April 6 in Yankee History

  • After a tough loss in their home opener the day before, the Yanks gave their fans false hope for a big year with 12 runs in the first three innings in a 16-6 win over visiting Houston on April 6, 2016. Loading the bases against righty Colin McHugh on an outfield error and two walks, five hits later they had a 6-1 lead, which Michael Pineda almost surrendered with a grand slam by George Springer in the second. But three-run jacks by Starlin Castro and Alex Rodriguez in the second and third innings, respectively, restored order. Pineda even managed to last five frames for the win, but not before Carlos Correa‘s second homer of the day smacked off the facade of the Mohegan Sun club in dead center. Continue reading
  • April 5 in Yankee History

  • Improving on their dispiriting shutout defeat to Houston southpaw Dallas Keuchel in the 2015 Wild Card game, the Yanks and Masahiro Tanaka battled him to a 2-2 tie through seven innings in the home opener on April 5, 2016. But Dellin Betances had a disappointing eighth, loading the bases on two walks and his own error, and Luis Valbuena plated the second and third runs of the inning on a double to right. Play up the middle showed early promise that would continue, as Starlin Castro stroked a two-run double in the second, and Didi Gregorius‘s eighth-inning home run was too little too late in the 5-3 loss. Hideki Matsui threw out the ceremonial first pitch on a cold, windy Tuesday in the Bronx on the day after the scheduled opener had been rained out. Continue reading
  • April 3 in Yankee History

  • Even the most grizzled and veteran Yankee fan will have to admit that April 3, 2009, is a huge day in Yankee history. With the venerable old Stadium being slowly chipped away at across 161st Street, it was on this day that the team opened their new Palace in what would become a Championship season, just as they enjoyed when they opened the original 86 years sooner. Would the magic make it across the street? Most doubts were dispelled when Hideki Matsui hit a two-run home run off the right field foul pole in the third inning and Cody Ransom thudded a high drive off the top of the left field pole for three more runs in the fourth. Chien-Ming Wang started the 8-5 exhibition victory over the NL Chicago Cubs, who started ex-Yankee Ted Lilly. Mariano Rivera pitched a rare sixth inning. Continue reading
  • April 2 in Yankee History

  • A three-run Mark Teixeira home run off Brad Penny in Yankee Stadium on April 2, 2011, gave the Yanks a 6-0 lead that they would convert into a 10-6 win over the Tigers. A three-run shot by Russell Martin and a solo homer from Alex Rodriguez forged the final Yankee score, and A.J. Burnett got the win. Continue reading
  • April 1 in Yankee History

  • It was only fitting, perhaps, that the final Opening Day in old Yankee Stadium was rained out March 31, 2008, and postponed until April 1. Reggie Jackson threw out the ceremonial first pitch for the Tuesday night game, George Steinbrenner was the first of 81 (sometimes) celebrities to advance the home games left counter from 81 to 80 in the fifth inning, and the Yanks prevailed 3-2 over Toronto in a scintillating pitchers’ duel between Roy Halladay and Chien-Ming Wang. That Joba Chamberlain and Mariano Rivera threw scoreless eighth and ninth innings, respectively, to preserve the win was not surprising, but two other things were: First, Melky Cabrera came through with a tying home run in the sixth inning; then, Jason Giambi contributed greatly to the winning rally in the seventh with a cunning baserunning move, diving to the ground to avoid a tag and then scrambling to second just in time to thwart a double play attempt that put Alex Rodriguez at third base with one out. DH Hideki Matsui delivered the run with a fielder’s choice ground ball. Continue reading
  • March 31 in Yankee History

  • Culminating an insane major league schedule prepared, one assumes, by “professionals” who have never seen a map or a thermometer, the Yanks celebrated 2011 Opening Day in the Bronx on March 31, the first of 20 games played in a frigid, wet stadium before May 1. Recent Yankee retiree Mike Mussina threw out the ceremonial first pitch to one-year-from-retirement Jorge Posada. Behind Mark Teixeira‘s three-run bomb, the Yanks tied the Tigers through six with staff aces CC Sabathia and Justin Verlander pitching, and Curtis Granderson greeted ex-Yank lefty Phil Coke with a leadoff seventh-inning home run that led the way to the 6-3 hometown win. Continue reading
  • March 30 in Yankee History

  • Despite all the concern about the early-season effects, the Yanks actually got off to a good start in their earliest ever Opener, vs. the Devil Rays in the Tokyo Dome on March 30, 2004. Hideki Matsui doubled with one out and Jason Giambi homered (to left center, no less!) for the 2-0 lead in the first. Mike Mussina scattered three singles through three, but the Rays plated back-to-back fourth-inning walks. Then leadoff, sixth-inning, extra-base hits from Jose Cruz, Tino Martinez, Julio Lugo, and Toby Hall sent Moose to the showers and the Yanks to an 8-3 loss. Continue reading
  • March 29 in Yankee History

  • Few would deny that one man, Babe Ruth, will forever sit atop the Baseball Pantheon. Among a handful of others competing for second place would be legendary pitcher Cy (Denton True) Young, born this day in 1867. In 22 years, Cy sandwiched stints in Cleveland (early with the NL Spiders, later with the AL Indians) around a long stay in Boston, and amassed two equally impregnable numbers: 511 wins, 316 losses. Cy threw the first perfect game in AL history, and in 1904 he went 24.3 innings without giving up a hit. And as if in confirmation that this is a day for champions, the prize-winning racehorse Man O’War was born exactly 50 years later. Continue reading
  • March 28 in Yankee History

  • On March 28, 1986, the Yankees and Red Sox swapped DHs. Mike Easler donned the Pinstripes, while Don Baylor headed north to Fenway. The Sox came out on top in this one, as Baylor slugged 31 dingers good for 94 rbi’s in 1986, while the Yanks settled for Easler’s 14 homers and 78 driven in; both sluggers stole three bases. Continue reading