From now until the end of the season, we will be tracking the progress of the Yankees with their 1998 World Championship team, which won 114 games in the regular season.
Through 93 Games:
Friday night: Cleveland 6, Yankees 5
Cleveland got to Yankees starter Domingo German early with one in the first inning, followed by three in the second, with Michael Brantley getting a two-run double to make it 4-0.
The Yankees got three back in the top of the fifth, with Neil Walker getting an RBI double and Brett Gardner getting a sacrifice fly.
Cleveland made it 6-3 in the sixth, and the Yankees responded as Gardner had an RBI groundout in the eighth and Giancarlo Stanton had a solo homer in the ninth, but it wasn’t enough.
July 20, 1998: Tigers 4, Yankees 3 (17 innings)
In the first game of a doubleheader at Yankee Stadium, the Tigers beat the Yankees 4-3 in a game that went 17 innings.
The Yankees jumped out to a 3-0 lead as Paul O’Neill had an RBI double in the first, followed by Bernie Williams getting a two-run double in the third.
Detroit came back against Yankees starter David Wells, as Joe Randa scored on an error on a hit by Joe Randa in the sixth, and in the seventh, Paul Bako had an RBi groundout followed by an RBi single from Randa that tied it at 3. Randa’s hit came against Ramiro Mendoza, who relieved Well after Bako’s at-bat.
It stayed that way all the way until the 17th inning when Randa got an RBI single against Yankee reliever Darren Holmes to make it 4-3.
A.J. Sager pitched the final two innings for Detroit to earn the win, improving to 3-1 in 1998.
Where they stand: The Yankees (61-32) remain seven games off the pace of the 1998 team, which was 68-25 through 93 games.