Thanks to interleague play, the Cubs and Yankees are playing at Wrigley this weekend. This is a very rare occurrence; the two teams have only played five previous series in the regular season. Friday's game ended like most have between the two, with a Yankees' win. The Yankees now hold a 10-4 all-time series lead, 18-4 if you count the playoffs (1933 and 1938 World Series). Brett Anderson's ineptitude at getting hitters out means that will be 19-4 heading into Sunday.
I thought it would be fun to look at each of the five previous series, picking out one game from each to give the lineups and a highlight.
June 6-8, 2003 (Wrigley)
There was plenty of hype around this series; it was the first time the Yankees and Cubs played since the 1938 World Series. Hard to believe! Adding to the hype were three great pitching matchups: David Wells vs Carlos Zambrano, Roger Clemens vs Kerry Wood, and Andy Pettitte vs Mark Prior. The surging Cubs took two of three.
Saturday's game is the one that stands out. Clemens was gunning for his 300th win in his first game at Wrigley. He left the game with two outs in the 7th inning, up 1-0. Erik Karros (who entered the game after Hee-Seop Choi collided with Wood) took Juan Acevedo deep on the first pitch he saw for a three-run homer.
June 17-19, 2005 (Yankee Stadium)
The Yankees swept the three games—the first regular season games between the two in New York—by outscoring the Cubs 23-10. Derek Jeter homered twice on Saturday (June 18). Despite my best efforts, I could not find a video of Jeter's homers—or any moment from the series. So, you'll just have to settle for the lineups. Neifi Perez and his .311 OBP led off. Tony Womack hitting second with a .282 OBP is equally bad. Are we sure Joe Torre was a good manager?
June 17-19, 2011 (Wrigley)
This series started off hot, with Doug Davis outdueling Freddy Garcia in game one. Davis won his first game of the season, the 92nd—and final—of his career. These were the last Theo Epstein-less Cubs-Yankees games, evidenced by the Cubs #3 hitters in the series: Blake DeWitt and Jeff Baker.
The Yankees came back to take the next two games. A.J. Burnett and CC Sabathia picked up the wins against Ryan Dempster and Randy Wells, respectively. In Saturday's game, Reed Mantle homered off Mariano Rivera to lead off the 9th, but the Cubs couldn't follow that with anything else.
April 16, 2014 (Yankee Stadium)
Another sweep by the Yankees, this time of a doubleheader. Michael Pineda and Masahiro Tanaka, along with four Yankees relievers, combined to shut out the Cubs over both games. Alfonso Soriano went 2-8 against his former team; 2014 would be his final season in baseball. Tanaka pitched well in just his third MLB start after coming over from Japan. If you don't believe me, you can be the 18,367th viewer of the video below.
May 20-21, 2014 (Wrigley)
In the same year, the Cubs and Yankees met again. I'm guessing MLB tried a new interleague scheduling pattern in 2014. The Cubs were recipients of sweet revenge when they beat Masahiro Tanaka in the first game, 6-1. In game two, the Cubs were on their way to a sweep; they held a 2-0 lead going into the top of the 9th. Hector Rondon came and in and you'll never guess what happened...
The shortstops in that game—Starlin Castro and Derek Jeter—combined to go 1-13. The game went 13 innings (and 4 1/2 hours) before it was all over.