From now until the end of the season, we will be following the progress of the current Yankees against the 1998 World Championship team that won 114 games in the regular season.
Through 39 Games:
Saturday afternoon, Yankees 7, Oakland 6 (11 innings)
The Yankees beat the Oakland Athletics, 7-6, in 11 innings, on Saturday afternoon at The Stadium, as Neil Walker got a walk-off RBI single.
The Yankees improve to 27-12, winners of 18 of their last 21 games, and this breaks a mini two-game losing streak.
Gary Sanchez and Aaron Hicks each had solo home runs in the second inning to give the Yankees a 2-0 lead.
Oakland roared back for five runs in the top of the fourth inning, as Khris Davis got a three-run homer and Mark Canha had a two-run single to give them a 5-2 lead.
Trailing 6-2 in the sixth, the Yankees put up four runs in the frame, starting with a two-run homer by Aaron Judge and RBI singles from Walker and Miguel Andujar to tie the game at 6.
It started that way until the 11th when Walker got his walk-off hit.
May 20, 1998: Yankees 9, Baltimore 6
The Yankees beat the Orioles 9-6 at The Stadium to improve to 30-9 and dropped the Orioles, who made the playoffs the prior two seasons, to 20-25.
After Baltimore got a run in the top of the first, the Yankees rallied against old friend Jimmy Key for four runs in the bottom of the frame, as Derek Jeter had an RBI triple, Tim Raines had an RBI single, and Jorge Posada had a two-run double.
In the fourth, Jeter got an RBI double and Paul O’Neill had an RBI single to make it 6-1 Yankees.
The Yankees pulled away in the sixth, as Scott Brosius homered off Jimmy Key, who then gave up a couple of singles and was lifted for Norm Charlton, who gave up a two-run single to Raines to give them a commanding 9-2 lead.
The Orioles rallied for four runs in the ninth against Darren Holmes to make the final a respectable 9-6.
Hideki Irabu started this one for the Yankees, and improved to 3-0 on the season, his second in New York. Irabu went six innings, and allowed two runs on six hits and three walks with a pair of strikeouts.
Key took the loss for Baltimore to drop to 4-3, as he allowed nine runs on 12 hits and two walks, with six strikeouts in 5 2/3 innings.
This would be Key’s last season in the league, and he finished with a record of 6-3 with a 4.20 ERA.
Key joined the Yankees in 1993 and was in New York for four seasons, most known for starting Game 6 of the 1996 World Series against Atlanta when the Yankees won their first championship since 1978.
After that big win, Key went to the Orioles in 1997, and he had a record of 16-10 with a 3.43 ERA for a Baltimore team that won the American League East, beat the Seattle Mariners in the Division Series, and lost in the Championship Series to the Cleveland Indians.
Where they stand: The 2018 Yankees (27-12) are three games off the pace of the 1998 team (30-9)