|The Yankees and Baltimore brawl on May 19, 1998.|
From now until the end of the season, we will be tracking the progress of this current Yankee team to the 1998 World Championship squad that won 114 games in the regular season. Ironically, the 38th game both seasons came against Baltimore, with far different stakes at play.Through 38 Games:
Thursday afternoon: Orioles 9, Yankees 6
May 19, 1998: Yankees 9, Orioles 5
This game will be remembered well by Yankees fans because it was marked by a brawl sparked by Orioles reliever Armando Benitez drilling Tino Martinez in the back with a heater.
The benches cleared and the melee continued into the Baltimore dugout, with Yankees Darryl Strawberry and Graeme Lloyd going after Benitez.
The Yankees were trailing 5-1 early on, as Baltimore's Doug Johns outmatched David Cone over the first five innings.
The Yankees got to the Orioles bullpen, with Sidney Ponson (who later pitched for the Yankees) giving up a couple of runs in the seventh on RBI hits to Paul O'Neill and Tim Raines to cut the O's lead to 5-3.
In the eighth, O'Neill got an RBI single off Norm Charlton to make it 5-4, and Bernie Williams got the big blow off Benitez, a three-run blast to make it 7-4 Yankees.
Benitez retaliated by throwing the next pitch at Martinez to start the brawl.
After play resumed, Raines hit a two-run homer off Bobby Munoz, who came to the majors with the Yankees in 1993.
It is amazing to think that the David Wells no-hitter and the Baltimore brawl, arguably the two most memorable moments of the 1998 regular season, occurred in back-to-back games.
Where They Stand: The 2022 Yankees (28-10) are now just one game off the pace of the 1998 team (29-9) in the Quest for 114.