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Big moments from the Yankees’ 2017 season

Aaron Judge #99 of the New York Yankees

Aaron Judge #99 of the New York Yankees celebrates in the clubhouse after defeated the Minnesota Twins during the American League Wild Card Game at Yankee Stadium on October 3, 2017 in the Bronx borough of New York City. Credit: Getty Images / Elsa

The Yankees fell one victory short of making the 2017 World Series. Here is a look at some memorable moments from the season.

April 28, Yankees 14, Orioles 11: The Big Comeback. Trailing 9-1 after the top of the sixth inning, the Yankees won the game in the 10th on a walk-off three-run home run by Matt Holliday. Aaron Judge homered twice, Jacoby Ellsbury had a grand slam and Starlin Castro also homered. Yankees starter CC Sabathia gave up seven runs in 5 2⁄3 innings. He would win seven of his next eight decisions in a big comeback of his own.

June 12, Yankees 5, Angels 3: After the game in Anaheim, the Yankees led the AL East by four games. Judge hit his 22nd homer and raised his batting average to .347.

July 27, Yankees 6, Rays 5: Brett Gardner’s career-high 18th home run won the game in the 11th inning at the Stadium. The game also was memorable for the celebration at home plate, as Judge was hit in the mouth with a helmet and suffered a chipped tooth. Two days later, Gardner delivered a walk-off single as the Yankees won their sixth straight game.

Aug. 22, Yankees 13, Tigers 4: Gary Sanchez hit two homers, including one that measured 493 feet off Matt Boyd. Sanchez was on a streak of five homers in seven games. He finished with 33 in 122 regular-season games.

Sept. 9, Yankees 3, Rangers 1: In Arlington, Texas, Aroldis Chapman earned his 17th save and first since Aug. 15. He had been removed from the closer’s role Aug. 19 after allowing two runs in three straight outings. His ERA had increased to 4.29 in 35 2⁄3 innings. Chapman would not allow another earned run in the regular season and finished with 22 saves.

Sept. 11 at Citi Field: Yankees 5, Rays 1: Birth of the Thumbs Down gesture that Todd Frazier parlayed into a rally theme for the rest of the season and into the playoffs. The teams were playing on the Mets’ home turf because Hurricane Irma was barreling through Tampa. Frazier hit a three-run home run and Mets fan/Yankee hater Gary Dunaier flashed a pronounced thumbs down that was caught by the TV cameras. Frazier saw it, loved it and started doing it every time he or a teammate got a big hit. Frazier is selling thumbs down shirts on the Web, and Thumbs Down Guy Dunaier has a bobblehead deal.

Sept. 25, Yankees 11, Royals 3: Judge set the rookie record for home runs in a season, belting Nos. 49 and 50 at the Stadium, with the second breaking Mark McGwire’s 49 in 1987. Judge finished the regular season with 52, joining Babe Ruth, Roger Maris, Mickey Mantle and Alex Rodriguez as the only Yankees to hit at least 50 homers in a season.

Sept. 29, Yankees 4, Blue Jays 0: Masahiro Tanaka struck out a career-high 15 batters at the Stadium. After an inconsistent season, Tanaka was 2-1 in the postseason with 18 strikeouts and a 0.90 ERA in 20 innings. The question now is this: Will he opt out of the seven-year, $155-million contract he signed in 2014, and if so, will he re-sign with the Yankees? Or will the Yankees give him a lucrative extension to avoid an opt-out?

Oct. 3, Yankees 8, Twins 4: The AL wild-card game at the Stadium had an ominous beginning as the Twins scored three runs off Luis Severino in the first inning. Severino lasted only one-third of an inning. But Didi Gregorius hit a tying three-run homer in the bottom of the inning off Twins ace Ervin Santana, Gardner later hit a go-ahead homer, and the Yankees never trailed again. David Robertson pitched 3 1⁄3 innings of scoreless relief.

Oct. 6, Indians 9, Yankees 8 (13 innings): A huge loss in Cleveland that ultimately would have a redeeming effect when the Yankees later rallied from an 0-2 deficit to win the American League Division Series. The Yankees blew an 8-3 lead, leaving Joe Girardi at the lowest emotional point in his managerial career. With two on and two out in the sixth inning, Girardi inexplicably failed to ask for a replay challenge when it was ruled that Lonnie Chisenhall was hit in the hand on an 0-and-2 pitch from reliever Chad Green. Although Sanchez signaled to Girardi that the ball hit the knob of the bat — and Sanchez caught the foul tip for what should have been an inning-ending strikeout — there was no challenge. Francisco Lindor followed with a grand slam, and after Jay Bruce homered off Robertson to tie it and the Indians won in the 13th, Girardi was disconsolate. Frazier said it was a pivotal moment in which the players got behind their manager. An emotional Girardi thanked them after the series.

Oct. 11, Yankees 5, Indians 2: The Yankees took Game 5 in Cleveland to win the ALDS and dethrone the defending AL champion Indians. Gregorius hit two homers off Indians ace and leading Cy Young Award candidate Corey Kluber.

Oct. 18, Yankees 5, Astros 0: In Game 5 of the ALCS at the Stadium, the Yankees shattered the mystique of nemesis Dallas Keuchel, knocking him out and ultimately taking a three-games-to-two lead in the series. One more win, and they’d be in the World Series.

Oct. 21, Astros 4, Yankees 0: The bitter end, one night after a 7-1 loss to Houston forced a deciding Game 7 in the ALCS. Sabathia, who had been 10-0 with a 1.69 ERA after Yankees losses, was bested by Astros starter Charlie Morton and reliever Lance McCullers Jr., who teamed to hold the Yankees to three hits. The Yankees scored only three runs and batted .159 in four losses at Minute Maid Park. They had won four straight elimination games in the postseason.

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