Giancarlo Stanton is making up for lost time. Since returning from a six-week absence due to a hamstring strain, he’s homered four times in seven games, including two on Monday night against the Diamondbacks — the second of which won the game and carved him a small niche in the history books.
It took 17 years, but the Dodgers are finally coming to the Bronx for an interleague matchup against the Yankees. It’s inexplicable that it took this long for the game’s greatest interleague rivalry to visit its ancestral home, and now that it is finally happening, we’re getting a mid-week two-game series rather than a proper three-game or, ideally, weekend set. Still, even that can’t dampen the enthusiasm for fans who have not seen these two iconic franchises face off in the Bronx since the Dodgers clinched the 1981 World Series across the street from the House That George Built.
The Yankees have traveled to Dodger Stadium twice for an interleague matchup, once in 2004 and once in 2010. Prior to that, they had only met in the World Series, where they have squared off a record 11 times (next on the list: Yankees-Giants, seven times, and Yankees-Cardinals, five) for a total of 66 games, including some of the most famous in baseball history. Here is a quick look at those 11 Fall Classics, many of which truly lived up to the name.
Catch of the year? Definitely catch of the night.
In the bottom of the 12th inning of the Padres’ 5-3 victory over the Giants on Monday, Padres outfielder Will Venable made an incredible diving catch deep in centerfield to prevent the winning run from scoring:
Venable’s amazing catch ended the 12th and robbed Juan Perez of driving in the winning run for San Francisco.
The Padres went on to beat the Giants in the 13th inning when pinch-hitter Andrew Casher successfully executed a safety squeeze, marking San Diego’s season-best seventh straight win.
Remember the Toronto Blue Jays? They spent this offseason absorbing the Marlins’ best players (non-Giancarlo Stanton division) and throwing down money like a Canadian family talked into taking a horse-carriage ride in Central Park. SI.com projected Toronto to go 91-71, good for second in the AL East, and a virtual lock for the playoffs. Then the season started, and the Blue Jays went about making every expert look like a fool.
Toronto went 10-17 in April, a month that featured new shortstop Jose Reyes spraining his ankle on a slide, poor starts from new co-aces R.A. Dickey and Josh Johnson, and the defensive mis-stylings of Emilio Bonifacio. Johnson hit the disabled list, as did Brandon Morrow and fifth starter J.A. Happ; injuries so plagued the Jays’ rotation that 40-year-old Ramon Ortiz was given four starts before he, too, went down with what looked to be a career-ending arm injury. The month of May was a little better at 13-15, but at 23-32, there didn’t look to be any sign of the would-be contender that Alex Anthopoulos had built in the offseason.
The Yankees have spent the first two and a half months of their season envisioning the day when their lineup would once again be whole, stocked with Curtis Granderson, Derek Jeter, Alex Rodriguez and Mark Teixiera. Alas, the team has gotten a mere 94 plate appearances from that quartet, and the number doesn’t figure to increase anytime soon, as general manager Brian Cashman is leaning toward returning Teixeira — the only one of those four currently on the active roster — to the disabled list.