After a so-so April, the Yankees were much improved in May. They went 19-10 in the month and had a couple double-digit run games, after the offense spent the latter half of April struggling.
While things generally went well for the Yankees, that doesn’t preclude there being any strange and funny moments. With the second full month of the season in the books, let’s look back at the weirdest moments from the Yankees’ May — just as we did last month.
May opened with about the stupidest game possible from the Yankees. Starting on the mound against the Guardians was Domingo Germán, who was very impressive. After allowing a single to the second batter of the game, Germán retired 24 of the next 25 batters he faced. Going into the ninth, he had a chance at a Maddux, with the teams on pace to play the fastest game by minutes since 2008.
However, Germán allowed a one-out single in the ninth, and with the Yankees only up 2-0, Aaron Boone decided to be cautious and brought in a recently-erratic Clay Holmes. Holmes had a meltdown, allowing three-straight singles to tie the game. Boone then went to Wandy Peralta, but he lost the zone and eventually walked in a run. The Yankees ended up losing the game after having a 97-percent chance of victory with one out in the top of the ninth.
Two days later, the Yankees very lost another very dumb game to Cleveland. For starters, both Oswald Peraza and Harrison Bader were both hurt on stupid plays. Peraza’s came right after he had been sent in as a pinch-runner for Anthony Rizzo. Bader’s came on the complete nonsense:
That particular play put the Yankees down one in the ninth. However in the bottom half of the inning, Willie Calhoun tied the game with an RBI single, which scored the soon-to-be DFA’d Aaron Hicks—who was pinch-running for the pinch-runner, Peraza. In the 10th, Jose Trevino hit a walk-off single, saving the Yankees from one of the dumbest series losses in recent memory.
Some shoddy defense did cost the Yankees the game two days later. After the Yankees had rallied from 4-0 down against the Rays, Jake Bauers—primarily a first baseman coming up—did this:
Tampa Bay scored on the play and hung onto that lead.
With the way he had pitched in April, Gerrit Cole was the last pitcher you would’ve expected to blow a big lead, yet he did. Cole and the Yankees went from a 6-0 advantage in the fifth to down 7-6 in the sixth, as they eventually lost 8-7 in extras.
On his own Star Wars-themed bobblehead night, Anthony Rizzo homered twice, including a go-ahead, two-run shot in the bottom of the eighth inning.
In the words of Bill Hader’s Saturday Night Live character “Stefon,” MLB’s hottest club this week was the Yankees-Blue Jays’ series. It had everything.
Over the course of the four days in Toronto, here’s some of the stuff that happened:
- Aaron Judge completely going off at the plate
- Judge then being subtlety and not-so-subtlety accused by various Blue Jays-related personnel of something untoward on account of a glance he made at Yankees’ first-base coach Travis Chapman
- Judge then breaking a maple leaf stadium decoration with a home run
Aaron Judge has just declared war on Canada. pic.twitter.com/6Srkm1cYMj— Mike Petriello (@mike_petriello) May 17, 2023
- Germán getting ejected for sticky stuff after a sticky stuff check
- A Blue Jays walk-off after a game went scoreless for nine innings
- “Shut up, fat boy”
- An Aaron Boone ejection
- Toronto manager John Schneider and pitching coach Pete Walker demanding that the Yankees’ first and third-base coaches stay in their boxes, and Boone retaliating by yelling at Toronto’s own staff for failing to do so
- Much more!
The first game after featured another Yankee pitcher notable sticky stuff check, when Clarke Schmidt was sent into the dugout to wash his hands after one. After the game, Schmidt and the umpires said it was just debris from his glove on his hands that they wanted him to wash off, but Reds skipper David Bell wasn’t thrilled with that explanation during the game, and got himself ejected.
Just gonna leave this here, wash my hands of it, and move on:
Yu Darvish is a very good pitcher and among the best in his generation, having made five All-Star teams and four top-10 finishes in Cy Young voting. That didn’t stop the Yankees from going off against him.
In the third inning of the series finale against San Diego, the Yankees sent 11 batters to the plate, including eight against Darvish, knocking him out after 2.2 innings. DJ LeMahieu and Harrison Bader were the only players in the lineup to not record a hit during the frame. Kyle Higashioka hit two doubles during the inning after hitting just seven in all of last season.
By the time the game ended on the East Coast, the calendar had turned to June, but the Yankees did wrap up the month on a bit of an annoying note. After exchanging nine scoreless innings, the Mariners eventually walked-off with a win on a Cal Raleigh double in the 10th. Adding to that is that last year, the also played a chaotic game against the Mariners in Seattle that went into extras scoreless before the M’s got a walk-off win.