With apologies to Allen Iverson, the Yankees have their own version of "The Answer." His name is Raul Ibanez.

Why didn't the Yankees try to bring back Johnny Damon or Hideki Matsui last winter, after trading Jesus Montero? Ibanez is The Answer.

Why can't the Yankees come from behind in the late innings? Oh, they can. As long as they have The Answer.

What in the heck are the Yankees going to do about the walking money pit that is Alex Rodriguez? That's a doozy. For now, let The Answer deal with it.

Ibanez pulled off an explosive daily double of hitting heroics last night at Yankee Stadium. As the first pinch hitter for A-Rod in Major League Baseball history (according to A-Rod), the 40-year-old slammed a one-out, ninth-inning, game-tying homer off Baltimore closer Jim Johnson. Then his 12th-inning blast off lefty Brian Matusz gave the Yankees a walk-off, 3-2 victory in American League Division Series Game 3, providing the Yankees a 2-1 lead in games.

"One of the best performances I've ever seen," A-Rod said afterward. "It couldn't have happened to a better guy."

"Being in that situation, and being a part of something like this, this great team, and obviously all the legends that have come before you here is an extraordinary feeling, and it's a great blessing," Ibanez said. "And then to be a part of something like that is definitely a special moment."

He's no stranger to special moments. The Yankees should shudder at where they'd be right now if not for Ibanez and his special moments. Good Lord.

On Sept. 22 at the Stadium, the Yankees allowed four runs to Oakland in the top of the 13th inning. They responded with four runs, the last two of which came on a two-run blast by Ibanez to right field off A's reliever Pat Neshek, and they prevailed in the 14th, 10-9.