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

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

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