeared at second base in 20 years. The rust showed on the final play of the game. It was glorious.
And now to celebrate, a picture of Georgie looking a little sloshed after clinching the division that year.
The stars of the show: the three grand slams.
Cano was in the middle of his second straight MVP-caliber season, so a slam from him was far from a shock. That was the blast that made the game interesting again, as the Yankees surged from down 7-2 to make it a one-run ballgame. This was the sixth slam of Cano's career, but despite taking place in this historic game, it was not his most famous slam of the season. Go to the playoffs for that one:
There were plenty of eye-popping performaces in this game, but Martin had the best game of them all. He went 5-for-5 with a double and a pair of homers, as he had previously hit a solo shot before clubbing the go-ahead slam off the beautifully named Fautino De Los Santos. Martin set a personal best with six RBI. (Hilariously, his light-hitting manager had a better career-high.)
Granderson's 2011 season was something special and almost certainly his career year. After extensive work figuring out how to hit left-handed pitching, he validated the Austin Jackson/Ian Kennedy trade by launching 41 homers with a 142 OPS+, making the All-Star team, and finishing fourth in AL MVP voting. He was the only player involved in all three slams of this game, having been on base for both Cano and Martin's slams prior to clubbing the record-breaker in the eighth.
On a somewhat amusing note, Granderson's slam was worth 0.0 WPA since the Yankees were already ahead 17-8. It did allow Posada to play second base though! He should have won the MVP for that reason alone.
Norberto's name reminded me that this atrocity exists, and now you will be forced to remember it as well. I apologize for nothing.
Guys, Phil Hughes was really bad in 2011.
Super shitty. Just atrocious.
Note: Pinstripe Alley has never tweeted at Hughes. He has us blocked. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
Luis Ayala having an ERA this good even after a two-run outing remains one of the biggest indictments on that statistic as far as relievers go. His true talent level was nowhere near that mark and yet he ended 2011 with a 2.09 mark. Baseball.
This annotated box score will end at the beginning. The first batter of the game was Jemile Weeks. He singled and then stole second base. On the play, the umpire Cederstrom gracefully fell down making the call, providing the perfect metaphor for the weirdness to come.