The Four Baseman of the Bronx

Bronx, N.Y., October 18, 2017; Yankees 5, Houston 0 — Although I’m of a mind to talk about all the young bats in the rejuvenated Yankee lineup, I would be remiss were I not to give credit where it is due: The uncontested star of this evening’s 5-0 win over visiting Houston in Game 5 of the ALCS was the superb Masahiro Tanaka, who used nine ground ball outs and eight strike outs to stifle the Astros offense through seven dominant frames. Continue reading

38 and 37

Bronx, N.Y., October 17, 2017; Yankees 6, Houston 4 — Righthanders Lance McCullers and Sonny Gray matched five-inning one-hitters in Game 4 of the ALCS in Yankee Stadium Wednesday evening, setting up a game much like the two 1-run contests the Astros had won in Houston to start the series. When, in the top of the sixth, a rare play that has been much in the pinstripers’ favor the last few years — a catcher’s interference by Yankee backstop Austin Romine on Josh Reddick — set the ‘stros up for a big inning, first baseman Yuli Gurriel delivered a three-run double off reliever David Robertson. At 3-0 down, then 4-0 after an unearned run in the seventh, one had the feeling that had this taken place in Houston, the Yankees would be down three games to one. Continue reading

Gray Power

Bronx, N.Y., October 16, 2017; Yankees 8, Houston 1 — That the Yankees plated two runs in the fourth inning Monday night on their third infield single of the game and a wild pitch might lead you to believe that their offensive malaise remained in place, but not once you consider that those tallies were sandwiched between two 3-run home runs. CC Sabathia went six strong for the win, and the home team cashed in an 8-1 victory, and now trail the Astros in the seven-game ALCS, two games to one. Continue reading

Believe It

Bronx, N.Y., October 8, 2017; Yankees 1, Cleveland 0 — It was a hopeful, nervous, but mostly disgruntled fanbase that showed up at Yankee Stadium for Game 3 of the ALDS Sunday night. With their team down 2-0 in games and on the cusp of elimination,, virtually to a person the crowd believed that the Yankee players had earned a split their manager had deprived them of in Cleveland, and there were mixed emotions all around. Continue reading

Whistle a Happy Tune

Bronx, N.Y., October 1, 2017; Toronto 2, Yankees 1 — The Yankees dropped a game that didn’t really matter Sunday afternoon while, in the silliest way possible, won one too. With their Wild Card position already settled, they lost 2-1 to the visiting Blue Jays, even though four pinstriped hurlers allowed but two hits. On the other hand, for those of us trying to find things that mattered about the 2017 season’s final day, consider this: With all 15 games starting at roughly the same time, the one in the Bronx was over first. Continue reading

Bang a Gong

Bronx, N.Y., September 30, 2017; Yankees 2, Toronto 1 — In a season expected to be a stepping stone to future success, this 2017 Yankee team surprised friend and foe alike, copping their 91st victory in a 2-1 win over visiting Toronto Saturday afternoon, with one game to go. That’s a seven-game improvement over the 2016 team’s win total of 84, the same number second Wild Card Minnesota had when today’s action began. Baseball being baseball, however, that’s no guarantee the Bombers will best the Twins in the WC game Tuesday night, a do-or-die affair that will fray the nerves of every fan. Continue reading

Masahiro’s Grand Game

Bronx, N.Y., September 29, 2017; Yankees 4, Toronto 0 — With the Yankees’ hopes of winning the AL East division title hanging by the thinnest of threads, one-time ace Masahiro Tanaka posted a truly unique first inning Friday afternoon. He struck out the side, but it wasn’t on nine straight pitches, something that would have piqued the attention of both statheads and history buffs alike. But what would set this outing apart was that none of the nine strikes (of 13 pitches) hit a bat, a trend that would coninue through a delightful, cool afternoon in the Bronx. Continue reading

A Bronx Prince

Bronx, N.Y., September 25, 2017; Yankees 11, Kansas City 3 — In a sudden rash of power hitting, Aaron Judge has recaptured the attention of all of baseball, as his two home runs in an 11-3 win over Kansas City Monday afternoon, and four long balls in two days, have vaulted him to the all-time rookie season record of 50. The mark seemed out of reach a few weeks ago, but the young slugger has rediscovered his mojo. And he was not alone in his super shenanigans, as fellow young’uns Gary Sanchez and Greg Bird went yard as well. Continue reading

Aaron Judge the Great

September 20, 2017, Bronx, N.Y.; Yankees 11, Minnesota 3 — The Yankees stormed back from being down 3-0 in the third inning against Minnesota Wednesday afternoon, eventually winning 11-3 going away. With a six-game cushion against the Twins in the Wild Card race, things never appeared desperate, but the three spot the visitors fashioned against Yankee ace Luis Severino through a 45-pitch top of the third did have many in the Bronx feeling a little edgy. The Yankee Youth movement to the rescue, however, and Greg Bird, Aaron Judge, and Gary Sanchez (double, home run, home run) quickly restored order; the team cruised (and continued to threaten) the rest of the way. Continue reading

In My Bronx

September 3, 2017, Bronx, N.Y.; Yankees 9, Boston 2 — The much anticipated showdown of aces pitting Boston’s Chris Sale against young Luis Severino in Yankee Stadium Sunday was pretty much a rout, even before the home team broke it open with a six-run sixth. Into the fifth inning, when Sale was lifted with one down, the Yankees had outhomered Boston 3-0, and outhit them, 7-2. But even more telling was that it took Sale 109 pitches to navigate 13 outs, while Severino used all of 52 tosses to zip through four frames. Continue reading