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Pinstriped glory, the greatest moments in Yankee history part four: The ’98 Yankees’ magnificent season

There are a few things about the Yankees that I’m very stubborn about, things that no matter how hard you debate with me I’ll just never change my mind on. For instance, Joe DiMaggio is the greatest baseball player the world has ever seen, if I ever have a son, I want him to grow up to be the man Lou Gehrig was, and the 1927 team is the greatest that baseball will ever see. However, while I am of the mindset the ’27 team is the greatest, there will never be a season more impressive than 1998. The team won 114 games in the regular season while losing only 48. They won the AL East by a mind boggling 22 games and went 11-2 in the playoffs sweeping the San Diego Padres in the World Series for the club’s 24th overall championship. Their win total regular season and postseason combined was 125 which is still a major league record to this day.

Sonny Gray implodes as Yanks drop series finale to Rays

The New York Yankees dropped the third game in the series to the Tampa Bay Rays 9-6 at Yankee Stadium as the away team avoids the sweep. Pitcher Sonny Gray had a tough start, only throwing 4.2 innings and allowing six runs. The highly touted trade piece has yet to figure out his late season form and may be playing himself into a bullpen position come playoff time, as this game represents his last start before the postseason.

photo from New York Yankees

The Yankees responded quickly to an early lead from the Rays by putting three runs up in the first two innings. Brett Gardner hit a home run followed by Aaron Judge who knocked his 51st shot of the season. Todd Frazier extended the lead with a single in the second inning, scoring Jacoby Ellsbury. A home-run by Greg Bird extended the lead to 4-1 in the fourth inning but the Yankees were unable to hold onto said lead.

The fifth inning was where the game fell apart for New York. Sonny Gray, who had pitched a one-run game to that point, had a disastrous inning, surrendering five runs and getting the hook for the loss. The inning was compounded by two passed balls by Gary Sanchez and a home-run by Wilson Ramos. Suddenly, New York went from having a strong 4-1 lead to trailing 8-4. Starlin Castro brought in Brett Gardner with a single in the bottom of the frame but couldn't put enough of a dent in the lead to give the Yankees a fighting chance. The Rays wold tack on one more in the sixth.

photo from Tampa Bay Rays

Outside of an Aaron Hicks solo homer in the bottom of the ninth, the Yankees failed to put together a rally. The loss ends the Yankees winning streak at three games but has no effect on their playoff standing. The team is resting as much talent as possible ahead of a Wild Card game against their potential opponents the Minnesota Twins. 

Winning Pitcher: Tommy Hunter (4-5, 2.22 ERA) 1 IP,  R, H, HR
Losing Pitcher: Sonny Gray (10-12, 3.55 ERA) 4.2 IP, 6 R, 6 H, 5 K, 2 HR

Aaron Judge: 1-3, H, RBI, HR, BB
Greg Bird: 1-3, H, RBI, HR
Brett Gardner: 1-2, H, RBI, HR, 2 BB
Corey Dickerson: 2-5, 2 H, 2 R, RBI, HR
Wilson Ramos: 1-4, H, 2 RBI, HR, BB

Article by: Anthony Merced