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A Sweet Season

The Yankees return to the playoffs next week after a stellar year marked by numerous last-at-bat, “walk-off” wins, many of which were followed by pitcher A. J. Burnett’s smashing a pie in the face of the game’s hero.

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Yankees outfielder Nick Swisher after a game-winning home run against the Tampa Bay Rays on September 8.  

1. April 22
Yankees 9, A’s 7

Melky Cabrera hits a two-run homer in the bottom of the fourteenth.
Pie? No pie. It was cold.

2. May 1
Yankees 10, Angels 9

Jorge Posada knocks in the winning runs with a single off closer Brian Fuentes.
Pie? Not yet ...

3. May 15
Yankees 5, Twins 4

The Yanks rally against All-Star Joe Nathan; Melky Cabrera’s two-out bloop single wins it.
Pie? Pie! Burnett smears Cabrera’s face before a postgame interview with whipped cream delivered via towel, which would continue to be his M.O. (It’s really only a “pie” in spirit.)

4. May 16
Yankees 6, Twins 4

A-Rod blasts a two-run shot for the win, his first hit at the new stadium.
Pie? Yes.

5. May 17
Yankees 3, Twins 2

Johnny Damon homers in the tenth to sweep the Twins. He tosses his helmet in the air; A-Rod and Melky Cabrera leap for it like fans chasing a foul ball.
Pie? Yes—“Whipped cream makes a pretty good hair product,” Damon says.

6. May 23
Yankees 5, Phillies 4

A Melky Cabrera single off Brad Lidge beats the defending champs.
Pie? Yes.

7. June 12
Yankees 9, Mets 8

A-Rod pops up to Mets second-baseman Luis Castillo … who drops the ball, allowing the two winning runs to score. It’s instantly the signature moment of the season—the Mets’ season.
Pie? No, presumably out of courtesy.

8. July 4
Yankees 6, Blue Jays 5

On the anniversary of Lou Gehrig’s “Luckiest Man” speech and Dave Righetti’s no-hitter, Jorge Posada singles off Shawn Camp in the twelfth to win.
Pie? While Posada is trying to avoid decoy Joba Chamberlain’s whipped-cream-free towel, Burnett gets him with the real thing. Teamwork!

9. July 20
Yankees 2, Orioles 1

Hideki Matsui homers in the ninth.
Pie? Yes, though Baltimore outfielder Felix Pie has the night off.

10. August 7
Yankees 2, Red Sox 0

A-Rod breaks a scoreless tie with a homer in the fifteenth inning of a five-hour, 33-minute game.
Pie? In a weak effort, Burnett just barely brushes A-Rod’s ear with whipped cream.

11. August 12
Yankees 4, Blue Jays 3

Shawn Camp plays the goat once again, allowing a Robinson Cano RBI single in the eleventh.
Pie? Yes.

12. August 28
Yankees 5, White Sox 2

Cano lines a homer into the Yankees’ bullpen to win.
Pie? Yes.

13. September 8
Yankees 3, Rays 2

Nick Swisher hits his second home run of the game in the bottom of the ninth to break a tie.
Pie? Yes. The boisterous Swisher turns to the stands with his arms raised once Burnett strikes.

14. September 16
Yankees 5, Blue Jays 4

The Yanks walk off on the Jays yet again on catcher Francisco Cervelli’s single. It’s their 34th comeback win at home, tying a team record.
Pie? Yes. Before his interview with YES’s Kim Jones, Cervelli— a rookie—asks excitedly, “Where’s Burnett?”

Have good intel? Send tips to intel@nymag.com.


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