Civil War: Top 20 Greatest Subway Series Moments
Bragging rights and pride will be on the line, as the New York Yankees and New York Mets get ready to face—off in the 2010 edition of the Subway Series.
As this year's Subway Series approaches, the time has come to reminisce about the many memorable moments that occurred over past 12 years.
The greatest hits of the Mets—Yankees rivalry are just one click away (Begin Slideshow), so don't stop reading now.
This year, everyone knows who the baseball kings of New York are, so even if the Mets take the series, the Yankees will still be New York's baseball team, now and forever.
For three games, the Mets will try and turn around their season against the the 2009 World Series champions, but don't expect the Mets to make too much noise. Otherwise, you'd be fooling only yourself.
The action kicks off Friday night at Citi Field when Mets pitcher Hisanori Takahashi goes up against Yankees pitcher Javier Vazquez in Game 1.
It's always exciting watching the Yankees beat the Mets, so without further ado, here's a look back at the 20 greatest moments in Subway Series history.
Let The Cross—town Rivalry Begin
During the 1997 season, Major League Baseball scheduled regular season games between the American and National Leagues for the first time.
The action began on June 16, 1997, when the New York Mets and the New York Yankees played their first official game at Yankee Stadium.
Unfortunately for Yankee fans, the Mets shut out the defending World Series champions, 6–0, in the first—ever modern Subway Series game.
Mets starter Dave Mlicki pitched a complete game shutout, striking out eight in the victory.
The Mets got the better of the Yankees in round one, but the Yankees would win the remaining two games, winning the first subway series two games to one.
The Doctor Returns Home
Dwight "Doc" Gooden began his Major League Baseball career as a member of the New York Mets, where he won the 1984 Rookie of the Year, and 1985 Cy Young award.
Spending 10 seasons with the Mets, Gooden was one of the most dominant and feared pitchers in the National League, but his career declined because of injuries, and drugs and alcohol got the better of him.
On July 8, 2000, Gooden returned home, but this time, as a New York Yankee.
The Yankees and Mets were playing a doubleheader: one game at Shea Stadium and the other in the Bronx.
Gooden got the start in game one, en route to a doubleheader sweep by the Bombers. Gooden tossed five strong innings, earning the 4—2 victory in his return to Shea.
Six Home Runs and The Yankees Still Lose?
For the first time in three years of inter—league play, on July 10, 1999, the Mets clinched a series against the Yankees, but it came in wild fashion.
In one of the most memorable games in Subway Series history, the Yankees would hit six home runs during the game(Chuck Knoblauch, Ricky Ledee, Paul O'Neil—2, Jorge Posada—2), and take an 8-7 lead heading into the bottom of the ninth inning with Mariano Rivera on the mound to seal the victory.
But with the bases loaded, and two—outs, Matt Franco hit a pinch—hit single driving in two runs, giving the Mets a 9—8 victory over the Yankees.
The loss ended a streak of 124 consecutive victories in games which the Yankees led after eight innings.
It's sad to say, but maybe Rivera is human after all.
Neh. Don't count on it.
Hey Mike, Welcome to Mr. Roger's Neighborhood
On July 8, 2000, the New York Yankees returned to Yankee Stadium to face the New York Mets for Game 2 of the doubleheader, but no one could have expected what they were about to witness.
Yankees pitcher Roger Clemens struck Mike Piazza in the head with a fastball, resulting in a mild concussion that kept the catcher out of the ensuing All—Star Game.
Whether or not you want to believe Clemens, knowing Piazza had gone deep off the Yankees pitcher in three straight games, Clemens claimed he did not throw at him intentionally.
The Mets would go onto drop the nightcap at Yankee Stadium by the same score, but the beaning of Piazza created a feud between the two that would rear its ugly head just a few months later.
The Yankees and Mets had New York City buzzing during the fall of 2000, when both teams advanced to the World Series.
It was the Yankees fourth World Series appearance in five years and the Mets first appearance since their championship season of 1986. But more importantly, this World Series match—up was the first "Subway" World Series since 1956.
Early in game one, the Mets had their opportunity to get on the scoreboard. But, Timo Perez's base running blunder, followed by a fine relay throw by Derek Jeter, did not allow that to happen, as Perez's mistake would come back to haunt the Mets.
With the game heading into extra innings, this game would be decided in the bottom of the 12th, thanks to Jose Vizcaino.
In the bottom of the inning, with Tino Martinez on base, Vizcaino singled, driving in Martinez for the game—winning run, sealing a game one victory for the Yankees.
In game two of the Subway Series, the Mike Piazza—Roger Clemens feud reached new heights.
During Piazza's first at bat in the first inning, a Clemens pitch shattered Piazza's bat, causing a sharp piece of the broken bat to head towards Clemens.
Clemens stepped off the mound and decided to throw the bat towards the first base side, which almost hit a running Piazza. Both players walked towards one another, as the Yankees and Mets benches would clear.
Clemens has always held a firm opinion, and claims he was simply tossing the bat towards the on—deck circle.
Although Piazza got some revenge by belting a home run off reliever Jeff Nelson later in the game, the Yankees and Clemens had the last laugh.
The Yankees went onto win game two, 6—5. The win tied the longest AL winning streak in the World Series at ten games.
Benny and The Mets
As the Series was heading back to Shea Stadium for game three, the Mets were facing a must—win situation.
With the game tied at two apiece in the eighth inning, Benny Agbayani gave the Mets the lead with a go—ahead double driving in Todd Zeile, opening the door for John Franco to make his first ever World Series appearance.
Franco was the winning pitcher on record, and Armando Benitez earned the save.
The Mets 4-2 victory put a halt on the Yankees' 14—game World Series winning streak and handed Orlando "El Duque" Hernandez his first—ever postseason loss.
The Mets were victorious in game three, for their lone 2000 World Series victory.
Jeter Does It Again
Coming off a game three loss, it didn't take long for the Yankees to gain back momentum of the Series.
Leading off game four, Jeter hit a solo home run on the first pitch he saw from Mets' pitcher Bobby Jones, as the Yankees never relinquished the lead for the entire game.
Jeter extended his World Series hitting streak to thirteen games as the Bronx Bombers moved to within one game of clinching the World Series.
Mike Piazza had one more opportunity to get revenge on the Yankees.
In the bottom of the ninth inning, Piazza stood at home plate as the tying run with two outs, and Mariano Rivera was on the mound.
And with one swing of the bat, Met fans believed Piazza had just tied Game 5 of the 2000 World Series. But Piazza's deep fly ball, which was hit to the deepest part of the ballpark, found the glove of Bernie Williams, securing another World Series championship for the Yankees.
After Williams made the catch, he got down on one knee, popped up and then headed towards the pitcher's mound to celebrate with his teammates.
This World Series title gave the Yankees their third straight championship and fourth in five years, as manager Joe Torre was carried off the Shea Stadium field.
A Pitch and A Miss
Roger Clemens returned to Shea on June 15, 2002.
Unlike in 2001, when manager Joe Torre shuffled the pitching rotation so Clemens wouldn't have to bat, Torre would make no such changes during this visit.
With Clemens on the mound, Mets' pitcher Shawn Estes and Mike Piazza both homered in consecutive innings against Clemens, but the one thing the Mets failed to accomplish in the 8—0 rout of the Yankees, was supposed to be the easiest.
During Clemens' first at—bat, the pitcher stepped to the plate, and all the Mets fans were hoping Clemens would get hit. Instead, Estes threw a pitch about a foot behind Clemens missing him completely.
After the pitch was thrown, Clemens stepped out of the batter's box, smirked, and the game continued. The Yankees never retaliated, and on this day even though Clemens did not get hit by a pitch, the Mets won where it mattered the most.
On the scoreboard.
Extra Inning Knockout
Robin Ventura became a New York Yankees hero on June 14, 2002.
In the top on the 10th inning, the former met hit his 16th home run of the season, handing the Mets a devastating 4—2 loss in a game in which the Mets had the lead heading into the 9th inning.
Derek Jeter would force extra innings, as he tied the game in the ninth with a two—out single off Mets closer Armando Benitez.
Ventura was a hero for the Mets when he beat the Atlanta Braves in the 2000 National League Championship Series, but on this date, he was the Mets villain.
A Thrilla From Godzilla
On June 28, 2003, the New York Yankees and Mets would face off in the second Subway Series doubleheader; the first game was played at Yankee Stadium.
Roger Clemens earned his 301st career victory, but it was Hideki Matsui who stole the show.
Matsui hit a grand slam and drove in a career—high five runs, as the Yankees cruised to a game one victory, en route to a doubleheader sweep.
In 2003, the Yankees would become the first team to sweep the entire season series.
Home, Sweep, Home
Led by Ty Wigginton's two home runs, the Mets swept the Yankees for their first Subway Series sweep, and won the season series for the first time since inter—league play began in 1997.
The Mets took four of six from the Yankees after going 0—6 in 2003.
Although it was painful to watch, even the Mets have their moments.
This happened to be one of them.
One Flew Over The Koo-Koo's Nest
On May 21, 2005, Randy Johnson not only was the losing pitcher in a 7—1 loss to the New York Mets, but was also embarrassed by the opposing pitcher.
Arguably the most surprising play in Subway Series history, Mets pitcher Dae—Sung Koo stepped into the batter's box, and standing on the mound for the Yankees was a dominating force named Randy Johnson.
In perhaps the most amazing moment in Subway Series history, Koo hit a line drive to center field over Bernie Williams' head for a lead—off double. Koo advanced to third base on a Jose Reyes sacrifice bunt, then Koo made a play that no one expected.
With nobody covering home plate, Koo made a dash for it. Second baseman Robinson Cano threw the ball to Jorge Posada, but before Posada got back in time, Koo scored on a headfirst slide, avoiding Posada's tag.
Koo shocked us all, and I still can't believe it.
Carlos Delgado did not look like a man in his mid—thirties on June 27, 2008.
Delgado set a Mets club record with nine runs batted in a 15—6 rout over the New York Yankees.
Delgado hit a grand slam for one of his two home runs, and amazed the Yankee Stadium crowd with a performance for the ages.
Jason Giambi's career with the New York Yankees wasn't a total waste.
On June 26, 2005, Giambi was the savior for the Yankees.
Heading into the 9th inning, the Yankees were trailing 4—3, and needed a 9th inning rally in order to avoid a Subway Series sweep at the hands of the New York Mets.
Tino Martinez began the inning with a walk. Alex Rodriguez then doubled to left, and after Hideki Matsui was intentionally walked, Giambi capped a ninth—inning rally with a two—run single giving the Yankees a 5—4 victory over the Mets.
Rumble In The Bronx
Mets closer Francisco Rodriguez and Yankees relief pitcher Brian Bruney were separated by teammates during batting practice, just one day after Bruney and Rodriguez exchanged words through the media.
Johan Santana went three innings and allowed a career high nine runs in the worst start of his career.
Derek Jeter went 4—4 with two runs batted in and two runs scored.
Both, Hideki Matsui and Robinson Cano homered twice.
Yankees win 15-0.
All signs pointed towards the first Subway Series game at the new Yankee Stadium ending in a 8—7 Mets victory, but things don't always go according to plan.
Just ask Mets second baseman, Luis Castillo.
With Alex Rodriguez batting, Mets closer Francisco Rodriguez got A—Rod to pop up to second. Rodriguez slammed his bat on the ground, then threw it thinking the game was over.
Thanks to Castillo, a routine pop—up became a game—winning error.
Castillo's blunder allowed Jeter to score, and Mark Teixeira scored all the way from first giving the Yankees the unthinkable 9—8 victory.
500 and 1
On June 28, 2009, Mariano Rivera recorded his 500th career save in a 4—2 victory over the Mets at Citi Field, earning a Subway Series sweep in Queens.
Rivera became only the second player in MLB history to reach the 500 career save mark.
And just in case you forgot, Rivera picked up his first career RBI after a bases load walk in the 9th inning against Mets closer Francisco Rodriguez.
I guess it's true. MO really can do it all.
The 2010 Subway Series is the tale of two teams heading in two opposite directions.
The New York Yankees currently have the second best record in baseball, while the Mets are in a familiar spot: last place in the National League East.
I can go on—and—on, and give you multiple statistics on why I think the Yankees are going to sweep the Mets this weekend, but I won't.
Because everyone knows the Yankees are the better and more talented team, and there is no way they're losing this year's Subway Series to the pitiful Mets.
Check back with me on Monday, and you'll see that I was 100—percent correct.