On this day in New York Yankees history, Raul Ibanez came up clutch in Game 3 of the 2012 ALDS.
October 10, 2012 — The New York Yankees were trailing the Baltimore Orioles in Game 3 of the ALDS by a score of 2-1 in the bottom of the ninth inning. Raul Ibanez came up to bat in place of the struggling Alex Rodriguez and created a substantial moment in Yankees history.
Ibanez laid off the first pitch of the at-bat for a ball, but the next pitch was where the veteran slugger would shine. Ibanez launched a pitch from Orioles closer Jim Johnson into right-center field to tie the game at two in the bottom of the ninth inning.
This would be a tie that the Yankees would be able to maintain up until the bottom of the 12th inning, when Raul would strike again.
Brian Matusz was beginning his second inning of work for the O’s and Ibanez was making his way to the plate to lead off the inning. On the first pitch of the inning, he roped a line drive into the second deck in right field to give the Yankees their first walk-off home run since 2009.
This spectacular performance would make Ibanez the first player in postseason history to hit two home runs in a single game while coming off the bench.
The Yankees would go on to win the series but eventually get swept in four games against the Detroit Tigers in the ALCS. They may not have been able to make it that far in October if it wasn’t for the heroics of Raul Ibanez.