"Now, what is this site about, how Joe Torre ruined pitchers' arms? Is that it?"
-Michael Kay, August 18, 2009

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Home cooking

The Yankees have won 11 straight home openers dating back to 1998.  Their last loss came on April 11, 1997 against Oakland when they fell 3-1.

David Cone, who will take part in the pregame ceremonies today, struck out 12 in seven shutout innings and left with a 1-0 lead.  However, Mariano Rivera blew that lead in the ninth, surrendering a leadoff home run to Mark McGwire.  They would go on to lose in the 12th inning, when Jeff Nelson, who had already pitched two innings, gave up two runs.  Ironically enough, Scott Brosius drove in Oakland’s second run in that inning.

And even more ironic, Jason Giambi played left field for the A’s, going 1-for-4 with a walk.

The 11-game winning streak for home openers is a major league record, according to Elias.  The Yankees’ victory last year broke a tie with the 1945-54 Pittsburgh Pirates.

Some other interesting nuggets from today’s game notes:

Yogi Berra is throwing out the ceremonial first pitch for the seventh time in a home opener, and is one of eight former Yankees to have such an honor.  Only Joe DiMaggio (nine) has thrown more first pitches.

Derek Jeter was the last Yankee to bat at Yankee Stadium on Sept. 21.  He is scheduled to bat leadoff today.  Jeter and three others (Johnny Damon, Robinson Cano and Hideki Matsui) were in the lineup for the final game at Yankee Stadium last season and will be in the lineup today.

The Yankees defeated Boston on April 18, 1923 4-1, winning the first home opener in Yankee Stadium.  They defeated Minnesota on April 15, 1976 to win the first home opener in the remodeled Yankee Stadium.

The Empire State Building will be lit up blue and white in honor of today’s game.

This is the first time since 2000 (Comerica Park in Detroit) that a new park will be opened in the American League.  Nine National League teams have opened stadiums during that span.

Yankees lineup in 1923:

Whitey Witt – CF
Joe Dugan – 3B
Babe Ruth – RF
Wally Pipp – 1B
Bob Meusel – LF
Wally Schang – C
Aaron Ward – 2B
Everett Scott – SS
Bob Shawkey – RHP

The Yankees were 4,133-2,430-17 in the original Yankee Stadium.


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