What's the most iconic oppo taco in postseason history?
Oct. 4 is National Taco Day, and while most people will celebrate by running to their favorite Mexican spot, we're here to honor that other kind of taco -- by counting down the best opposite-field homers in postseason history.
( ... and then going to get some tacos afterward.)
7. Mike Piazza, Game 6, 1999 NLCS
In a parallel universe, this swing winds up much higher on this list. The Mets dropped the first three games of their series against the Braves, but thanks to late-inning heroics from John Olerud and Robin Ventura, New York managed to force a Game 6 back in Atlanta.
Once again, the Mets found themselves with their backs against the wall, giving up a five-spot in the first and trailing, 7-3, heading into the top of the seventh. But once again, they got up off the mat -- thanks in large part to their future Hall of Famer:
New York would eventually lose in 11 innings, but in the moment, Piazza's blast was a stunner.
6. Pablo Sandoval, Game 1, 2012 World Series
Panda didn't just become the fourth player to hit three homers in a World Series game. He did it in his first three at-bats -- including two off of AL CY Young runner-up Justin Verlander, one of which went the other way:
5. Alfonso Soriano, Game 4, 2001 ALCS
The 2001 ALCS was chock full of star power, from Ichiro to Roger Clemens to Bret Boone to Mariano Rivera. So, naturally, it was Soriano -- still just a relatively unknown 25-year-old playing in his first-ever postseason -- who delivered the knockout punch in a crucial Game 4:
4. David Ortiz, Game 3, 2004 ALDS
Sure, this was hardly the most iconic homer Papi would hit in the 2004 postseason -- Boston cruised to wins in the first two games in Anaheim, so the outcome of the series was hardly in doubt. Still, a little foreshadowing (and an excuse to watch Manny Ramirez celebrate something) never hurt anyone:
3. Marwin Gonzalez, Game 2, 2017 World Series
It's easy to forget just how close the Dodgers were to taking command of the 2017 Fall Classic. L.A. had already beaten Dallas Keuchel, and it took a 4-3 lead into the ninth inning of Game 2 -- with all-world closer Kenley Jansen looking to close the door.
But, at the last moment, Houston found an answer. And it didn't come from any of the usual suspects, Altuve or Springer or Correa or Bregman. It came from Marwin Gonzalez:
2. Steve Garvey, Game 4, 1984 NLCS
If you remember the 1984 NLCS -- and really, if you're a Cubs fan, we apologize in advance -- it's probably due to Leon Durham's critical error in Game 5, which opened the door for a decisive Padres rally and cemented Chicago's reputation as lovable losers.
But San Diego would never have even gotten that far if it weren't for Garvey, still dangerous at age 35, hitting a walk-off homer to right the night before:
1. Derek Jeter, Game 1, 1996 ALCS
Or, as you might know it, the Jeffrey Maier game: