Poll: What was your favorite moment of the first half?

First Half Review: Coaching Staff
Jeter's house the biggest on the block

Every year, there are certain moments in the season that remind us just why baseball is the greatest game on Earth, and this year is no different. Sure, lots of us take this silly game far too seriously, but that’s only because we love it so much. We’re lucky to be fans of the greatest franchise in sports history, as the Yankees give us more great memories than we can handle at times.

With the second half set to begin tomorrow, I figured now was the best time to see what everyone’s favorite moment of the first half was. Here’s a few of the highlights:

May 8th: Alex Rodriguez homers on the first pitch after coming off the DL (video)
After a winter of self-inflicted controversy and a spring of injury, Alex Rodriguez returned to the Yankees lineup in Baltimore and promptly stepped to the plate with runners on first and second and only one out. In a scene straight out of a novel, A-Rod took Jeremy Guthrie’s first pitch and deposited it into the left field stands, reminding everyone in baseball what he’s capable of. They were the only runs the team would need that day, as they skated to a 4-0 win.

May 15th: Brett Gardner‘s inside-the-park homer (video)
After visiting a children’s hospital earlier in the day and receiving a bracelet from a young girl who told him he would hit a home run if he kept it, Brett Gardner stepped to the plate in the 7th with the Yankees trailing the Twins 4-1. He’d entered the game in the 4th inning after Johnny Damon was thrown out for arguing balls and strikes, and blooped Jesse Crain’s 0-2 pitch into shallow left field. The ball squibbed past Denard Span and rolled all the way into the corner as Gardner raced around the bases for the Yankees first inside-the-park homer since Ricky Ledee did the honors back in 1999. The homer helped propel the Yankees to a 5-4 walk-off win.

June 1st: Joba Chamberlain‘s belly flop double play in Cleveland (video)
After allowing the first two runners to reach base via a walk and single, Joba Chamberlain faced Indians’ catcher Kelly Shoppach with no outs in the 5th inning of a 1-1 game. Joba’s first two pitches were outside, and Shoppach squared around to bunt the runners into scoring position. He made contact on the third pitch but bunted it straight up and toward third base. Joba hustled off the mound and laid out almost in slow motion to make the catch, then jumped to his feet and fired the ball to second base to double off the runner there. The Indians wouldn’t score in the inning, and the Yankees walked away with a 5-2 win in one of Joba’s best starts of the season.

June 12th: Yankees walk off with a win when Luis Castillo drops the ball (video)
Having lost their last three games, the Yankees came into the bottom of the ninth against the Mets down a run in a see-saw, back-and-forth affair. The Mets brought in their shiny new closer to lock it down, and K-Rod retired Brett Gardner before allowing a single to Derek Jeter. Jeter stole second when Johnny Damon struck out, and the Mets opted to walk the molten-hot Mark Teixeira and face A-Rod. After working himself into a hitter-friendly 3-1 count, A-Rod popped K-Rod’s 28th pitch of the night up toward shallow right for an easy out. Except the out was never made because Castillo dropped the ball. Teixeira crossed home because he hustled around the bases, and the Yanks walked away winners in the most improbable fashion.

June 28th: Mariano Rivera walks with the bases loaded for his first career RBI (video)
With his team up by one and rallying for more in the top of the ninth, Mariano Rivera came to the plate for just the third time in the regular season in his career. The bases were loaded with two outs, but K-Rod’s first two pitches were outside. The next two were over the plate and Mo spoiled a third before taking the sixth pitch high for a full count. K-Rod’s 31st pitch of the night was again high, and Mariano took first base on a walk, picking up his first career RBI in the process. It’s almost an afterthought that he stuck around to pick up his 500th career save in the bottom half of the inning.

Those are just some of the highlights of the first half. Vote on your favorite below, but if you think another moment was the best of the first half – maybe Nick Swisher‘s relief apperance, or AJ Burnett’s Immaculate Inning, or one of Melky Cabrera‘s various walk-off hits – use the “Add an Answer” button to write in your own favorite moment.

What was your favorite moment of the first half?
View Results
email
First Half Review: Coaching Staff
Jeter's house the biggest on the block
  • Dela G

    Francisco Cervelli’s first career Homerun has essentially changed this entire season. This team has been very very different since that moment.

    • Dela G

      sorry mike, i had to add the francisco cervelli answer to the poll :D

      • http://www.riveraveblues.com Mike Axisa

        That’s cool, that’s the whole point of letting people add their own answer.

        • RAB poster

          Okay I voted but I want to add one (Tex saving the game on the third day of walkoff weekend with a diving play) and it won’t let me.

          • RAB poster

            Can someone else do so in my place please? If I had thought of it before I’d have added it already.

          • http://www.riveraveblues.com Mike Axisa

            There was a problem with the poll, it was deactivated somehow. I just fixed it and it should be working.

            If you voted already though, it won’t let you add an aswer.

            • RAB poster

              Yeah, I figured I wouldn’t be allowed to add an answer. I didn’t think of it until too late.

              Which is why I ask someone else to please add it if they can’t decide on anything.

  • TheLastClown

    Wait…did AJ have a three-pitch inning?

    • http://www.riveraveblues.com Mike Axisa

      Immaculate Inning = striking out the side on 9 pitches. He did it against the Marlins.

      • RAB poster

        That was cool. But tainted since we lost.

      • JGS

        I think Bruney (pre-DL) striking out Upton, Crawford, and Longoria on 10 pitches in relief of Burnett was more impressive than AJ’s immaculate inning, which I seem to recall included Josh Johnson

  • Simon B.

    Joba’s bellyflop was maybe the best play I’ve ever seen by a pitcher. Can anybody really think of a better one? Rivera made a similar play like ten years ago, but I think Joba’s was better.

    I was disappointed that I didn’t see it on any of the “Best Plays of the first half” shows on MLBN/ESPN, because I thought it was better than most of the plays that got on there.

    • RAB poster

      It was number 7 on sportscenter.

  • RAB poster

    HAD to vote for the A-Rod HR.

    It was an impossible moment. It turned our whole season around.

    • RAB poster

      That was the HR Joe Dimmaggio would have hit in the same situation. The type that rallies the troops and makes them think that thing are different now that A-Rod’s back.

  • JGS

    I voted for Mo’s walk because Mo makes everything awesome, but I think the best moment of the year so far was Derek Jeter’s face on his at bat prior to Mo’s after the first pitch was actually near the strike zone

    • RCK

      I think Jeter’s face there is easily one of the best moments of the decade!!

  • jsbrendog

    mine, had i noticed icould add one before i voted for the walkoffs, would be arod totaly being clutch this year, which is awesome.

    I think Kay was saying that most of Arod’s hr have come after something like the 5th inning when the run differential was 2 or less. plus he has had huge hr, that go ahead double in boston, and is seeming to finally just do it.

    • RAB poster

      A-Rod has been incredibly clutch this year.

      • Johnnyboy

        I agree but nobody has been more clutch than Melky.

        • RAB poster

          You Clutchy Clutchbrera?

          • RAB poster

            You *mean* Clutchy Clutchbrera.

  • Joe R

    The first pitch A-Rod HR was just so fitting and awesome. Nothin comes close to that because of all the backstory that came with it IMO.

    • RAB poster

      Exactly.

      I just could not believe it when I saw it. One of those thing we’ll be telling people about years from now.

  • Brian R.

    I think I’m the Guest that voted for the 3 walk-offs vs. the Twins. It brought me back to the late 90’s, early 2000’s. But I could be swayed towards almost every one of these.

  • http://www.puristbleedspinstripes.com Rebecca-Optimist Prime

    Mo’s walk because it was just so darned unlikely.

    • Joe R

      You’re right. Cause we all expected a grand slam, but Mo heard K-Rod praying for mercy on the mound and decided to give it to him.

      • RAB poster

        I was expecting Mo to hit a five run HR but was not surprised to see K-Rod pitch around him.

  • Drew

    When I saw the title of the post, “Poll: What was your favorite moment of the first half?” I didn’t even have to look at the poll choices. After months mired in controversy, Al comes back from hip surgery and pulls the first pitch he sees out of the park. He sparked a fire in this team and we’ve been on a roll ever since.

    The belly flop was an amazing play but not my favorite moment, same with Mo’s milestone night.

  • jsbrendog

    what about the day they DFAed Angel Berroa?

    • RAB poster

      Angel who? I forgot he existed.

      He’s probably at a reunion game right now for the surviving members of the Brooklyn Superbas.

    • The Lodge

      Saw him playing for the Cyclones (on TV) last night.

      • RAB poster

        The Mets minor league team?

        My God, they are SO desperate.

        • whozat

          Cyclones v Mets…who would win that game right now?

          • RAB poster

            It’s sort of like AA vs. AA…and AA I guess would still win.

            A for the Mets is like my job’s softball league.

            • RAB poster

              Make that AAA vs. AA and AA would still win I guess.

              • I Remember Celerino Sanchez

                Actually, Brooklyn is short-season A … not that that guarantees a Mets win by any means.

                • RAB poster

                  Oh, never mind…like you said, that would still be a great game.

                • ArodMVP217 Retire 51

                  i thought you were implying that they stack up brooklyn with intentions of winning the nypl?

          • George G

            The Cyclones, they’re tearing up that league.

  • Reggie C.

    Arod’s first pitch BLAST.

    For a few moments as he rounded those bases Arod silenced every single hater out there. For everyone who thought Arod was no longer worthy to be counted among the game’s elite, that shot was Arod’s retort: NAILS BITCHES>.

  • The Lodge

    The Twins Walkoffs was where my vote went. I was at a couple of those games though – so I maybe biased because of that. That Mauer-Gardner race to the plate on the Sunday game was one of the more exciting plays of the year (even though it didn’t work out for the Yanks – imagine if it had – FTW!).

    • RAB poster

      Walkoff weekend was pretty cool.

      I’m going to ask: could someone undecided please add Tex’s diving play to save the game in the 8th on the third day of walkoff weekend?

      • http://www.puristbleedspinstripes.com Rebecca-Optimist Prime

        I love how we’ve just named it “Walk Off Weekend”

        But that was amazing.

        My friend–from Boston and a die-hard Sox fan–was visiting me that weekend, and we watched the end of each game…

        • RAB poster

          One of my friends flew to NY for business and got tickets to the third game. Lucky.

    • A.D.

      Walkoff weekend was excellent, and included the Gardner inside the park job.

      • I Remember Celerino Sanchez

        I almost voted for Gardner’s inside-the-park homer, but I thought I was being unduly influenced by the fact that I was there.

        So I went with Mo’s 500th. It was such a nice moment.

        • A.D.

          I almost went with the Castillo drop because I was there. I’m sure being there made it 50x greater moment then it was on TV.

          • RAB poster

            It was pretty cool on TV too…

  • http://twitter.com/JamalG Jamal G.

    I had to write-in the ARod home run off of Brad Lidge. Not only because I love the guy, but the resounding foot-in-mouth feeling that resulted afterward for the relentless detractors made me jizz in my pants.

  • jon

    Arods first pitch hr should go down as one of the best moments in all of baseball in 2009

    • RAB poster

      I agree.

      Just totally magical.

      Also often forgotten is that A-Rod’s walkoff HR was the first hit he got in NYS.

      • ArodMVP217 Retire 51

        of many!

  • Observer283

    I think the A-Rod homer on the first pitch was one of my favorite regular season moments of all time. So much pressure, so much tension, so much attention on the at-bat. The team had lost five in a row. Wondering where the season was going to go.

    Then Guthrie thorws a 97(!) MPH fastball on the inside corner. And A-Rod turns on it. Seriously, has there ever been a more emphatic “WE’RE BACK, BABY!!!” moment that early in the season? Then CC goes out and throws a complete game shutout. When that game ended, the season began.

    • RAB poster

      I always referred to that as opening day II.

  • RAB poster

    Luis Castillo dropping the ball is one of my favorite regular season wins of all time.

    • JeffG

      Yeah I tried to add that one and vote for it but it didn’t work:
      Lous Castillo’s dropped ball – HE DROPPED THE BALL!!!!!
      – That was some funny suff.

      • RAB poster

        Whenever I’m feeling blue, I watch that video and I cheer up.

        • JeffG

          How many many times do you think the average Met fan in NY has heard: 1) He dropped the ball!!! 2) E4 3) How bout that Castillo? …my guess 50 per each above.

          • A.D.

            I was at that game, Mets fans were being rowdy and obnoxious, and then bam the swing in emotion on that one play was amazing.

            • RAB poster

              Were there tears?

  • http://www.puristbleedspinstripes.com Rebecca-Optimist Prime

    You know what?

    How frickin’ awesome is it that we have this many moments to choose from?

    Seriously!

    • RAB poster

      This first half has been a blast, sucky Red Sox moments nowithstanding.

  • CountryClub

    The most exciting play of the 1st half (for all of baseball) was the Gardner / Mauer play.

    The result of the play sucked for the Yanks, but they won the game anyway. So that’s my vote.

    • CountryClub

      But I voted for the 3 walk offs vs the Twinkies.

    • RAB poster

      Tex robbbing the Twins with the bases loaded! Come on that play was also SICK.

  • Manimal

    By default I had to vote for Melky, I was at that game.

  • Chris

    My vote is for Mo striking out Manny to win Game 7 of the world series and clinch the Yankees 27th championship.

    Wait, that hasn’t happened yet????

    It will, so that’s still my vote.

    • RAB poster

      I kind of like Tex robbing Manny with the bases loaded.

      But yours is cool.

  • Salty Buggah

    Damn, I cant choose. So many great moments.

    I think I’ll go with A-rod’s season opener.

  • JeffG

    I wound up chosing Gardner inside the park. That play just built and built. Screaming on that one.

    A-Rod first pitch back HR would have been the choice right after.

  • Joebrah

    God, every time I thought I had one, I scrolled down and saw another.

    One thing that I don’t think I’ll ever forget, though, is Jeter’s face when they brought, I think it was Cervelli, to the on-deck circle to try and trick the Mets into thinking they were going to Pinch-Hit Mo in the 9th.

    That whole situation, seeing the best closer of all-time versus the supposed best closer now. Just not something you see very often, closer vs. closer.

    And of course, the end result was just allsome.

    • http://www.puristbleedspinstripes.com Rebecca-Optimist Prime

      Jeter’s face there was just BRILLIANT

  • BklynJT

    Seriously, only Met haters would vote for the Mo walk and Castillo drop ball. Those aren’t accomplishments that Yankee fan should be proud of. It’s gotta be the 3 consecutive walk offs, first at bat hr by Arod, or 2 out tying hr by Arod against Lidge.

    • RAB poster

      I am a Met hater, so I am not offended at all by what you wrote. ;-)

    • Salty Buggah

      I didn’t vote for it but…This is talking about moments, not accomplishments. You gotta admit, that Castillo dropped fall was one of the best moments in baseball HISTORY.

      • Salty Buggah

        *ball

    • Nady Nation

      I’m sorry, I must’ve missed the poll that told us to vote for the moment that made us most “proud” as Yankee fans. That dropped pop up was historic, as was the walk to Mariano, and both came against the cross-town rivals. Whether you think they’re big games or not, most Yankee and Met fans in the city have fun with the bragging rights aspect of the Subway Series. Just because they weren’t necessarily great accomplishments for the Yankees doesn’t mean they weren’t memorable moments this season that Yankee fans were able to enjoy.

      • Salty Buggah

        Exactly, though you could argue Mo’s walk was an accompishment as he took like 5-6 pitches despite almost never batting and most pitchers would hack away at every pitch.

        • Nady Nation

          True, but he probably had explicit instructions to avoid swinging after he went against coaching orders in Atlanta. I put about 95% of the blame on K-Rod for that walk, but I’ll give Mo 5% credit, just b/c it’s Mo. Normally, I’d say it’s 100% on the pitcher.

          • RAB poster

            But he DID swing, he just fouled it off.

            • Nady Nation

              Oh yea, you’re right. OK, maybe Mo gets a little more credit for his good eye.

      • RAB poster

        Nady Nation…I feel bad for your guy…

        • Nady Nation

          Yea, me too. I’m keeping the name though to pay homage to X’s great tenure here in NY.

          • RAB poster

            He did a good job here, definitely.

      • BklynJT

        Your right, those were definitely great moments. I utterly enjoyed ragging on my Met friends about the ineptitude of their players, but to me, that didn’t compare to the sheer excitement when A-Rod had that first at bat HR or the 3 walk off wins. I could litterly feel my heart beating out of my chest with the AROD hr and comeback wins. I was and still am floating on cloud nine for those moments. The drop ball and BB-ROD moment were nice moments, but mainly cause it shoved a foot in the mouths of all those obnoxious met friends I have. By the way, are you Met’s hater?

        • Nady Nation

          I’m a Mets-fan hater more so than I am a hater of the team, only b/c I have several obnoxious Met fan friends. But honestly, regardless of whether it was the Mets or not, I voted for the Castillo play b/c it was one of the only times in my life I can ever remember legitimately thinking my team lost (and should have lost), only to end up winning on a freak play for the ages seconds later. Just thought that was really cool.

          • BklynJT

            I’m the same way. I don’t really hate the Mets, never did, and not until recently have I had the privilege to meet many of the obnoxious Met fans out there that seem to have a little brother complex and take utter joy out of every possible Yankee misfortune. It got exponentially worse after the unspeakable events of 2004. Ever since, I would not pass up the opportunity to gloat at Met fans, but still I gotta say that ARod hr and walk off wins had me jumping out of my seat. It was like an unbelievable Aaron F-ing Boone moment.

    • NYY626

      I’m not a Met hater ( they are kinda insignificant to me), but I still think Mo’s walk + 500th was the best inning of yankee baseball this season. The reactions of everyone on the team were just so priceless.

  • Conor

    Melky’s shot was in the 14th inning, not the 13th. I was at that game. Unbelievable

  • jsbrendog

    someone cant read too well, adding 3 walk offs a second time….

    • andrew

      yea, i saw that. Lohud…

      • RAB poster

        Don’t rag on the lohuders.

        Make peace, not war. I like both blogs. ;-)

  • Blogger

    I was at the third straight walk off with Johnny Damon. What a great game. Incredible plays by Tex and Mauer.

    RAB poster, I would have added Tex’s dving play but I voted before I thought of it and saw your posts. Sorry.

    • RAB poster

      Darn. Too bad you didn’t add it.

    • http://www.YouTube.com/kevyyankees Kevin G.

      I’ll add it for you. Tell me what to write.

      • RAB poster

        Thanks.

        “Tex makes a diving stop vs. Minnesota, game 3 of walkoff weekend”

        • http://www.YouTube.com/kevyyankees Kevin G.

          No problem.

      • RAB poster

        Thanks for adding it. I just saw it on the poll.

  • http://bronxbaseballdaily.com Matt ACTY/BBD

    A-Rod’s walk off vs. the Twins ’cause I was there or Mo’s walk against BB-Rod.

    • I Remember Celerino Sanchez

      BB-Rod! I enjoyed this.

      • http://bronxbaseballdaily.com Matt ACTY/BBD

        Can’t take credit for it, I read it here; I wanna say it was TSJC.

        • I Remember Celerino Sanchez

          Well, in any event, this is the first I saw of it, and it’s a very, very funny play on the nickname.

  • RCK

    This is such a great post! It’s helping to tide me over in this terrible Yankees drought.

  • ArodMVP217 Retire 51

    If they can just be a tad more fortunate against Bos and Laa, we are looking at a 101+ team

  • Charlie

    why are there two mo’s 500th saves? its not that hard to read, can we delete the second one?

  • brian paul

    I loved the Gardner inside the park job more than any of the other plays listed because of its back story.

    With the new stadium and its rules and prices, half a billion $ in off season pick-ups, the corporate sheen of the Yankees… I guess there aren’t too many sentimental “good guy” stories to accompany this franchise as of late. This play, the little girl, the bracelett, Gardner, it all felt really good.

    Wow! Looking back at these plays/milestones, it is apparent what an amazingly memorable season the Yanks are having in their new home. We really are fans of the best franchise ever. Great post Mike!

  • http://theyankeeuniverse.com Moshe Mandel

    The A-rod homer vs Lidge was with one out.

  • Yazman (aka David)

    Alex’s 1st-pitch-back home run turned the season around.

    It had drama, surprise, triumph and — most importantly — season-turning impact.

    Historically, Mo’s 500th may be more special. But if the Yankees go anywhere this year, this season’s “moment” will be A-Rod’s.

  • Pingback: One last All Star break open thread | River Avenue Blues

  • Pingback: Joba Chamberlain appears in new Powerade ION4 commercial | The Voice of Yankees Universe

  • dkidd

    this has been a crazy crazy season. is there anything more stressful and dramatic and surprising and fulfilling then following the yankees day to day? parenthood? military service? space travel?

    can’t wait for tomorrow

    • chriskeo

      The Few, The Proud, The Yankee Fans

  • Pingback: Poll: What was your favorite moment of the second half? | River Avenue Blues

  • Pingback: Poll: What was your favorite moment of the playoffs? | River Avenue Blues