The Baltimore Orioles were on their way to a victory on Wednesday at Yankee Stadium before, well, Raul Ibanez happened.
Ibanez hit two solo home runs against the Orioles in Game 3 of the ALDS, tying the game in the bottom of the ninth and winning the game in the bottom of the 12th, as the New York Yankees pulled off a shocking 3-2 victory.
A truly historic performance from the 40-year-old, who erased some impact performances from the Orioles rookies to guide the Yankees on to a 2-1 series lead.
Here's some Twitter reaction and grades for the game.
Derek Jeter continues to accomplish amazing feats at the ripe old age of 37.
After the iconic Yankees shortstop knocked in Russell Martin with a triple in the third inning, ESPN Stats & Info reported:
Derek Jeter now has 3,500 career hits when including the postseason— ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) October 11, 2012
When 20-year-old rookie Manny Machado put the Orioles ahead in the fifth inning, Steve Berthiaume of ESPN tweeted a startling statistic:
Berthiaume (@SBerthiaumeESPN) October 11, 2012
Only 20 year olds with a postseason HR: Mickey Mantle, Miguel Cabrera, Manny Machado. Andruw Jones, of course, homered at 19.— DKnobler (@DKnobler) October 11, 2012
The struggles of Alex Rodriguez have been well documented this series.
After A-Rod struck out swinging against Orioles rookie right-hander Miguel Gonzalez in the fourth inning, Joel Sherman of the New York Post tweeted:
Ibanez hit a home run in the bottom of the ninth inning pinch-hitting for A-Rod. Sports business reporter Darren Rovell captured the gravity of the situation:
Alex Rodriguez' 2012 salary: $30 million. Raul Ibanez' 2012 salary: $1.1 million.— darren rovell (@darrenrovell) October 11, 2012
Deadspin founder Will Leitch wonders if pulling A-Rod in the 9th was the greatest/most bizarre managerial decision of all-time:
That might be the best move ever made by a manager that could double as a crazy midnight talk radio call.— Will Leitch (@williamfleitch) October 11, 2012
The jokes just kept flooding in regarding A-Rod. National Post columnist Bruce Arthur added some sarcasm after Ibanez's big hits:
GREAT PLAY A-ROD— Bruce Arthur (@bruce_arthur) October 11, 2012
Pourmecoffee wonders if another sports owner would bring in A-Rod:
Dan Snyder probably trying to figure out how to give A-Rod a shot.— pourmecoffee (@pourmecoffee) October 11, 2012
And this tweet from USA Today’s Adi Joseph sums everything up perfectly:
Great moment for A-Rod-hating Yankees fans everywhere.— Adi Joseph (@AdiJoseph) October 11, 2012
Grades for Key Orioles Players
Miguel Gonzalez: A
It didn't matter that Miguel Gonzalez was a rookie starting against the Yankees in their home park. He tossed seven innings of one-run ball while limiting New York to five hits while notching eight strikeouts.
Not bad, given he was undrafted in 2005.
Manny Machado: A
Manny Machado may have had only one hit in the game, but that one hit was huge, especially given he was a 20-year-old playing against the New York Yankees at Yankee Stadium.
The home run in the fifth inning was huge early on against the Yankees.
Ryan Flaherty: B+
Ryan Flaherty, another rookie, batted .216 this season, but he came through when it mattered against the Yankees, blasting a homer to right in the third inning to get the Orioles off to a good start.
Grades for Key Yankees Players
Hiroki Kuroda: A
Hiroki Kuroda gave up two runs and five hits in 8.1 innings on the night, opening up the door for the Yankees to come back in the bottom of the ninth.
The right-hander from Osaka had a rough September this season, but he stepped up against Baltimore.
Derek Jeter: B+
Derek Jeter knocked in the Yankees' first run in the third inning and went 2-for-4 in the game, proving once again to be ageless.
New York's captain wasn't spectacular, but he sure showed grit out there battling a leg injury.
Raul Ibanez: A+
It must feel good to pinch hit for Alex Rodriguez and then hit a home run to send the game into extra innings.
It must feel even better to hit another home run to win the game in the bottom of the 12th inning in front of an ecstatic home crowd.
Ibanez only hit .240 this season, but he had 19 bombs in just 384 at-bats. That certainly came into play in Game 3.
Alex Rodriguez: F
Rodriguez went 0-for-3 with two strikeouts, and it actually boosted the Yankees when he was taken out of the game in favor of Ibanez.
Rodriguez is 1-for-12 with seven strikeouts in the series so far.