My Pitcher From Itami

Bronx, N.Y., April 14, 2017; Yankees 4, St. Louis 3 — Already on something of a roll, the Yankees got a better start from staff ace Masahiro Tanaka Friday night, and their stellar bullpen pulled out another one-run win, 4-3 over the visiting Cardinals. Following a dreadful outing in Tampa, and an uneven one in Baltimore, Tanaka pitched very well for six innings after a bumpy first frame. Continue reading

Debuting in the Bronx

Bronx, N.Y., April 12, 2017; Yankees 8, Tampa 4 — If Yankee lefthander Jordan Montgomery, making his major league debut vs the Tampa Rays in the Bronx Wednesday afternoon, wanted some knowledge about what it would be like, he would have been well advised to look to the mound and the guy who opposed him, fellow southpaw Blake Snell. Almost exactly one year ago, Snell was making his debut as a visitor on the same mound. He pitched well, made one mistake in the first inning, and he failed to cash in a deserved win. Both young guys threw well enough to win today, though both would leave one out short of qualifying for the elusive “W.” Continue reading

20 Up, 20 Down

Bronx, N.Y., April 10, 2017; Yankees 8, Tampa 1 — “Big Mike” Pineda and Mother Nature collaborated in giving Yankee fans one of their best days in years, perhaps decades, Monday afternoon in the Bronx. The offense chipped in with three home runs, but Pineda was clearly the reason the team came away with an 8-1 victory in the home opener. Continue reading

Topping Off a Win

April 23, 2016; Bronx, N.Y.; Yankees 3, Rays 2 — There was a point early in the 2015 season where the Yankees seemed to have found a recipe for success. They had stormed into contention largely on the strength of unexpected power from the middle of their order, but years of playoff disappointments in the early 2000s had shown that riding the home run to postseason success is a risky strategy. Continue reading

An Old-Fashioned Ballgame

September 27, 2015, Bronx, N.Y.; Yankees 6, White Sox 1 — I thoroughly enjoyed myself at the 6-1 Yankee win over the Stadium Sunday afternoon, the last home day game of the regular season, probably the last of the year 2015. It wasn’t just because my team won another must game, which they did. Or that rookie Luis Severino continued to impress with yet another dominant start, though he certainly did effectively control the Chicago lineup, shutting them out over six innings, allowing just five hits and a walk. Continue reading

Old Friends

August 24, 2015, Bronx, N.Y.; Yankees 1, Astros 0 — If you attended the Monday night Yankee game hosting the Astros hoping to see signs of a resurgent offense, you had a tense, unsatisfying night, at least until the final moment when Brett Gardner scored the game’s lone run. But if a classic pitcher’s duel is more your cup of tea, you were in for a scintillating experience, and one tremendous ballgame. Continue reading

The Pinderic Ode

August 22, 2015, Bronx, N.Y.; Yankees 6, Indians 2 — On Saturday afternoon, the Yankees presented an early explosion of runs to a host of fans largely there to celebrate Jorge Posada Day on one of the nicest days in any year. With ceremonies starting about 12:20, the half hour began with Jorge and members of his family unveiling his retired number 20 and plaque in Monument Park, then continued as Jorge’s team members and Yankee officials gathered in the infield to give tribute. Continue reading

It’s a Bird …

Bronx, N.Y., August 19, 2015; Yankees 4, Twins 3 — Before Wednesday afternoon, the last 4-3 win I saw on a pair of two-run home runs from the same guy took place 46 years ago, but aside from the home city of the winning club and that description of the offense, the two had very little in common, except that each was a big “late”-season win in a unique season. The Yankees continued to surprise Wednesday afternoon, as first baseman Greg Bird, one of the family jewels they refused to part with in a trade, supplied the power the team has been receiving from veteran hitters all year. Continue reading

One Small Step

Bronx, N.Y., August 5, 2015; Red Sox 2, Yankees 1 —Yankee fans learned the painful lesson yet again Wednesday night that when the team is facing a knuckleballer pitcher, all bets are off. Thirty-year-old journeyman Steven Wright dominated what had been red-hot Yankee bats for eight innings, and walked off with a 2-1 victory for his trouble. I like to think I’ve matured a bit about losses to the Red Sox, but why did he have to do so well when my new kid was making his debut? Continue reading