The Top Five Most Memorable Games in the History of New Yankee Stadium
The new Yankee Stadium has only been open for just over a year now, but in that short time span, it has played host to some very special and memorable games in Yankee history.
From a World Series to a 15 inning epic, here are my top five most memorable games at the new big ballpark in the Bronx.
2009 ALCS, Game Two Against the Angels
Leap for Joy! Game Two of the 2009 ALCS featured good starting pitching, not very good fielding, and a whole lot of late inning drama.
Both the Angels and Yankees got great efforts form their starters. Joe Saunders went seven strong innings, allowing only two runs on six hits, and Yankee starter A.J. Burnett went six and a third, also giving up two runs.
I don't know if it was the frigid weather that night, or just the lack of hitting, but the score remained 2-2 heading into extra innings, meaning this game would be decided by the bullpens.
The Yankees 'pen cracked first. After Mariano Rivera had gone two innings, Alfredo Aceves came on in the 11th inning and surrendered a go-ahead RBI single to Chone Figgans, giving the Halos a 3-2 lead.
But then in the bottom of the 11th, Angels closer Brian Fuentes had A-Rod down 0-2 in the count, and A-Rod hit the next pitch just over the out stretched glove of Bobby Abreu and into the right field seats.
It was still 3-3 going to the bottom of the 13th inning, and the Yankees were running out of options in the bullpen, so they desperately needed to win this game quickly.
And that's just what they did in the bottom of the 13th. Well, a Maicer Izturis throwing error really helped, allowing Jerry Hairston Jr. to score the winning run. Thus ending a four hour classic and giving the Yankees a 2-0 lead in the ALCS.
A-Rod's 15 Inning Walk Off Against the Sox
One of the most well pitched or poorly offensive games that I have ever seen. Either way, it was on of the most memorable games from last year at the new house.
Heading into the game, everyone was talking about the pitching matchup between ex-teammates A.J. Burnett and Josh Beckett, and they lived up to the hype.
Burnett went seven and two thirds, allowing no runs on one hit, but walked six. Beckett pitched equally as good, going seven innings and allowing no runs on four hits.
Both sides had plenty of opportunities to score, but failed to do so until the Yankees did in the bottom of the 15th.
Junichi Tazawa, the last pitcher out of the bullpen for the Red Sox, had already pitched the 14th inning and had two outs in the 15th when A-Rod smashed his two run home run to left field.
Snapping a 0-0 tie to give the Yankees the dramatic win in 15 innings, the game remains the longest game in the history of New Yankee Stadium at five and a half hours.
It was also only the second time the Yankees had beaten Boston all year and was a part of a key four game sweep of the Red Sox, which forever altered the fate of both teams in the race for the division crown last year.
2009 World Series, Game Two Against the Phillies
Already down a game in the Fall classic to the Phillies after Cliff Lee's dominant performance in Game One, the Yankees looked to even the series against long time nemisis Pedro Martinez.
The Stadium was pumped even before the game started, thanks to Jay-Z and Alicia Keys performing "Empire State of Mind", which has become an instant hit at Yankee games.
But the Phillies struck first with Matt Stairs' RBI single in the second inning. Fortunately, that would be the only damage that Philly would do for the rest of the game, much in part to A.J. Burnett allowing only four hits in seven innings and striking out nine.
Pedro Martinez matched A.J. pitch for pitch through the first five innings, allowing just a Mark Teixeira solo shot in the fourth inning.
It was in the sixth inning when the Yankees took the lead on a Hideki Matsui smash to right field.
Charlie Manuel decided to stick with Pedro in the seventh, but he was clearly out of gas, and after giving up two base hits to Jerry Hairston Jr. and Melky Cabrera. he was pulled. Yankee fans happily accomponied him off the field with their "Who's your Daddy?" chant.
Jorge Posada's pinch hit RBI single gave the Yankees a two run lead, and that was all Mariano Rivera needed for the final two innings.
Game Two was the first of three straight wins and the turning point in the World Series for the Yankees.
Derek Jeter Gets Hit No. 2,722 and Passes Lou Gehrig
September 11th will always be remembered as a sad day in the history of the United States, but it will also go down as a very historic day in Yankee history, as Derek Jeter passed Lou Gehrig for Franchise lead in hits.
The Baltimore Orioles were in town and had young pitcher Chris Tillman on the mound.
After a strikeout leading off the game, Jeter stepped up to the plate to lead off the third inning. He took the first two pitches for balls and smacked the 2-0 pitch to right field, a classic "Jeterian" inside out swing.
The crowd rose to its feet and gave him a standing ovvation for a couple of minutes until Jeter finally tipped his cap after being mobbed by his teammates.
A truly historic day in Yankee history and baseball history as Jeter passed Yankee legend Lou Gehrig in hits.
2009 World Series, Game Six Against the Phillies
"Ballgame Over! World Series Over! Yankees Win! Theeeeeeeeee Yankees Win!" The call from John Sterling as the Yankees captured their 27th World Series title in franchise history.
The Phillies sent Pedro Martinez to the mound at Yankee Stadium with their World Series hopes on the line. Hideki Matsui made sure he didn't get past the fourth inning.
Matsui launched a two run home run to deep right field and smacked a two run single to center, which limited Pedro to just four innings, who left trailing 4-1.
Andy Petitte was solid over five and two thirds innings, giving up three runs on four hits. He got the win, which was his third clinching victory of the postseason last year.
Matsui added another two runs in the sixth inning, giving him six RBI on the night and securing the World Series MVP, making him the first Asian born player ever to do so.
Mariano Rivera sealed the deal with a scoreless ninth inning, and the Yankees won their 27th World Series championship, their first since 2000.
Indeed a very special night, as the new Yankee Stadium opened just like its predecessor across the street, with a World Series victory.