Analysis

Yankees: Scott Brosius, The Definition of Clutch

Scott Brosius seemed to become a different player in the postseason and is one of the most clutch postseason hitters in Yankee history.

The New York Yankees have appeared in 40 World Series, the most of any team in baseball. They have had many players play in those games, but not every player can step it up and play at their best when it matters the most. Some players find another gear in the postseason that they can’t discover at any other time. There is one player who seemed to always be at their best in the postseason for the Yankees, and that is Scott Brosius. Let’s take a look back at one of the Yankees’ best postseason players.

The Yankees acquired Brosius from the A’s in 1999, as the player to be named later in the Kenny Rogers deal. Brosius wasn’t a big player at the time, he was a career .248 hitter with the A’s.  He also had not played a full season in his career until he joined the Yankees. No one expected it, but over the next four seasons, Brosius would go on to be one of the best postseason hitters in Yankees history. Scott Brosius would have the best season of his career in his first year with the Yankees in 1998. In that year he slashed .300/.371/.472 with 159 hits, 34 doubles, 19 home runs, and 98 RBIs while playing in a career-high 152 games.

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The Yankees won a record-breaking 114 regular-season games, and Brosius was ready to play in his first postseason. In his first-ever postseason series, Brosius would start off hot, going 4-for-10 with one home run and three RBIs. He would stay hot during the ALCS, going 6-for-20 with one home runs and six RBIs. His only home run that series was a three-run bomb that put the game out of reach for the Indians. The Yankees would go on to face the San Diego Padres in the World Series and Brosius was ready. Scott Brosius had one of the best World Series performances in Yankee history.  In four games he slashed .471/.471/.824 with 8 hits(17 at-bats), two home runs, and six RBIs. His two home runs weren’t just home runs, they were clutch shots. Both of them came in the same game, Game Three. Brosius would come to the plate in the top of the 7th, with the Yankees down 3-0. He would send the 3-2 pitch over the left-field wall to put the Yankees on the board 3-1.

His next at-bat would come in the 8th inning, with the Yankees down 3-2 and runners on first and second with one out. Facing him was future Hall of Famer and at the time greatest closer in baseball, Trevor Hoffman. That didn’t seem to bother Brosius as he would send the 2-2 pitch over the center-field wall for a clutch three-run home run to give the Yankees a 5-3 lead. Yankees would go on to sweep the Padres and Brosius would be named World Series MVP. The Yankees would find themselves in the postseason again in 1999 and while Brosius would start slow in the ALDS, he would find himself again in the ALCS.

In Game One against the Red Sox and the Yankees down 3-0, Brosius would hit a two-run bomb to keep the Yankees in the game. They would go on to win that game 4-3, thanks to a walk-off bomb by Bernie Williams. Yankees would win the Series in five games and would go on to face the Braves in the World Series. Brosius again would have another great World Series, as in four games he would collect 6 hits in 16 at-bats. Yankees swept the Braves for their 24th title. Next year was the same old story and the Yankees found themselves in the postseason again. Brosius would struggle to find that spark in the ALDS and ALCS, but when the Yankees reached the World Series Brosius turned it on. He would go on to collect four hits in 13 at-bats. One of them was a home run in Game Two that gave the Yankees a 3-0 lead. His biggest hit in that World Series was actually a simple single.

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In the 9th inning of Game Five, The Yankees were tied with the Mets 2-2. Al Leiter was still on the mound and after a walk to Posada, Brosius would step up to the plate. He would line a single to left to keep the inning going. Luis Sojo would be up next and line a single up the middle that would score Posada and Brosius, giving the Yankees a 4-2 lead. Mo would shut the door and the Yankees would win their 3rd straight World Series. 2001 would be the same story and the Yankees again found themselves in the World Series. In the 2001 postseason, Brosius would struggle mightily, but when the Yankees needed him the most he would deliver. In Game-Five, with the Series tied 2-2, the Yankees would find themselves down 2-0 in the 9th. With a runner on second and two outs, Brosius would hit a dramatic game-tying home run.

The Yankees would go on to win that game in the 12th thanks to a walk-off single by Alfonso Soriano. We will not talk about the rest of the series. While his career with the Yankees was short, Scott Brosius made a huge impact on the Yankees.

He was never a great player during the regular season, but when it mattered the most you knew he would show up.

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