How I Love the Park

Bronx, N.Y., April 26, 2018; Yankees 4, Minnesota 3 — It was a day of retribution for several Yankee players in their walkoff 4-3 win over the visiting Twins under gorgeous skies Thursday afternoon. Dellin Betances threw a dominant three-strike-out top of the ninth for the win; Giancarlo Stanton had two of the six Yankee hits and scored two runs; and Gary Sanchez, catching this game, had no issues with balls in the dirt — despite being assessed an error for failing to corral a short fly popup — and followed a two-run double Monday and two homers Tuesday with Thursday’s decision maker, a no-doubt-about-it blast to left off Minnesota closer Fernando Rodney. Continue reading

Green Acres Is the Place to Be

Bronx, N.Y., April 22; Yankees 5, Toronto 1 — When you have a starting pitcher on the mound who routinely gives just one, or even no, runs, a first-inning home run by one of your players sets you up for a delightful day. And when it occurs on a genuine Spring afternoon on a field bathed in bright sunshine, well, pilgrim, this is why you go to ballgames. Riding offense from Didi Gregorius — the aforementioned homer hitter — and third baseman Miguel Andujar, along with staff ace Luis Severino’s dominant pitching, the Yankees beat visiting Toronto 5-1 in front of a crowd that, early at least, was as relaxed and happy as if they were watching a TV sitcom. Continue reading

A Fun Day With Gumby

Bronx, N.Y., April 21, 2018; Yankees 9, Toronto 1 — Fans who hear that the Yankees beat the visiting Blue Jays 9-1 Saturday afternoon might be surprised to hear that for much of the day, this was a spine-tingling, edge-of-your-seat pitchers’ duel, one the Yanks would have been losing but for the extraordinary talent of the young man holding down right field in the Bronx. On the very first Spring-like day (approaching 60 degrees and sunny will have to do) the Bombers have played on in 2018, the home team delighted a big crowd much of the day. Continue reading

Deuces Were Wild

Bronx, N.Y., April 4, 2018; Yankees 7, Tampa Bay 2 — The Yankees played their strongest hand in a rainy, then blustery Stadium Wednesday afternoon, with “grounded” ace Luis Severino dealing into the eighth and their monster troika of power hitters each homering for two runs. Tampa southpaw Blake Snell was driven from the mound with one down in the fourth one out before Aaron Judge added an exclamation point to a Bronx bombardment that featured Giancarlo Stanton and Gary Sanchez jolts before his. Continue reading

Hope-ning Day

Bronx, N.Y., April 3, 2018; Yankees 11, Tampa Bay 4 — With apologies for my own human weakness (and you don’t want to see my scorebook), up against the very bad — not to say the worst — that Mother Nature can offer, what follows is not a report on today’s game. Rather, it’s a column I wrote a few days before the home opener in 2006. There was much on the sports tickers a week ago about the recent Yankee troubles on Opening Days. And although the numbers were accurate, the subject was just Opening Day, not specifically home openers. But with a huge Yankee cap tip to the glorious Didi Gregorius, and the eight rbi’s that carried the pinstripers to an 11-4 victory Tuesday, the focus here is on how good the Yankees have been in openers in the Baseball Cathedral on the south side of 161st Street, but also in the Palace across the street that saw its 10th opener this day.

Updating the numbers mentioned in the sixth paragraph that follows, the Yankees won the last three openers in the old place, bringing the record from 1983 through 2008 to 22-4! Granted, they’ve won just six of 10 in the new digs, but still, that’s 28-8 overall. And in those 36 home openers, the Yanks have outscored their opponents 202-129. I love Opening Day, whatever the weather conditions. I hope the following shows you just how much. Continue reading

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