Monday, May 8, 2017

How Long It's Been: The Yankees Won a Game Going At Least 15 Innings

Last night, the Yankees beat the Chicago Cubs, 5-4 in 18 innings at Wrigley Field.

As the innings went by, I remembered that the Yankees had lost a lot of games in extra innings the last few years, due to poor hitting and Joe Girardi's bullpen mismanagement. To be fair, last night's game was a masterclass by Girardi.

But I looked it up: When was the last time the Yankees won a game that went at least 13 innings? At least 14? 15? And so on.

The last time the Yankees won a game going at least 15 innings was on May 18, 2011, at Orioles Park at Camden Yards, 4-1 over the Baltimore Orioles. Bartolo Colon started, and he pitched 8 shutout innings, only 87 pitches, but Girardi took him out anyway.

At the time, people who hate the Yankees called him a "steroid user," a "juicer," and a "cheat." Now, he's so identified with the Mets, and nobody calls him those things anymore. Gee, I wonder why?

Unfortunately, Mariano Rivera blew the save in the 9th inning. Despite using Luis Ayala and, ugh, Boone Logan, Girardi got the Yankees through the 14th inning still tied. In the top of the 15th, Mark Teixeira singled, Alex Rodriguez singled, and Robinson Cano doubled them home, and got to 3rd on an error. Chris Dickerson was hit by a pitch, and Brett Gardner hit a sacrifice fly to get Cano home. Hector Noesi pitched 4 innings of scoreless relief to get the win: Yankees 4, Orioles 1.

May 18, 2011. That's nearly 6 full years ago. How long has that been? Has the world really changed that much?


Gardner is the only Yankee who played in that game who is still with the team. Indeed, 1996 heroes Rivera and Derek Jeter played in the game, while Jorge Posada was playing out the string, and Andy Pettitte was taking the season off.

The Atlanta Braves, the Miami Marlins, the Atlanta Falcons, the Minnesota Vikings, the San Francisco 49ers, the Sacramento Kings, the Edmonton Oilers, the Detroit Red Wings, and, locally, the Brooklyn Nets and the New York Islanders have all moved into new venues. The St. Louis Rams and the San Diego Chargers have moved, both to Los Angeles while the Atlanta Thrashers have become the new Winnipeg Jets.

Neither the Yankees nor the Mets have changed managers since. But the Giants, the Jets, the Rangers and the Islanders have all changed head coaches since then. The Devils have done so 3 times. The Knicks, 4 times. The Nets, 6 times.

The defending World Champions were the San Francisco Giants in baseball, the Green Bay Packers in football, the San Antonio Spurs in basketball and the Boston Bruins in hockey. The World Cup and the Olympics have since both been held in Brazil, and the Olympics have also since been held in Britain and Russia. Manchester United was champion of England's Premier League, and Chelsea had just won the FA Cup.

Caitlin Jenner was still Bruce Jenner, and was still a Kardashian. The Duggar family was still regarded as good Christians. Bill Cosby was still considered a good person. Gay marriage was legal in Massachusetts, California, Connecticut, Vermont, New Hampshire, New York -- 6 out of the 50 States, and also the District of Columbia. Flying the Confederate flag on government property was not considered an unpardonable sin.

Barack Obama was President, and the idea that Donald Trump could not only get elected to the office, but could actually do the job, was insane. (Well, his doing the job remains insane.) The idea a candidate for President could insult women, nonwhites, non-Christians and the handicapped, insult his primary opponents to their faces, tell his opponent to her face that he's going to put her in jail, and outright call for the assassination of his opponent -- three times -- and not only not be shamed out of the race, but come close enough to winning for hackers to fix the election for him, was impossible to accept.

It happened. It is still impossible to accept.

Bob's Burgers, Shameless, Being Human, and Game of Thrones had all recently premiered. Teen Wolf, Switched at Birth and Suits were about to. Hannah Montana, Medium, Lie to Me, Friday Night Lights, the reboot of V, Brothers & Sisters, Stargate Universe (and thus the Stargate franchise) and Smallville ended their runs. Law & Order: Criminal Intent and The Oprah Winfrey Show were about to.

As the show based on his A Song of Ice and Fire series was premiering, George R.R. Martin published the 5th book in the series, A Dance With Dragons. The last film in the Harry Potter series, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part 2, premiered. E.L. James published Fifty Shades of Grey.

Major films released in the Spring of 2011 included Thor, Bridesmaids, Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides, Midnight In Paris, The Artist, X-Men: First Class, The Hangover Part II, Super 8, The Smurfs, Bad Teacher, Green Lantern, Mr. Popper's Penguins, Cars 2, Transformers: Dark of the Moon and Horrible Bosses.

The Number 1 song in America was "Rolling In the Deep" by Adele. Lady Gaga released Born This Way. Pinterest, Instagram and the iPad were all new. Vine had yet to debut.

A U.S. postage stamp was 44 cents. A subway ride in New York was $2.25. The average prices of a gallon of gas was $3.96, a cup of coffee $2.56, a McDonald's meal $6.79, a movie ticket $8.14, a new car $25,498, and a new house $267,600. The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed at 12,560.18.

In the Spring of 2011, President Obama killed Osama bin Laden. The European Union bailed out Portugal. A volcano erupted in Iceland, disrupting European weather and European air travel. Another erupted in Chile, doing the same not just for South America, but Australia and New Zealand as well. A coup ended a civil war in the Ivory Coast. Prince William of Wales married Kate Middleton, making them the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge. Florence Beatrice Green, the last surviving person who had served in any country's military in World War I, was still alive. And Derek Jeter got closer and closer to his 3,000th career hit.

Clarence Clemons, and and Grete Waitz, and Seve Ballesteros died. No one yet knows the names of the great people who were born in the Spring of 2011, but Stephen Strasburg had already made his major league debut, while Mike Trout's was about to happen.

May 18, 2011. The Yankees beat the Baltimore Orioles 4-1 in 15 innings. They did not win another game that long, or longer, until last night.

Let's hope they don't have to do it again for a while, huh?

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