Lords of the Flies

Bronx, N.Y., August 12, 2018; Yankees 7, Texas 2 — It’s a habit I could learn to like. For the second straight day Yankee power hitter Giancarlo Stanton drilled a first-inning home run to give the Yanks an early 1-0 lead. It felt like it eased the burden on CC Sabathia, who, despite throwing six shutout innings with seven strike outs and just one hit, labored in this one early. Continue reading

Timeline Tightrope

Bronx, N.Y., August 11, 2018; Yankees 5, Texas 3 — This is a timeline of an ugly, tense, terrifying, but ultimately terrific, day. I entered Yankee Stadium at noon despite rain prediction percentages hovering near the exit velocity of an Aaron Judge-struck ball. The infield was covered, but the grounds crew removed it, smoothing the dirt and laying the foul lines in time for a 1:10 Lance Lynn first pitch. Continue reading

Oh HAPPy Day

Bronx, N.Y., July 29, 2018; Yankees 6, Kansas City 3 — Yankee land was abuzz Sunday afternoon when newly acquired lefty J.A. Happ took the mound in the Stadium to face the Kansas City Royals in the last of a four-game set. Things started well, as he coaxed the first two of his eight ground ball outs to start the first. But things took a momentary turn when DH Salvador Perez — a thorn in the Yankees’ side all weekend — lined a 1-0 pitch into left field for a one-base hit. Had shortstop Didi Gregorius timed his jump better, he may have snagged it, but this was a clean single, the first hit Happ surrendered in pinstripes. But fear not; the next Kansas City hit led off the sixth inning. Continue reading

A “Du” Process Win

Bronx, N.Y., July 21, 2018; Yankees 7, NY Mets 6 — After leading the visiting Mets for much of the game in the Stadium Saturday afternoon, the Yankees held on for a white-knuckles win thanks to two ground balls served up by Chasen Shreve. The lefty saved (his first of the year) the home team once closer Aroldis Chapman could not throw strikes, missing the zone 16 of 19 times. But the team was able to hold on “du” to huge offensive games from right field and third base. Continue reading

Giancarlo!!!

Bronx, N.Y., July 4, 2018; Yankees 6, Atlanta 2 — Word has been out that the Braves broadcasters have been droning on about cheap home runs to Yankee Stadium’s short right field porch (though Acuna, Jr. hit one there to beat the Yanks Monday). Chirp no more, broadcasters. Giancarlo Stanton, thankfully, put that complaint to rest in the Bombers’ 6-2 victory Wednesday afternoon. Continue reading

The Elusive 4-0

Bronx, N.Y., June 16, 2018; Yankees 4, Tampa 1 — The superb Luis Severino turned in his routine dazzling performance under stunningly beautiful skies in Yankee Stadium Saturday afternoon, and the Yanks took their third straight from the Tampa Rays, 4-1. Following on a season ticket holder photo event pregame with retired players in town for Sunday’s Old Timer’s Day festivities, it seemed a perfect day, but not — apparently — for an increasingly restive and demanding fanbase. Continue reading

Blustery Battle

Bronx, N.Y., May 27, 2017; Yankees 3, Anaheim 1 — The Yankees collected just five singles Sunday afternoon, only two not stroked by leadoff hitter Brett Gardner, whose three safeties did not figure in the scoring. But they turned Aaron Judge’s single leading off the home third, and Angels starter Garrett Richards’s wildness, into a three-run rally that carried the day. The superb Masahiro Tanaka triumphed in this one because he did the best job of coping with the difficult weather, tough on both players and spectators alike. Continue reading

One-Inning Pitchers

Bronx, N.Y., May 6, 2018; Yankees 7, Cleveland 4 — The Yankees delighted a few thousand season ticket holders pregame Sunday with a photo day meeting with our beloved players, then treated 40,000 to a crazy game that few are likely to forget any time soon. Cleveland’s Mike Clevenger and pinstriper Domingo German — the latter making his first ever major league start — gave a clinic on dominant pitching that threatened to have us all out on River Avenue a scant two hours after German’s 1:08 first pitch. Continue reading

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