Today is the 70th Anniversary of Joe DiMaggio breaking the major-league record for the longest hitting streak. In 1897, Willie Keeler of the original, National League version of the Baltimore Orioles hit in 44 straight games. He would go on to become the first star of the New York club of the American League that went on to become the Yankees.
On July 2, 1941, in 95-degree heat at the old Yankee Stadium, DiMaggio hit a home run off Dick Newsome of the Boston Red Sox to extend his hitting streak to 45 straight games. His teammate, Hall of Fame pitcher Lefty Gomez, told Joe that not only had he broken Keeler's record, but he'd followed Keeler's advice: "Hit 'em where they ain't." Originally, it meant get the ball between the fielders, but, surely, in the stands is where they ain't.
Last night, the Yankees did a little bit of hitting where the Mets ain't. Mark Teixeira, Robinson Cano, Eduardo Nunez and Alex Rodriguez all hit doubles, and the Yankees beat the Mets, 5-1 in the opener of the 3-game intracity series (don't call it a Subway Series, this isn't a World Series) at Citi Field -- a.k.a. Pity Field.
Ivan Nova (8-4) pitched 5 innings, getting out of a bases-loaded jam in the 5th, and gave Yankee Fans another reason to say, "Cliff Lee? We don't need no stinkin' Cliff Lee!" Boone Logan had another good relief outing, putting aside (for the moment) the notion that he's inadequate to major league pitching, and Mariano Rivera had to bail out Hector Noesi in the 9th, although it wasn't a save situation. Jonathan Niese (7-7) was the starter and loser for the Mets.
The crowd was 42,020, the largest in the 2 1/2-year history of "New Shea." Similar crowds should show up for the game that begins in a few minutes and tomorrow afternoon's game.
Bartolo Colon returns from the Disabled List against Dillon Gee. Tomorrow, it's Freddy Garcia vs. R.A. Dickey.
Derek Jeter plays for the Trenton Thunder tonight and tomorrow night, and may rejoin the team on Monday in Cleveland. Phil Hughes will probably also make one more rehab start; if it's a good one, he could rejoin the team in time to pitch in the last series before the All-Star Break, home to Tampa Bay. Rafael Soriano is supposedly throwing off a mound again, and may return shortly after the ASB. (That's All-Star Break, not "Alien Space Bats" -- and if you know what that means, then you have as big a "no life" as I do.)
Jeter hits 2994 6
Rivera saves 580 21
A-Rod homers 626 137
A-Rod hits 2756 244
Magic Number 80 (to eliminate Scum, 76 for Rays, 71 for O's, 70 for Jays)