On a steamy afternoon in New York Yankees Stadium on July 22, 2004, Orlando “el duque” Hernandez and former Yankee Ted Lilly struck out 10 and six respectively, and allowed just seven singles between them through seven scoreless innings. Then in the bottom of the ninth, Toronto righty Vinnie Chulk struck out both Gary Sheffield and Alex Rodriguez in succession, only to be beaten when right fielder Ruben Sierra blasted a 2-1 pitch to just right of dead center for the 1-0 Yankee walk-off win.
It was Madison Bumgarner vs Masahiro Tanaka in a rare San Francisco Giants visit to the Bronx on July 22, 2016, and although each pitched well, Tanaka should have gotten the 3-2 win. Starlin Castro doubled in a run in the home first, and left fielder Angel Pagan‘s error on Castro’s fly in the second led to an unearned run. Tanaka left with a 2-0 lead after six, and Bumgarner was down 2-1 when he left after seven. Mac Williamson tied it in the eighth with an rbi double off Andrew Miller, who would “earn” the victory when Chase Headley scored on Brandon Crawford‘s wild throw to first trying to complete a double play in the bottom of the eighth.
Two things about the July 22, 2-1 Yankee victory over Texas in the stadium that were typical of the 2014 season were that long stretches of innings passed with no scoring, and that two Yankee players had their debuts with the team. Traded for that day, third baseman Chase Headley didn’t enter the game until the eighth of 12 straight scoreless innings to start it. Strangely, the Yanks had finally scored in the 13th on a Brett Gardner double and Jacoby Ellsbury single once J.P. Arencibia homered off David Huff in the top half. And then lefty Jeff Francis, debuting in pinstripes, got a win pitching the 14th, because Headley became a first-day hero by driving in Brian Roberts as the clock struck midnight.
On July 22, 1998, the Bombers beat up on the Tigers, 13-2, bringing the season mark to a healthy 71-25! Orlando “el duque” Hernandez was the beneficiary of all the offense, featuring a Jorge Posada double and home run, and taters from Chuck Knoblauch and Darryl Strawberry as well.
Happy Birthday to Sparky Lyle (1944), who posted a 57-37 record with 139 saves and a Cy Young Award during his seven-year stretch in the Bronx that began in 1972, a time when the team went from “not” to “very” good.