Right before the 2009 playoffs started I discussed the Yankee playoff games I’d attended. Given that this past October saw five more added to my ledger, I thought it’d be fun to update the original post.
|1995||ALDS 2||Seattle||Pettitte v. Benes||W, 7-5*|
|1996||ALDS 1||Texas||Cone v. Burkett||L, 6-2|
|1996||ALCS 1||Baltimore||Pettitte v. Erickson||W, 5-4*|
|1998||ALCS 2||Cleveland||Cone v. Nagy||L, 4-1*|
|2003||ALDS 2||Minnesota||Pettitte v. Radke||W, 4-1|
|2003||ALCS 2||Boston||Pettitte v. Lowe||W, 6-2|
|2003||ALCS 7||Boston||Clemens v. Martinez||W, 6-5*|
|2007||ALDS 3||Cleveland||Clemens v. Westbrook||W, 8-4|
|2009||ALDS 1||Minnesota||Sabathia v. Duensing||W, 7-2|
|2009||ALCS 1||Los Angeles||Sabathia v. Lackey||W, 4-1|
|2009||ALCS 2||Los Angeles||Burnett v. Saunders||W, 4-3*|
|2009||WS 1||Philadelphia||Sabathia v. Lee||L, 6-1|
|2009||WS 2||Philadelphia||Burnett v. Martinez||W, 3-1|
Prior to the 2009 postseason I’d been 6-2 at Yankee Stadium in October; my 4-1 record this year brings me to 10-3 all-time. Not too shabby. Additionally, exactly half of the wins I’ve seen came via the walk-off.
In attending both Games 1 and 2 against Philadelphia, I was also able to end my own personal World Series drought, although my brother and my dad once again got to enjoy a World Series clinching game together (they were also at the Stadium in 1999, though both of them said they felt that this year’s was far more exciting, as the 1999 win came with the Yanks up 3-0 in the Series and victory seeming inevitable).
While all five games were great (even the frustrating-as-hell Game 1 of the World Series, while unenjoyable at the time, was pretty great in hindsight — you have to respect Cliff Lee’s performance, even if it came at the Yankees’ expense), the best were Game 2 of the ALCS and Game 2 of the World Series.
ALCS Game 2 saw A-Rod’s ridiculously clutch bomb in extras off Brian Fuentes, in a battle that had loss written all over it after LA took the lead. This game not only took forever, but was also the coldest night of the entire postseason — my dad, as hardcore a fan as I am, was actually ready to take off after the Angels went ahead. He left, and I was left standing there by myself when A-Rod saved the day — shortly thereafter I got a tap on the shoulder, turned around and gave a big hug to my dad, who as it turns out, never actually left the building. He stayed to watch in the Great Hall, and came back up to where I was standing after the game-tying bomb. It was a great moment, even if he did almost leave during extra innings of a playoff game.
Game 2 of the World Series was pretty close to a must-win, as no one wanted the Yankees heading to Philadelphia down 0-2. It was also incredibly tense through the first few innings, between the Yankees having been handcuffed the previous night by Cliff Lee as well as the fact the team wasn’t doing much of anything against Pedro as the Phillies took a 1-0 lead. Thankfully Mark Teixeira came through with a huge game-tying home run, the offense added two more late runs and A.J. Burnett wound up turning in the outing of his Yankee career, with Mo coming on for the six-out save.
Neither of these quite compare to Game 7 of the 2003 ALCS, which I went into detail about in the original post and will likely remain the greatest sporting event I ever attend for some time, although I can’t say I’m upset that none of the Yankees’ 2009 playoff series went the distance. Game 7s are no good for anybody — as Mike noted in the RAB interview the other day, “That game was so stressful and such a roller coaster and such a joy in the end, that I can’t imagine ever feeling like that again. Everything was on the line, and they couldn’t have won it in a better way. That was the first game that ever caused me physical pain.” Take all those emotions and then also be at the game. Craziness.