Yankees fans boo Manny Machado in star's first visit to New York since free agency
By Ronald Blum
May 27, 2019 | 7:50 PM
Yankees fans drubbed Manny Machado with the same intensity Clint Frazier, Brett Gardner and Gary Sanchez pounded the baseball.
The $300 million infielder was greeted with loud boos and chants of “Over-rated!” on Monday in his first visit to New York since free agency. Machado went 1-for-4 with a too-little, too-late leadoff double in the ninth inning during the Yankees' 5-2 victory over the San Diego Padres, the eighth win in nine games for the AL East leaders.
“You're in New York. I get booed everywhere I go,” Machado said. “Great players get booed.”
Machado struck out, popped out and hit into a double-play grounder in his first three at-bats, pleasing the Bleacher Creatures. He wouldn't judge whether the salutation was louder than elsewhere.
“How can you compare? A boo's a boo,” he said during a sometimes terse 3 1/2-minute postgame media session.
A four-time All-Star with division rival Orioles before he was dealt to the Los Angeles Dodgers last summer, Machado was interested in playing for the Bronx Bombers after becoming a free agent last fall and dined with Yankees officials in December in hopes of becoming their third baseman. New York did not bite, and Machado signed a $300 million, 10-year contract with the Padres in late February.
New York's third basemen have 30 RBIs this year, four more than Machado. Yankees manager Aaron Boone thought the reception was predictable.
“More a tribute to what a good player Manny is,” he said.
San Diego became the last opposing team to play at new Yankee Stadium, which opened in 2009, and quickly gained firsthand knowledge of its homer-friendly dimensions
Matt Strahm (2-4) struck out a career-high 10 in six innings but wasted a 2-0 lead in the Yankees' three-run second.
Frazier tied it with his 10th homer, a no-doubt drive over the left-field scoreboard. Gio Urshela walked and Gardner hit a 352-foot fly over the right field short porch, leading Strahm to slam his glove against a thigh in anger. Sanchez added his 16th homer off Craig Stammen in a two-run eighth, an opposite-field shot measured at 353 foot over the short porch.
“I think everybody kind of knows Yankee Stadium, how short right field is,” Machado said. “You definitely saw that today with Gary. That was what, 300 feet?”
Short on starting pitching with Luis Severino, James Paxton and CC Sabathia on the injured list, New York used Chad Green as an opener for the third time, and he struck out the side in a perfect first as Machado swung under a slider.
“That's overpowering, dominating Greeny when he's at his best,” Boone said. “He set the tone.”
David Hale (1-0) allowed RBI doubles by Josh Naylor and Austin Hedges in the second, then started pitching more quickly and retired his last 10 batters for his first win since September 2015 with Colorado.
Adam Ottavino, Tommy Kahnle, Zack Britton and Aroldis Chapman followed with an inning each, combining for three-hit relief in a six-hitter. Chapman got his 15th save in 16 chances.
“It's borderline textbook, six, seven, eight, nine, what they're going to,” Padres manager Andy Green said.
San Diego lost its second straight following a five-game winning streak. At 27 the oldest starter in a young rotation, Strahm entered with eight straight outings allowing two runs or fewer. He gave up four hits and three walks.