In a game filled with energy after a pair of benches-clearing incidents, with much at stake for both sides, the normally quiet veteran expressed all of his emotion after hitting a game-tying solo homer with one out in the top of the ninth off Jason Grilli in the Yankees' five-run frame.
Teixeira turned around a 93-mph four-seam fastball, and flipped his bat emphatically while trotting around the bases. Grilli, no stranger to emotion himself, said a few words to Teixeira, but that didn't affect the first baseman as he savored the moment.
"He might have," Teixeira said when asked if he noticed Grilli saying something to him. "He might have. I was like, 'Sorry, the ball went a long way.'"
Teixeira's homer was No. 408, passing Duke Snider for 54th overall on the all-time list. The home run also held Yankees significance, as it tied Dave Winfield for 13th on the club's list with 205.
Two batters later, Aaron Hicks gave New York the lead with a two-run shot and the Yankees added two runs to finish the five-run inning, matching the team's total output over the previous 35 innings. Still, most of talk after the game revolved around Teixeira's clutch performance.
"It's an emotional game because of everything that happened during the game, but I think Mark understands because of where he's at in his career, too," Yankees manager Joe Girardi said. "I thought I saw him say something on the bench like, 'You never know, it might be the last one,' sort of thing. So it's just a huge hit for him, huge hit from Hicks and then to keep it going obviously the runs were important."
Teixeira also looked as though he said something to Grilli when he returned the bench, but with emotions running high, the 36-year-old Teixeira said it was all in the heat of the moment. Understanding the Yankees' playoff chances are slim, the Annapolis, Md., native enjoyed the moment for what it was.
"There was a lot of emotion in the game," Teixeira said. "We were just having fun with it. Our team has been fighting all year. We're probably not going to make the playoffs, so we're just going to enjoy the rest of the year, keep fighting. We had fun tonight. The start of the game was unnecessary, but we finished it well."
As for the bat flip, Teixeira said it's one more thing to cross off the bucket list.
"I've never done it before," Teixeira said. "Like I said, it could be the last home run I hit. So why not bat flip on it? Sure."