Guess what happened 14 years ago today?
The Yankees swept a doubleheader against the Mets. But that wasn’t the big story. The Yankees won both games 4-2. But that wasn’t the big story. Dwight Gooden picked up a win for the Yankees in the day game of the twin bill. But that wasn’t the big story. The fact that it was a split venue doubleheader also wasn’t the big story.
I was at that game, sitting in my old Sunday seats at the old Stadium – it was a makeup game from a previous rainout (6/11/00). As soon as the ball hit Piazza, my mother, who was sitting to my left, put her head into my shoulder and said, “Oh my God, is he moving?” She couldn’t look and for a few scary moments, we all thought the worst. You could hear a pin drop in the Stadium. Thankfully, Piazza was alive, he left the game and a new “rivalry” was born.
The losing pitcher in the nightcap was Glendon Rusch.
Some other highlights from those games:
- Tino Martinez hit a home run in the day game at Shea. It broke a 2-2 tie in the sixth inning.
- Chuck Knoblauch hit a home run in the night game at Yankee Stadium. He hit it when the Yankees were down 2-1 and it put them up 4-2.
- Mariano Rivera picked up saves 20 and 21 of the season.
- Rusch, the losing pitcher in the nightcap, pitched a complete game. He gave up four runs on five hits and struck out 10.
And if you don’t want to talk about the past in today’s open thread, we can always talk about Brian Roberts.
This is from our own Domenic Lanza:
“This season, Brian Roberts has walked in 8.6% of his plate appearances, which is quite good – league-average, for reference, is 7.9%. The majority of his offensive value is derived from his ability to take a walk, in fact, as his .317 OBP is almost perfectly league-average. However, it seems as though Roberts has changed his approach at the plate a bit over the past few weeks, as he has not taken a walk in his last 15 games … over which time he is batting .306/.306/.548 (including two of his four home runs this season). That’s a 133 wRC+. There doesn’t seem to be a ton of BABIP luck, either – his .315 mark over that time is higher than he had been producing, to be sure, but it is not extreme by any means.
Is it safe to call it a change in approach, though? Surprisingly, yes. Or, maybe, at least. Over his first 62 games, Roberts swung at 28.4% of pitches out of the zone, 73.1% of pitches in the zone, and 48.9% of pitches overall. Since then, those percentages are 36.2%, 75.9%, and 55.7%, respectively.
I know it’s a small sample size, and it’s probably irrelevant – but it’s intriguing nonetheless.”
How about that? Brian Roberts is improving and he’s still healthy!
Or perhaps you can discuss this story about Terry Pendleton saying that Brian McCann will never be comfortable on the Yankees.
“New York is not Brian,” Pendleton said before the Braves fell to the Mets 4-3 in 11 innings. “That’s my opinion. I knew if he chose New York, there would be more than he expected or knew about. He’ll never be comfortable with that.”