The Yankees were giving away Mariano Rivera bobbleheads to the first 18,000 fans through the gates at Yankee Stadium last night. Only problem: they didn’t have the bobbleheads. The truck delivering them broke down in New Jersey. The Yankees held the gates closed late but, when it became obvious that the bobbleheads weren’t going to arrive in time, they opened the gates, bobblehead-free. Vouchers were given out instead.
You can imagine how that went over at Yankee Stadium.
The merch arrived midway through the game and the team made an announcement that people with vouchers could line up to get their bobbleheads. The lines stretched down the concourses and, according to the Daily News, it took people several innings on line to get what they came for. Click through to the Daily News for your requisite angry New Yorker quotes.
A couple of thoughts:
1. Why did the Yankees limit the bobblehead giveaways to the first 18,000? I never get that. Is the idea to incentivize people to get to the ballpark early so that they buy more beer and nachos? Would it really cost the team that much more to make sure everyone who buys a ticket can get one? Imagine how much less chaos it would have caused if the Yankees just handed them out when people left the ballpark, the way teams do with free tickets for ice cream and pizza and stuff; and
2. Chaos aside, given how poorly the Yankees played last night, one would think that standing on line in the concourse waiting for a bobblehead would be preferable to the game, but maybe that’s just me.
Anyway: heckuva job, Yankees.
The Yankees defeated the Astros 4-1 during Game 5 of the American League Championship Series on Friday night, staving off a potential postseason elimination and forcing the series to at least six games.
In just the third playoff appearance of his career, Yankees southpaw James Paxton turned in another impressive performance, limiting the Astros to four hits and four walks over six innings of one-run ball. According to MLB Stats, his nine strikeouts made him the second Yankees lefty to record multiple starts of 8+ strikeouts in the same postseason campaign, two decades after David Wells did so for the 1998 championship-winning club.
Paxton’s strong outing was backed by a handful of runs from DJ LeMahieu and Aaron Hicks, both of whom went deep against Astros ace Justin Verlander in the bottom of the first inning. LeMahieu’s leadoff solo shot marked his first postseason home run since Game 1 of the ALDS, while Hicks’ three-run 347-footer was his first home run of any variety since July 24 (and his first in the playoffs since the 2017 ALDS).
Neither team managed a single run after the first inning, leaving the two pitching staffs to duke it out for eight quick innings. Verlander outlasted Paxton — taking the game through the seventh with five hits, four runs, and nine strikeouts — but even with a flawless contribution from Brad Peacock in the eighth, there was little the hurlers could do to help the Astros solve Paxton and an airtight Yankees bullpen.
With the win, the Yankees will try to push the series to a full seven games in order to snatch the AL pennant from the Astros. They’ll have to do in Houston, however, as the Astros will regain home field advantage when Game 6 kicks off on Saturday at 8:08 PM EDT. Neither starter has been announced yet; per Houston skipper A.J. Hinch, it will likely be a bullpen day.