Friday, January 2, 2009

Looking Back At 2008's Best Moments

2008 wasn't a good one for the Yankees, but that doesn't mean it went by without its share of great moments.

Here's a list of my top 15 moments of the 2008 season. What I want you guys to do is narrow it down to the top 5. There will be a new poll put up on the left sidebar for you to vote in. Results will be released in a few weeks.

(The link on the date is the game recap, any other link is either a photo or video of the play.)

April 1, 2008, vs. Toronto - The final opening day at the old Yankee Stadium. The Yankees beat the Blue Jays 3-2 behind a strong effort from Chein-Ming Wang.

April 11, 2008 @ Boston - Wang shuts down Boston. Chien-Ming Wang throws a complete game gem against the Red Sox in Fenway to lead the Yanks to a 4-1 win. In nine innings Wang allowed just one run on two hits, did not walk a batter, and struck out three. He probably should have pitched a shutout, but Bobby Abreu misplayed a ball he could have, and probably should have caught that turned into a JD Drew solo homer.

April 27, 2008, @ Cleveland - Wang beats CC. It was a rematch of game 1 of the 2007 ALDS, but this time Wang and the Yanks came out on top. Future Yankee CC Sabathia went 8 innings allowing just one run on four hits, walking one and striking out eight, but that wasn't good enough to beat Chien-Ming Wang on that day. The Wanger threw seven shutout innings, allowing four hits, walking two, and striking out nine. The only Yankees run come on a Melky Cabrera solo homer. Mariano Rivera also picked up his 450th career save in this game.

June 5, 2008, vs Toronto - In a win that at the time Michael Kay called "their best win of the season" the Yanks stage a come from behind victory over the Jays. They trailed 7-2 in the 5th, and 8-6 in the 9th, but Jason Giambi stepped up with a pinch-hit, two-run, walk-off homer in the 9th off Jays closer B.J. Ryan to give the Yanks a 9-8 win.

June 7, 2008, vs KC - One of the best comebacks of the year, the Yanks come from 5-1, 10-5, and 11-10 down to beat the Royals 12-11. Johnny Damon stole the show going 6-for-6 with 4 RBI, including a game tying single in the 4th, a game tying 2-run single in the 8th, and game-winning walk-off RBI single in the 9th.

July 6, 2008, vs. Boston - Garder's walk-off beats Sox. After the Yanks scored two in the bottom of the 7th to tie the game the score remained deadlocked until the bottom of the 10th. With Robinson Cano on second base Yankees rookie outfielder Brett Gardner hit a slow grounder up the middle off Jonathan Papelbon that scored Cano to give the Yanks a 5-4 win.

July 16, 2008, AL vs. NL - The 2008 All-Star game was held at Yankee Stadium. And of course Yankee Stadium couldn't have an ASG unless it was a classic. A 15 inning marathon which saw the AL beat the NL 4-3 on Michael Young's walk-off sac fly that scored Justin Morneau.

July 25, 2008, @ Boston - Joba out duels Beckett. In a great Friday night matchup at Fenway Park, Yankees phenom Joba Chamberlain beat Josh Beckett and the Red Sox 1-0. In seven innings Chamberlain allowed just three hits and a walk, and struck out nine. Mariano Rivera shut the door with a 1.2 inning save. The lone Yankees run came when Jason Giambi beat the shift for a RBI infield single.

August 2, 2008, vs. LA - The last Old Timers' Day at the old Stadium. It was one of the better Old Timers' Days I remember. It seemed like every living former Yankee was there, and the Yanks beat the Angels 8-2. But the best moment of the day came when the Yankees welcomed back former player, coach, and true Yankee, Willie Randolph.

August 3, 2008, vs. LA - Another great comeback by the Yanks. This time they had to come from 5-0 and 9-8 down to beat the Angels 14-9. Xavier Nady was the star of the game going 4-for-5 with a homer and 6 RBI.

August 28, 2008, vs. Boston - Giambi beats Boston. The Yankees trailed 2-0 after five, but that didn't stop Jason Giambi from single-handedly beating the Red Sox. In the 7th he launched a two-run homer off Hideki Okajima to tie it. Then two innings later lined a walk-off single off Sox closer Jonathan Papelbon to win it.

September 9, 2008, @ LA - Jeter passes Babe Ruth to move up to no. 2 on the all-time Yankees hits list. In the top of the first inning Jeter lines an 0-2 pitch through the hole between short and third to pass The Babe.

September 16, 2008 vs. Chicago - Jeter passes Gehrig to become all-time hits leader at Yankee Stadium. In the bottom of the first inning, Jeter lines a single under the glove of Juan Uribe to become Yankee Stadium's all-time hits king.

September 21, 2008, vs. Baltimore - The final game at the old Stadium. In a truly historic night, the Yankees defeat the Orioles 7-3 to close The House That Ruth Built. Andy Pettitte started and got the win. Jose Molina hit the final HR at The Stadium. And Derek Jeter capped off the night with his great speech, which was followed by the team's lap around the field.

September 28, 2008 @ Boston
- Moose wins no. 20. It was the second to last game of the year and the Yanks had nothing to play for besides getting Mike Mussina something that had eluded him his entire career; 20 wins. In what was his final game, Mussina threw six shutout innings, allowing just three hits, striking out three and walking two. And of course, Mariano Rivera picked up the save.

OK, so there's my list. I'm sure I may have left something out. If so, please feel free to let me know in the comments section below. The poll will be up shortly.


Anonymous said...

Great list, I can't think of anything that you're missing besides maybe the Pettitte v. Santana game at Shea. The Yanks won that one 3-2.

Greg Cohen said...

Yea that was a good game, I just couldn't find something on the list to bump off for it.

Anonymous said...

Being at Moose's final game, I will have to vote for that one. I've been to plenty of games this year (Opening day, Joba's First start, a few mets and sox games, and even 6 games up in boston). There was nothing like the intensity felt for Moose's final game. The night before the place was empty and it felt like a meaningless end of season game between a team already in the playoffs and a team already knocked out of it. However, in the game on the 28th, both teams showed up and played playoff quality ball. The intensity was at a level that wasn't even felt in Fenway during the ALDS game 4. Glad I got to go to arguably one of the greatest games I'd ever had the privilege of seeing.