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

Divining the Numbers

Bronx, N.Y., July 26, 2017; Yankees 9, Cincinnati 5 — Had a fan, or any observer, at Wednesday afternoon’s Yankee game hosting the Cincinnati Reds in the Stadium, somehow divined what would be the announced attendance, it might have given them a hint as to how this one would go. Just think of the number that graced the back of the best Yankee pitcher — starter or reliever — of the last two decades, then visualize that number again, and then what rank Luis Severino holds in this year’s starting rotation: 42,421, or, 42 42 1. Continue reading

True Grit

Bronx, N.Y., July 8, 2017; Yankees 5, Milwaukee 3 — It seemed that young Yankee starter, and new All Star, Luis Severino would be saddled with a loss for a shaky start on Saturday afternoon on a hot, sunny day in the Bronx. Which would have been too bad, because from innings two through seven, he was not only dominant, he pitched with a confidence rarely seen in one so new to pitching on the major league level. Continue reading

People Get Ready

Bronx, N.Y., July 5, 2017; Toronto 7, Yankees 6 — The Yankees dropped another heartbreaker Wednesday afternoon, and in so doing lost yet another series, this one two games to one, to the visiting last-place Toronto Blue Jays. Setup man Dellin Betances had another disastrous outing, walking four in the eighth inning to turn a 6-6 tie into a 7-6 loss. Betances’ control problems have been much in evidence the last few weeks, and this was doubly troubling today, as they yet again let what could have been an inspiring come-from-behind win fall into a distressing and disappointing loss. Down early 5-0 in this contest, the Bombers came storming back, and took a 6-5 lead into the sixth inning. Continue reading