By Brian | October 10, 2009 | Share on Facebook
Wow, what a game…
After watching Derek Jeter break Lou Gehrig’s all-time Yankee hits record back on September 11, 2009, I commented on how every time you go to Yankee Stadium, there’s a chance you’ll see something special. Well, October 9, 2009 was certainly no exception. This could be the greatest game I have ever seen, or ever will see, live. And the best part, by far, is that my kids were there to see it too.
The game had everything. Through five innings, it was a classic pitchers’ duel – the Twins had two hits and the Yankees had one. In the sixth, the Twins broke through with a run, but the Yankees immediately countered with a run of their own. In the eighth, both teams now into their bullpens, the Twins put together three hits and a walk and took a 3-1 lead.
The Yankees couldn’t respond immediately in the eight, and after a quiet ninth from Mariano Rivera, they came to bat with their backs against the wall. Mark Teixeira who, up until that point, hadn’t had a hit in either post-season game, singled into right field. Then Alex Rodriguez, who had struggled in the post-season in the recent past, but had driven in a couple of runs in Game 1, hit a monster homerun over the center-field fence to tie the game and send it into extra innings. The crowd went nuts.
In the tenth, the Twins put runners on first and third with two out, but Orlando Cabrera flied out to right to end the threat. The Yankees got a man on with one out, and pinch-ran the speedy Brett Gardner. He stole second base, and then went to third on an errant throw by the Twins’ closer, Joe Nathan. After an intentional walk made it first and third, Johnny Damon hit a screaming line drive to Cabrera, who turned an easy double-play on Gardner after he broke for home on contact. More tension, and still, more baseball.
In the eleventh, Joe Mauer led off the inning with a pop-up down the left field line that Melky Cabrera couldn’t get to. In the stadium, it was a minor disappointment and the game continued. Everywhere else, though, replays showed that the ball was obviously a fair ball, and Mauer should have been on second base. Despite the bad call, Mauer singled. And then the next two Twins did the same. Bases loaded, nobody out – eleventh inning of a playoff game. Sheesh! Then, the Yankees pulled off the impossible. A line drive to Teixeira. A ground ball to Teixeira that he throws home for the force out. And then a lazy fly ball to center-field, and the Twins had, incredibly, failed to score.
Which brought us to the bottom of the eleventh inning, still tied. That is, until Mark Teixeira brought the game to an end with line-drive homerun into the left-field seats. Absolute bedlam in the Bronx. High-fives and hugs all around. The (now traditional) pie in the face from AJ Burnett for Mark Teixeira and three choruses of New York, New York with Frank Sinatra – all before a single one of the 50,006 people left the stadium.
As I said, any trip to Yankee Stadium can lead to something special. This one was truly one for the ages.
[Note: Click on either of the above images to see a full slide-show of our fun time at the game, or click on the thumbnail in the "Featured Photos" section on the left]