I already sort of did this post, but given that everyone loves reminiscing around the new year, what better time than now to recall some of my favorite moments from a fantastic Yankee regular season?
April 18, 2009: Yankees lose to Cleveland 22-4. This was obviously a horrible game, underscored by Chien-Ming Wang’s third horrendous start in a row. However, this was my first game at the new Stadium, so despite the terrible outcome, I’ll always remember basking in the uncharacteristically warm April sun of that afternoon while ripping Wang to shreds with my dad.
May 25, 2009: Yankees beat Texas 11-1. I actually didn’t see a single inning of this game, as I was out in Central Park enjoying a beautiful Memorial Day, but I kept tabs via my BlackBerry and was very pleased to see that Phil Franchise tossed eight scoreless frames against one of the better-hitting teams in the league.
June 12, 2009: Yankees beat Mets 9-8. This was the Luis Castillo dropped pop-up game, which I had the good fortune to attend. Prior to this game I was 0-4 in games I’d attended at the new Stadium, and I came perilously close to worsening the record to five straight losses. Random side note: Despite being at this game, I didn’t actually see the error, as I turned around and stormed angrily off to the staircase the moment after the ball left A-Rod’s bat. Of course, all of a sudden the crowd starts roaring and I turned around in time to see Tex slide across home plate. I doubt I’ll ever (not) see anything that bizarre at a Yankee game ever again.
August 2, 2009: Yankees beat White Sox 8-5. Clinging to a half-game lead and losers of the previous three games, the Yankees turned to their ace to halt the bleeding and stay in first place. Thankfully CC Sabathia did just that. While not his finest outing, he pitched well enough to give the Yankees a much-needed win. Additionally, Melky hit for the cycle and it was the last time the Yankees would lead the division by that small a margin for the remainder of the season.
August 6-9, 2009: This series against the Red Sox at home was my hands-down my favorite stretch of the regular season. We all know the narrative entering this series: The Yankees were 0-8 against the Sox on the year, and with a 2.5-game lead, whoever won the series would be in an enviable position going forward. A four-game swing either way would be potentially crippling. The Yankees went on to beat the Sox in about every which way possible, taking all four games and at one point holding Boston scoreless for a ridiculous 31-inning stretch (including 7.2 innings of shutout ball each from both A.J. Burnett and Sabathia) — something I’ve never seen the Yankees do before. Plus, I watched three of the four games while on vacation in Cape Cod. I’ll tell you, reading the Cape Cod Times on the morning of Monday, August 10, with the Yankees boasting a near-insurmountable 6.5-game lead was truly something special. Despite being 90 miles away in Dennisport you could hear the masses in Boston jumping off the ledge.
September 13, 2009: This was a mostly throw-away game against the Orioles, but I don’t attend day games all that often, and so it was great fun seeing the Yankees punish Baltimore with an eight-run eighth inning punctuated by a booming Hideki Matsui three-run bomb on a beautiful Sunday afternoon. Also, it was my first time sitting just behind the Legends moat, and the view was ridiculous.
September 26, 2009: This was the middle game of the last series of the season against the Sox (in which, as you know, the Yankees swept Boston again en route to clinching the AL East), and I got to witness Sabathia continue his dominance of the Sox in person, as he pitched seven more scoreless innings. Did you know that CC Sabathia hasn’t given up a run to the Red Sox since the 2nd inning of the June 11th game at Boston? Sabathia has a personal 20 2/3 scoreless streak against Boston going. Hopefully he’ll be able to extend it come Sunday night, April 4.
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