GAME 99: For 12 innings it was yet another mind-numbing, explicative-laced, maddening game to watch. Against the worst team in MLB. Again! Starter Chase Whitley tossed 6 innings of no-run ball. The pen kept it at zero until the top of the 13th. How the hell this offense can leave standout, gutty Yankees pitching performances like this on a string for 13 innings with ZERO runs against a terrible team is unacceptable.
Chase Headley Earns Pinstripes!
C’mon. I’m kiddin’ you. But hey, somebody had to finally come through with a big hit tonight, and leave it to the guy who was still in a cab on the way to The Bronx when the game started. While coming up empty in two previous at-bats, Chase Headley stroked the walk-off single in the 14th. Check out Chad Jenning‘s piece at LoHud. Great stuff on the whole day for the new Bronx Bomber.
MILESTONES: Derek Jeter‘s double in the 9th moved him ahead of Lou Gehrig for the Yankees all-time doubles leader …
Here’s the box score and recap.
EARLIER: TRADE DEADLINE DOINGS: The stars aligned for the club to finally figure out a way to get San Diego Padres third-baseman Chase Headley in pinstripes. It look dealing Yangervis Solarte and prospect Rafael De Paula to the Pods who were looking for a salary dump.
MEMORY LANE: On July 22nd, 1954, the Yankees signed Ralph Branca as a free agent. Considered an ‘old man’ in those days, the 28-year-old Mount Vernon, NY native pitched in only 5 games for New York that year, with a 1-0 record, and 2.84 ERA. But Branca became a household name on October 3, 1951. That date was the rubber match of the Brooklyn Dodgers vs New York Giants 3-game playoff for the National League crown, after finishing the season in a flat-footed tie — with the Yankees waiting in the wings as American League champions. Coming into the bottom of the 9th down 4-1, the Giants rallied and outfielder Bobby Thompson clubbed a Ralph Branca pitch for a walk-off home run. It has been called the greatest home run in baseball history — and forever known as “The Shot Heard ‘Round the World”. The Yankees killed that buzz with a 4 games to 2 World Series victory over the Giants, their third title in a row and 14th overall.
The 1951 Fall Classic would be the last for Joe DiMaggio. The Yankee Clipper retired after the season, but he passed the torch to a couple of youngsters who each made their World Series debut that year. Mickey Mantle and Willie Mays would become superstars in perhaps the greatest decade of New York baseball ever.
HAPPY 70th BIRTHDAY to Sparky Lyle! Lyle pitched for the Yankees between 1972-78, earning rings from both the 1977 and 1978 Yankees’ World Series Champion teams. Great quote from Sparky — “Why pitch nine innings when you can get just as famous pitching two?” (Hat Tip: Baseball-Almanac)