Yankees: 5 Best Playoff Games of the ’90s Dynasty

Adam Weinrib
SAN DIEGO, : Scott Brosius of the New York Yankees jumps for joy after the Yankees defeated the San Diego Padres, 3-0, in game four of the World Series 21 October at Qualcomm Stadium in San Diego, CA. The Yankees swept the series 4-0 and Brosius was named the Most Valuable Player of the series. (ELECTRONIC IMAGE) AFP PHOTO Don EMMERT (Photo credit should read DON EMMERT/AFP via Getty Images)
SAN DIEGO, : Scott Brosius of the New York Yankees jumps for joy after the Yankees defeated the San Diego Padres, 3-0, in game four of the World Series 21 October at Qualcomm Stadium in San Diego, CA. The Yankees swept the series 4-0 and Brosius was named the Most Valuable Player of the series. (ELECTRONIC IMAGE) AFP PHOTO Don EMMERT (Photo credit should read DON EMMERT/AFP via Getty Images) /
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Pitcher Orlando Hernandez #26 of the New York Yankees in action during the American League Championship Series. /

4. Game 4, 1998 ALCS

The Yankees really needed El Duque to step up in ’98. He did.

The greatest team in Yankees history temporarily forgot to win games in the middle of the 1998 postseason.

Still reeling from the Chuck Knoblauch extra-innings boner in Game 2 of the ALCS, the NYY dropped Game 3 in Cleveland, too, 6-1. Did New York overestimate their own mental fortitude?

Nope. Orlando Hernandez toed the rubber on the road in Game 4, and put a Pedro Martinez-like stop to Cleveland’s momentum. From the very first pitch, he had The Land mesmerized.

Hernandez threw seven three-hit innings, walking two, whiffing six, and throwing 115 pristine pitches. Oh, and it was his POSTSEASON DEBUT. No big deal.

This start gets the nod because of its importance in the big picture. Without Hernandez’s herculean effort, there’s a good chance New York’s greatest single-season team would’ve fallen down 3-1 in a blink, squandering 114 regular season wins, thanks in part to one of the most embarrassing blunders in franchise history (Knoblauch yelling while a live ball rolled).

Instead, the ’98 Yankees got their well-earned Museum Collection status, and Hernandez became one of the great clutch pitchers of his era. Monumental swing.

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