With the 2023 MLB Regular Season soon coming to an exciting end and playoff spots still up for grabs, playoff baseball is almost here. Some of the memories and moments that are never forgotten are produced. The excitement and feel of a playoff game is like no other. With that being said, let’s look at a few of the most unforgettable postseason moments since 2010.
Most Memorable Postseason Moments Since 2010
5. Jose Bautista’s Bat Flip
The winner-take-all game 7 of the 2015 ALDS, also known as the bat flip game, was as electric and memorable as they come. This moment also had lasting effects on baseball as a whole to this day. After the Toronto Blue Jays, at home, tied the game 3-3 in the bottom of the seventh inning, the Texas Rangers had to face one of the league’s most prolific home run hitters of the 2010s.
In front of a Toronto crowd that had been itching for a postseason berth and winning seasons, Jose Bautista crushes a 1-1 pitch into the left-centerfield seats and delivers one of baseball’s most memorable home run bat flips. As he watches the ball fly into the crowd, he stares it down and finally launches the bat towards the first base dugout before jogging around the bases.
An electric moment for sure, but at the time came as a controversial moment. As the Rangers players took offense to it, words were exchanged and led to the infamous Rougned Odor and Jose Bautista brawl the following season. But that single bat flip led other players to follow suit with the bat flip idea that has stormed the MLB and is now commonplace in today’s game.
4. Cubs vs. Indians 2016 World Series Game 7
With two of the MLB’s longest World Series droughts facing off, the matchup in the 2016 World Series was bound to be memorable. With the Chicago Cubs and their 108-year drought versus the then Cleveland Indians and their 69-year drought.
Game 7 of the 2016 World Series with Cleveland down two runs in the bottom of the eighth inning, Rajai Davis on a 2-2 pitch smokes a line drive that carries over the left field fence to tie the game. This sends the baseball world into a mania. Cubs can’t possibly choke again…could they?
As the game was entering the 10th inning there was a short 17-minute rain delay. After play resumes the Cubs would go on to score two runs to take a two-run lead. Cleveland would strike back with a run of their own in the bottom half of the inning.
But they could not pull it out, as Kris Bryant of the Cubs fields a slow roller to third base and fires a throw across the diamond, the Cubs had FINALLY ended their drought. And left the baseball world with a memory 108 years in the making.
3. David Ortiz’s Grand Slam
In the 2013 ALCS, the Boston Red Sox were trailing the Detroit Tigers 1-0 in the series and 5-1 in the bottom of the eighth inning of Game 2. With the Red Sox trying to make a comeback, they proceed to load the bases for their superstar, Hall Of Famer, hero, and fan favorite, Big Papi.
A man who has produced some of the game’s most heroic moments and is as clutch as they get, steps to the plate, fans ask can he do it again? Well, he answered that question very quickly, when he stings the first pitch of the at-bat into the right-centerfield gap. With Torii Hunter chasing it down, he makes a final leap at the ball but it is in vain as the ball clears the fence.
Hunter goes flying over the short fence in Fenway, the bullpen security guard throws his hands in the air in excitement and the Fenway faithful goes into a frenzy. A moment/picture that is engraved into many fans’ heads. A moment that saved the Red Sox season and helped catapult them to another World Series Championship.
2. Brett Phillips Walk-Off Hit
The MLB Postseason brings out some of the most unlikeliest heroes. Game 4 of the 2020 World Series between the Tampa Bay Rays and Los Angeles Dodgers, proved that. With the Dodgers holding a 2-1 series lead and a 7-6 lead in the bottom of the ninth inning, in comes the charismatic outfielder Brett Phillips to the plate.
With a man on first and second and the game hanging in the balance, an unforgettable moment was born. Phillips, in a 1-2 count, lined a Kenley Jansen pitch to center field for a base hit. With the tying run scoring easy, Chris Taylor in center field misplays the ball, giving the Rays Randy Arozarena a chance to score the winning run from first base.
Taylor’s throw is cut off by the first baseman Max Muncy. While this is happening Arozarena rounds third base and falls, staring the last out of the inning in the face. Muncy’s throw to the plate is off-target and missed by Will Smith.
Leading Arozarena to scamper to his feet, turn back around, and head towards the plate AGAIN. As the ball trickles away, he slides into the plate to win Game 4 in the ultimate rollercoaster of a play. And a play most fans will never forget.
1. The David Freese Game
Game 6 of the 2011 World Series between the St. Louis Cardinals and the Texas Rangers provided us with one of the most memorable moments and games in MLB history. And many fans will argue (like myself) that this was baseball’s greatest game played.
With the game hanging in the balance with the Cardinals down 7-5 in the bottom of the ninth inning, man on first and second with two outs, in steps David Freese. With the Rangers on the verge of clinching their first World Series title in franchise history, craziness ensues.
With a 1-2 count on Freese, he ropes a ball to right field. Driving Nelson Cruz back to the wall, Cruz leaps and misses the ball, causing the ball to bounce away. Giving the runner from first a chance to score to tie the game and Freese the chance to get to third base for a game/season-saving triple.
With the game in extra innings, Josh Hamilton of the Rangers smacked a two-run home run in the top of the tenth inning. But the Cardinals would not be denied, as they struck back in the bottom of the inning with an RBI groundout and a two-out game-tying single by Lance Berkman.
Onto the eleventh inning Texas goes scoreless, and the Cardinals come to bat with a chance to win it, leading us to our most memorable moment. Of course, Freese leads off. And on a 3-2 pitch crushes a walk-off solo home run to center field to win the game. Sending the crowd and baseball world into pandemonium.
And as announcer Joe Buck would say, (borrowing the famous line from his father), “We will see you tomorrow night”. The series was heading to Game 7, Texas was dealt a crushing blow that they could not overcome, leading to the Cardinals winning the World Series. And just like that Game 6 was burned into the minds of all and etched into the long, great history of the game of baseball.
With playoff baseball on the horizon and the crisp, cool Fall air approaching. It begs us to think… Who will be the next postseason hero and what will be the next memorable moment we all won’t soon forget?