9. Games 4 and 5, 2001 (Yankees Wins in the Bronx vs. Diamondbacks)
With the 9/11 attacks still fresh in the country’s memory, the New York Yankees’ 2001 playoff run meant more than their other recent World Series victories had. It was a means of recovery for the city, and even though the Arizona Diamondbacks eventually took the series in seven games, with an exciting final game, there was nothing that could match the electricity of the three Yankee victories in the Bronx.
Games 4 and 5 were particularly epic, and very similar in nature – both featured pitcher’s duels won by the Yanks in extra innings after Arizona’s Byung-Hyun Kim gave up game-tying two-run homers with two outs in the ninth. In Game 4, it was Tino Martinez sending the game to extras with a blast while Paul O’Neill stood at first base. In the tenth, Derek Jeter earned the ‘Mr. November’ title by driving a walk-off home run just over the right field fence after the clock struck midnight – marking the first playoff baseball ever played in November. After that 4-3 victory, New York trailed Game 5, 2-0, when the clutch Scott Brosius came up and hit a two-out two-run shot to tie it up. This time, the game went all the way to the twelfth before Alfonso Soriano knocked home Chuck Knoblauch from second on a one-out single.
10. Game 6, 2011 World Series (Cardinals 10, Rangers 9 in 12 inn.)
Just last year, the Cardinals forced Game 7 in what may have been the craziest, most exciting World Series game of all time. It was riddled with errors, base-running mistakes and general sloppy play for the first six innings, after which the score was tied 4-4. Texas’ Adrian Beltre and Nelson Cruz led off the seventh with home runs, and the Rangers held a 7-4 lead heading into the eighth. It was still 7-5 Rangers when David Freese came up with two runners on and two outs in the bottom of the ninth. Down to his last strike, Freese lined a triple off the right field wall to tie the game. After a two-run homer by Josh Hamilton in the tenth put the Cards back against the wall, lightning struck twice when Lance Berkman hit a two-out, two-strike RBI single to tie the score again at nine. Freese finally came back to the plate and finished the job with a home run in the eleventh, ending a game that would have made a fan’s jaw drop during the regular season.
The Cards went on to win the Series with a more methodical 6-2 win in Game 7, finishing a turbulent series filled with comebacks and high-pressure situations.