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

Damn Yankees

Bronx, N.Y., June 25, 2017; Texas 7, Yankees 6 — A group of 43 ex-players, an ex-trainer, and four beloved Yankee widows treated a growing crowd of fans to a delightful ceremony and a four-inning Old Timers’ Game on a pleasant afternoon in the Bronx Sunday. The Clippers edged the Bombers in a one-run contest that disappointed absolutely no one. The one-run loss to Texas in the game that followed was another matter. Continue reading

Bludgeoning Baltimore

Bronx, N.Y., June 11, 2017; Yankees 14, Baltimore 3 — On the day after Adam West, the actor most famed for playing the character Batman, died, the Yankees battered Baltimore pitching yet again, 14-3, outscoring their AL East rivals 38-8 in a three-game sweep in which the home team blasted 11 home runs. On a gorgeous 90-degree-plus day in the Bronx, the third straight over-45,000-strong crowd delighted in audio Batman references, once their team was up big on a first-inning explosion. Continue reading

A Gaveled Game

May 28, 2017, Bronx, N.Y.; Yankees 9, Oakland 5 — The Yankees wrapped up their current homestand by winning their fourth of six games, a 9-5 decision over the visiting A’s Sunday afternoon. It was a sloppy affair in which only eight of 14 runs scored were earned. Winner Michael Pineda surrendered a rare three walks, and gave back a run on his own error. But the 45,00 who attended this one will remember it for the first grand slam of right fielder Aaron Judge’s career, a drive that turned a 2-1 A’s lead on its head; it was Judge’s 16th homer of the year. Continue reading

Respect

Bronx, N.Y., April 29, 2017; Yankees 12, Baltimore 4 — It wasn’t excruciating exactly, but you might have thought so given the explosion of joy released when Aaron Judge finally sent his 10th 2017 home run over the wall in right center Saturday afternoon, increasing the Yankee lead over Baltimore to 12-2 in the seventh inning. After all, it came 160 minutes from the beginning of the game, and 19 hours after he stroked his ninth the night before. Continue reading

To Kill an Oriolebird

Bronx, N.Y., April 28, 2017; Yankees 14, Baltimore 11 — Quick turnaround before we’re back at the Stadium, so it would be foolish to attempt a blow-by-blow description of what transpired in the Bronx Friday night. Suffice it to say the Yankees fell way behind, staged a furious comeback, and walked off with an unlikely win. Why much of a crowd reported to be about 37,000, but that seemed actually bigger, stuck around despite the Yankees being down 9-1 in the sixth, and 11-4 in the seventh, is anyone’s guess. The team is playing very well, it features a group of young stars (or stars-to-be), and it was not only a Friday night, but a perfect one for baseball in a city where the nights (and days) have been dreary for some time. If they stayed because it was date night, or for the weather, they got quite a bonus. Continue reading

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