March 3 in Yankee History

  • Although an error at shortstop by young CJ Chatham set up Boston lefty Martin Perez for disaster, it was two singles by DJ LeMahieu that both started the six-run first-inning rally and drove in the final run in 9-1 Yankee win in Tampa on March 3, 2020. Three strong innings from Masahiro Tanaka at the start, and two dominant frames by Jonathan Loiasiga at the end, held the visiting Red Sox largely at bay, and Gio Urshela kicked in a home run as well. Continue reading
  • March 2 in Yankee History

  • A second straight ninth-inning comeback fell just short when the visiting Yankees fell 8-7 to the Pirates on March 2, 2019. Righthander Danny Farquhar had been a feel-good story when the Yankees signed him as a free agent in January 2019 after he had suffered a stroke with the White Sox, but he would not pitch well, and would be released that June. In this game, the five spot Farquhar surrendered to Pittsburgh in the fourth took a 3-1 Yankee lead and turned it into a 6-3 deficit. A three-run rally in the ninth left the Yanks one run short. Continue reading
  • March 1 in Yankee History

  • A string of victories for the Yankees in 2020 Spring Training, including split-squad wins in both Fort Myers and Tampa against the Red Sox and Tigers the day before, came to a halt on March 1, as the team was crushed 10-4 visiting Detroit in Lakekand, Fla., but it didn’t need to be that bad. Two fifth-inning rbi’s from red-hot Rosell Herrera, and one each by Brett Gardner and Luke Voit, gave them a 4-2 lead. But two bad plays in the bottom of the seventh (right fielder Isaiah Gilliam let a bloop fall in in front of him; second baseman Hoy Yun Park called off the first baseman on a foul pop, but let it fall untouched) led to a grand slam home run that turned the game in a six-run frame. Continue reading
  • February 28 in Yankee History

  • Several springs ago, much of the Yankee controversy spun around the late George Steinbrenner and his criticism of Derek Jeter regarding his level of intensity and commitment to his game. It seemed a tempest in a teapot when they did a series of Visa commercials together lampooning the alleged late-night partying, and then suddenly, Jeter was named team captain. Although I’m sure no one knew that Alex Rodriguez would be joining him on the left side of the Yankee infield soon, the timing of Derek’s receipt of this honor before that trade was fortuitous. These musings flow from the fact that it was February 28 in 1991 that Don Mattingly became the 10th Yankee captain. Donnie, who served in that capacity through 1995, his last year in Pinstripes, arrived on the scene as hitting coach the same year Jeter began his first full season holding that title. Donnie served as Joe Torre‘s bench coach for the Dodgers in 2007-2009, then took over as manager, and joined the Marlins in that capacity in 2016. Continue reading
  • February 27 in Yankee History

  • Back-to-back first-inning home runs by Tyler Wade and Clint Frazier, a two-run shot by Mike Ford in the eighth, and Zack Granite‘s rbi double accounted for all the runs in the Yankees’ home 7-1 victory over Tampa on February 27, 2020. J.A. Happ held the Rays to one run over the first three frames, but the most impressive pitching came late from Clarke Schmidt (three strike outs in the sixth and seventh) and Jonathan Loaisiga (four K’s in the eight and ninth). Continue reading
  • February 26 in Yankee History

  • With the birthday of the Warrior Paul O’Neill just yesterday and Don Mattingly having become Joe Torre‘s bench coach after several seasons as the Yankees batting coach during this time in 2007, and his replacement as manager with LA in 2011, it would be easy to wax nostalgic about the day some of our favorite players wore the Pinstripes for the last time. The fact that Donnie was wearing Dodger Blue with Torre in 2008 and 2009, and continued to until recently, adds to the reverie. But perhaps no day in Yankee history is as fraught with that form of bittersweet musing than February 26, 1935. That is the day the Yankees released the Sultan of Swat, Babe Ruth, so he could sign on with the Boston Braves of the National League. Of his 714 career homers and 2,213 rbi’s, the Bambino collected six and 12, respectively with the 1935 Braves. Continue reading
  • February 25 in Yankee History

  • The Yankees got their first win of the Florida branch of their 2020 Spring Training on February 25 with a 4-1 win in Dunedin over the Blue Jays. It was our first look at the redone facility in the West Coast Florida city, where Toronto is scheduled to play their early season games in 2021. The hitting stars were Chris Ianetta, who doubled and scored in the second, and who contributed a single to the three-run Yankee rally in the seventh; and surprising swingman Rosell Herrera, who stroked a two-run pinch-hit single to cap that outburst while taking over for Miguel Andujar at third. But there was bad news as well, as it was during this contest that Brian Cashman announced that righthander Luis Severino would be missing the season (and more) with Tommy John surgery. Continue reading
  • February 24 in Yankee History

  • Given the [exactly] five months that would transpire before the 2020 Yankees played in a game that counted, fans could be forgiven for not remembering that it was in a night game in George M. Steinbrenner Field on February 24 that new ace Gerrit Cole first threw a pitch for the Bombers. On a night when home team pitching notched 14 strike outs against the visiting Pirates, Cole whiffed two around a one-out walk in pitching a scoreless first. And there was good news on young southpaw Jordan Montgomery, returning from Tommy John surgery, as he struck out four retiring six of seven through the third. The Yankees took a 3-2 lead with four singles in the bottom of the seventh, but Glen Otto allowed a single run in the ninth, and the Yanks had to settle for a 3-3 tie. Continue reading
  • February 23 in Yankee History

  • On February 23, 1954, the Yanks sold righty Vic Raschi to the Cards. Vic’s career winning percentage of .667 rises over .700 if his eight years in Pinstripes are isolated, and he played on six Yankee World Series teams, all winners, with four over the Dodgers, one the Giants, and the other the Phillies. Continue reading
  • February 22 in Yankee History

  • Opening their Spring Training season at George M. Steinbrenner Field a surprising one day earlier than they had in 2018, the Yankees hosted the Blue Jays on February 22, 2020. Their pitching was good, starting with six up, six down by J.A. Happ, but the bats showed up barely, and late. Rosell Herrera‘s third-inning single stood by itself until a two-out double in the seventh, and first baseman Chris Gittens‘s lead off home run in the bottom of the ninth. Toronto, who strangely brought almost their entire Opening Day lineup on the road for this first exhibition, plated the winning run in a 2-1 victory on a double steal in a four-steal seventh inning against southpaw Luis Avilan. It was just 55 degrees in Tampa; feel sorry for me? Continue reading