Monday, October 7, 2013

Top Yankees Postseason Home Runs by Inning: Sixth Inning

It's time to begin the second half of the series, starting with the sixth inning. Links for the first five parts are at the bottom of the page.

6. Derek Jeter - 2000 World Series Game Five

The Yankees led the Subway Series 3-1, but the Mets were up 2-1 in the sixth inning of Game Five. Al Leiter was cruising along until Derek Jeter came to bat, one night after he led off Game Four with a homer.

The score remained tied until the top of the ninth when Luis Sojo dribbled Al Leiter's 142nd pitch through to center field to score two runs and give the Yankees a 4-2 lead. Mariano Rivera nailed down the final three outs and the Yankees won their third straight title.

5. Enos Slaughter - 1956 World Series Game Three

The Dodgers won the first two games of the '56 Series and had just taken a 2-1 lead in the third game on Duke Snider's RBI triple off Whitey Ford. Hank Bauer and Yogi Berra singled in the bottom of the sixth to set things up for Enos Slaughter. The former Cardinals great was 40 years old and well past his prime, but Casey Stengel and the Yankees brass had a knack for picking up veterans to fill his bench.

Slaughter cracked a three-run homer off Roger Craig to turn a 2-1 deficit into a 4-2 lead. Ford made the lead stand up and the Yankees won 5-3 to get back in the series. New York won the next two at home, then eventually won the seventh game in Brooklyn to snag the championship back from the Dodgers.

4. Yogi Berra - 1960 World Series Game Seven

The seventh game of the 1960 World Series has as good a case as any as the greatest in major league history.

The Yankees had won three blowouts and the Pirates had won three nail-biters. Pittsburgh jumped out to a 4-0 lead and were ahead by that score until Bill Skowron's solo homer in the fifth. In the sixth, Roy Face relieved Vern Law and allowed an RBI single to Mickey Mantle and the next hitter was Yogi Berra:

It was suddenly 5-4 New York and they would tack on two more tallies in the top of the eighth. Pittsburgh busted out with a five-run rally in the bottom half to put them three outs from the championship.

But the Yankees came back, tying the game at 9-9 on Mickey Mantle's marvelous dodge of a tag at first base that would have been the final out of the series (8:35 mark of video above). Bill Mazeroski led off the bottom of the ninth with a walk-off World Series-clinching home run that ended this back-and-forth ultimate game.

3. Bill Dickey - 1943 World Series Game Five

The Yankees were looking for revenge after the Cardinals beat them in the '42 Series, and they were one win away from getting it as they led the '43 Series 3-1.

Spud Chandler and Mort Cooper were locked in a great duel and the game was scoreless in the top of the sixth. Charlie Keller singled with two outs to bring up Bill Dickey. The great catcher socked a two-run homer that would stand as the only runs of the game.

Chandler, who was also named A.L. MVP that year, scattered ten hits and still pitched a shutout to end the series. He is one of five pitchers to win their league's Most Valuable Player Award and the clinching game of that season's World Series:

Player Date ▴ Gm Tm Opp Rslt App,Dec IP H R ER BB SO HR GSc
1 Walter Johnson 1924-10-10 7 WSH NYG W 4-3 9-12f,W 4.0 3 0 0 3 5 0
2 Dizzy Dean 1934-10-09 7 STL DET W 11-0 SHO9 ,W 9.0 6 0 0 0 5 0 80
3 Spud Chandler 1943-10-11 5 NYY STL W 2-0 SHO9 ,W 9.0 10 0 0 2 7 0 72
4 Hal Newhouser 1945-10-10 7 DET CHC W 9-3 CG 9 ,W 9.0 10 3 3 1 10 0 64
5 Sandy Koufax 1963-10-06 4 LAD NYY W 2-1 CG 9 ,W 9.0 6 1 1 0 8 1 79

This game is the only one in World Series history in which the AL and NL leaders in Baseball-Reference Wins Above Replacement faced each other. Both 2001 leaders reached the World Series as well, but Randy Johnson and Mike Mussina never squared off in that legendary Fall Classic.

2. Don Mattingly - 1995 ALDS Game Two

The Captain had played 14 seasons in pinstripes and never played in the postseason. New York needed a 25-6 finish and an epic collapse by the California Angels to claim the American League's first wild card playoff berth. Their opponent would be the Seattle Mariners, making their first postseason appearance in franchise history.

New York took the opener, but Seattle was up 2-1 in the sixth. Ruben Sierra led off the inning with a game-tying home run that sent the Stadium crowd into a frenzy. But they were just getting started:

The M's retook the lead in the top of the seventh, only to have Paul O'Neill tie it in the bottom half with a home run. The score would stay 4-4 into the 12th when Ken Griffey homered; but the Yankees came back again to tie it on Sierra's double. Pinch-runner Jorge Posada (!) scored the tying run, but Bernie Williams was thrown out trying to end the game and the contest moved to the 13th. Jim Leyritz would finally end this thriller with a two-run homer in the bottom of the 15th that made it 2-0 Yankees in the series.

1. Mickey Mantle - 1952 World Series Game Seven

Can't really top a winning home run in Game Seven, can you? The series was even 3-3 and the score was tied 2-2 with one out in the top of the sixth inning at Ebbets Field. Mickey Mantle, in only his second season, stepped to the plate against '52 N.L. Rookie of the Year Joe Black. Mantle swatted a 3-1 pitch over the high right-field fence to put the Yankees ahead.

Mantle added an RBI single in the top of the seventh to make it 4-2. Vic Raschi got into a bases-loaded one-out jam in the bottom of the seventh and Bob Kuzava came in for him to put out the fire.

The lefty set down Duke Snider on an infield pop before Jackie Robinson hit another pop-up in the infield (at 2:24:05 in the video). The ball got caught in the wind and was in no-man's land behind the mound. Second baseman Billy Martin made a fine running catch to save the day and end the inning. Kuzava tossed a clean eighth and ninth to put a bow on the Yanks' fourth straight title.

Monday, September 30: First Inning
Tuesday, October 1: Second Inning
Wednesday, October 2: Third Inning
Thursday, October 3: Fourth Inning
Friday, October 4: Fifth Inning
Monday, October 7: Sixth Inning
Tuesday, October 8: Seventh Inning
Wednesday, October 9: Eighth Inning
Thursday, October 10: Ninth Inning
Friday, October 11: Extra Innings

No comments:

Post a Comment