The Yankees’ 2019 postseason run did not go as long as we would have liked. They will not take the field when the World Series kicks off tonight after a brutal loss in the ALCS. After a 103-win regular season, it’s hard to come away feeling great about the playoff run, at least right now.
However, the Yankees’ nine games in the playoffs did provide us with some memorable moments. Here are the five best moments from the Yankees’ 2019 postseason.
#5: Escape Artist Sevy
The Yankees sent Luis Severino to the mound in Game Three of the ALDS, with a chance to clinch a series win. Even though he is a supremely talented pitcher with a top three Cy Young finish on his résumé, starting him in such a big game was always a bit of a gamble. While he had looked good in them, Severino only made three regular season starts after missing most of the season with an injury.
That gamble had the appearance of a bad one when the bottom of the second inning started. The heart of the Twins’ order loaded the bases with a double, walk, and single. The Yankees had a one-run lead, but just one hit and it was gone. Just one home run, as Minnesota set the record for in the season, and the Yankees would be in a big hole. That would not be the case.
Severino got a weak pop up and two strikeouts to escape the inning without a single run scoring. He only lasted four innings and didn’t have his best stuff on the day, but he did provide us one very memorable moment on his way out.
#4: A Grand Display from Didi
The Yankees already had the lead in the game and the series when Didi Gregorius came to the plate in the third inning of Game Two of the ALDS.
With the bases loaded, Gregorius got hold of a Tyler Duffey pitch and took it into the second deck in right field. Before he made his way around the bases, he also unleashed one of the more memorable bat flips you’ll see.
His grand slam gave the Yankees full control in both the game and the series. While there was still work to do, it was hard to envision any scenario but a Yankees win after the homer.
#3: ALCS Game Five, Bottom of the First
After an impressive Game One, the Yankees dropped the next three games of the ALCS and were clinging to life when they took the field for Game Five. The Astros then proceeded to pick up a run in the top of the first. With Justin Verlander on the mound for Houston, you would be forgiven for thinking “here we go again” amid worries that this game was going to play out in a similar fashion to the prior three. The Yankees had other plans.
The Yankees responded with four runs in the bottom of the first, capped off by Aaron Hicks clanging a home run off the foul pole in right. The Yankees were off and running and on the way to keeping the season alive.
#2: “Let’s Go”
Following that first inning, neither team pushed across a run, but the Astros threatened to in the sixth. Starter James Paxton had recorded two outs in the frame, but also issued a walk, bringing Aaron Boone out of the dugout. However, Boone did not make any sort motion to indicate that he was going to the bullpen. Once he got to the mound, he had a memorable interaction with Paxton.
After some seemingly NSFW words that included the sentence “Let’s go,” Boone left the mound and Paxton remained in the game. He got a fly out on the very next pitch to finish off an excellent performance when the Yankees needed it the most.
#1: DJ keeps the Yankees alive
The enjoyment we got from this moment didn’t last very long, but make no mistake on how important and dramatic this moment was.
Down to their last two outs of the season, LeMahieu came to the plate with a runner on and the Yankees down two. Then, like he has so many times this season, he delivered in a key spot.
The Yankees had new life after going into the inning with a win expectancy of just 8%. Had the Yankees come away with a win, that home run would have gone down in Yankees lore. Sadly, it’s just a microcosm of the Yankees’ ALCS: close, but not close enough.