Saturday, May 21, 2022

Yankees 1998 Tracker: Game 39


From now until the end of the season, we will be following the progress of the current Yankees against the 1998 World Championship team that won 114 games in the regular season.

Through 39 Games:
2022: 29-10

Saturday afternoon, Yankees 7,White Sox 5 

Nestor Cortes got the start for the Yankees, and while he did not have the superb outings he did recently, he gave the Yankees five solid innings, in which he allowed three runs (all earned) on six hits and no walks, with seven strikeouts. The lefty improved to 3-1 on the season.

The Yankees got on the board in the bottom of the second when they put together a big inning against Chicago starter Dallas Keuchel, their old nemesis from his days with Houston.

Giancarlo Stanton led off with a single, and scored on an Isiah Kiner-Falefa sincle to make it 1-0. DJ LeMahieu came up with the bases loaded, and he launched a blast to right field for a grand slma to open up a 5-0 lead for the Yankees.

Chicago came back in the third when Jose Abreu then launched one to left field for a three-run home run to pull the White Sox within 5-3. 

Michael King came on for the Yankees in the sixth, and though he has had a great season he’s had some tough outings lately, and this was one of them.

After King got Grandal out, Pollock doubled, and then scored on a double by Leury Garcia.

Adam Engel struck out, but then King gave up another double to Josh Harrison to bring home Garcia and cut the Yanks’ lead to 6-5. King then walked Anderson and Vaughn bounced out to second for a force out to end it.

In the bottom of the sixth, the Yankees got a run back when Kyle Higashioka drew a walk, and evetually came in on a Rizzo sacrifice fly to make it 7-5.

The Yankees faced their first big situation since Chad Green hurt himself In Thursday’s game in Baltimore and was on the injured list Saturday morning.

First up was Jonathan Loaisiga in the seventh, and he got around a two-on and nobody out jam by striking out the side. Next up, in a move Yankees Manager Aaron Boone alluded to in his pregame press conference, he turned to tall right-hander Miguel Castro in the eighth. Castro struck out pinch-hitter Yoan Moncada and then another PH, Gavin Sheets singled and stole second base. Castro then got Anderson out, and that was all for him.

Clay Holmes was on next, and he got Vaughn to ground back to him to end the inning. As was pretty evident with nobody warming in the bottom of the eighth, Holmes came back for the ninth to close it out. Holmes retired Chicago in order, as he struck out Robert, got Abreu to ground to third, and struck out Grandal to earn his fourth save of the season.

To read the full story of the game, click here.

1998: 30-9

May 20, 1998: Yankees 9, Baltimore 6

The Yankees beat the Orioles 9-6 at The Stadium to improve to 30-9 and dropped the Orioles, who made the playoffs the prior two seasons, to 20-25.

After Baltimore got a run in the top of the first, the Yankees rallied against old friend Jimmy Key for four runs in the bottom of the frame, as Derek Jeter had an RBI triple, Tim Raines had an RBI single, and Jorge Posada had a two-run double.

In the fourth, Jeter got an RBI double and Paul O'Neill had an RBI single to make it 6-1 Yankees.

The Yankees pulled away in the sixth, as Scott Brosius homered off Key, who then gave up a couple of singles and was lifted for Norm Charlton, who gave up a two-run single to Raines to give them a commanding 9-2 lead.

The Orioles rallied for four runs in the ninth against Darren Holmes to make the final a respectable 9-6.

Hideki Irabu started this one for the Yankees, and improved to 3-0 on the season, his second in New York. Irabu went six innings, and allowed two runs on six hits and three walks with a  pair of strikeouts.

Key took the loss for Baltimore to drop to 4-3, as he allowed nine runs on 12 hits and two walks, with six strikeouts in 5 2/3 innings.
This would be Key's last season in the league, and he finished with a record of 6-3 with a 4.20 ERA.

Key joined the Yankees in 1993 and was in New York for four seasons, most known for starting Game 6 of the 1996 World Series against Atlanta when the Yankees won their first championship since 1978.

After that big win, Key went to the Orioles in 1997, and he went 16-10 with a 3.43 ERA for a Baltimore team that won the American League East, beat the Seattle Mariners in the Division Series, and lost in the Championship Series to the Cleveland Indians.

Where they stand: The 2022 Yankees (29-10) are just one game off the pace of the 1998 team (30-9)

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