Home MLBBST Game Guides Sunday Night Baseball on Five – Orioles versus the Yankees

Sunday Night Baseball on Five – Orioles versus the Yankees

by Matt Smith

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Tonight’s game sees the Baltimore Orioles making a rare appearance on Five as they take on the Yankees.  The game itself will be something of a sideshow though.  Yankee Stadium has staged many memorable games since it  opened in 1923, but this will be the last.  A pre-game ceremony is set to begin at 00.05.  Five’s coverage doesn’t start until forty-five minutes later, but that will still leave plenty of time for British fans to soak up what will no doubt be an atmosphere full of emotion.  First pitch is due to be thrown at around 01.15. 

The series so far

The Yankees entered this three-game series knowing that even a sweep would still leave them with only a small chance of continuing their stretch of play-off appearances.  However, the mathematical possibility of making October, accompanied by the historic nature of the series, ensured that the Yankees would be going all out to win all three games against their AL East opponents.  Two games in and they are on track to do just that.

If the first two games of the series are anything to go by, tonight’s game should be a pitching classic.  The batters on both sides have struggled to put many runs on the board so far, with just six runs combined being scored.  The Yanks edged the opener 3-2, while last night’s game was scoreless until the bottom of the ninth inning, when Robinson Cano hit a walk-off single with the bases loaded.

Starting Pitchers

The Orioles send the little-known Chris Waters to the mound for tonight’s historic contest.  The rookie has made nine starts this season since being called up to the Big Leagues at the beginning of August and his most recent outing was the best of the lot.  He pitched a complete game against the Blue Jays on Tuesday, holding them scoreless as the Orioles prevailed 1-0.  The lefty has a standard four-pitch repertoire containing a high-eighties fastball, a decent slider, a change and a curve.  As the speed of his fastball suggests, he’s a control pitcher rather than a strikeout guy and is trying to make a favourable impression to earn a spot at the back of the O’s 2009 rotation.

For the Yankees, their scheduled starter was chosen a while ago.  The veteran Andy Pettitte is the deserving choice to be the last Yankee starter at the House that Ruth Built.  After going 13-9 through his first twenty seven starts, Pettitte has been lumbered with a loss in each of his last five outings and sports an unsightly 6.91 ERA during that period. Whether this is due to bad luck or an ageing pitcher running out of steam down the stretch is up for debate.  What we do know is that Pettitte has an outstanding record at Yankee Stadium (94-42 with a 3.70 ERA) and if any single occasion could enable him to recapture his best form then this is it.

Tonight’s game will be a wonderful occasion regardless of the result, but let’s hope Yankee Stadium is blessed with a final game befitting of its legendary status.

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Joe Cooter September 21, 2008 - 9:26 pm

I will be watching and I will be crying. I will be thinking back to all those great moments I have been fortunate to witness over the years. I’ll be thinking about that night against Seatle back in 2001, when New York City desperately needed something to chear about. I’ll remember that night when the team, running on pure emotion rallied to win a game against Baltimore. That morning the team had flown to Ohio to attend the funeral of their captain, Thurman Munson who had died a few days earlier in a plane crash. I’ll remember that night when Reggie hit three homeruns on three pitches against three differant pitchers. I’ll remember the No hitters and the perfect games thrown their. I’ll remember that rally against the Mets in game one of the World Series. I’ll remember the tribute to Joe Dimagio in 1999 when they had Paul Simon Perform “Misses Robinson” and I’ll remember the fans.

It was never about the pennants and championships that the Yankees won, although they did enhance the the clubs reputation. Other clubs have become jealous because of all the Yankees success. It was about the fans, it was about the players and the relationship between the two. The fans expect excellence and the players delivered. The fans would root the team on and they would respond. The Yankees may have had an off year this year, but they will be back. Anyone who thinks otherwise will be infor a rude awakening.

Matt Smith September 21, 2008 - 9:56 pm

Great to read your thoughts Joe.

The Yankees have got a few expensive players coming off the payroll at the end of this season and I think they might be primed for another good run. They’ll certainly be major players in the Sabathia sweepstake, possiby with Burnett as well. It will be interesting to see how things shake out in the Front Office, with Cashman’s contract being up and the Steinbrenners wanting to change the structure a bit.

The Red Sox are a strong organization and the Rays are only going to get better over the next 3 or 4 years. I’m sure the Yankees will be up for the challenge and it should make the AL East a fantastic battle once again.

Joe Cooter September 21, 2008 - 11:33 pm

Let’s not forget that there were many events beyond baseball that make Yankee Stadium so special. The NY Giant’s of the NFL spent 18 years at Yankee stadium and played in four championship games their, including the 1958 game which the NFL loves to promote as the greatest game ever played. The New York Cosmo’s of the old North American Soccer League played their in 1971 and 1976, allowing fans at Yankee stadium to witness the brilliance of Pele. Man U played a friendly against Tottenham back in ’52. Celtic played a friendly here. Joe Louis, Sugar Ray Robinson, and Muhammed Ali all defended their titles here. This is just a special place.

Joe Cooter September 22, 2008 - 12:47 pm

What a way to go out. They sent the stadium out in style with a 7-3 win. The pregame ceremony honored as many former players and legends that they could. They started by announcing the opening day lineup from the 1923 team. Actor marching out in period uniforms played the team. They also introduced other great players who passed away including Babe, Lou, Joe D.. Allie Reyolds, Leftey Gomez and Red Ruffing. Then they went position by position introducing past legends. It was great to see Bernie Back. The game itself was fairly ruitine, but it was nice to see Mariano out on the mound for the last game. I never thought that Jose Molina would be the man to hit the final homerun, though. AFter the game, Jeter addressed the crowd and the team took a lap around the field and players hung around signing autographs for the team. Just a special night. I’m gonna miss that place.

Matt Smith September 22, 2008 - 6:57 pm

Wille Randolph’s slide into second base was probably my favourtie moment! Baseball always seems to do these sort of ceremonies well and this was no exception. It was a great send off, even if it wasn’t the World Series send off that Yankee fans had hoped for entering the season.


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