Before he came up big for the Yankees during their run through the 2009 postseason with 18 RBI and six home runs as the team won the World Series, Alex Rodriguez was considered the paragon of un-clutch. He was mocked as A-Fraud for his well-documented inability to perform when the stakes were highest. No one doubted that he was phenomenally talented player but no one believed that he could get a big hit when it mattered most. More than any moment, it was an unusual play during Game 6 of the 2004 American League Championship Series against the Boston Red Sox that embodied A-Rod's playoff futility.
Holding a 3-games-to-2 lead in the best-of-seven ALCS, the Yankees were looking to close the door on Boston's comeback bid. The Red Sox, though, were not in the mood to be dismissed and held a 4-1 lead in the bottom of the eighth. Mounting what would ultimately be their last real attempt to fend of Boston's historic comeback, Yankees second baseman Miguel Cairo hit a one-out double and Derek Jeter drove him in with a single to cut the lead to two. A-Rod then came up to bat representing the tying run. He'd cranked 233 home runs over the past five seasons but managed only a slow roller back to relief pitcher Bronson Arroyo in this situation.
Arroyo fielded the ball and dashed to intercept Rodriguez as he ran up the first-base line, but A-Rod swatted the ball out of his glove and it rolled away up the line. Jeter scored all the way from first and Rodriguez was ruled safe at second and started celebrating.
Not so fast. Red Sox manager Terry Francona came out to argue while Arroyo looked on in disbelief. After a short discussion between all of the umpires, it was ruled that Rodriguez was out on interference and Jeter had to go back to first base. A-Rod threw his hands up in shock, but the smile on his face implied he knew exactly what he had done.
The call was the second of the game that had been overturned in the Red Sox favor. The first came in the fourth inning after Mark Bellhorn hit a three-run homer that was originally ruled a double. But replays showed it clearly went over the fence, bounced off a fan and back onto the field. Yankees fans were angry that these calls weren't going their way and began hurling beer bottles onto the field, forcing police in riot gear to take the field in the ninth inning. The Red Sox went on to win Game 6 4-2 and then the series itself. Following their historic comeback from an 0-3 deficit in the ALCS, the Sox romped over the Cardinals in the World Series.
From A-Rod's slap to Endy Chavez's amazing catch in 2006, there are many amazing moments in baseball history that happened on October 19. Check them out below.
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For a new generation of fans, the term "the Catch" may conjure up memories of Endy Chavez's NLCS Game 7 leaping catch at Shea's left field fence with his outstretched glove grabbing a ball destined to be a Scott Rolen two-run home run and starting an unbelievable double play. The heroics are overshadowed in the ninth inning as Yadier Molina hits a two-run homer and Carlos Beltran, who has the best HR ratio (11/81) in postseason history looks at a third strike with the bases loaded with Mets giving the Cardinals a 3-1 victory and the pennant.
Behind the solid performance of starter Matt Garza and the stellar relief work of rookie David Price to finish the game, which included striking out J.D. Drew with the bases loaded to end the eighth, the hometown Rays beat the defending world champion Red Sox, 3-1, in the decisive Game 7 of the ALCS to win their first American League pennant. After posting the worst record in baseball last season, the Rays advance to the World Series and will host the Phillies in Game 1 of the Fall Classic at Tropicana Field.
In an ALCS game which features two reversed calls by the umpires, the Red Sox become the first team in baseball history after trailing the series 0-3 to force a Game 7. Boston, who was three outs from being swept in Game 4, gets an outstanding pitching performance from Curt Schilling, playing with a dislocated ankle tendon, to beat the Yankees at the stadium, 4-2.
In Game 1, Tsuyoshi Shinjo becomes the Japanese-born player to appear in the World Series. The Giant designated hitter goes 1-for-3 in the 4-3 victory over the Angels.
The Astros, one of six teams to never to have appear in the World Series, break the franchise's 43-year drought and advance to the Fall Classic beating the Cardinals in the NLCS, 5-1. Houston had been close before, coming up short five times in their history in a game with NL flag on the line, including being one strike away in Game 5 before Albert Pujols dashed the hometown dreams by hitting a two-strike, two out three-run ninth-inning homer forcing a Game 6 in St. Louis.
In a pivotal play of Game 6 of the ALCS played at Yankee Stadium, Alex Rodriguez is ruled out for interference after slapping the ball from Red Sox pitcher Bronson Arroyo's glove. As a result Derek Jeter, who had scored, is ordered back to first with two outs rather than one, killing a potential rally in New York's eventual 4-2 loss to Boston.
MORE FROM NATIONAL PASTIME
1932 Receiving all six first place votes, Chuck Klein (.348, 38, 137) is named the National League's Most valuable Player. The 27-year outfielder becomes the first Phillies player to win the award.
1949 In one of their best trades in franchise history, the White Sox obtain future Hall of Famer Nellie Fox from the A's in exchange for catcher Joe Tipton. The hard-nosed second baseman will lead the league in hits four times and will win the 1959 American League MVP during his 14-year tenure with the team.
1972 Using four straight singles (three by pinch-hitters), the A's score twice in the ninth to win Game 4 of the World Series defeating the Reds, 3-2.
1981 The first Canadian pennant hopes are dashed when Dodger Rick Monday's ninth inning two-out dramatic home run beats the Expos, 2-1, in the deciding game of the NLCS.
1986 At Shea Stadium, Steve Crawford is the winning pitcher in the Red Sox 9-3 victory over the Mets in Game 2 of the World Series. The right-handed reliever, who was 0-2 before the start of the postseason, becomes the first hurler to win a Fall Classic contest after being winless during the regular season.