Results tagged ‘ Yankee Stadium ’
Enough with spring training already. Leave us get to the games that count, which starts Monday at Yankee Stadium with a rematch of last year’s American League wild card game opponents. The Yankees only hope the outcome will be different from the 3-0 setback they suffered last October against the Astros and modern-day Yankees killer Dallas Keuchel, the 2015 AL Cy Young Award winner.
For the 114th home opener in franchise history, the Yankees will open all gates and security check points at 11 a.m. Monday and strongly encourage ticketed fans to arrive early to avoid long lines and to enjoy the pre-game programming.
With crowds and security lines expected to increase closer to the 1:05 p.m. game time with Masahiro Tanaka on the mound, the Yankees recommend that ticketed fans arrive early and pre-register online to be eligible for expedited security checks that are available at Gate 2 and the Suite Entrance.
In accordance with a Major League Baseball mandate, additional enhanced security measures will be in place at all gates at the Stadium, and for the second year, the Yankees will offer expedited-access entry points through a partnership with CLEAR. Those registered in advance will be able to utilize Fast Access entryways for the quickest available entry into the building. In order to participate, fans must pre-register at https://sports.clearme.com/yankees. The Yankee Stadium CLEAR service is free.
Fans are invited to visit Monument Park, located in center field, and tour the New York Yankees Museum, presented by Bank of America. Each experience will open at 11 a.m. Monument Park remains accessible until 45 minutes prior to the scheduled game start time subject to capacity limitations. Please note the line to Monument Park may close earlier than the Park itself.
The Museum is located adjacent to Section 210 on the Main Level and tells baseball’s and the Yankees’ storied history through exhibits of historic artifacts. Admission is free for all ticketed guests. Current exhibits include: Five Great Teams: The 1927, 1939, 1961, 1977, and 1998 New York Yankees; Pinstripes in Bronze: Celebrating Monument Park’s Newest Honorees; The Skipper: Celebrating Joe Torre, Hall of Fame manager; and New Era Exhibit.
Fans may also watch the scheduled batting practice, which is scheduled to be ongoing throughout the early afternoon and ends at approximately 12:20 p.m.
The official pre-game ceremony will begin at approximately12:30 p.m. with the introduction of both teams on the baselines. As part of the Opening Day festivities, former Yankees outfielder Hideki Matsui, the 2009 World Series Most Valuable Player, will throw out the ceremonial first pitch. He will also be honored with the Pride of the Yankees Award at the 37th annual Homecoming Dinner following the game.
Matsui played seven seasons with the Yankees (2003-2009) and batted .292 with 140 home runs, 597 RBI and a .370 on-base percentage in 916 games and 3,348 at-bats. He played in two World Series (2003 and ’09) with the club, winning a championship in 2009 and was named MVP for hitting .615 with one double, three homers and eight RBI in 13 at-bats. Matsui also played three additional major league seasons with the Angels (2010), Athletics (2011) and Rays (2012).
Carmen Cusack, who is starring in the Broadway musical Bright Star, will perform the Star Spangled Banner as a giant American flag will be unfurled by 75 cadets from the United States Military Academy. The West Point Color Guard will present the colors. During the seventh-inning stretch, Michael Minarik, from Broadway’s Matilda The Musical, will perform “God Bless America.”
All those in attendance will also receive a Yankees magnetic schedule courtesy of AT&T.
Following Opening Day, the Yankees will play two additional games against Houston at 7:05 p.m. Wednesday and 4:05 p.m. Thursday. Ticket specials will run Wednesday (MasterCard $5/Military Personnel/Student Game) and Thursday (Military Personnel/Senior Citizen/Youth Game).
For a complete list of ticket specials, including game dates, seating locations, and terms and conditions, fans should visit http://www.yankees.com/ticketspecials. Please note that all ticket specials are subject to availability.
Tickets may be purchased online at http://www.yankees.com, http://www.yankeesbeisbol.com, at the Yankee Stadium Ticket Office, via Ticketmaster phone at 877-469-9849, Ticketmaster TTY at 800-943-4327 and at all ticket offices located within Yankees Clubhouse Shops. Tickets may also be purchased on Yankees Ticket Exchange at http://www.yankees.com/yte, the only official online resale marketplace for fans to purchase and resell tickets to Yankees games. Fans with questions may call 212-YANKEES [926-5337] or email email@example.com.
For information on parking and public transportation options to the Stadium, please visit http://www.yankees.com and click on the Yankee Stadium tab at the top of the page.
The Yankees recently announced the availability of mobile ticketing for the 2016 season. In addition to traditional hard stock paper tickets, the Yanks will offer fans the opportunity to receive mobile tickets on a fan’s Smartphone. Print-at-home paper tickets (PDFs) have been discontinued to further combat fraud and counterfeiting of tickets associated with print-at-home paper tickets (PDFs). For more information on mobile ticketing, visit http://www.yankees.com/mobile.
As part of MLB’s initiative to standardize security procedures at all 30 parks, ticket holders are required to be screened via metal detectors before entering Yankee Stadium. This procedure is a result of MLB’s continuing work with the Department of Homeland Security and is in addition to the bag-check policy in place throughout the league.
Metal detectors are located at all Stadium gates. Once ticket holders have been screened and have had their MLB-compliant bag and small personal handbag checked, they will have their tickets scanned. All Stadium gates are fully staffed and available for entry two hours prior to the game’s scheduled start time.
For security reasons, each ticket holders is permitted to bring into the Stadium only one MLB-compliant bag — presently defined by MLB as soft-sided and no larger than 16 inches by 16 inches by 8 inches — and only one smaller-sized soft-sided personal item (e.g., a handbag, clutch, tote or plastic grocery bag). All hard-sided bags and containers are strictly prohibited. All bags, personal items and their contents will be visually inspected before they are permitted into the Stadium. Bag-size bins will be used at entry inspection points to confirm the size of all bags and personal items, which must fit without assistance, modification or adjustment. There is no storage area for any items. To enable ticket holders to enter the Stadium in a more timely manner, the Yankees encourage them to remain aware of and comply with the bag policy, as well as consider carrying as little as possible. Please note security regulations may be amended at any time.
Pursuant to MLB requirements, all ticket holders, including children, must be screened. Infants and toddlers may be carried through the metal detectors; those children who are able to walk may be asked to walk through on their own. Those Guests who choose not to or who are unable to go through a walk-through metal detector have the option of being manually checked with a hand-held metal detector or a physical pat-down.
If a walk-through metal detector alerts a security officer to the presence of items that require further inspection, ticket holders will be directed to the side, where they will be screened via a hand-held metal detector or physical pat-down. When the items in question are discovered, fans will be asked to display them and/or allow a security officer to examine them. At this time, a security officer will determine whether or not these items will be permitted in Yankee Stadium.
Please note that the list of prohibited items at the Stadium includes (but is not limited to) laptops, firearms, knives or weapons of any kind, laser pens, glass, cans or aluminum bottles or thermoses, selfie-sticks, video cameras or other equipment designed for the sole purpose of video and/or audio recording, and hard-sided bags, such as briefcases. Please also note that there is no storage area for prohibited items. Ticket holders arriving by public transportation should take particular care not to bring any prohibited items, as no exceptions will be made. For a full list of prohibited items, please visit http://www.yankees.com and click on the Yankee Stadium tab at the top of the page.
The Yankees announced today that New York Yankees Baseball Camps presented by REFUEL with Chocolate Milk will take place in the New York tri-state area beginning the week of June 20. Enrollment forms are available at http://www.yankees.com/camps.
Yankees Baseball Camps are available to boys and girls between the ages of 5 and 13, with each camper receiving a full Yankees uniform. In addition to on-field skill development and professional instruction, campers also get the opportunity to take an exclusive guided tour of Yankee Stadium and much more.
Sessions are being offered in two packages: the World Series Experience includes four days of baseball instruction with an additional day-long visit to the Stadium culminating in a “meet and greet” with a player on the Yankees’ 25-man roster, while the Pinstripe Package includes five days of baseball curriculum. Camps are located in select areas of New York, New Jersey and Connecticut. Further details and availability for each package can be viewed at http://www.yankees.com/camps.
In addition, campers will receive a voucher good for two (2) complimentary tickets to a 2016 Yankees regular season home game.*
“Each week, our Yankees Campers will work hard with our coaches to learn proper baseball mechanics, engage with teammates, and begin a journey toward accomplishing their own personal goals,” Yankees Baseball Camps president Brendan Sullivan said. “We wrap this development into an unforgettable week-long Major League Experience, which includes a behind-the-scenes tour of Yankee Stadium, a full Yankees uniform and opportunity to meet a player on the current roster. There’s no better way to get closer to our favorite team.”
As part of the American Dairy Association and Dairy Council’s “REFUEL with Chocolate Milk” initiative, 85 children from local families will receive full scholarships to attend Yankees Baseball Camp at Heritage Field – which is located on the site of the original Stadium and administered by the New York City Department of Parks and Recreation – during the week of July 5-7.
“Milk plays an important role in children’s diets because it’s a source of so many essential nutrients like calcium, Vitamin D and protein needed for a healthy body. Drinking low fat chocolate milk after sports is a great way for athletes to replenish nutrients and rebuild muscle,” said Rick Naczi, CEO of the American Dairy Association. “Teaming up with the Yankees to sponsor summer baseball camps gives us an opportunity to educate kids about the connection between good nutrition and athletic performance.”
Locations and dates of 2016 New York Yankees Baseball Camps::
June 20-24 — Archbishop Stepinac H.S. (White Plains).
July 11-15 — Hackley School (Tarrytown).
July 18-22 — Hackley School (Tarrytown).
July 25-29 — Mitchel Athletic Complex (Garden City, L.I.
Aug. 1-5 — Green Vale Sc/hool (Old Brookville, L.I.).
Aug. 8-12 — Green Vale School (Old Brookville, L.I.).
June 27-July 1 — Saint John Vianney (Holmdel).
July 11-15 — Westvale Park (Westwood).
July 18-22 — Denville Parks-Gardner Field.
Aug. 1-5 — River Dell H.S. (Oradell) .
Aug, 8-12 — New Providence H.S.
Aug. 15-19 — Princeton Day School.
June 27-July 1 — Brien McMahon H.S. (Norwalk).
*This voucher is valid for two (2) complimentary tickets in select areas of the general, non-premium Main or Terrace level for select, non-premium 2016 Regular Season Home Games in April, May, June or July. Campers must be registered on or before June 1, 2016. Offer is subject to availability and must be redeemed on or before July 21, 2016. An original voucher must be presented at the Yankee Stadium Ticket Office for redemption. No photocopies will be accepted. This voucher has no cash value and will not be replaced if lost or stolen.
Tickets for individual Yankees games at Yankee Stadium will be made available to the public through an exclusive MasterCard pre-on-sale online at yankees.com and yankeesbeisbol.com, and via Ticketmaster phone from 10 a.m. Wednesday, Feb. 17, through 10 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 21. During the MasterCard pre-on-sale, all fans may purchase tickets using their MasterCard. For more information, please visit http://www.yankees.com/priceless.
Fans purchasing tickets during the pre-on-sale can take advantage of the “MasterCard Preferred Pricing” program. When fans purchase individual game tickets using MasterCard, they can save up to $15 per ticket in select seating categories for all 2016 regular season games.
For those using other accepted methods of payment, the on-sale will begin at 10 a.m. Monday, Feb. 22, at yankees.com and yankeesbeisbol.com, and via Ticketmaster phone only at 877-469-9849 and Ticketmaster TTY at 800-943-4327.
Beginning Tuesday, Feb. 23, tickets may be purchased at the Yankee Stadium Ticket Office and all Ticket Offices located within Yankees Clubhouse Shops.
As a complement to traditional hard stock paper tickets, the Yankees this year will make available mobile ticketing. Print-at-home paper tickets (PDFs) are being discontinued so as to further combat fraud and counterfeiting of tickets associated with print-at-home paper tickets (PDFs). In addition to traditional hard stock paper tickets, the Yankees will offer fans the opportunity to receive mobile tickets on a fan’s Smartphone. For more information on mobile ticketing, visit yankees.com/mobile.
As in past years, the Yankees will make available individual-game ticket value programs, including the MasterCard Half-Price Game Ticket Special, which allows fans to purchase tickets for select games during the 2016 season in select areas of the Terrace Level, Grandstand Level or Bleachers for 50 percent off the advance ticket price when using their MasterCard. Tickets for MasterCard Half-Price Games may be purchased in advance or on the day of the game, subject to availability.
For a complete list of ticket specials, including game dates, seating locations, and terms and conditions, fans should visit http://www.yankees.com/ticketspecials. Fans with questions may call 212-YANKEES (212-926-5337) or email firstname.lastname@example.org. Please note that all ticket specials are subject to availability. All individual-game ticket value programs exclude all Premium Games*.
* E-Saver Games – Fans can register at http://www.yankees.com/esaver to receive email ticket offers for E-Saver Games available only to Yankees email subscribers.
* MasterCard $5 Games – For select home games during the 2016 season, fans can purchase tickets in select areas of the Terrace Level, Grandstand Level or Bleachers for $5 when using their MasterCard. Tickets for MasterCard $5 Games may be purchased in advance or on the day of the game.
* Senior Citizen Games – Citizens (60 and older) can purchase reduced-priced tickets for themselves and one guest for select home games during the 2016 season. Prices range from $5 to $150, depending on the seat location. Any additional guest(s) must pay full price for his/her ticket(s). Tickets may be purchased only on the day of the game, beginning two hours before the scheduled start time of the game, at Yankee Stadium Ticket Windows, adjacent to Gate 4, and are subject to availability. All tickets are sold on a first-come, first-served basis. A valid proof of age must be presented at the time of purchase.
* Student Games – For Wednesday home games during the 2016 season, students who present their valid high school or college ID cards when purchasing tickets can receive one half-price ticket in designated seating locations. Tickets may be purchased ONLY on the day of the game at Yankee Stadium Ticket Windows, adjacent to Gate 4.
* Youth Games – All fans 14 and younger, when accompanied by an adult (18 and older), are eligible for half-price tickets in designated seating locations for Saturday, Sunday and select weekday 1:05 p.m. and 4:05 p.m. home games. Tickets may be purchased ONLY on the day of the game at Yankee Stadium Ticket Windows, adjacent to Gate 4.
* Military Personnel Ticket Special – Active military members can present their military identification card at designated Yankee Stadium Ticket Windows before Monday through Thursday home games and receive one complimentary ticket in the Grandstand Level or Bleachers, or purchase one half-price ticket in other areas in Yankee Stadium, excluding the Legends Suite, Champions Suite, Delta SKY360° Suite, Jim Beam Suite, Field MVP, Field MVP Club and Audi Yankees Club. Tickets may be purchased only on the day of the game, beginning two hours before the scheduled start time of the game, at Yankee Stadium Ticket Windows, adjacent to Gate 4.
*The term “Premium Game(s)” is defined as the Opening Day game, the Old-Timers’ Day game, the games scheduled for Aug. 13 (1996 World Series Champions 20th Anniversary Celebration) and Aug. 14 (Mariano Rivera Monument Park Plaque Dedication Day), all home games played against the Red Sox, Dodgers, Mets and Giants, and such other games during the regular season, as may be designated as premium games, on no less than seven days’ notice, no later than the first day of each month during the regular season.
Yankees season ticket plans are now available on both a full-season and partial-season basis. For complete season ticket information, please visit yankees.com or yankeesbeisbol.com, contact the Season Ticket Sales and Service Department via email at email@example.com, or call 212-YANKEES (212-926-5337). Plans start at $90.
INDIVIDUAL GAME SUITES:
Yankee Stadium Individual Game Suites offer the ideal venue to host corporate or social group outings. Available on a per-game basis or in flex packs, Individual Game Suites provide all the benefits and comforts of the Suite experience. Suite capacities range from 12 to 74 guests and can be expanded to accommodate groups of up to 382 people. For more information, please contact Yankees Premium by phone at 718-508-3955 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Groups of 10 or more are eligible to take advantage of a variety of group ticket discounts. For complete group ticket information, please visit yankees.com or yankeesbeisbol.com, contact the Group Sales and Service Department via email at email@example.com, or call 212-YANKEES (212-926-5337).
NOTICE: For the safety of every fan, all persons specifically consent to and are subject to metal detector and physical pat-down inspections prior to entry. Any item or property that could affect the safety of Yankee Stadium, its occupants or its property shall not be permitted into the Stadium. Any person that could affect the safety of the Stadium, its occupants or its property shall be denied entry.
WARNING: For the safety of everyone in Yankee Stadium, all fans must stay alert and be aware of their surroundings at all times, as during all batting practices, fielding practices and warm-ups and throughout the course of all baseball games and the baseball game experiences, hard-hit baseballs and bats and fragments thereof may be thrown or hit into the stands, concourses, walkways, concessions areas, Monument Park and all other publicly accessible areas within the Stadium. Further, fans concerned with their original ticketed location by reason of the foregoing should, at any time before or during the baseball game or the baseball game experiences, proceed to a Yankee Stadium Ticket Window, located adjacent to Gate 6 in the Great Hall, adjacent to the Yankees Team Store behind home plate in the Great Hall, or adjacent to Section 320C on the Terrace/Grandstand Level; however, please remember that: (a) any requested relocation is subject to availability; (b) any alternate seat or standing location may be in a section and/or level of the Stadium and/or within a price category that is not in the same section and/or level and/or price category of the Guests’ original ticketed location, regardless of their original ticketed location; and (c) any fan requesting relocation is responsible for paying the incremental price increase, if any, of the ticket price for the available alternate location. Relocation to a seat or standing location at a lower price than the price of the original ticketed location will not result in a refund or credit.
Please note that the backstop netting behind home plate is located between the inside of the Yankees dugout and the inside of the visitors dugout. The height of the backstop netting is reduced as it approaches each dugout.
NOTICE: The Yankees reserve the right, with or without refunding any amount paid by the ticket holder, to refuse admission to and/or eject any person who: (a) is or appears to be impaired; (b) deliberately conceals alcohol, illegal substances and/or other prohibited items while attempting to enter Yankee Stadium; (c) uses foul and/or abusive language; (d) displays and/or wears and fails to cover obscene, indecent and/or inappropriate clothing; or (e) exposes him/herself. Ticket holders acknowledge and agree that the Yankees’ ban on foul and/or abusive language and uncovered obscene, indecent and/or inappropriate clothing (i.e., clauses (c) through (e) above) does not violate their right to free speech and/or expression and that such time, place and manner of the restrictions are reasonable to maintain a family-friendly atmosphere for young Guests, ensure the safety of all fans and sports or event participants, and preserve the enjoyment of the game or event for all. In addition, ticket holders further acknowledge and agree that by entering the Stadium, they hereby consent to the ban on foul and/or abusive language and uncovered obscene, indecent and/or inappropriate clothing and waive, to the fullest extent they may legally and effectively do so, any objection they may now or hereafter have to such ban and the penalties that the Yankees may impose for any violation of the same.
SECURITY ENTRY AND CARRY-IN POLICY
Please note that for the 2016 season, additional enhanced security measurs will be in place. The Yankees will continue to offer expedited-access entry points at Yankee Stadium through a partnership with CLEAR — the secure biometric identity platform sanctioned by Major League Baseball and currently serving 13 airports in the United States. Ticketholders who are registered by CLEAR will be able to utilize Fast Access entryways, which will allow expedited entry into the building. Fans may pre-register for this free service at sports.clearme.com/yankees.
As part of MLB’s initiative to standardize security procedures at all 30 Major League parks, all people are required to be screened via metal detectors before entering Yankee Stadium. This procedure is a result of MLB’s continuing work with the Department of Homeland Security and is in addition to the bag-check policy in place throughout the league.
Metal detectors are located at all Stadium gates. Once ticketholders have been screened and have had their MLB-compliant bag, and small personal handbag, checked, they will have their tickets scanned. The Yankees strongly urge all fans to budget additional time for entry into the Stadium when planning their visits.
Before proceeding through metal detectors, ticketholders will be required to remove cell phones, cameras and any large metal objects from their pockets and place them in a small plastic container, which will be visually inspected, along with their MLB-compliant bag, and small personal handbag, by security personnel at a screening table alongside the metal detector. Only MLB-compliant bags — presently 16 inches by 16 inches by 8 inches or smaller — will be admitted. Fans’ belongings will remain in proximity to them throughout the screening process, and they can pick up their belongings at the end of the screening table once they have proceeded through the metal detector. Presently, the removal of belts, shoes and jackets is not required.
Pursuant to MLB requirements, everyone, including children, must be screened. Infants and toddlers may be carried through the metal detectors; those children who are able to walk may be asked to walk through on their own. Those who choose not to or who are unable to go through a walk-through metal detector have the option of being manually checked with a hand-held metal detector or a physical pat-down.
If a walk-through metal detector alerts a security officer to the presence of items that require further inspection, ticketholders will be directed to the side, where they will be screened via a hand-held metal detector or physical pat-down. When the items in question are discovered, fans will be asked to display them and/or allow a security officer to examine them. At this time, a security officer will determine whether or not these items will be permitted in Yankee Stadium.
It has been quite a while — perhaps all year — since Yankee Stadium had the buzz it did in the first inning of the American League Wild Card Game Tuesday night. Such is the sound of postseason baseball in New York, which had been missing from the Bronx the previous two seasons.
Unfortunately for Yankees fans, the postseason would last for only one game. AL Cy Young Award favorite Dallas Keuchel proved too much for the Yankees and pitched the Astros to a 3-0 victory. Keuchel allowed three hits and one walk with seven strikeouts in six innings to extend his scoreless innings streak against the Yankees this season to 22. Three Houston relievers held the Yankees hitless over the final three innings.
Fans in the sellout crowd of 50,113 were loud and demonstrative throughout the top of the first inning as Masahiro Tanaka set down the side in order with two strikeouts. As forceful as Tanaka appeared, many of his pitches were up, which he would need to avoid to remain in command.
The crowd kept up the decibel level in the bottom of the inning as Keuchel fell to 3-ball counts on both Brett Gardner and Chris Young. Gardner went down on a called third strike, but Young walked.
Carlos Beltran, possessor of one of the greatest postseason careers in major league history, grounded out to third base as Young moved into scoring position at second, but Keuchel got Alex Rodriguez looking at a well-placed cutter on the outside corner.
The high fastball hurt Tanaka in the second inning as Colby Rasmus turned on the first pitch for a home run into the right field bleachers. Gardner came to Tanaka’s rescue by hauling in Evan Gattis’ drive at the wall in right-center.
One out later, Tanaka flirted with danger. Luis Valbuena singled to center, and Tanaka then walked the 8- and 9-hole hitters, strikeout machine Chris Carter and .211-hitting Jason Castro. That prompted a visit from pitching coach Larry Rothschild. Tanaka used his splitter to get ahead in the count on Jose Altuve, who ended the threat by grounding into a fielder’s choice.
Danger lurked in the third after George Springer led off with a double to center field. Tanaka got National League Rookie of the Year candidate Carlos Correa on a grounder to third and Rasmus, first-pitch swinging again, on a fly to left. Third baseman Chase Headley made a dazzling, one-handed pickoff of a slow grounder by Gaddis and threw out the designated hitter to squelch the rally.
Tanaka was victimized by another high fastball in the fourth that Carlos Gomez parked off the wall behind the visitors bullpen in left field. He made one of his typical show-boating trots around the bases. Yankees catcher Brian McCann had the good sense not to make an issue of it as he did years ago when he was with the Braves and Gomez with the Brewers. The last thing the Yankees needed was for McCann to get tossed.
Yanks manager Joe Girardi felt five innings was enough for Tanaka and brought in lefthander Justin Wilson, who walked Rasmus to start the sixth but then got Gaddis on a double-play grounder and Gomez on another ground ball.
Keuchel, meanwhile, was mowing down the Yankees with regularity. He retired 10 batters in a row before Didi Gregorius opened the home sixth with a single to right, only the Yankees’ second hit.
Gardner became a strikeout victim for the third time, which called to question Girardi choosing him over Jacoby Ellsbury to play center field in this game. Keuchel got another big out when Young grounded into a forceout.
Astros manager A.J. Hinch came to the mound after a sharply-hit single to center by Beltran. After a brief huddle, Hinch stayed with Keuchel to face Rodriguez, who swung at the first pitch and flied out to center.
That turned out to be the Yankees’ only threat against Houston, which was in the postseason for the first time in 10 years since losing Game 4 of the 2005 World Series to the White Sox. The Astros got a tack-on run in the seventh off Dellin Betances. Pinch runner Jonathan Villar got a key stolen base and scored on a two-out single by Altuve.
It was a rough final stretch for the Yankees, who lost six of the last seven games of the regular season and did not even score in the Wild Card Game. Dreams of a 28th World Series championship will have to wait until 2016.
The Yankees have the Diamondbacks to thank for Yankee Stadium being the site of the American League Wild Card Game Tuesday night. It was a lost weekend for the Yankees in Baltimore as the Orioles completed a three-game sweep Sunday with a 9-4 victory that put the Yanks’ season record at 87-75.
They would have had to make a plane ride to Houston for the Wild Card Game if the Astros had won their season finale at Phoenix. A two-run home run by Paul Goldschmidt in the bottom of the seventh inning unlocked a 3-3 score and sent the D-backs on the way to a 5-3 victory. So the Astros, who ended the regular season with an 86-76 record, will be the visiting team in Tuesday night’s AL Wild Card Game.
Houston was guaranteed the wild card berth when the Angels lost to the Rangers, who clinched the AL West title with an 88-74 mark.
The Yankees have designated Masahiro Tanaka to start Tuesday night against the Astros’ dangerous Dallas Keuchel, who led the league in victories (20), innings (232) and WHIP (1.017) and is among the favorites for the AL Cy Young Award. Keuchel faced the Yankees twice this year, won both games and did not allow a run in 16 innings. This will be the first time in his career that Keuchel will start on only three days’ rest.
While much has been made of the fact that Keuchel is far better at Minute Maid Park (15-0, 1.46 ERA) than on the road (5-8, 3.77 ERA), it must be noted that in his only start at Yankee Stadium the bearded lefthander pitched seven shutout innings with three hits, no walks and nine strikeouts in a 15-1 Houston blowout.
In his only start against the Astros this season June 27 at Houston, Tanaka blew a 6-0 lead and was stung for six runs and seven hits, including three home runs, in five innings (10.80 ERA) in a game the Yankees came back to win, 9-6.
The Yankees have pushed themselves into a corner on this last day of the regular season. Back on Thursday night when they clinched a playoff spot, all seemed right in their world. All they needed to do to make sure that the Wild Card Game to which they were qualified would be at Yankee Stadium Tuesday was to win one of the three remaining games in Baltimore.
So what happened? The magic number for home-field advantage that was cut down to one with Thursday night’s victory is still at one. Losing both ends of the separate-admission doubleheader at Camden Yards while the Astros and the Angels keep winning has brought the Yankees to a do-or-die situation Sunday. If they should lose again and the Astros win, the Yankees will have to travel to Houston Tuesday.
In trying to give some rest for many of his regulars, Yankees manager Joe Girardi went with makeshift lineups Saturday that did not get the job done. All the regulars are in there Sunday behind Michael Pineda for this win-or-else game.
The TBA (to be announced) was removed from Wednesday night’s probable starting pitcher for the Yankees. Masahiro Tanaka will take the mound for that night’s game against the Red Sox at Yankee Stadium, which would allow him five days’ rest before an anticipated start by the Japanese righthander in the wild-card playoff scheduled for Tuesday, Oct. 6.
Yankees manager Joe Girardi still won’t discuss the wild-card situation for two reasons: one, the Yankees have yet to clinch a postseason spot yet, although their magic number is down to two and, two, the Yankees have not been mathematically eliminated from the American League East race, although it would take a major collapse on the part of the first-place Blue Jays, who have a four-game lead over the Yanks with seven to play.
Tanaka’s start Wednesday night would be more than a tuneup. He has not pitched since Sept. 18 at Citi Field against the Mets in which he sustained a Grade 1 sprain of his left hamstring while running to first base on a sacrifice bunt. Tanaka pitched six innings that night even though he hurt his leg in the second inning.
Assuming he has no setbacks Wednesday night, Tanaka would be in line to start the game the Yankees won’t talk about yet.
“I think we all wanted to get to this day,” Girardi said. “We wanted to make sure that he felt good and he could go through all the things that he needed to go through.”
Said Tanaka, through a translator: “I knew that I was going to be out there before the season ended. So, not a big surprise there, but yes, I’m relieved and happy to be out there.”
It took six tries, but the Yankees finally guaranteed themselves another winning season at Yankee Stadium. At the same time, they saved some face in a long, exasperating weekend against the front-running Blue Jays.
Sunday’s 5-0 triumph behind a determined Masahiro Tanaka was the Yankees’ 41st victory at the Stadium this year, which extended their stretch of consecutive winning seasons at home to 24 (since 1992). It is the longest current winning streak in the major leagues and the most since the Yankees’ big-league record of 47 winning seasons at home from 1918 through 1964.
It ended a five-game losing streak at the Stadium and followed a twin killing Saturday in a miserably long day. Yankees manager Joe Girardi said before the game that the team needed a well-pitched game more than anything, and Tanaka gave him all he could have wanted and more.
The Japanese righthander shut down the Blue Jays on four hits and no walks over seven innings and 108 pitches. Tanaka has given up only one earned run in 16 innings against Toronto’s powerful lineup this year.
“Location” was Girardi’s response for why Tanaka has done so well against a Blue Jays team that leads the American League in runs and home runs. “He was down in the zone all day. He had a good splitter, a good slider and worked in a cutter as well.”
Tanaka also helped himself with a pickoff play at second base that nailed Kevin Pillar, who had doubled with one out in the second inning. It was a rough weekend for Pillar, who was 1-for-13 at the plate and ran into his teammate, shortstop Troy Tulowitzki, who is out indefinitely due to a small crack in his left shoulder blade.
There were contributions all around in the Yankees’ victory that moved them back to 3 1/2 games behind the Blue Jays in the AL East and ended a personal seven-game winning streak by former National League Cy Young Award winner R.A. Dickey.
Dustin Ackley, who joined the Yankees in a trade from Seattle only to land on the disabled list because of a back ailment, knocked in three runs with a sacrifice fly in the second and his first home run in pinstripes, a two-run shot in the fourth.
Girardi decided to start Ackley at first base when he found out that Greg Bird, who has played there primarily since the season-ending injury to Mark Teixeira, had faced a knuckleball pitcher only once in the minor leagues. Ackley, on the other hand, had some success against Dickey and continued it Sunday. In 13 career at-bats against Dickey, Ackley is batting .462 with two home runs.
“The simple approach is better,” Ackley said of hitting knuckleball pitchers. “He was running the ball inside. I just looked for the first good one over the plate. The important thing is to get out in front and not stay back and let the knuckleball move too much.”
Alex Rodriguez, who was honored by the Yankees in a pregame ceremony for his 3,000th hit earlier in the season, showed some hustle in the second scoring from third base on a sacrifice fly by Didi Gregorius. A-Rod also drove in a run with a two-out double in the eighth that ended Dickey’s outing.
Brett Gardner, who had a huge day at the plate Saturday (4-for-9, three home runs, seven RBI) took a 0-for-4 collar Sunday but made two outstanding running catches in left field to take away potential extra-base hits from Justin Smoak in the seventh and Matt Hague in the ninth.
“Everybody is relieved that we are going on the road [to Tampa Bay] with confidence,” Ackley said.
Troy Tulowitzki, a key figure in the Blue Jays’ renaissance the past two months, had to come out of the first game of Saturday’s doubleheader at Yankee Stadium in the third inning after colliding with center fielder Kevin Pillar.
Tulowitzki was tracking a pop fly to shallow center field by Didi Gregorius and made the catch for the third out of the second inning in front of a charging Pillar, who ran into the shortstop. Tulowitzki dropped the ball from his glove and then fell to the ground on his back and stretched his legs into the air. He lay on the field for several minutes and was attended to by a trainer before he walked off the field under his own power.
When Toronto took the field again in the bottom of the third inning, Tulowitzki did not join his teammates. Cliff Pennington entered the game at second base with Ryan Goins moving to shortstop.
X-rays of Tulowitzki’s chest and ribs were negative, but an MRI exam revealed upper back muscle bruises and a small crack in his left shoulder blade.
Tulowitzki and relief pitcher LaTroy Hawkins came to Toronto July 28 in a trade from Colorado that involved shortstop Jose Reyes going to the Rockies. Tulowitzki, who struck out in his only at-bat Saturday, is hitting .232 with five home runs and 17 RBI in 38 games and 155 at-bats since the trade, and the Blue Jays have a 29-8 record when he is in the starting lineup. Toronto was in third place in the American League East and eight games behind the first-place Yankees the day of the Tulowitzki trade and entered play Saturday in first place in the division with a 2 1/2-game lead over the Yanks.
Tulowitzki has had a checkered history of health issues. In his 10 seasons in the major leagues, he has played more than 150 games only once. Saturday was his 126th game this season. The Blue Jays have 21 games remaining so he won’t get to 150 this year, either.
The Yankees got to their 70th home game of the season before their first rainout. Thursday night’s washout, which will be made up in a doubleheader Saturday against the Blue Jays at Yankee Stadium, ruined the possibility that the Yankees might have gone through an entire season without a rainout for the first time in club history.
A Major League Baseball-wide commemoration of Sept. 11, 2001 was scheduled for Friday night. On-field personnel, including players, coaches and umpires, will wear caps with a side patch of United States flags during games. All MLB proceeds from sales of these caps will be donated to the 9/11 Memorial and Museum, the Pentagon Memorial and the Flight 93 Memorial. Special lineup cards and base jewels will be used at every game.
The Blue Jays wore customized camps recognizing both the U.S. and Canada for Friday night’s game at the Stadium on MLB Network Showcase at 7 p.m. MLB Network will also feature coverage of the day’s events MLB in its studio programming.
The Yankees’ doubleheader Saturday will be their first twin bill in exactly one year. They were swept Sept. 12, 2014 at Baltimore by scores of 2-1 and 5-0. The Yanks have been swept just twice in their past 53 doubleheaders (24 winning sweeps, 2 losing sweeps, 27 splits) since June 21, 1996. They are 17-1-13 in their past 31 doubleheaders at home since Sept. 23, 1995. The lone losing sweep was Sept. 17, 2006 against the Red Sox. The Yankees are 7-1-4 in 12 doubleheaders against Toronto, sweeping the last four, including both at the current Stadium Aug. 20, 2013 and Sept. 19, 2012. The others were Sept. 11, 1986 at Toronto’s Exhibition Stadium and Aug. 8, 1983 at the original Yankee Stadium. The Yankees are 4-0-2 against the Blue Jays in doubleheaders in the Bronx.