While Yankee fans may argue A.J. Burnett hasn't quite lived up to his $82.5 million contract this season, it's easy to say he's overachieved off the mound, more specifically, the area between home plate and the dugout.
Since May, Burnett has delivered a fresh whipped cream pie to the face of whomever delivered a clutch walk-off hit. It's become a hit sensation in the Bronx.
Below, we recall each walkoff win (both pre- and post-pie) the Yankees celebrated this season in their new ballpark. The most notable Yankee missing from the list is the Yankees' hit king, Derek Jeter. Would Burnett, the newbie, have the gall to smother the impeccable captain with a fresh pie? How would he react?
Maybe if it comes with a fifth World Series ring, it would soften the blow.
From the top ...
1. April 22: Yankees 9, Angels 7 (14)
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Pies weren't on the menu this early in the season, but the legend of the 2009 walk-off began with Melky Cabrera's 14th-inning homer on a rainy, weekday game in the Bronx. Cabrera, however, didn't waste his walk-off on a pie-less day. He would eventually get his ...
2. May 1: Yankees 10, Angels 9
The Yankees led 4-0 after the first inning -- and the fifth inning. Two innings later, they trailed 9-4, and the rain-soaked crowd sulked on a night that was doomed to end with a deflated walk to the B, D or 4 train. In the final two innings, the Yankees scored six times, capped by Jorge Posada's bases-loaded single off Brian Fuentes to win it.
3. May 15: Yankees 5, Twins 4
Melky Cabrera's two-out, two-run single off Twins closer Joe Nathan gave the Yankees their third straight win in A-Rod's first game in the new ballpark after missing the first six weeks due to hip surgery. The Yankees moved above .500 with the win and stayed well above the mark the rest of the way.
4. May 16: Yankees 6, Twins 4 (11)
A week after opening the season with a three-run homer on his first swing in Baltimore, A-Rod delivered again with a walkoff, two-run homer over the leftfield fence. Hip surgery, Schmip surgery ... and A-Rod is awarded his first pie of the season.
5. May 17: Yankees 3, Twins 2 (10)
The Twins left the Bronx a sour bunch after watching the Yankees walk off with a win three straight times in the best series to date in the new Stadium. Johnny Damon hit a long homer to right to earn the game-winning pie.
6. May 23: Yankees 5, Phillies 4
Melky Cabrera reminded Brad Lidge that this isn't 2008, and he's no longer perfect. The Bombers rallied for three runs in the bottom of the ninth with the help of A-Rod's two-run bomb to deep right. Cabrera delivered his third walk-off hit of the young season by driving in his buddy, Robbie Cano, for the dramatic game-winner against the defending champs.
7. June 12: Yankees 9, Mets 8
Some walk-offs need a little bit of luck, or in this case, a misjudged fly ball by Luis Castillo. A-Rod seemingly popped up to shallow right to end the game and send K-Rod and the Mets to a win in the first Subway Series in the new Yankee Stadium. When Castillo dropped it, Derek Jeter and Mark Teixeira raced around the bases to cap an improbable and wild win in the Bronx.
Jorge Posada wished a happy birthday to both George Steinbrenner and America with a walk-off, RBI-single to lift the Yankees to a win -- a rare thing whenever Roy Halladay toes the rubber for the Jays.
9. July 20: Yankees 2, Orioles 1
Hideki Matsui crushed a one-out homer into the bleachers in right to give the Yankees a share of first place in the AL East. They took over first place the next day and set up shop there the rest of the year.
10. August 7: Yankees 2, Red Sox 0 (15)
This pie probably takes the cake. Long after a sterling pitchers' duel between A.J. Burnett and Josh Beckett, Alex Rodriguez went deep in the 15th inning to send the fans home happy at 12:42 a.m. The Yanks and Sox went to extra innings scoreless for the first time since May 22, 1976 -- A-Rod was almost a year old back then.
Robinson Cano belted a single off the wall to drive in the winning run against the Blue Jays to help the Yankees make a winner out of newly acquired righty Chad Gaudin.
12. August 28: Yankees 5, White Sox 2
Robbie Cano, again? The Yanks' second baseman connected for a three-run homer in the bottom of the ninth to give the Yankees' their 80th win. It was the Yankees' sixth walkoff dinger of the season.
13. September 8: Yankees 3, Rays 2
The whole pie-in-the-face thing just wouldn't have felt right without Nick Swisher getting in on the action, right? Swisher finally got on the board with a walk-off, solo home run to send the Yankees 40 games above .500 with their seventh straight win.
14. September 16: Yankees 5, Blue Jays 4
Francisco Cervelli had a smile a mile wide after his game-winning single helped the Yankees split a two-game series with the Jays. The Venezuelan-Italian (with young, Tom Sizemore looks) made the most of his playing time while Jorge Posada served the first game of his three-game suspension for igniting a brawl the day before.
15. September 29: Yankees 4, Royals 3
Juan Miranda became the ninth member of the Pie-in-the-face club with his walkoff single off the leg of ... wait for it ... Kyle Farnsworth!
The former Yankees flamethrower was traded away a year ago and he wasn't too happy about it. Is he over it? We're not sure, but 25 Yankees jumping up and down around him while celebrating their 102nd win can't help the healing.
16. October 9: Yankees 4, Twins 3 (11)
Mark Teixeira didn't give the Yankees much pop in the first two rounds of the playoffs, but his line-drive shot that snuck over the left field wall gave the Yankees a 2-0 series lead against the Twins in the ALDS. The ball went from Teixeira's bat to the first row in less than three seconds.
17. October 17: Yankees 4, Angels 3 (13)
Maicer Izturis deserves the pie on this one, though I don't think he'd appreciate it as much as Jerry Hairston Jr., who came in to score the winning run in Game 2 of the ALCS. The Angels' second baseman threw wide of second base while trying to turn an ill-advised double play and Hairston raced home at 1:08 a.m. to score the give the Yankees a 2-0 series lead.
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