Here are the Yanks' Top 10 games of the 2010s

December 2nd, 2019

NEW YORK -- The 2010s dawned with the Yankees reigning as freshly-minted World Series champions. The "Core Four" of Derek Jeter, Mariano Rivera, Andy Pettitte and Jorge Posada eagerly anticipated their new championship rings, voicing intentions to notch a few more before their final innings were played.

As the years passed, victories continued to be amassed in the Bronx, as the Yanks ended the 2010s by notching back-to-back 100-win seasons under manager Aaron Boone (2018-19). Though the faces soon changed, giving way to the rise of the "Baby Bombers" in the latter half of the decade, the Yankees continued to provide more than their share of memorable contests.

It was no easy exercise, but here are 10 of the decade’s best:

1. DJ3K
July 9, 2011
In spring 2011, Derek Jeter was flipping through the team’s media guide when he realized that he would soon make history as the first Yankee to reach 3,000 hits. The moment proved to be unforgettable, as Jeter swatted a David Price offering into the left-field bleachers on a sun-splashed afternoon, then tied a career high by going 5-for-5 and driving in the winning run in a 5-4 victory over the Rays at Yankee Stadium. Jeter later quipped, “I didn’t want to hit a slow roller to third base and have it replayed forever.”

2. The grandest of slams
Aug. 25, 2011
Robinson Canó, Russell Martin and Curtis Granderson all delivered big swings as the Yankees became the first team in Major League history to hit three grand slams in a single game, enjoying a 22-9 romp over the Athletics. The rain-delayed contest started off on a sluggish note, with the Yankees trailing, 7-1, after three innings. Canó hit his grand slam in the fifth inning off Rich Harden, then Martin launched his in the sixth off Fautino De Los Santos to give the Yanks the lead. Granderson hit his in the eighth off Bruce Billings.

3. What a comeback!
April 21, 2012
They say no lead is ever safe at Fenway Park, and that certainly proved to be true on this night, when the Yankees came back to beat the Red Sox after trailing by nine runs through five innings. Mark Teixeira started it off with a seemingly innocent homer in the sixth, then the Yanks posted back-to-back seven-run innings off Boston’s bullpen before holding on for a 15-9 victory. Nick Swisher and Teixeira each drove in six runs, with Swisher belting a grand slam and Teixeira later adding a second homer as Red Sox fans booed their team loudly.

4. Raul, so cool
Oct. 10, 2012
Summoned to pinch-hit for Alex Rodriguez, Raul Ibanez came off the bench and belted a game-tying, ninth-inning home run off Jim Johnson, then delivered the game-winning blast in the 12th off Brian Matusz as the Yankees celebrated a 3-2 victory over the Orioles in Game 3 of the American League Division Series. Ibanez, a 40-year-old veteran playing his only season in pinstripes, became the first Major Leaguer to homer twice in a postseason game that he did not start.

5. The Captain’s Farewell
Sept. 25, 2014
Playing his final game in pinstripes, Jeter delivered one last storybook moment for Yankees fans to savor, lacing a game-winning single to right field that secured a 6-5 victory over the Orioles. The hit off Evan Meek brought home Antoan Richardson and came as part of a three-RBI performance for Jeter, who called it “above and beyond anything that I’ve ever dreamt of.” The opportunity was created when David Robertson gave up three runs in the top of the ninth inning.

6. The first All Rise
Aug. 13, 2016
It felt like the beginning of a new era. Less than 12 hours after the Yankees said goodbye to A-Rod with an on-field ceremony, rookies Tyler Austin and Aaron Judge became the first teammates to homer in the first at-bats of their big league debuts in the same game, slugging back-to-back second-inning homers in a 8-4 victory over the Rays. Austin’s 331-foot blast cleared the right-field wall, while Judge’s 446-foot drive hit the center-field restaurant before falling into Monument Park.

7. What a comeback, part II
April 28, 2017
The 2017 Yankees had some mojo going early. On this night, Matt Holliday blasted a walk-off, three-run homer in the 10th inning as the Yankees rallied from eight runs down to defeat the Orioles in a 14-11 slugfest. Down eight runs in the sixth, the Yanks charged back as Jacoby Ellsbury hit a grand slam, Judge homered twice and Starlin Castro hit a game-tying, two-run blast as part of a three-run ninth. The wild game featured eight homers -- five by New York.

8. A ‘Wild’ night
Oct. 3, 2017
Some in the crowd had not even found their seats for the AL Wild Card Game against the Twins when the Yankees trailed by three runs, knocking starter Luis Severino out of the contest. No worries. Didi Gregorius answered back with a three-run homer in the ensuing half of the frame, Judge blasted a two-run shot and Brett Gardner also homered as the Yankees celebrated an 8-4 win. New York’s bullpen combined for 8 2/3 innings of one-run, five-hit relief, striking out 13.

9. ‘That ballpark is alive’
Oct. 17, 2017
The new Yankee Stadium was built to be filled on October evenings, packed with cheering fans throwing beers and sodas in the air to celebrate big moments. That was exactly the scene in Game 4 of the AL Championship Series against the Astros, as Judge ignited a comeback with a seventh-inning homer, then belted a game-tying double in a four-run rally to lift New York over Houston, 6-4. The go-ahead hit, which prompted Judge to remark that the quivering ballpark was “alive,” was Gary Sánchez’s two-run double off Ken Giles.

10. Air Hicks
July 23, 2019
In what many speculated could be the game of the year across the Majors, center fielder Aaron Hicks ranged into the left-center-field gap at Target Field, snaring Max Kepler’s drive for the final out of a wild 14-12, 10-inning Yankees victory over the Twins. Hicks’ tumble across the warning track stamped an exclamation point on an incredible game that featured five lead changes or ties in the final three innings, the last of which was provided by Gleyber Torres’ RBI single in the 10th.

Honorable mentions: A-Rod’s 600th home run (Aug. 4, 2010 vs. Blue Jays), Game 1 of the 2010 ALCS at Rangers, Mariano Rivera becomes the all-time saves leader (Sept. 19, 2011 vs. Twins), Rivera’s final game (Sept. 23, 2013 vs. Rays), Andy Pettitte’s final game (Sept. 28, 2013 shutout at Astros), Brett Gardner’s Wrigley Field homer (May 5, 2017 at Cubs), Games 3 and 5 of the 2017 ALDS vs. Indians.