The last MLB game played at the old Yankee Stadium happened last night on 9/21/2008 against the New York Yankees and the Baltimore Orioles. The Yankees will finish up their 2008 season on the road and will not make a playoff appearance this year. Sadly that means the old stadium is basically finished. The Yankees went out in style at home though, with a great pre-game ceremony featuring some great Yankees from the past including Yogi Berra and Reggie Jackson. They also managed to close out the Stadium with a 7-3 win over the Orioles. At the conclusion of the game, captain Derek Jeter addressed the crowd and led the Yankees in a walk around the Stadium to honor the fans.
The soon to be famous “Lasts” at Yankee Stadium:
Last Game Played at Yankee Stadium: 9/21/08 Yankees beat Orioles 7-3.
Last Homerun at Yankee Stadium: Jose Molina 2 run homer in 4th inning on 9/21.
Last Strikeout at Yankee Stadium: Recorded by Phil Coke of the NYY against Aubrey Huff, 7th inning.
Last Out Made at Yankee Stadium: M. Rivera pitching, Brian Roberts grounded out to first base.
Last Run Scored at Yankee Stadium: Sac fly by Robinson Cano in 7th inning, B. Gardner Scores.
Other Notes: Andy Pettite recorded his 2,000th Strikout in the game. The Yankees are technically not eliminated from the playoffs with their win last night.
Despite losing key pieces to their dominant defense in Michael Strahan (retirement) and Osi Umenyiora (injury) the New York Giants defense was on point against the Washington Redskins on opening night. The Giants held the Redskins to just 7 points and 209 total yards. Washington’s offense was only 3 for 13 on 3rd down conversions giving punter Durant Brooks a nice workout.
The Giants did all of their offensive damage in the 1st half, scoring a touchdown on their opening drive adding 3 field goals on their next 3 possessions. Plaxico Burress who had just signed an improved contract with the Giants had a great receiving night with 10 receptions good for 133 total yards.
With some help from Jason Giambi, the New York Yankees avoided a three game sweep by beating the Boston Red Sox 3-2 yesterday afternoon at Yankee Stadium. Giambi hit a pinch hit homerun in the seventh inning to tie the game at 2-2 and then delivered in the clutch once again in the ninth inning, knocking home the game winning run off of Sox closer Jonathan Papelbon. The game was the last meeting between the two teams at Yankee Stadium before the park is set to close following the culmination of the 2008 season.
The Yankees who had dropped to 7 games behind the Red Sox in the Wild Card race following Wednesday night’s defeat needed a win badly to keep the thought of the playoffs alive, and with Giambi’s heroics, they still have some life.
“We have a pulse,” Giambi said. “Hopefully, this will jump-start this ballclub.”
The Red Sox took a 2-0 lead in the fifth inning when they were able to piece together two hits and a hit batsmen off of Yankees starter Mike Mussina to go ahead. Jason Varitek collected an RBI single and Jacoby Ellsbury drove in the second run on a fielder’s choice.
Sox starter Jon Lester was brilliant through 7 2/3 innings allowing only five hits while striking out eight over the outing. He was removed after allowing a two-out double to Cody Ransom on his 119th pitch of the afternoon. Hideki Okajima came on in relief to face Jose Molina, but in an odd move, Yankees manger Joe Girardi called for the lefty Giambi to pinch hit against the left handed pitcher.
Turns out Girardi knew what he was doing. Giambi sent Okajima’s second pitch over the center field wall to even the score and energize the stagnant Yankees lineup.
“We’ve been stale. We haven’t been able to get the big hit. We haven’t been able to make a big pitch,” Giambi said. “Hopefully, this turns it around.”
The Yankees bullpen was able to keep the Sox at bay in the eighth and ninth innings setting the stage for some fireworks in their bottom of the ninth. Justin Masterson was on the mound for the Sox and allowed a leadoff single to Xaiver Nady. After a line out by Robinson Cano and a stolen base by pinch runner B Gardner, the Sox chose to intentionally walk Hideki Matsui to set up a double play or force out at third. Sounds like a good plan but Masterson followed up by issuing another walk to Ivan Rodriguez to load the bases for Giambi with only one out.
Sox manager Terry Francona summoned his closer in Papelbon to try and get out of the jam but even he could not work his way out of this one. Giambi laced the game winning RBI single up the middle on an 0-2 96 mph Papelbon fastball.
“I don’t care about the first two games—this one hurt,” Francona said. “We played our hearts out. We lost a really tough game.”
The Sox head back to Boston after going 6-3 on their nine game road trip, winning all there of the series 2 games to 1. Of their 29 remaining games, 20 of them will be played at Fenway Park where they’ve collectively gone 43-18 this season for a .705 winning percentage, the second best home percentage in the American League behind Tampa Bay.
Tonight, the Red Sox welcome the Chicago White Sox to town for a three game series. Pitching for Boston will be Dice-K Matsuzaka (15-2, 2.98 ERA) vs. Chicago’s Javier Vazquez (10-11, 4.37 ERA). Dice-K currently has as many wins this season as he posted in his MLB rookie campaign last year, and is looking to surpass that mark for the second start. This past Sunday, he did not factor into the decision of Boston’s 6-5 extra inning victory over Toronto.
Tickets are still available for this weekend’s games vs. Chicago as well as next week’s series vs. Baltimore. The Sox will break MLB’s consecutive sellout streak of Fenway Park this coming Wednesday afternoon and ACE has your seats to the game!
The Boston Red Sox are making sure to savor ever moment of their final visit to Yankee Stadium and after their 11-3 pounding of New York last night, the Yankees can not wait to see them leave. Dustin Pedroia belted a grand-slam, David Ortiz reached base four times for the second straight night and Jason Bay collected two hits and four RBI’s as the Sox routed New York, again, in front of a disappointed Bronx crowd. After the loss, the Yankees find themselves 7 games behind the Sox in the Wild Card race and 10.5 games behind the division leading Tampa Bay Rays.
“We just dug ourselves a bigger hole,” New York’s Johnny Damon said. “This is definitely a tough time for us.”
For Boston, Paul Byrd tossed six strong innings allowing two runs on five hits while recording five strike outs. The win improves his post All-Star game record to 6-1 and has helped stabilize the bottom half of the Sox rotation with more consistent starts then they’d been used to. His performance last night was reminiscent of when he finished off the Yankees in New York last season in the ALDS series with Cleveland to advance to the ALCS against Boston.
“When I walked into this clubhouse, I remembered getting champagne poured on me right over there, about 20 feet away, and I got a smile on my face because it just has a good memory to me,” Byrd said. “And I know this is the last year of the stadium, so you think about that.”
Boston exploded for seven runs in the eighth inning to put the hammer on the struggling Yankees. The big blow came with one out when Pedroia belted his first career grand slam off of relief pitcher Jose Veras, making the score 11-2 at the time. The win certainly keeps the teams spirits high but they know that it’s far to early to count the Yankees out of the race.
“I never write the Yankees off until the season’s over and the standings are set,” Pedroia said. “They’ve been around too long and been in the playoffs for such a long time that we’re definitely not counting them out.”
Pedroia finished the night 3-5 at the plate, scoring three runs and driving in four RBI’s all on the slam. Bay also collected four RBI’s by going 2-4 that included a triple in the first inning to get things going for the Sox. He now has six RBI’s in his two games against the clubs rivals.
“Two games doesn’t make a lifetime. It doesn’t make a career,” he said. “The whole month I’ve been here has kind of been a Red Sox-Yankee series for me.”
Since joining Boston at the trade deadline, Bay has done nothing but produce. He’s batting .347 with four homeruns and 24 RBI’s in 23 games.
The Sox will go for the sweep today and send Jon Lester to the mound to face Mike Mussina. Lester is coming off of his worst outing of the season while the Yankees have won the last five of Mussina’s starts. If the Sox could come out on top, a sweep would be the first at Yankee Stadium for them since April 23-25, 2004, and only their second in the Bronx this decade.
Following today’s game the Sox head back to Fenway Park for a six-game home stand that will feature an afternoon game on Sept. 3rd when the Red Sox will break the MLB record for consecutive sellouts. Tickets are still available for all games during this homestand!
After spending the past two and a half weeks on the DL with stiffness in his lower back and tendinitis in his pitching shoulder, Tim Wakefield, the Red Sox 42-year old pitcher, looked like he hadn’t missed a beat Tuesday night hurling five innings and allowing only three runs on eight hits which was good enough to lead Boston past New York 7-3 in front of a Yankee Stadium crowd of over 55,000 fans.
Besides a pair of Johnny Damon solo homeruns, his 10th and 11th of the season, Wakefield shut down the potent Yankees lineup with knuckleball after knuckleball. He was able to keep himself out of trouble most of the night by working ahead in the count and not allowing leadoff men to reach base. The Boston bullpen was able to preserve Wake’s 8th win of the season by pitching four shutout innings in which they allowed only two hits.
“Phenomenal job,” Wakefield said of his teammates who were able to finish the game off.
The Yankees jumped in front when Johnny Damon led off the bottom of the first inning with his 10th homerun of the year off of Wakefield but the Sox quickly answered scoring a run in the top of the second inning on an RBI single by Jacoby Ellsbury, tying the score at 1-1. Jose Molina connected on a two out single in the bottom of the second inning to drive in Hideki Matsui, putting the Yankees back ahead 2-1, but again, the Sox would come right back with the answer scoring twice in the top of the third with three consecutive hits off of Yankees starting pitcher Andy Pettitte. DH David Ortiz led off the inning with a double and scored when Kevin Youkilis drove him home in the next at bat with a double of his home. Jason Bay got into the hitting action connecting on an RBI single to plate Youkilis to put Boston ahead for good 3-2.
The Red Sox chased Pettitte from the game in the fifth inning when they were able to score three more runs on four hits. Coco Crisp knocked an RBI single to right-center field to put Boston a head 4-2 and then the big blow came when Bay drove home two more runs on his second hit of the night to put Boston on top 6-2. Bay would later add another RBI on a sacrifice fly in the sixth inning to round out the Red Sox scoring.
New York did have some chances in the later innings to get back into this one, and they had the right guys up at the plate but just could not get the clutch hit they needed. Reigning AL MVP Alex Rodriguez went 0-5 on the night including grounding into two double plays, once with the bases loaded, and striking out twice, once to end the game. He was loudly booed by the Yankee Stadium crowd as the loss dropped New York 6 games behind the Sox for the Wild Card race and 9.5 games behind Tampa Bay for the division race.
“Tonight, you can put it on me,” Rodriguez said. “It was a lousy night. We pretty much screwed it up every way you can screw it up. There’s absolutely no excuse.”
Sox relief pitcher Justin Masterson was summoned to face Rodriguez with the bases loaded and only one out in the seventh inning. Masterson who is known as a groundball pitcher was able to force A-Rod to ground into an inning ending 4-6-3 double play.
When manager Terry Francona was asked about whether or not he thought twice about making the move to the rookie he said, “Poise is not a problem for him. He gives us options. We feel comfortable using him late in the game and he deserves it.”
After the big out last night, A-Rod is now 1-10 on the season with the bases loaded and 0-7 with the bases loaded when there were less then two outs in the inning. He’s now grounded into nine double plays over the last 19 games.
“I want him in that situation,” Yankees manager Joe Girardi said. “I’ve seen him change a game with one swing.”
Rodriguez and the Yankees will get a chance to even the series tonight when they face RHP Paul Byrd. Byrd is 1-1 since being traded to Boston from the Cleveland Indians and is probably thrilled to face another team besides the Toronto Blue Jays, whom he has faced in his last three starts going 2-1 with a 3.29 ERA. Since the All-Star break, Byrd is 5-1 and sporting a 2.55 ERA over that span. Byrd is excited to pitch against the Yankees with his new team, especially with All-Star catcher Jason Varitek calling his pitches.
“I knew he was a good catcher, but he’s a great receiver,” Byrd said. “He’s really good. He blocks the ball better than I thought he did. What he brings behind the plate, a wealth of knowledge against the hitters is great. I’ve enjoyed throwing to him. I think we’ve jelled pretty quickly.”
The Yankees will counter with RHP Sidney Ponson who is 7-4 on the year with a 4.67 ERA. He’s lost his last two decisions and is coming off his shortest outing of the season when he lasted only 2+ innings against Toronto allowing eight hits and seven earned runs in the Blue Jays 14-3 win over New York last Thursday.
Tonight’s first pitch is at 7:05pm EST.
The rivalry between the Boston Red Sox and New York Yankees will live on after the 2008 season, however, Yankee Stadium will not. Over the next month, the ‘House that Ruth Built’ will be seeing its final stretch of games before the doors close for good, highlighted by the three game series with the Red Sox which begins tonight. Over the history of the ballpark, the Red Sox and Yankees have met 770 times in New York during the regular season with the Yankees owning an impressive 483-283 advantage with four ties mixed in over the years.
“Because of the media and the fans, there’s more energy or electricity in the ballpark, but you can’t bring in a pitcher an inning earlier. They don’t give you two wins when you beat the Yankees, so you can’t do it differently,” Red Sox manager Terry Francona said ahead of the three-game series.
Heading into tonight’s matchup, the Sox hold a five game lead over the Yankees in the wild-card race but with a total of six remaining meetings between the two teams, it is far too early to count the Bronx Bombers out of the race. Last year, it appeared the Yankees streak of 12 consecutive seasons of qualifying for the playoffs was in jeopardy but they played amazing baseball over the final six weeks to squeak in with the wild card berth. If the Yanks can not win this series against Boston, their streak of 13 consecutive playoff bids will certainly be at risk once again.
“If we put on a run here, there’s no question we can make it,” Hank Steinbrenner, a Yankees’ co-chairman, said Monday night at the team’s spring training complex in Tampa, Fla. “There’s no question with the number of games we have left, it’s possible.”
One Sox player who is really excited about the series is newcomer Jason Bay. The recently acquired left-fielder has never experienced a rivalry with such magnitude as he’s about to, but he’s ready for it.
“I’m looking forward to it. That’s what you play baseball for is that type of atmosphere, those type of games,” said Bay, acquired by Boston from Pittsburgh last month in the Manny Ramirez trade.
Tonight, the Yankees will send veteran southpaw Andy Pettitte (13-9, 4.17 ERA) to the mound to face the Sox veteran knuckleballer Tim Wakefield (7-8, 3.67 ERA). The start will be Wakefield’s first since returning from the DL with stiffness in his lower back and right shoulder tenderness, causing him to miss two weeks of action.
Tomorrow’s matchup features two pitchers who have also been around the league for quite some time. The Yankees will let Sidney Ponson (7-4, 4.67 ERA) take the ball while Boston will hand it to Paul Byrd (8-11, 4.61 ERA). Ponson’s career began in 1998 while Byrd first pitched in the big leagues in 1995. The two have both logged over 1600 career innings pitched.
In the series finale, Mike Mussina (16-7, 3.45 ERA), will toss against Jon Lester (12-5, 3.49 ERA) in the last regular season game at Yankee Stadium between the two storied franchises. Lester is 2-0 in his young career against New York while Mussina boasts a lifetime record of 20-17 against Boston in 55 starts.
The series could make or break the last month for the Yankees but as far as the history of the stadium goes, Terry Francona just wants to focus on these three games and try to ignore the hype about everything else.
“I guess I felt more of that during the All-Star game because it was an All-Star game and you had time to maybe think about things,” he said. “When we’re playing the team, we’re just trying to beat them. That’s really what I care about. I don’t get too caught up in the other stuff.”
Tonight’s first pitch is at 7:05pm EST.
Not many people thought they would see Carl Pavano back on the mound for the Yankees, but this past Saturday the “American Idle” made his first start since April of 2007. The result was actually rather good. Pavano pitched five innings, giving up three runs on seven hits with five strike-outs. It was only Pavano’s 20th start since signing a large multi-year deal with the Yankees in 2005.
The Yankees got Pavano his first win since 2007 with help from Jason Giambi’s 25th homer and 3 RBI. Hideki Matsui also contributed with a solo shot of his own. The Yankees will need more of the same from Pavano if they still want a shot at post-season play. Without Chien-Ming Wang and Joba Chamberlain the Yankees are thin on starting pitching. The Yankees currently trail the Red Sox by 5 games in the AL Wild Card race.
The Yankees will open up a three game set against the Red Sox this Tuesday. Yankees tickets are still available for the game.
Two weeks ago, the New York Mets sat a few games over .500 knowing that if they wanted to make the 2008 postseason, they’d have to start playing better baseball. With last nights 5-4 victory over the Atlanta Braves, the Mets now find themselves 14 games over .500 at (71-57), atop the NL East by 2.5 games and 9-1 over their past 10 games. If that’s not better baseball, I don’t know what is.
Carlos Delgado exploded for five hits and three RBI’s to lift the Mets to their ninth win in 10 games. The five hit performance ties a career high that he had previously accomplished back in 1998 with the Toronto Blue Jays. With the score tied at 4-4, his fifth and final hit came in the bottom of the ninth inning, finding an outfield hole allowing David Wright to score the winning run from second.
“I’m seeing the ball well,” Delgado said. “It was a big win for us. We’re really confident. We’ve been able to find a way to win ballgames. That is something we weren’t doing early in the year.”
Since July 1st, Delgado is batting .321 with 12 homeruns and has driven in 49 runs over the past 48 games. The win also completed a three game sweep of Atlanta, the Mets first three-game sweep at home against the Braves since Sept. 1-3, 2003.
Pedro Martinez gave the Mets seven quality innings allowing four runs on eight hits while striking out two. His first pitch of the game was sent by Yunel Escobar deep into the left field stands for his seventh homerun of the season but Martinez settled down into a groove retiring 15 of the following 16 batters he faced including 1,2,3 innings in the third, fourth and fifth. He got into a little trouble in the sixth, allowing three runs on three hits but he retired the side in the seventh before being lifted in the eighth.
“We continue to put ourselves in position day in and day out to win games,” Mets manager Jerry Manuel said. “We have a good team. We have good chemistry. A lot of things are really working in our favor right now.”
For Atlanta, Mike Hampton made his first appearance against the Met s since July 17, 2005. The southpaw had missed the two previous seasons with elbow surgeries and only made his 2008 debut about a little over a month ago. Hampton pitched well but did not factor into the decision going six innings and allowing three runs on eight hits. He is currently 2-1 with a 6.47 ERA.
“It was fun being out there,” said Hampton who was the MVP of the 2000 NLCS for the Mets. “I might have an opportunity to be out there one more time in September before this place goes but it’ll definitely hold a special place in my memories in my baseball career.”
The loss drops the Braves to a season worst 16 games below .500 at (56-72) and 15 games behind the Mets for the division lead. Since the All-Star break, Atlanta is only 11-22, have lost five in a row and nine of their last 10 games.
The Mets will now welcome the Houston Astros to Shea for a four game series. Tonight’s game features an incredible pitching matchup between Johan Santana (11-7, 2.75 ERA) and Roy Oswalt (11-8, 4.28 ERA). Although neither has a stellar record, both pitchers have absolute filthy stuff and are capable of shutting down any lineup in baseball on any given night.
Is Hank Steinbrenner giving up on the 2008 season? Not really, but it sounds like he’s not too confident about the New York Yankees chances of making the playoffs this year. “I’m not writing off this season,” Hank said Tuesday. “They’re trying hard to win. There’s only so much you can do. They’re not supermen.” Indeed they are not. The Yankees have been decimated by injuries this season. They are currently without two of their top starters in Chien Ming Wang and Joba Chamberlain. Also out are starters Jorge Posada and Hideki Matsui. Without the pitching it will be very hard for the Yankees to catch the teams ahead of them.
The Yankees currently trail the 1st place Rays by eight games and the 2nd place Red Sox by 5 games. Its no wonder why Hank is already thinking about 2009. “We’re going to win it next year,” he said. “If we need to add a top veteran pitcher, we’ll do that. We’ll do whatever we need to do. Next year we’ll be extremely dangerous.” At least he’s confident.
If the Yankees can win it all in 2009 it will certainly add some mystique to the new Yankee Stadium. Maybe it will be the House that A-Rod built! But, probably not.
The New York Yankees were able to end their series in Texas on a high note. After dropping the 1st two games of the series and losing Joba Chamberlain to injury, the Yankees bounced back to win the final two games against the Rangers. In last night’s win veteran Mike Mussina picked up his 15th win and the Yankees shutout a potent Rangers offense.
They Yankees got on the board early with a solo homerun by Derek Jeter. Jeter would later add an RBI single, as the Yankees went on to win 3-0. Mariano Rivera pitched a perfect 9th, earning his 28th consecutive save on the season. Alex Rodriguez continued to struggle in Texas and went 0-14 in the series.
Things won’t get easier for the Yankees. They continue their road trip tonight against the LA Angels for the 1st of a three game set.