Yankee Stadium sees first homerless game
Bombers, Nats kept in yard after 34 contests with long ball
NEW YORK -- The fans who braved a five-hour, 26-minute rain delay Thursday at Yankee Stadium were rewarded with the opportunity to improve their seats, plus an invitation to return for another game.
They also witnessed unexpected history. For the first time in the young Stadium's 35-game life, no player hit a home run as the Nationals defeated the Yankees, 3-0.
The contest, played on a soggy 63-degree evening, snapped a record streak of 34 consecutive games with a home run since the facility opened on April 16. In that time, 119 long balls have been belted there.
Washington's Anderson Hernandez hit a three-run homer Tuesday in the series opener and three roundtrippers were hit Wednesday, with Adam Dunn, Robinson Cano and Johnny Damon clearing the fences. But nothing Thursday, as 25-year-old rookie Craig Stammen combined with four relievers to silence the Yankees.
"We didn't swing the bats too well," said Yankees shortstop Derek Jeter. "I think that's the perfect example of if you pitch, you're going to have a chance to win. The easy thing to say is that we're not swinging the bats, but they also had to pitch."
According to the Elias Sports Bureau, Yankee Stadium surpassed Hiram Bithorn Stadium in San Juan, Puerto Rico, (22 games) for the longest streak of consecutive games with at least one home run during the beginning of play for a new stadium in Major League history. The Montreal Expos played parts of their home schedule there in 2003 and 2004.
Yankee Stadium had been one of two Major League venues that had allowed at least one home run in each of its games in 2009. Tampa Bay's Tropicana Field remains the other.
The historical footnote came on an evening when the Yankees also announced that they will reward all fans holding tickets for the June 18 game -- regardless of whether it was used -- for a free bleachers, grandstand or terrace ticket at Yankee Stadium to a non-premium game this season or the 2010 season.
Fans may also choose to use their ticket as a coupon to purchase a half-price ticket in any other non-suite seating location to a remaining non-premium game in 2009 or 2010.
Bryan Hoch is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.