Friday, April 13, 2007

5 Memorable Games vs the A's

1. October 13, 2001

The A's had beaten the Yankees in the 1st two games of the ALDS and hosted game 3 in Oakland. Reigning Cy Young winner Barry Zito limited the Yankees to just 2 hits over 8 innings, but gave up a solo HR to Jorge Posada.

Mike Mussina was tossing a gem of his own for the Yankees, having allowed just 2 hits over the 1st six innings. But with 2 outs in the 7th, Jeremy Giambi reached with a single to right field. The next play would change the momentum of the series and be remembered forever.

Terrence Long laced a Mussina pitch into the right field corner. With 2 outs, Jeremy Giambi was running at the crack of the bat. Yankees right fielder Shane Spencer got to the ball quickly and fired it in...right over the cut off man's head. It was time for Derek Jeter to once again make history. In a play practiced in spring training and never utilized, Jeter raced across the infield, grabbed the overthrow and backhanded a toss to Jorge Posada. Posada tagged out a stunned Giambi, who had tried to score standing up.

The Yankees hung on for a 1-0 win and would take the next 2 games of the series.

2. September 2, 1996

David Cone received stunning news in late April. He had an aneurysm in his right shoulder and would require immediate surgery. Coney would be out of a major league uniform until September when he would return against the Oakland A's.

An admittedly nervous Cone dazzled the A's that day in front of their home crowd. He would toss an amazing 7 innings of no-hit ball before a reluctant Joe Torre removed him from the game. Even the home crowd was appreciative of Cone's accomplishment. Mariano Rivera finished up the final 2 innings and gave up a pair of hits in the Yankees 5-0 win. But this day was all about David Cone and how he would help the Yankees win their first championship in 19 years.

3. October 8, 2000

The Yankees lead the A's 2 game to 1 in the Division Series, but the A's blasted the Yankees in NY 11-1 to even the series up. Everyone seemed to be counting the older Yankees out since they to travel cross-country to play the very next night. That was a big mistake.

The Yankees, boosted by Tino Martinez's 3-run HR, jumped all over A's starter Gil Heredia in the 1st inning, jumping out to a 6-0 lead. Andy Pettitte wasn't a whole lot better, getting hammered for 5 runs and 10 hits in just 3 2-3 innings. It would come down to a battle of the pens, and the Yankees would prevail.

Mike Stanton, Jeff Nelson, El Duque, and Mariano Rivera combined for 5 1-3 scoreless innings. They would allow just 3 base runners, while Paul O'Neill added some insurance with a solo home run. Final score - Yankees 7 A's 5 and off to win title #26.

4. August 8, 2000

The Yankees were dominated for 8 innings by Barry Zito and Jim Mecir and trailed 3-2 going to their last at-bat. Eric Chavez and Ramon Hernandez had homered off of Roger Clemens. But those wouldn't the be the last home runs.

Closer Jason Isringhausen came on to finish off the fine A's effort. He would throw just 2 pitches. Bernie Williams and David Justice both swung at the first pitch they saw, and both went yard. Final score, Yankees 4 A's 3.

5. August 4, 1998

The Yankee had routed the A's in the first 2 game of the 3 game set, including the opener of a day-night doubleheader. But A's lefthander Kenny Rogers was looking for some revenge against his former team in the nightcap. The A's belted Yankees starter Mike Buddie for 5 runs in the 1st inning to give Rogers a nice cushion, and he took advantage, limiting the Yankees to 1 run over 8 innings.

But when Tino Martinez and Tim Raines greeted Rogers with a pair of singles to start the 9th, manager Art Howe went to his closer, Billy Taylor. Chad Curtis hit a potential double play grounder to 3rd baseman (and former Yankee) Mike Blowers, but Blowers misplayed for an error to load the bases. That's when Joe Torre went to his bench, sending Darryl Strawberry up to pinch-hit for catcher Joe Girardi. Rogers could only watch in despair as Straw blasted a long grand slam to centerfield to tie the game. Paul O'Neill and Martinez would add home runs as the Yankees scored 9 times before Strawberry finally struck out to end the inning.

The A's mounted a threat against Mariano Rivera in their half of the inning, putting two men on with 2 outs, but Mo struck out Ryan Christenson to shut the door.

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