Results tagged ‘ Alexei Ramirez ’
MINNEAPOLIS — It did not take Derek Jeter very long to get involved in the 2014 All-Star Game. On the very first play of the game, Jeter made a diving stop of a hard grounder toward the middle by Pirates center fielder Andrew McCutchen, but the reigning National League Most Valuable Player beat the throw to first base for a single.
McCutchen never stopped running that inning. He moved up to second base on a wild pitch during the at-bat of Yasiel Puig, who struck out, and stole third base as Troy Tulowitzki struck out. Mac never made it home, however, as Paul Goldschmidt grounded out to third.
The Twins, who have done a magnificent job as host of the All-Star Game, came up with a nice touch by having a tape of the late Yankees public address voice Bob Sheppard announce Jeter as he stepped to the plate as the first American League hitter in the bottom of the first inning. The tape was apparently from the 2008 All-Star Game at Yankee Stadium.
The Target Field crowd was generous with its applause and gave Jeter a standing ovation. Starting pitcher Adam Wainwright left his glove and the ball on the rubber and stepped back off the mound in joining his NL teammates in applauding Jeter, who removed his helmet, waved to the crowd and pointed to both dugouts. He motioned to Wainwright to start pitching, but the Cardinals ace remained behind the mound for probably a full minute before taking position.
As play resumed, fans treated the Captain to a “Der-ek Jee-ter” chant familiar to the roll call the bleacher creatures at the Stadium salute him with every night, another cool touch. Jeet got things started for the AL with one of his patented line drives to right field that went into the corner as Jeter legged out a double. The crowd loved it.
And how about that to those who thought Jeter should not have been the AL’s leadoff hitter? One swing, and he was in scoring position. Not bad, eh?
Angels outfielder Mike Trout got Jeter home with the AL’s second extra-base hit of the inning, a triple off the right field wall that the Dodgers’ Yasieal Puig played poorly. After Mariners second baseman Robinson Cano struck out, Tigers first baseman Miguel Cabrera got the AL’s third extra-base hit of the inning, a home run to left field. The score was 3-0, and the Americans had not had a single yet. Perhaps Wainwright should have stayed off the mound.
The National League, which was shut out at Citi Field last year, closed to 3-2 in the second on RBI doubles by Phillies second baseman Chase Utley and Brewers catcher Jonathan Lucroy to end a 15-inning scoreless streak dating to 2012 at Kansas City.
Jeter was a leadoff hitter again in the third inning against Reds righthander Alfredo Simon and got the AL’s first single on another hit to right field. A wild pitch advanced Jeter into scoring position this time, but he was stranded.
Before the start of the fourth inning, AL manager John Farrell of the Red Sox sent White Sox shortstop Alexei Ramirez onto the field to replace Jeter, who was showered with another round of long applause while the PA system played Frank Sinatra’s version of “New York, New York” that is heard at the end of every Yankees home game.
Jeter again waved to the crowd, pointed to the NL dugout and then shook the hands of every one of his teammates in the AL dugout and urged on by the crowd came onto the field once more to acknowledge their cheers. He left All-Star competition with a .481 career average in 27 at-bats and seemed in place for maybe another game Most Valuable Player Award to match the one he received in 2000 at Atlanta’s Turner Field.
One stumbling block to that was the NL tying the score in the fourth on another RBI double by Lucroy, this time off White Sox lefthander Chris Sale. That opened the door for Trout, who with his second extra-base hit of the game, a double in the fifth, gave the AL the lead and put him in position to be the MVP.
But if the fans here had their choice, I’m sure they would vote for Jeter.
It is looking very much like the Yankees will have only one player in the starting lineup for the All-Star Game July 15 at Target Field in Minneapolis.
Not surprisingly, Derek Jeter is the leading vote getter at shortstop for the American League. Although the White Sox’ Alexei Ramirez is having a better season statistically, he trails the Captain by more than 589,000 votes. DJ is not underserving. He is one of baseball’s most popular players, and the All-Star Game is after all the fans’ game. It is extremely doubtful that Ramirez could make up the gap in a week’s time. The All-Star Game rosters will be announced Sunday.
It would mark the second consecutive season that the Yankees would have only one starter. Second baseman Robinson Cano was in the AL starting lineup last year at Citi Field. The Yankees had two starters in the previous seven All-Star Games after having only one in 2005 at Detroit. The last time they had more than two was in 2004 at Houston when they had three — Jeter, Alex Rodriguez and Jason Giambi. Alfonso Soriano was the Most Valuable Player of the game that year, his first season with the Rangers after the A-Rod trade.
Jeter entered play Monday night batting .275 with two home runs and 19 RBI. Meanwhile, Ramirez is hitting .298 with nine homers and 38 RBI. It is not all about statistics, however. There is also the matter of star power, which Jeter certainly has.
None of the other Yankees on the ballot is close to a starting berth. Masahiro Tanaka would likely be among the candidates to start the game except that his final start before the break barring a change in the rotation is scheduled for the Sunday before the All-Star Game, which would make him ineligible for the game yet he could be named to the squad.
The best chance for any other of Jeter’s teammates to join him in the Twin Cities would be out of the bullpen. David Robertson and Dellin Betances are having seasons worthy of All-Star consideration.
Yankee fans have enjoyed getting on Kevin Youkilis’ case throughout the series against the White Sox, his new team after being traded to Chicago this week by the Red Sox. Youkilis has long been a target of Yankees fans, and changing the color of his hosiery made no difference. He was soundly booed every time he batted and taunted in the field at third base while he had trouble with the glaring sun.
Youkilis lost a foul pop by Raul Ibanez in the second inning that was ruled no play by official scorer Billy Altman. Ibanez hit another fly ball in Youkilis’ direction later in the at-bat, and once again the third baseman had difficulty seeing it. It took a nifty grab by shortstop Alexei Ramirez to get an out on the play.
I don’t know what brand sunglasses Youkilis was wearing, but I would not recommend them.
The only time Youkilis drew a positive response from the Yankee Stadium crowd was when he was hit by a pitch from Hiroki Kuroda in the sixth inning. The fans seemed to relish in his pain. The pitch may have been retaliation for White Sox pitcher Jake Peavy having struck Derek Jeter with a pitch the previous inning after DeWayne Wise had hit a home run.
It marked the first time in the series that Youkilis reached base. He was hitless in nine at-bats up to that point.
As the temperatures in New York keep rising during this heat wave, the Yankees have cooled off. The American League Central-leading White Sox under rookie manager Robin Ventura beat the Yankees for the second straight game Friday night in a game the Bombers were hoping to steal with a pitcher making his major-league debut.
No ninth-inning heroics were required this time from the White Sox, who overcame a 4-0 deficit against rookie righthander Adam Warren and went on the beat the Yankees at their own game. Chicago used four home runs to the Yanks’ one (by Curtis Granderson) on the way to a 14-7 victory.
Warren was not stuck with the losing decision because the Yankees, who had 11 hits, came back from 6-4 to tie the score in the fourth inning on the second of two doubles by Andruw Jones. But relievers David Phelps and Cory Wade couldn’t keep the ball in the yard any more than Warren had. A.J. Pierzynski swatted two home runs and Paul Konerko and Alexei Ramirez one apiece as part of a 19-hit attack that also included five doubles.
The underbelly of the Yankees’ bullpen has been exposed somewhat the past two nights. Wade especially has been on a downhill cycle. He was roughed up for six earned runs and seven hits in 2 1/3 innings and has allowed 10 earned runs in his past two outings totaling three innings. That is an ERA of 30.00. Over his past six appearances, Wade has pitched to a 28.69 ERA and given up 13 earned runs and 17 hits, including three home runs, in 5 1/3 innings. His season ERA over that stretch has gone from 2.63 to 5.79.
“He relies on location,” Girardi said of Wade. “He was up in the zone, and he can’t live there.”
The situation reached the perilous point that Yankees manager Joe Girardi resorted to using outfielder DeWayne Wise to get the final two outs, which was one of the few highlights for Yankees pitching in the game.
“You can see guys pitching in and out and changing speeds and plains and can’t get anybody out and then someone comes in and simply throws BP [batting practice] and gets both hitters out,” Girardi said. “It’s a strange game.”
The Yankees did their best Friday night to put Adam Warren, who made his major-league debut, in a comfort zone. They jumped out to a 4-0 lead in the first inning off White Sox lefthander Jose Quintana, who entered the game with a 16-inning scoreless streak and a 1.25 ERA.
Derek Jeter started the ball rolling with a double into the left field corner for his 3,185th career hit that pushed him past Hall of Famer Cal Ripken Jr. for sole possession of 13th place on the all-time list.
“Congratulations to Derek on passing me on the all-time hits list,” Ripken said. “Derek has been such a special player for such a long time, and I am happy to see him continue to play at a high level. He represents the game and the Yankees wonderfully, and I hope that he continues to give all of us baseball fans great memories.”
Curtis Granderson ended Quintana’s zeroes streak with a drive to right-center field for his 22nd home run off a 1-0 fastball. Another streak by Quintana came one out later when he walked Alex Rodriguez, the pitcher’s first base on balls in a stretch covering 100 batters.
After Robinson Cano flied out, Nick Swisher kept the rally alive with a flare single behind first base that was positioned so well that A-Rod got to third. Andruw Jones got both runners home with a booming double off the wall in left-center.
The comfort zone didn’t last long for Warren, who gave all of the lead back the very next inning on A.J. Pierzynski’s 13th home run, singles by Dayan Viciedo and Alexei Ramirez, a two-run double by Gordon Beckham and a run-scoring infield out by Kevin Youkilis. The rookie learned that in the big leagues nothing can be taken for granted as Paul Konerko led off the third with his 14th home run to put the Chisox ahead.
Chicago added another run before Warren came out of the game after 2 1/3 innings with his ERA an unsightly 23.14. The Yankee Stadium crowd recognized the circumstances and disappointing as fans may have been to see a 4-0 lead vanish gave the rookie righthander polite applause. To have done otherwise would have been unkind.
In his previous start, CC Sabathia flirted with a perfect game. He was nowhere near as sharp Monday night but gave a lesson in quality major-league pitching with eight serviceable innings and gave the Yankees a positive start to the seven-game road trip in a 3-2 victory over the White Sox.
Sabathia needed such a performance because after the first inning Chicago starter Jake Peavy, who has struggled with injuries in recent years, was just as stingy. The Yankees got to him in the first on an run-scoring double by Curtis Granderson, who scored one out later on an infield hit by Robinson Cano.
Granderson, a Chicago native with lots of friends and relatives in the stands, doubled again in the third and scored his major-league leading 96th run as Cano grounded into a double play. That would be it for the Yankees against Peavy, who pitched through seven before lefthander Chris Sale added two more scoreless innings.
But Sabathia made the early runs stand up. The White Sox had 10 hits off CC in eight innings, but only one was damaging. Sabathia hung a changeup to Alexei Ramirez, the young shortstop, who drove the ball to left for a two-run home run in the fourth.
Sabathia did not walk a batter, had six strikeouts and was aided by three double plays. It also helped that Adam Dunn, the free-agent bust who is having an unbelievably bad season, came up in critical situations and had no chance against CC.
Dunn was 0-for-4 with three strikeouts as his average slid to .162. He left a runner at second base when he struck out in the sixth and another on first base when he went down on strikes in the eighth. White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen was forced to use Dunn at first base against a left-handed pitcher because Paul Konerko was unable to play due to a bruised left knee, which was hit by a pitch Sunday. Dunn has three hits in 77 at-bats against lefties this year. That’s an average of .039.
Mariano Rivera finished it off with as emphatic a save (No. 28) as a pitcher can have. Mo retired the side in order on nine pitches, all strikes.
Sabathia’s numbers just keep growing. His record is 16-5 with a 2.55 ERA. In 15 starts since May 19, CC is 13-2 with a 2.08 ERA. He improved his career mark against the White Sox to 18-4 with a 3.63 ERA, including 9-1 with a 3.33 ERA at U.S. Cellular Field. His career record in the month of August is 39-10 with a 3.12 ERA. Over the past seven seasons, his August record is an astonishing 26-3 with a 2.36 ERA.
If not for the Red Sox, Sabathia could collect the American League Cy Young Award right now. Against Boston this year, CC is 0-3 with a 6.16 ERA. Against everyone else, he is 16-2 with a 2.11 ERA. Sabathia has a chance to improve that with his next start Saturday at Fenway Park.
Freddy Garcia has pitched so well for the Yankees it makes one wonder why the White Sox did not re-sign him. Phil Humber may have supplied the answer Monday night in the opener of the four-game set between the Yankees and Chicago at Yankee Stadium.
Humber, the pitcher who replaced Garcia in the White Sox rotation, was every bit as good against the Yankees as Garcia has been for the Yankees. It is hard to imagine a batting order as potent as that of the Yankees going six innings without a hit, but that’s what happened Monday night in the 2-0 loss.
The Yankees did not have a base runner until the fourth inning when Curtis Granderson walked with one out. Nick Swisher was hit by a pitch in the fifth but was erased on a double play. The Yankees got only two balls into the outfield against Humber until Alex Rodriguez made it three with a single through the middle with one out in the seventh following a walk to Mark Teixeira.
Humber put down the threat, however, by striking out Robinson Cano on a high fastball and retiring Swisher on a ground ball to first. If Humber’s name sounds slightly familiar, it should. He was the Mets’ first-round draft choice in 2004 and went to the Twins in the Johan Santana trade two years later. He was released by both the Royals and the Athletics within a month’s time after the 2010 season before signing with the White Sox.
The Yankees were happy to see him go after the seventh inning and still had a chance to pull this one out because A.J. Burnett was being nearly as stingy as Humber. This might have been A.J.’s best outing thus far of what has been a good start for him this year. He held Chicago to three hits and two walks over eight innings. Burnett did not throw a wild pitch nor allow a stolen base, two areas of concern when he is on the mound.
The only run A.J. allowed came in the fourth inning. Carlos Quentin doubled to center on a ball on which Granderson tried for a diving catch. Quentin came around to score on two groundouts.
That was it. Burnett was pretty strong all game long. He put two runners on in the second and seventh innings but worked out of trouble each time. Burnett still had a chance for a winning decision or at least a no-decision if the Yankees could have taken advantage of a White Sox bullpen that has been vulnerable. Chicago relievers were 1-for-7 in save opportunities before Monday night.
After lefthander Chris Sale got the first two outs in the eighth, White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen switched to righthander Sergio Santos after Andruw Jones had been announced as a pinch hitter for Brett Gardner. Yankees manager Joe Girardi trumped the move by sending up Eric Chavez, who singled to right. Pinch runner Eduardo Nunez got into scoring position by stealing second, but Derek Jeter could not a ground ball past Santos.
The White Sox added an insurance run – a somewhat tainted one at that – in the ninth. An infield pop by Alexei Ramirez fell among Rodriguez, Jeter and reliever Rafael Soriano for a single. One out later, pinch runner Brent Lillibridge swiped second, which allowed him to score on a single by Paul Konerko.
Granderson tried to get the Yankees going with a leadoff single in the ninth, but another double play defused the potential rally. In the end, it came down to Burnett losing for the first time in April as a Yankee in a pitching duel with the guy that replaced Freddy Garcia in Chicago.