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Best Games I Know: Yankee Stadium

Rumor has it that some other ballpark is closing this weekend.

Funny thing: If you visit StubHub, you'll see about 300 tickets for sale for some game in the Bronx this Sunday night. You'll also find more than 5,000 tickets for sale for next Sunday's game in Flushing.

I think that's pathetic.

But since this weekend's ballpark closing is apparently of importance, we'll have to pay tribute in our own special way. Let's count down the 10 best games in that ballpark's history

10. The Last Day of the Yankee Dynasty (May 3, 1965, Mets 2, Yankees 1, Mayor's Trophy Game)

The Yankees enjoyed an unprecedented run of success from 1947 to 1964, but their dynasty would crumble in 1965. All the proof needed that these Yankees were in for some trouble that season was the Mayor's Trophy Game of 1965. The Yankees mustered only one run in 10 innings, getting shut out over the first three by some young dude named Tug McGraw.

The Mets would win, 2-1 in the 10th when Cleon Jones squeeze bunt scored Chris Cannizzaro with the go-ahead run. Warren Spahn got the win, pitching a scoreless bottom of the 9th, with Dennis Ribant closing.

True Metophiles know... The Mets have 13 regular season wins at Yankee Stadium, so including Mayor's Trophy Games was necessary to produce a quality Top 10.

9. Randy Not So Dandy, (July 1, 2006: Mets 8, Yankees 3)

For all of Randy Johnson's greatness, the Mets have had their share of games in which they've beaten up the much-hyped, much-height, lefty. This was one instance, an eight-run pelting of Johnson over six innings that included an Eli Marrero home run, and two RBI apiece from Paul Lo Duca, David Wright, and Ramon Castro.

True Metophiles know...In his three most recent outings against the Mets, Randy Johnson has a 9.50 ERA

8. Pedro Calls The Yankees His Mommy (June 24, 2005: Mets 6, Yankees 4)

Pedro Martinez's best game at Yankee Stadium was a 17-strikeout 1-hitter, when he was at his most dominant. His worst game at Yankee Stadium would probably be Game 7 of the 2003 ALCS, though it's forgotten that Pedro pitched great for the majority of that game.

Somewhere forgotten in between is this one, in which Martinez was unfazed by Derek Jeter's leadoff home run, and yielded only one run in seven innings the rest of the way. The Mets responded by beating up on Mike Mussina, with home runs from Cliff Floyd and Carlos Beltran, as Willie Randolph won a game at Yankee Stadium for the first time.

True Metophiles know...The Mets had three sacrifice flies in the second inning of this game, a baseball rarity, aided by an error on one of them by Yankees centerfielder Bernie Williams.

7. The Last Night of the Clemens Patheticity (June 15, 2007: Mets 2, Yankees 0)
Without Mike Piazza in the lineup, beating Roger Clemens would be a little harder for these Mets. Jose Reyes took Piazza's place as Clemens' bugaboo, and we're surprised he didn't get beaned somewhere along the way. Reyes went 3-for-3 and his home run off Clemens in the fifth inning helped spark the Mets and Oliver Perez (who pitched a gem) to a 2-0 victory.

True Metophiles know...Roger Clemens has a 4.89 career ERA against the Mets. His next-highest ERA against anyone is 4.33 against the Phillies.

6. Piazza Delivery (July 7, 2001: Mets 3, Yankees 0)
Often forgotten on the list of great Mike Piazza moments is one from this game, in which the Mets and Yankees were rendered scoreless through nine innings, due to good pitching from Kevin Appier and Mike Mussina. The Mets winning rally commenced against Mariano Rivera with two outs and nobody on in the 10th. A single and steal by Desir Relaford, and a walk to Edgardo Alfonzo, set Piazza up for a go-ahead opposite-field RBI single. Timo Perez and Todd Zeile followed with RBI hits against Rivera and the Mets had the sort of comfy lead that even Armando Benitez couldn't blow.

True Metophiles know...That since 1991, that marks the only time the Yankees were shut out in an extra-inning game at Yankee Stadium.

5. The Closest Thing To Winning the World Series (June 20, 1963: Mets 6, Yankees 2, Mayor's Trophy Game)

That's how the New York Times described it, anyway, as the inept Mets easily beat the defending World Series champions. This was a day when the Mets played like the Yankees and the Yankees played like the Mets. Jay Hook and Carlton Willey combined on a fine effort, and Tim Harkness (2-run single) and Al Moran (2 doubles) powered a Mets offense that made Jimmy Piersall look like Mickey Mantle, at least for a few hours.

True Metophiles know...The aftertaste from this series came in taking three of four from the Phillies, and four of six overall, before a 15-game losing streak sunk the Mets into ignominity.

4. The First Night of the Clemens Patheticity (June 6, 1999, Mets 7, Yankees 2)
The first time the Mets beat Roger Clemens at Yankee Stadium was in this game, in which he was clobbered for seven runs in 2 2/3 innings., including a majestic Mike Piazza home run in the third inning. Such moments left a festering rage inside of Clemens, one that would linger for more than a year.

True Metophiles know: Mike Piazza had four home runs in 19 career regular season at-bats against Roger Clemens. Of the 11 other players to hit 4+ home runs against Clemens, the fewest career at-bats against Clemens is 49, by Hall of Famer Carlton Fisk.

3. Oh My Goodness Gracious! (June 9, 2000: Mets 12, Yankees 2)
The biggest home run by a Met at Yankee Stadium was the grand slam Piazza hit against Clemens in this game, a devastating romp of a victory that, along with who knows what else, fueled further inappropriate action by Clemens. Oft forgotten is the game that Derek Bell had, as he had three hits and five RBI. Let's also not forget Al Leiter who was great in both this contest and the one ranked No. 4.

True Metophiles know...
Mike Piazza vs Roger Clemens: .421 BA, 4 HR, 10 RBI
Mike Piazza vs Pedro Martinez: .385 BA, 6 HR, 8 RBI

2. Turning Point (June 27, 2008: Mets 15, Yankees 6)
Carlos Delgado before this game: .229 BA, 11 HR, 35 RBI
Carlos Delgado since June 27: .301 BA, 25 HR, 71 RBI

It's amazing what a 9-RBI game can do.

True Metophiles know...Carlos Delgado, a National Leaguer, holds the record for most RBI in a game by a DH.

1. The First Shall Be First (June 16, 1997: Mets 6, Yankees 0)

The first meaningful game between the Mets and Yankees should also be considered the best, a great tone setter for a great rivalry. Dave Mlicki shocked the baseball world with a nine-hit shutout, but what really got the Mets going was their aggressiveness in the very first inning between the two. The Mets would not be intimidated by their rivals, scoring three times, including once on a double steal that allowed Todd Hundley to score. By the time the night was through, the Mets and Yankees were on equal footing, both 37-30 for the season, and the Mets had commanded a new, proper level of respect.

True Metophiles know: In his two other starts at Yankee Stadium, Dave Mlicki allowed 11 runs in 9 1/3 innings.


Anonymous said…

Really nitpicky Metophiles might point out that game #9 was July 1, 2006 (not 7/3), however.
SS said…
There were 10,000+ Yankee tickets on sale on Wednesday, when 9999 other people and me failed to sell. The prices crashed, but went back up today - because there are fewer tickets available. To sell this close to a game you'd need to use the StubHub concierge service.

Expect to see Mets tix dip, then or minus playoff implications.
metswalkoffs said…
Thanks Glenn!

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