While it didn’t end with a World Series trophy, the 2019 season was a highly entertaining one for the New York Yankees. The year left us several exciting moments that are worth remembering. Here are seven of them:
The best moments of 2019 for the Yankees
7. LeMahieu’s home run vs. Osuna
With the Yankees facing elimination in the ALCS against the Astros, DJ LeMahieu delivered a home run for the ages, even if the joy only lasted a few minutes. The Bombers were down two runs in the top of the ninth, and they were facing elite closer Roberto Osuna. Here is the at-bat:
1) Cutter 95 mph: Ball
2) Fastball 98 mph: Swinging strike
3) Fastball 98 mph: Foul
4) Slider 90 mph: Ball
5) Fastball 97 mph: Foul
6) Fastball 98 mph: Foul
7) Changeup 85 mph: Foul
8) Fastball 99 mph: Foul
9) Fastball 98 mph: Ball
10) Cutter 94 mph: Game-tying home run
The two-run homer tied the ballgame, but in the bottom of the ninth, Houston won the game and the series on Jose Altuve’s blast against Aroldis Chapman. Still, LeMahieu’s home run injected hope to the Yankees.
6. CC Sabathia’s 3,000th strikeout
CC Sabathia, now retired, achieved quite the milestone this past season. On April 30 vs. the Arizona Diamondbacks, he had his 3,000th career strikeout against former teammate John Ryan Murphy.
Sabathia is just the 17th hurler in the history of the game to reach that number, and the third lefty, after Steve Carlton and Randy Johnson.
5. The London sweep of the Red Sox
On June 29-30, the New York Yankees and the Boston Red Sox played the first MLB series ever in European soil. The UK experience was a good one for the Yanks, as they swept both games and outscored the Sox 29-21 in the couple of slugfests.
The run-scoring fiesta included a nine-run seventh inning in the second game to close out the sweep.
4. Back-to-back walk-offs vs. the A’s
The turn of the month between August and September was magical for the Yankees. On August 31, DJ LeMahieu won it against the Oakland A’s in the 11th inning with a walk-off home run.
A day later, Brett Gardner tied the game in the ninth and Mike Ford, pinch-hitting for Clint Frazier, sent the ball over the fence for a second consecutive walk-off blast. The images of Tommy Kahnle going nuts in the bullpen will forever live with us.
3. Hicks’ homer vs. Astros in ALCS Game 5
The Yankees won the first game of the ALCS in Houston, and they were close to taking the second one but ended up losing. In fact, the Astros won three straight after dropping the first one to take a 3-1 lead.
In Game 5 in the Bronx, Aaron Hicks got Justin Verlander’s offering and sent it to right field’s foul pole for a three-run jack, which proved to be the difference in the 4-1 win.
2. Division winners for the first time since 2012!
For a team like the New York Yankees, spending seven years without a division title isn’t ideal. Thankfully, they broke the dry spell on September 19, with their 100th win of the season.
1. Aaron Hicks’ game-saving catch
In a wild affair against the Minnesota Twins, there were 26 runs scored and 10 innings of amazing baseball. With the bases loaded and the Yankees winning 14-12 in the bottom of the tenth, Max Kepler hit a drive to left-center that would have cleared the bases and won the game if it landed.
However, “Air Aaron” snared the screaming liner to win the ballgame for the Yankees.