Best parts of Giants, Jets, Yankees, Mets wins on same day

At about 3:38 p.m. on Sunday, Carolina’s Eddy Piñeiro nailed a field goal to tie up the Giants, 16-16, with 10:46 remaining in the game.

The Jets had just allowed Nick Chubb to rumble through the defense for a touchdown that put them in a 24-17 hole to the Browns. Jacob deGrom had just surrendered a stunning three-run home run to Oneil Cruz that tied the Mets-Pirates game in the sixth inning. The Yankees were down 4-3 to the Brewers in the fourth inning after an early implosion from Gerrit Cole.

About a half-hour later, New York Football pulled off two victories — one more stunning than the other, but both surprising considering the expectations. A few hours later, New York Baseball rolled to a pair of victories that helped maintain division leads.

The back cover of the New York Post on September 28, 2009.
How the back page of The Post looked after the last time New York’s four MLB and NFL teams won on the same day.
New York Post

If the four winning on the same day feels remarkable and rare, that’s because it is both. The last time this particular Perfect New York Storm struck was Sept. 27, 2009, when Andy Pettitte and Pat Misch pitched the Yankees and Mets, respectively, to victories, Eli Manning beat Tampa Bay’s Byron Leftwich and a rookie Mark Sanchez outdueled Tennessee’s Kerry Collins.

A few other things going on back on Sept. 27, 2009:

– “I Gotta Feeling” by Black Eyed Peas was the No. 1 song in the country.

– The Jets’ Garrett Wilson was 9 years old.

– If you wanted to read about those games, you could have gone on the New York Post website, which looked like this:

The New York Post's online sports coveragee, circa late September 2009.
It’s been awhile.
Screenshot via Wayback Machine

(Alas, the closest the Wayback Machine captured was Sept. 25, not the 27th, but close enough.)

Let’s unpack how these four New York sports teams achieved a feat they had not realized in 13 years by assigning each game a superlative:

Most stunning: Jets

According to ESPN Analytics, the Browns had a 99.9 percent chance to win the game with 2:09 left in the fourth quarter. On the next play, Chubb rushed for a 12-yard touchdown, putting the Jets — who were out of timeouts — down by 13 points with under two minutes to play.

What followed was as much a Jets miracle as it was a Browns tragedy.

Cleveland blew a coverage two plays later that allowed Joe Flacco to find a wide-open Corey Davis for a 66-yard touchdown.

Punter Braden Mann executed a perfectly placed onside kick that the Jets recovered.

New York Jets wide receiver Garrett Wilson (17) celebrates past Cleveland Browns safety Grant Delpit (22) after scoring a touchdown.
Garrett Wilson’s touchdown catch sealed the Jets’ stunning come-from-behind win.

“Once the onside kick happened,” head coach Robert Saleh said, “there was no doubt we were scoring once we got that ball.”

They got the ball, and Flacco led a nine-play, 53-yard drive that culminated with a third-and-10 hookup with Wilson, who crossed into the middle of the field, caught the pass and galloped into the end zone.

The Jets’ 31-30 escape represented the first time a team has won after trailing by 13 with 2 minutes or less remaining since the Bears beat the Browns in 2001.

Most significant: Giants

As special as the Jets victory was, many of their fans still will hold this year’s team at a distance. Most feel it is a group on the rise rather than a team built for now.

The Giants were not supposed to be a team built for 2022 either, but suddenly they are 2-0 and about to face a team without a quarterback.

New York Giants place kicker Graham Gano (9) kicks a field goal in the fourth quarter against the Carolina Panthers.
Graham Gano’s field goals provided the bulk of the scoring as the Giants surged to 2-0.
Bill Kostroun

The Giants used four Graham Gano field goals — including a pair of bombs in the fourth quarter, capped by a 56-yarder that gave them the final points of a 19-16 win with 3:34 to play — to take down Baker Mayfield’s Panthers at a MetLife Stadium that is beginning to believe in Brian Daboll’s crew.

Daniel Jones might not have been overwhelming, throwing for just 176 yards and a touchdown, but he got better as the game reached crunch time. He used his feet often and well, including on an 11-yard scramble on a third-and-6 on the game’s last possession that allowed the Giants to ice it.

Next week the Giants will host the 1-1 Cowboys, who are led by Cooper Rush because of Dak Prescott’s injury. Especially considering the weakness of the NFC, are the Giants suddenly a playoff threat?

Most overpowering: Mets

The final score — a 7-3 victory over the Pirates at Citi Field — does not quite capture the varsity-versus-freshmen feel of the game.

Mets pitchers tied the major league record with a combined 20 strikeouts in a nine-inning game, 13 of which came courtesy of Jacob deGrom. The Pirates do not resemble a big-league team offensively or with their pitching staff, which issued six more walks and hit Pete Alonso on Sunday, leading to a brief skirmish between the two teams.

New York Mets starting pitcher Jacob deGrom reacts to a three run home run by Pittsburgh Pirates Oneil Cruz.
An otherwise dominant Jacob deGrom slumps his shoulders after allowing a home run to the Pirates’ Oneil Cruz that briefly threatened the Mets’ sweep.
Corey Sipkin

Still, the Mets did not cruise because Cruz, the young stud, blasted a three-run home run off a tiring deGrom in the sixth inning, temporarily tying the game before the Mets exploded for four in the eighth. The most fun run was created out of thin air from designated pinch runner Terrance Gore. He stole second on the first pitch, advanced to third when the throw leaked into center field, then scored on a Brandon Nimmo single.

The Mets are one game ahead of the Braves with 14 games left in the season for Buck Showalter’s group, which starts a series in Milwaukee on Monday.

Most historic: Yankees

In a season in which he almost literally can do no wrong, Aaron Judge has perfected his timing, too.

With two more home runs in a 12-8 win in Milwaukee, the superstar now has 59 home runs — two shy of Roger Maris’ hallowed mark — before a six-game homestand. Both the Yankees’ business folks who track attendance and the fans who fill up Yankee Stadium will appreciate two games against the Pirates before four against the Red Sox with legitimate chances at witnessing history.

Aaron Judge #99 of the New York Yankees watches his 59th home run of the season during a victory over the Milwaukee Brewers on September 18, 2022.
Aaron Judge, No. 59. He’s now three homers away from breaking Roger Maris’ American League record.
Charles Wenzelberg/New York Post

Judge cranked his 58th in the third inning, part of a back-to-back display with Anthony Rizzo that brought the Yankees within 4-3, before knocking his 59th in the seventh inning, a solo shot that gave the Yankees a 10-4 lead. In between those at-bats, Judge walked and singled. With his final at-bat, the center fielder crushed a two-run double to left-center, which lifted his average to .316.

He is closing in on 61 home runs – the Yankees and American League record – but a Triple Crown is within range, too. Minnesota’s Luis Arraez is first in the AL with a .317 batting average. Judge has the commanding lead in home runs and RBIs.

What a season. What a Sunday.

Today’s front page

The front cover of the New York Post on September 19, 2022.
New York Post
New York Post

Today’s back page

The back cover of the New York Post on September 19, 2022.
New York Post

Hahaha, Browns

Locally, there will be a lot of credit given to Saleh and his Jets, who took advantage of late-game opportunities to mount their shocking two-touchdown rally.

Nationally, there probably will be more attention paid to the Browns’ collapse. And it couldn’t have happened to a more deserving team.

An organization that throws hordes of draft picks and $230 million at Deshaun Watson has asked to be the villain of the league.

There will be (and should be) plenty of laughing at the 1-1 team that will be without Watson for the 11 games he has been suspended. Dozens of women accused the former Texans star of sexual misconduct during massage sessions.

Cleveland Browns running back Jerome Ford (34) and tight end David Njoku (85) walk from the field after losing to the New York Jets.
Of course it was the Browns, a historically hapless franchise that invited scorn by acquiring Deshaun Watson this past offseason, that choked away the game against the Jets.

Some quarterback-needy teams – including, notably, the Giants – stated firmly they would not bring in Watson. Others were willing to sacrifice any goodwill for any better shot at a Super Bowl.

The Jets, typically a source of mockery, might have woken up this morning as the most popular team in football.

Plunkings for posterity

When Alonso was drilled, he became the 102nd Mets batter to be hit by a pitch this season, easily the most in the majors and rapidly approaching the modern-day record of 105, set by the 2021 Reds.

The guess here: If the Mets set the record, they will hold it for a very long time.

Beginning next season, pitchers will have to work with a pitch clock that will prevent them from taking a minute between pitches, gearing up to throw as hard as they can. Over the past decade or so, an emphasis on pure stuff has outstripped a need for command, which has led to plenty of additional strikeouts as well as plenty of additional walks and hit batters.

Maybe if teams such as the Pirates are forced to value craft and control over heat that takes additional time to charge up, fewer batters will be bruised.

New York Mets first baseman Pete Alonso gestures toward Pittsburgh Pirates starting pitcher Johan Oviedo after being hit by a pitch.
Pete Alonso voices his displeasure after becoming the 102nd Mets batter to be hit by a pitch this season, putting the team in range of the single-season record.
Jason Szenes

But while the Mets’ hit batters are a product of the time, they also are a product of the team the Mets have assembled. Mark Canha is tied for second in the majors with 21 hit by pitches. Last year, Canha led the majors with 27.

Brandon Nimmo is tied for sixth in the majors with 16 hit by pitches. In 2018, Nimmo led the majors with 22.

Starling Marte is 11th in the majors with 13 hit by pitches. In 2013, Marte was hit 24 times, the second-most in the majors.

Pete Alonso is tied for 12th in the majors with 12 hit by pitches. In 2018, Alonso was hit 21 times, which was tied for fifth-most in the majors … with Jeff McNeil, who this season has been hit 11 times.

At a time when more batters are being hit than ever before, the Mets have put together a team that gets hit more than anyone else. Those extra baserunners have come in handy.

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