April 14 in Yankee History

  • Perhaps ballplayers don’t dread ESPN Sunday night games as much as fans do, because the Yanks and Orioles played a great pitchers’ duel on April 14, 2013, to a 3-0 final win for the home team. Baltimore lefty Wei-Yin Chen allowed just six hits, but the one to Brett Gardner in the fifth hit the right field foul pole, and capped the only scoring half inning of the night. But the star of this one was righthander Hiroki Kuroda, who scattered five singles and no walks to go the nine-inning distance on 113 pitches. Gathering 18 ground-ball outs, Hiroki needed just five strike outs, three of them by O’s slugger Chris Davis. Continue reading
  • April 13 in Yankee History

  • It was 60 degrees and nice when the Yanks hosted the Anaheim Angels in their home opener on April 13, 2012. And new free agent starter Hiroki Kuroda quickly endeared himself to the Bronx, allowing just four singles and no runs through eight innings. Initially, Ervin Santana seemed up to the challenge after striking out two to start the bottom of the first, but a single, a stolen base, and two walks set it up for Nick Swisher, who then delivered three runs with a double in a 5-0 Yankee win. Recently retired Jorge Posada threw out the ceremonial first pitch to his father, Jorge Posada, Sr. 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

    April 12 in Yankee History

  • The titular (though not actual, as it turned out) leaders of the 2015 AL East experienced what would be a season-long reversal of fortunes in Yankee Stadium on April 12, 2015, as seven of the first eight Yankee batters to face Clay Buchholz scored, an outburst punctuated by a three-run double off the bat of Alex Rodriguez, and back-to-back homers from Chase Headley and Stephen Drew. Despite lingering questions about the quality and depth of their rotation, the Red Sox and their fans were feeling good about their team’s early success — which would prove illusory — and Buchholz’s line into the fourth was 10 runs (nine earned) on nine hits and two walks on 79 pitches. Everyone in the Yankee lineup would score, and seven would drive in runs, led by Rodriguez’s four and three apiece from Headley and Brian McCann, in the Bombers’ 14-4 win, their first of several early-season appearances on ESPN Sunday Night Baseball. Continue reading
  • April 11 in Yankee History

  • On April 11, 1912, the Yankees wore the pinstripes for the first time in the opener against the Red Sox at Hilltop Park. The locals (playing on the “Hilltop,” they were the “Highlanders”) took a 2-1 lead in the first against Smoky Joe Wood, but two of the four tallies Boston pushed across in the ninth scored on Wood’s single in the 5-3 New York loss. Continue reading
  • 20 Up, 20 Down

    Bronx, N.Y., April 10, 2017; Yankees 8, Tampa 1 — “Big Mike” Pineda and Mother Nature collaborated in giving Yankee fans one of their best days in years, perhaps decades, Monday afternoon in the Bronx. The offense chipped in with three home runs, but Pineda was clearly the reason the team came away with an 8-1 victory in the home opener. Continue reading

    April 10 in Yankee History

  • A heartbreaking loss on April 10, 2015, had me and many fans consoling ourselves with the (quite true, as it turned out) observation that, as opposed to the lifeless ’14 squad, the new season’s team was resilient, flashing a gutsy determination to come back from most deficits, but the ordeal was just so long that you had to be depressed at the outcome. Getting off the mat three times, the Yanks rallied to tie the Red Sox 3-3 on a two-out, bottom-of-the ninth Chase Headley home run, then extended the game to 4-4 with a Mark Teixeira bomb with one down in the 16th, and again on a one-out rbi double by Carlos Beltran in the 18th, 5-5. But a single, stolen base, John Ryan Murphy passed ball, and Mookie Betts sac fly was one deficit too many, and the Bombers fell, 6-5, in 19 innings, a seven-hour ordeal. Soon to be released long man Esmil Rogers allowed all three runs in extra innings and took the loss, but you had to feel for the guy, who had pitched 2.33 innings the night before, and another 4.67 in this one. Continue reading
  • April 9 in Yankee History

  • There are plenty of Yankee- and baseball-related events to talk about that happened on April 9, including the death of a Hall of Famer. But the most significant item in this Yankee fan’s experience on that day occurred on 1996 Opening Day at Yankee Stadium. The Opener is an event that is longingly awaited every year, but the uplifting and exciting, then excruciating, five-game loss to the Seattle Mariners in the 1995 ALDS had left Yankee fans hungry for big-time winning baseball. So 50,000-plus suffered and froze their way to a 7-3 victory over Kansas City behind the gritty Andy Pettitte through a nonstop snowstorm that day. None realized that the day would have a second highlight with the almost offhand Yankee offer of a free ticket to one of three upcoming games to all who had suffered through the conditions. Continue reading
  • April 8 in Yankee History

  • Notching their first 2015 win despite struggling with R.A. Dickey‘s knuckleball, the Yanks evened their record at 1-1 by outpointing Toronto 4-3 on April 8. Pinch hitter Chris Young doubled off southpaw Aaron Loup to start the three-run, game-winning, eighth-inning rally to make a winner of Dellin Betances, and Andrew Miller came on to post his first save in pinstripes. Starting the season as fans and manager Joe Girardi hoped they would, table setters Jacoby Ellsbury and Brett Gardner scored three of the Yankee runs. Continue reading
  • April 7 in Yankee History

  • The late offense that saved Nate Eovaldi from a loss after he surrendered five runs to the Astros over five innings, largely on two home runs, would prove illusory later in the season, but the solid bullpen work that ensured the victory on April 7, 2016, would be a club feature all year. Starlin Castro and Mark Teixeira homers (two in his first two games wearing the pinstripes for Castro) supplied the comeback offense in the 8-5 victory, but the three-hit, no-run relief from Kirby Yates, Chasen Shreve, Dellin Betances, and Andrew Miller carried the day. Continue reading