Thursday, May 26, 2022

Yankees Tracker: Games 44 & 45


Hideki Irabu in 1998.

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

Through 45 games:

2022: 32-13

Game 44: Wednesday night: Yankees 2, Baltimore 0

JP Sears made his first Major League start in this one, and he threw five shutout innings, allowing just three hits and two walks, with five strikeouts.

The Yankees' bullpen preserved the shutout, as Rob Marinaccio threw two innings, Lucas Luetge and Miguel Castro covered the eighth, and Clay Holmes closed it out in the ninth.

Miguel Andujar provided all the Yankees' offense, as he got an RBI single in the fourth, and then stole second, and when the throw went into center field, Gleyber Torres walked home to make it 2-0.

To read our full coverage of this game, click here.

Game 45: Thursday night: Yankees 7, Tampa Bay 2

Nestor Cortes was vintage "Nasty Nestor" tonight, as he threw eight shutout innings before being pulled in the ninth, allowing one run on four hits and a walk, with four strikeouts, to improve to 4-1 on the seaosn with a 1.70 ERA. 

The Yankees were no-hit by Ryan Yabrough through the first five innings, but that was over in the sixth as Matt Carpenter got hit buy a pitch to open the inning, followed by a Marwin Gonzalez single, and then Aaron Judge singled in Carpenter to make it 1-0 Yankees. Then, later in the inning, with Ryan Thompson in for Tampa Bay, Miguel Andujar got a two-run single to make it 3-0.

Isiah Kiner-Falefa scored on a wild pitch in the seventh to make it 4-0 in the seventh, and then in the ninth, Aaron Judge hit an RBI sacrifice fly, followed by a two-run double from Anthony Rizzo.

1998: 35-10

Game 44: Monday, May 25, 1998: Yankees 12, Chicago White Sox 0

Hideki Irabu threw a complete game shutout, as he scattered six hits and five walks, while striking out six, to improve to 4-0 on the season, with a 1.13 ERA.

Irabu was staked out to a 6-0 lead in the first inning, as the Yankees got a two-run double from Paul O'Neill and two-run singles from Jorge Posada and Scott Brosius. That knocked out Chicago starter Jaime Navarro, who went just 1/3 of an inning.

The Yankees added to their lead in the fourth, when Derek Jeter had an RBI triple, followed by an RBI single from Bernie Williams that made it 8-0.

In the sixth, O'Neill had an RBI single, and Williams followed that with a three-run homer to make it 12-0.

Game 45: May 26, 1998: Yankees 7, Chicago White Sox 5

This was the 1998 Yankees' ninth win in their last 10 games.

The White Sox took a 2-1 lead in this one in the second inning when Robin Ventura hit a two-run home run off Andy Pettitte.

The Yankees tied it in the fifth, and took in the lead in the seventh against Chicago reliever Keith Foulke, when Tim Raines led off with a double and scored on a groundout from Scott Brosius.

Chicago loaded the bases in the bottom of the seventh against Pettitte and Jeff Nelson, and back-to-back sacrifice flies from Frank Thomas and Albert Belle gave them a 4-3 edge.

The big blow came in the top of the eighth when Paul O'Neill hit a three-run homer off Foulke to make it 6-4 Yankees.

Mike Cameron homered to lead off the bottom of the eighth off Nelson to pull Chicago within 6-5, but a Dale Sveum RBI single in the top of the ninth got that run right back, and the Yankees held on for a 7-5 win.

Mariano Rivera earned his 10th save of the season, Nelson got the win to improve to 2-1 on the season, and Foulke took the loss for Chicago to drop to 1-1.

This was Foulke's second year in the majors, having come up with San Francisco in 1997 and being traded to the White Sox during that season. He stayed in Chicago until 2002, then went to Oakland for one season, and went to Boston in 2004, and he was the closer on that World Championship team. He stayed in Boston until 2006, and then went back to Oakland in 2008, where he spent one season to finish his career.

Where They Stand: The 2018 Yankees (32-13) are three games off the pace of the 1998 Yankees, who were 35-10 through the first 45 games of the season.

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