Sunday, June 26, 2022

Yankees 1998 Tracker: Games 70-73


Paul O'Neill in 1998.

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

Through 73 Games:
2022: 53-20

Game 70: 51-19 - Thursday night: Yankees 7, Tampa Bay 6

The Yankees were trailing 6-3 heading into the bottom of the ninth inning, and Houston had their closer, Ryan Pressly, pitching, and the Yankees put together a trademark inning. Giancarlo Stanton and Gleyber Torres opened it with walks before Aaron Hicks hit a three-run home run to right field to tie it, the latest clutch hit for the Yankees' left fielder (click here to read more on Hicks' resurgence).

Isiah Kiner-Falefa singled, but he was caught stealing for the first out of the ninth. Jose Trevino then followed with a single, and since Pressly was already at 26 pitches, that was all for his night.

Ryen Stanek was next out of the Houston bullpen, and he struck out Joey Gallo for the second out. DJ LeMahieu walked to give the Yankees two runners on base for Aaron Judge, and he took it the other way, down the right field line, to bring in Trevino and give the Yankees the 7-6 win. Click here to read Yankees Manager Aaron Boone on how they "always have that confidence they can come through."

Game 71: 52-19 - Friday night: Houston 3, Yankees 1

The Houston Astros won this one, as Kyle Tucker hit a three-run home run in the top of the sixth, and the Yankees could only counter with a solo homer from Giancarlo Stanton in the bottom half of the frame.

This game featured a great pitching matchup from Houston's Justin Verlander and Luis Severino of the Yankees, both of whom reclaimed their ace status after essentially missing two seasons.

Verlander was excellent in this one, as he went seven innings, and allowed four hits, one run (earned), one walk, three strikeouts, on 102 pitches (65 strikes) to improve his record to 9-3 on the season.

Severino went six innings, and allowed five hits, three runs (all earned), two walks, sewen strikeouts, on 95 pitches (59 strikes), and his record fell to 4-2. To read our coverage of this game from Yankee Stadium, click here.

Game 72: 52-20 - Saturday afternoon: Astros 3, Yankees 0

A trio of  Houston Astros pitchers - starter Cristian Javier and relievers Hector Neris and Ryan Pressly - no-hit the Yankees on Saturday afternoon, as they won 3-0, the second straight win for Houston at Yankee Stadium.

Javier went seven innings, with 13 strikeouts, and he retired 21 of the 23 hitters he faced, allowing just two runners to get on base, as he walked Josh Donaldson in the first, and Donaldson then reached again in the seventh on an error by third baseman Alex Bregman. He earned the win to improve to 5-3 on the season, and lower his ERA (earned run average) to 2.73. Click here to read out full story on this, and other Yankees no-hitter history.

Game 73: 53-20 - Yankees 6, Astros 3 (10 innings)

The Astros jumped out to an early lead int his one, as Jose Altuve led off the game with a home runs against Yankees starter Nestor Cortes. Houston tacked on a couple more when Mauricio Dubon got a two-run single in the fourth that made it 3-0.

Through all of this, the Yankees were being no-hit by Jose Urquidy, all the way through one out in the seventh inning.

Giancarlo Stanton ended the no-hit bid with a bang when he hit a colossal shot to center field for a solo home run, his 17th of the season to make it 3-1 Houston.

That started a Yankee offensive barrage, as DJ LeMahieu tied it with a two-run shot in the eighth, and Aaron Judge nit a three-run shot in the 10th, his 28th of the season, to give the Yankees the walk-off win. 

It was the Yankees' 10th walk-off win of the season, with five of them coming in June, just the 10th time in franchise history they have recorded at least that many in a month. They now have 22 comeback wins on the season, most in the Major Leagues. 

1998: 54-19 through 73 games

Game 70: 51-19 - June 23, 1998: Atlanta 7, Yankees 2

The Yankees got on the board in the bottom of the first inning when Derek Jeter hit a solo homer off Atlanta starter Tom Glavine, but it was all Braves after that.
Atlanta tied it in the second on a Michael Tucker RBI single, and in the third, Keith Lockhart had an RBI single to make it 2-1 Braves.
The Braves kept it going in the fourth, when Ozzie Guillen and Curtis Pride were each walked with the bases loaded to force in runs, and Chipper Jones had a two-run single to make it 6-1.
That was it for Yankees starter Orlando "El Duque" Hernandez, who went just 3 2/3 innings, allowing six runs (three earned) on six hits and four walks, with five strikeouts. This was El Duque's first loss, and his record dropped to 2-1 with a 2.30 ERA.
Tom Glavine got the win for Atlanta to improve to 10-3 on the season, as he went eight innings, allowing two runs on seven hits and two walks, with a strikeout.
The Yankees dropped to 51-19, and Atlanta earned their 51st win in this one. The interesting thing is Atlanta's record was 51-26, as they played seven more games than the Yankees at that point in the 1998 season.

Game 71: 52-19 - June 24, 1998: Yankees 10, Atlanta 6
Atlanta jumped out to the early lead against Yankees starter David Cone, when Ozzie Guillen led off the bottom of the first with a home run, and Andruw Jones had an RBI double in the second to make it 2-0.
Paul O'Neill hit a solo homer to get the Yankees on the board in the top of the third, and they kept the momentum going in the fourth.
Joe Girardi had an RBI double, then two runs came in on an error on a hit by David Cone, and Derek Jeter got an RBI single to make it 5-2 and chase Atlanta starter Kevin Millwood from the game.
The Yankees expanded their lead in the seventh when Chad Curtis had an RBI single, Scott Brosius had an RBI double, and Girardi had an RBI groundout to make it 8-3.
In the top of the eighth, the Yankees blew it open, as Tino Martinez had a two-run double to make it 10-3.
David Cone settled in and earned his 10th win of the 1998 season in this one, with a record of 10-2, as he went seven innings, and allowed three runs on five hits and no walks, with seven strikeouts.

Game 72: 53-19 - June 25, 1998: Yankees 6, Altanta 0

David Wells threw a complete game shutout, as he scattered six hits and no walks, with five strikeouts, to improve to 10-2 in 1998.
The game was scoreless until the sixth when the Yankees broke through against Braves starter Denny Neagle.
Paul O'Neill got a two-run triple and came in to score on an RBi single from Tim Raines. Chad Curtis followed with a two-run homer to make it 5-0 Yankees.
In the eighth, Tino Martinez scored as a result of an error on a hit by Curtis to make it 6-0.

Game 73: 54-19 - June 26, 1998: Yankees 8, Mets 4

In the first game of the lone three-game Subway Series of 1998 (they went to six games the following season), the Yankees beat the Mets 8-4 on a Friday night.
This game is known for Paul O'Neill's three-run home run into the left field bleachers off Mets reliever Mel Rojas in the seventh inning to give them a 6-4 lead.
After the Mets got a run in the bottom of the first, the Yankees tied it in the fourth on a Jorge Posada RBI single, followed by a Chuck Knoblauch RBI single in the fifth that made it 2-1.
In the bottom of the fifth, Brian McRae and Edgardo Alfonso each hit solo homers to give the Mets a 3-2 lead.
Scott Brosius had an RBI single to tie it in the top of the sixth, but the Mets took the lead right back when Carlos Baerga had an RBI groundout to make it 4-3.
The top of the seventh started with Tino Martinez striking out, followed by a Chuck Knoblauch walk and a Derek Jeter single.
That was all for Mets starter Al Leiter, who was pulled for Mel Rojas.
It made no sense to pull Leiter, a lefty, for Rojas, a righty, to face the left-handed swinging O'Neill.
O'Neill launched the three-run shot to make it 6-4, and then the Yankees tacked on two more in the eighth against another Mets reliever Brian Bohanon, as Knoblauch and Jeter got RBI singles to put it away.
Hideki Irabu started this one for the Yankees, and he went 5 2/3 innings, allowing four runs on six hits and three walks, with five strikeouts.
Ramiro Mendoza got the win as he went 2 2/3 innings, allowing non runs, a hit, no walks, with three strikeouts. He improved to 5-1 on the season, as he started the year as a starter.
Mariano Rivera earned his 19th save of the season as he came on with one out in the ninth and closed it out.
Al Leiter took the loss for the Mets, as he allowed five runs (four earned) on eight hits and two walks, with six strikeouts, to fall to 9-4 on the season.

Where they stand: The 2022 Yankees (53-20) are one game off the pace of the 1998 Yankees, who were 54-19 through 73 games.

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