(David Wells after his perfect game on May 17, 1998)
From now until the end of the season, we will be tracking the progress of the current Yankees with the 1998 World Championship team that won 114 games during the regular season.
Through 37 Games:
The Red Sox beat the Yankees 5-4, on Thursday night at The Stadium, breaking the Yankees’ eight-game winning streak.
This was just the Yankees’ second loss in their last 19 games.
The Red Sox jumped out to a 4-0 lead on Yankee starter CC Sabathia, capped off by a solo home run from Hanley Ramirez in the fifth inning.
The Yankees roared back in the seventh inning, as Brett Gardner walked with the bases loaded to get them on the board, Aaron Judge got an RBI single, Didi Gregorius got an RBI groundout, and Gardner came in on a wild pitch while Giancarlo Stanton was at-bat to tie the game at 4.
In the eighth inning, with Yankees reliever Dellin Betances in for his second inning of work, J.D. Martinez launched a blast to right field that was just out of reach of Judge to make it 5-4 Boston.
Craig Kimbrel made up for blowing the save on Wednesday night, as he retired the Yankees in order to seal the win and earn his 10th save of the season.
Yankees 4, Twins 0, May 17, 1998
This was an illustrious day in Yankees history, as David Wells threw a perfect game.
This was the first regular-season perfect game pitched by a Yankee, with the first one thrown by Don Larsen in the 1956 World Series.
David Cone threw one the following year, with Larsen and catcher Yogi Berra in attendance.
It was the 245th no-hitter in baseball history and the tenth in Yankees history, the first since Dwight Gooden threw one in May 1996 against Seattle.
Wells had 11 strikeouts on his way to perfection, and did it on 120 pitches, 79 of which were strikes.
The Yankees got on the board in the second inning, as Minnesota starter LaTroy Hawkins threw a wild pitch that allowed Bernie Williams to score.
In the fourth, it was Williams who hit a home run to make it 2-0 Yankees.
In the seventh, with Hawkins still in there, Darryl Strawberry got an RBI triple, and scored on a single by Chad Curtis to give Wells a 4-0 lead.
Hawkins came up with the Twins in 1995 and was a starter until 2000, when he was converted to a reliever and went on to pitch until 2015.
A member of the Twins until 2003, Hawkins then went on to the Cubs, Giants, Baltimore, Colorado, the Yankees, Houston, Milwaukee, the Angels, the Mets, and Toronto.
Hawkins pitched in 33 games for the Yankees in 2008, and he created some controversy when he wore number 21, which the team had not given out since Paul O’Neill retired in 2001 and has not given out since.
Where They Stand: With the loss Thursday night, the 2018 Yankees (26-11) are now two games of the pace of the 1998 team (28-9).