Although Hideki Matsui‘s three-run tater to dead center off Marlins southpaw Mark Redman on October 19, 2003, got the Yankees and Andy Pettitte started toward a 6-1 victory that tied the World Series at one game apiece, the day has featured more postseason losses than wins. On this occasion, no one could have predicted that beloved longtime Yankee Don Mattingly, who threw out the ceremonial first pitch, would in the future become the Marlins manager. Alfonso Soriano added a two-run home run in the fourth, but the offense would take a huge slide in the rest of the Series.
The Angels let it be known there would be no sweep on October 19, 2009, when they beat the Yankees in Game 3 of the ALCS in Anaheim. Catcher Jeff Mathis doubled in Howie Kendrick off Alfredo Aceves with two down in the 11th for a 5-4 Angels win. Derek Jeter had led off the game with a home run, and Alex Rodriguez, Johnny Damon, and Jorge Posada went yard too, the latter to tie the game 4-4 in the eighth in his 101st postseason game as a catcher.
A shutout the day before notwithstanding, the Yanks’ 10-3 loss to Texas in Game 4 of the 2010 ALCS on October 19, 2010, was frustrating because, behind A.J. Burnett, the Bombers led 1-0 and then 3-2 through five innings. But Bengie Molina turned the game with a three-run sixth-inning home run, putting New York in a three games to one deficit. Also of note: Mark Teixeira was lost to injury in the fifth inning.
After Lou Piniella piloted the Yanks to an 89-73 record in 1987, he was kicked upstairs and into the role of general manager. On October 19, 1987, he was replaced as field boss by Billy Martin, the fifth (and last) time Billy would be hired to manage the Yanks.
On October 19, 1943, Yankee second baseman Joe Gordon joined the military for a two-year hitch. After an AL MVP 1942 season, he had struggled in 1943 before leaving. He would return to the Yankees briefly in 1946 before the Bombers moved him in one of those rare deals that helps two clubs. The Yanks sent him to Cleveland, where Joe would have his best season in 1948, but the Yanks received starting rotation stalwart Allie Reynolds in return.
Each of the two Yankee players who have died on October 19 served with distinction on the starting staff in different eras. Righty George Pipgras (1986) appeared in 274 games (170 starts) debuting with the Yankees between 1923 and 1933, to a fine 93-64-11 record. And righthander Atley Donald (1992), who hit lefty, threw all of his 153 career games (115 starts) with New York from 1938-1945. He won 65, lost 33, and saved one.
The result of a deadline deal, J.A. Happ, who was born on October 19, 1982, gave the Yankees everything they wanted down the stretch of the 2018 season once the team sent Brandon Drury and Billy McKinney to Toronto for him, but he failed in his lone postseason test in Fenway Park, a venue his track record suggested he would dominate. Jay has won 123 and lost 92 with the conclusion of the ’20 “regular” season. The 7-0 mark in 11 games (all starts) for the Yankees in 2018 was followed by a 12-8 mark, then 2-2, but he has followed his loss to Boston in the 2018 ALDS with another in the 2019 ALCS vs Houston and, again, in the 2020 ALDS vs Tampa. The vesting option he held based on starts and innings in 2020, targets that he of course did not meet, leave his status going forward uncertain.