Rendering just Y axis

I am trying to render a set of data/date points with plot_date. How can
I get matplotlib to only plot the y axis of this graph? I can turn both
off with axis(“off”), but I can’t seem to find more detailed
instructions anywhere.
Also, although this is unimportant, it grates somewhat to use
matplotlib with the procedural (matlab esque) instructions within my OO
python code. Are there any tutorials or other docs on plotting graphs
through the more pythonic libraries?

Many thanks,

Stephen English