The top Yankees victories of the 2010s
By Ryan Touhey
7. vs. Baltimore Orioles (October 10, 2012 @ Yankee Stadium)– This was the third game of the tightly-contested, low scoring American League Division Series between the Yankees and the reconstructed Baltimore Orioles. The game was a pitcher’s duel, as both starters were brilliant. Yankees starter Hiroki Kuroda went 8 1/3 innings giving up just five hits and two earned runs. Although he lasted longer than his counterpart, Miguel Gonzalez, Kuroda was in line to get the loss, as the Yankees’ bats were ice cold all night long.
Baltimore led 2-1 in the bottom of the ninth, looking to go up 2-1 in the series. Down to their last two outs, Yankee manager Joe Girardi made the gutsy decision to call on veteran outfielder Raul Ibanez to pinch-hit for a severely slumping Alex Rodriguez. Desperate times call for desperate measures and at this point in the postseason, A-Rod simply could not be trusted. Ibanez rewarded Girardi’s decision by hitting a game-tying solo home run to right-centerfield. The Yankee Stadium crowd exploded in jubilation as Ibanez circled the bases and returned to the dugout.
The game remained tied for 2 ½ more innings. In the bottom of the 12th, Ibanez again stepped up to the plate and on a 2-2 pitch, hit a game-winning walk-off home run off of O’s pitcher, Brian Matusz. Yankee Stadium shook from the vibrations of the fans jumping up and down with glee. Ibanez had officially cemented himself as a playoff hero for the Yankees.
Analysis: Incredible! Simply an incredible game and an incredible moment. Staring at defeat, Raul Ibanez singlehandedly brought the Yankees up from the dead to flip the script and give them an emotional victory. The crowd at the stadium that night was passionate and behind on every pitch. To me, those reasons are why this game is on this list.