The New York Yankees weren’t expected to come even close to the playoffs. Yet they made a magical run and, while it is over, we have so much to look back on.
One-hundred and sixty-two games in the regular season was the limit for this year’s New York Yankees, as many experts and panels predicted. Add in an extra 13 games and you have the unexpected, shocking and incredible season the Yankees put together.
In those extra 13 games, we witnessed stellar defensive plays. We experienced the thrill of comebacks and the heartbreak of falling behind early in the series.
In just 13 short games, we experienced every single emotion in the spectrum while cheering on a team that was predicted to finish fourth in the American League East.
The Yankees players and coaches have said it after Game 7: they are ecstatic to be a part of this organization and this specific team. And that shows that they’re ready to make this team into the new dynasty.
While we won’t have Yankees baseball for a while, at least we can look back on these incredible postseason moments that gave us faith in the future.
1. Didi Gregorius, Tie Game
The Yankees took the first Wild Card spot and had immense confidence going into the game against the Minnesota Twins. That confidence quickly dissipated as the Twins took a 3-0 lead in the top of the first inning.
Well, Didi Gregorius wasn’t having any of that, as he promptly put the game back to a tie with a monster three-run shot in the bottom of the first.
There have been moments where the old Yankee Stadium felt like it was shaking. This moment made it seem like the new Yankee Stadium was not so different from the Stadium of years past.
Thus begins the clutch nature of Gregorius, the guy who gave the Yankees life to move on.
2. The Bird Takes Flight
Besides the fact that Greg Bird showed he actually wants to be on the field this postseason, he also gave the Yankees a huge boost in Game 3 of the ALDS.
On the verge of elimination, Greg Bird single-handedly pulled the Yankees ahead to Game 4 in the Bronx. After hitting a home run in the Game 2 loss, he followed that up with an improbable monster shot to right for Game 3.
And it came off of Andrew Miller…aka the pitcher who was absolutely DOMINANT last postseason. Boy, do I love watching the Bird get a hold of one.
3. Bye, Kluber!
Didi Gregorius had something to say to Corey Kluber after the Game 2 disaster in the ALDS. Let’s just say that conversation was quick and productive for the Yankees.
Gregorius launched two home runs en route to knocking Kluber out of Game 5 and sending the Yankees to the ALCS against Houston. What a show for the young shortstop who is replacing Derek Jeter with ease.
4. Three-Run Blasts for Everyone!
Games 1 and 2 of the ALCS weren’t exactly memorable for the Yankees, as they dropped both games in Houston. Game 3, however, is when the offense really exploded.
What an evening for these two gentlemen, who helped lead the Yankees to an 8-1 victory and avoid falling behind three games to none.
5. Aces Wild
This is more of through the entire postseason but for the Yankees, their aces came out to play when the Yankees needed them most.
Those aces are CC Sabathia and Masahiro Tanaka. One was expected to be done during the middle of the season, perhaps for his career. The other was in danger of opting out and the Yankees were going to let him. Now, they have other ideas.
Both of these guys played a huge role in the postseason success of the Yankees. Sabathia served as the primary stopper for the Bombers while Tanaka went 20 innings and allowed only two runs.
6. Aaron Judge vs. Wall, Pt. 1
Aaron Judge is an incredible batter but his defense is simply out of this world. Take this amazing catch in Game 3 as an example.
Judge makes the catch, crashes into the wall and tumbles backward. Sabathia is appreciative. I think I even saw a flicker of respect on Justin Verlander’s face. Who knows!
Regardless, that catch was stellar! And there’s more to come.
7. Game 4 Comeback
Oh boy, this was by FAR my favorite moment of the postseason. This was when the Yankees came back from a four-run deficit with nine outs remaining in their home ballpark.
Perhaps the best part of this entire sequence is the Chase Headley scene. Headley ripped a double, tripped and still somehow made it to second. The whole play was an incredible momentum shift in favor of the Yankees.
There was so much going on but the entire comeback sequence was absolutely incredible. It brought back visions of the dynasty of the 1990s and seeing this, we now can’t wait for the future.
I could watch this all day. If you’re ever feeling down, this is the video to watch.
8. Farewell, Dallas!
Dallas Keuchel shut down the Yankees in the 2015 Wild Card game. He did so also in Game 1 of the series. In Game 5, the Yankees weren’t having it anymore.
They chased Keuchel out of the game after just four innings of work. As a Yankees fan, that is something that would produce tears of joy.
9. Aaron Judge vs. Wall Pt. 2
And here is part two! Except this time, Judge actually robbed a legitimate home run during the biggest game of the series.
Yuli Guerriel wanted this one so bad. But he just couldn’t get it over the wall far enough out of the reach of Judge’s monster arms.
An incredible play to end an incredible series by the New York Yankees. They certainly put everything they had into this year’s postseason games and, unfortunately, we stopped short on their chase for another title.
But they got there. They made it to the playoffs, they excelled in the playoffs and they ended the season on a good note. Better yet, this is just the beginning for this talented Yankees squad.