Results tagged ‘ Andrew Bailey ’

Yanks squander chance to clinch wild card berth

The Yankees have avoided talking about the wild card as their entry into postseason play as they held out hope of winning the American League East title against overwhelming odds. That hope faded for good Wednesday when the Blue Jays won the day game of a separate-admission doubleheader at Baltimore for their first division championship in 22 years.

The Yankees had a chance to clinch a wild card berth Wednesday night with a victory over the Red Sox combined with a loss by two of the following four teams: the Twins, Angels, Astros or Rangers. The Twinkies and the Halos cooperated by getting beat. That left it up to the Yankees to win at Yankee Stadium in order to spray champagne in getting back to the postseason for the first time in three years.

The Yanks could not hold up their end of the bargain and still face a magic number that is down to one. They were defeated for the third straight night by the Red Sox, who have moved into third place in the AL East since coming to the Bronx this week. Boston blew a 4-1 lead but came back to push the game into extra innings and won, 9-5, in 11.

Alex Rodriguez gave the Yankees a 5-4 lead in the sixth with a solo home run (No. 33). Then with two down in the seventh, Dellin Betances entered in relief of a very effective Justin Wilson and allowed a game-tying home run to Mookie Betts, who had quite a night for the Red Sox amid a very impressive series.

The Red Sox busted out in the 11th against Andrew Bailey and Chasen Shreve. Bailey was touched for three singles in letting the Red Sox take the lead. Jackie Bradley drove in the second run with a suicide squeeze off Shreve, who then gave up a two-run home run to Betts, who is batting .400 with four runs, three doubles, three home runs and four RBI in 15 at-bats in the series.

The Yankees cannot say they did not have opportunities. They were retired in order in only one of the 11 innings and left 15 runners on base. They were 3-for-14 (.214) with runners in scoring position. It was a particularly brutal game for Didi Gregorius, who was 0-for-5 and stranded 10 runners, seven in scoring position.

The Yankees were challenged early as Travis Shaw smacked a three-run home run off Masahiro Tanaka with two out in the first inning.

Tanaka was making his first start in 12 days since he sustained a hamstring strain running out a ground ball at Citi Field. It has been generally assumed that Tanaka would get the call to start the wild-card playoff game Oct. 6, so Wednesday night’s start was viewed as a tuneup.

The Japanese righthander labored through the first inning on 36 pitches, not the way to begin an important start. Teammates came to his rescue, however, rebounding from a 4-1 deficit in the fifth to tie the score against Boston starter Wade Miley.

Doubles by Jacoby Ellsbury and Carlos Beltran around a one-out walk to Rodriguez accounted for the first run of the inning. A decision by Shaw at first base to get the sure out there on a grounder by Brian McCann instead of trying to throw out the 40-year-old A-Rod at the plate led to another run with Beltran going to third. He scored the tying run on a hard single by Chris Young off third baseman Deven Marrero.

Miley loaded the bases with walks to Greg Bird and Rob Refsnyder, but Didi Gregorius flied out to left. The rally meant a no-decision rather than a possible losing decision for Tanaka, who came out after the fifth. Refsnyder had hits in his first two at-bats, including an RBI double in the second.

Yanks take 12-1 lead, then have to sweat it out

The Yankees ended the trip in Boston the way it began in Atlanta with a blowout victory, although matters got a bit dicey in the late innings, which is typical of life at Fenway Park.

Scoring runs was what this trek was all about for the Yankees, which they sorely needed following their prior disappointing homestand. Perhaps the upcoming, 10-game homestand against the Rays, Orioles and Blue Jays that begins Friday night will be more successful for the Bombers now that they have loosened up offensively.

A 13-8 victory over the Red Sox in a late-afternoon start made it a 5-1 trip for the Yankees, who outscored opponents by a combined score of 57-24.

It did not take long for David Ortiz to break out of his funk. The day after he took a golden sombrero with four strikeouts Tuesday night, Big Papi broke the spell in the first inning with a double to right field that scored Mookie Betts, who led off with a double off the Green Monster but was still stuck on second base with two out.

Boston’s glee was short-lived, however. The Yankees responded in the second inning with an eight-run outburst that began with a two-run home run by Greg Bird. Yes, that was Bird at first base for the Yankees as manager Joe Girardi came to his senses and kept Alex Rodriguez as the designated hitter instead of using him at first base against a left-handed starting pitcher, in this case rookie Henry Owens.

With the injury to first baseman Mark Teixeira that has sidelined him for two weeks and likely will keep him out another fortnight, Girardi had been contemplating playing Rodriguez a first base on occasion even though he displayed no proclivity at the position when used there earlier this season. The feeling here is that A-Rod should not wander off the DH position at this time of year after spending all season in that role. Moving to a position in the field for a 40-year-old who has hardly used a glove all season did not seem to make much sense.

So Rodriguez stayed at DH with Bird at first base, and did that not work out for the Yankees as they chased Owen in that second inning? Bird’s homer following a one-out walk to Chase Headley was the rookie’s fourth hit in 10 at-bats against lefthanders, so it could mean that platooning him may not be necessary.

And A-Rod struck the blow that knocked out Owen, a two-run single, then trotted home after Carlos Beltran slugged the first pitch from reliever Ryan Cook over the Monster for the Yanks’ third home run of the inning. John Ryan Murphy had followed Bird’s blow with one of his own.

The inning also included yet more hits from red-hot Didi Gregorius (single) and Stephen Drew (double), both left-handed hitters, and another run-scoring hit off a lefty by Chris Young. Drew kept it up with a three-run home run an inning later as did Gregorius with a solo shot in the fifth.

Boston fans who remember his importance as the shortstop on the Red Sox’ 2013 World Series champions may wonder why Yankees fans have been so rough on Drew. Actually, Yanks fans have been awfully patient with Drew, whose batting average was below .200 most of the past two seasons.

After starting the trip 0-for-4 with his average falling to .192, Drew vaulted over the Mendoza the past four games with nine hits in 12 at-bats (.750) with two doubles, two home runs and nine RBI and is now hitting a robust .211.

Gregorius, another Yankees infielder who took a while to win over the fans, also had a huge trip with 14 hits in 24 at-bats (.583), one double, two home runs and 10 RBI. The shortstop walked three times and scored seven runs and lifted his batting average from .253 to .272.

An emotional spot for the Yanks was the appearance of Andrew Bailey in relief of winning pitcher Mashiro Tanaka (11-6) in the seventh inning. Bailey, the 2009 American League winner of the Jackie Robinson Rookie of the Year Award with the Athletics, last pitched in the majors two years ago for the Red Sox and came back from two shoulder injuries. The righthander showed some rust in giving up two walks and a single, but just getting back on a big-league hill was a major hurdle for the New Jersey native who now lives in Connecticut.

However, the lack of shutdown work by Bailey and Bryan Mitchell, who gave up two runs in the eighth, forced Girardi to use Dellin Betances in what was once a 12-1 game to get out of a bases-loaded situation with a strikeout of Pablo Sandoval and a force play by Zander Bogaerts.

Caleb Cotham did not make Girardi’s job easier as the skipper was forced to bring in Andew Miller in a non-closing situation after the first two Boston batters in the ninth reached base on doubles. Miller finally put an end to the trip that kept the Yanks within reach of Toronto in the American League East and bolstered their hold on a wild-card berth.

Yanks clinch tie for division title in dramatic fashion

The Yankees could not have picked a better time to win their first game of the season when they trailed after eight innings. They had been 0-58 in those situations this year before Tuesday night when they fashioned a tremendous comeback for a 4-3, 12-inning victory over the Red Sox.

On a night when the Orioles pulled off a 1-0 victory over the Rays and James Shields (two-hitter, 15 strikeouts), the Yankees needed a come-from-behind victory to maintain their one-game lead over Baltimore in the American League East. And they did, with the guy who tied the score with a dramatic home run in the ninth inning knocking in the deciding run in the 12th.

Raul Ibanez was doused with a bucket of Gatorade after his clutch hit that brought the Yankees all the way back to clinch at least a tie for the division crown. Red Sox reliever Andrew Miller walked Francisco Cervelli and Curtis Granderson on eight straight pitches after two were out before yielding a single through the left side to Ibanez, who was allowed to hit despite facing a lefthander. It was an at-bat that might have been given to Andruw Jones, but he has struggled in the second half.

It all comes to Game 162 Wednesday night, for the Yankees against the Red Sox at Yankee Stadium and for the Orioles against the Rays at Tropicana Field. The Yankees can win the AL East with a victory over Boston. Baltimore needs to beat the Rays Wednesday night and for the Yankees to lose to the Red Sox to force a one-game playoff Thursday at Camden Yards. That is what was so huge about the Yanks’ overtime victory Tuesday night.

Say this for David Phelps: he did his job. The rookie righthander took Ivan Nova’s place in the rotation and pitched into the sixth inning. He was touched for two first-inning runs but left with the score 2-1, keeping his teammates in a game they desperately wanted to win.

The Yankees kept pounding out hits but could not push another runner across the plate until the bottom of the ninth. The Red Sox made it 3-1 in the top half on a solo home run by James Loney off Rafael Soriano.

It looked grim for the Yanks, but they got a huge hit from their best pinch hitter to get even. Red Sox closer Andrew Bailey, who was sidelined for three months of the season due to right thumb surgery, gave up a leadoff single to Granderson and then served up a tasty, 1-2 fastball to Ibanez, who crushed it for a game-tying, two-run home run.

Pinch hitting may be a National League specialty, but Ibanez has some NL service time in his career. He is batting .320 with two home runs and seven RBI in 25 at-bats as a pinch hitter for the Yanks this season.

The Yankees looked like they would complete the comeback that inning when Derek Jeter lined a double into the right field corner with one out. An intentional walk to Nick Swisher and an unintentional walk to Alex Rodriguez loaded the bases. Red Sox manager Bobby Valentine made the move to Mark Melancon, who failed so miserably in the closer role earlier this season while Bailey was on the disabled list.

Not this time, though. Mark Teixeira, who had a miserable night, flied out and Robinson Cano grounded out to push the game into extras. Teixeira was 0-for-6 and grounded into two double plays. The Yankees had 16 hits but left 14 runners on base. Derek Lowe, who got important outs in a big victory Sunday at Toronto, supplied shutout innings of relief to earn his first victory with the Yankees.

And for all those critics of Yankees manager Joe Girardi for letting CC Sabathia pitch eight innings Monday night to spare his bullpen, how does that decision look now? He got 6 2/3 innings of relief combined from six pitchers. Ironically, the pitcher warming up in the pen at the end of the game was the same one who was supposed to start, Nova.

Yanks almost pull off amazing comeback

What happened in the ninth inning at Yankee Stadium Tuesday night as the Yankees came up one run short of what would have been a sensational comeback is something other teams see a lot but not the Yankees because their closer is Mariano Rivera.

Mo has his off games, but they are so few and far between that it may make fans think that this is the way it is everyplace else, too. Hardly. Andrew Bailey emerged as Oakland’s closer two years and won the American League Jackie Robinson Rookie of the Year Award, but he could not find the plate for most of the ninth inning and nearly blew the game.

The Yankees came back from a 6-0, eighth-inning deficit and preciously close to pulling off a stunning victory. Nick Swisher, who started the comeback with a three-run homer in the eighth off starter Brandon McCarthy, had the crowd on its feet to the end with a warning-track drive to center field that died in the glove of Coco Crisp to end the threat.

Swish’s homer was the Yankees’ only hit in 13 at-bats with runners in scoring position. Yes, they had oodles of chances, but they sure seemed done going into the eighth inning. McCarthy seemed like a magician getting the Yankees to swing at ice cubes.

Bailey came on in the ninth for what is known in closer’s parlance as a “cookie,” a save opportunity with a three-run lead. He got in trouble immediately. Jorge Posada led off with a home run, and Russell Martin lined a gapper to left-center for a double. When third baseman Scott Sizemore botched a shot-hop grounder by Brett Gardner, the Yankees had the potential tying runs on base and Derek Jeter at the plate.

Despite getting three hits to raise his batting average to .295, the Captain was called on to bunt the runners over, which he did professionally. Some might question bunting Jeter there, but I don’t. As hot as Jeter has been, you cannot afford to have him hit into a double play there. Get the runners into scoring position, and bring on your 3-4-5 hitters.

In the Oakland dugout, manager Bob Melvin was in the usual rut skippers fall into when their closer is ineffective. It is the book call: I went with my closer, that’s what we pay him for. Well, fine, but what happens on a night when the closer doesn’t have it?

Bailey walked Curtis Granderson, which loaded the bases. Bailey’s only real break of the inning was when Mark Teixeira fouled out to Sizemore. Whatever breathing room the A’s though they had after that expired when Bailey walked Robinson Cano to force in a run that made the score 6-5.

When Bailey fell behind 2-0 to Swisher, it looked like another bases-loaded walk was coming or maybe a grand slam. The latter appeared possible when Swish lofted the ball to center field. You don’t get many finishes like that when your closer is Mariano Rivera.

Former Yanks farmhand 2nd in Rookie voting

It turned out that the Yankees did not trade a future American League Rookie of the Year Award winner to get Curtis Granderson from the Tigers 11 months ago.

Austin Jackson, a highly-touted prospect in the Yankees’ system, went to Detroit along with relief pitcher Phil Coke in the three-team trade also involving the Diamondbacks Dec. 8, 2009 that brought Granderson to the Bronx and included sending pitcher Ian Kennedy to Arizona.

When Jackson got off to a smoking start for the Tigers as their center fielder and leadoff hitter, Rookie of the Year talk surrounded him for much of the first half. Jackson tailed off somewhat in the second half, although he still had a fine year. It just was not as good as that of Rangers closer Neftali Feliz, who set a rookie record with 40 saves and was the choice of the Baseball Writers’ Association of America for the Jackie Robinson Award that was announced Monday.

Felix, 22, was listed first on 20 of the 28 ballots submitted by two writers in each league city, second on seven and third on one to amass 122 points, based on the 5-3-1 tabulation system. Feliz’s saves total broke the previous rookie mark of 37 by 2000 winner Kazuhiro Sasaki of the Mariners.

Feliz, who had a 4-3 record with a 2.73 ERA in 70 relief appearances, is the first Dominican pitcher to win the award and the third winner from the Dominican Republic overall, joining Alfredo Griffin and Angel Berroa. Dominican-born winners in the National League were Raul Mondesi, Rafael Furcal, Albert Pujols and Hanley Ramirez.

A closer has won the AL award three times in the past six years. Oakland’s Andrew Bailey won in 2009 and Huston Street in 2005. Feliz is the fifth closer honored. The first was the Orioles’ Gregg Olson in 1989. Yankees pitcher Dave Righetti, now the Giants’ pitching coach, was a starter when he won the award in 1981. Feliz is the second Rangers player to win the award. The other was first baseman Mike Hargrove in 1974.

Jackson, who received the other eight first-place votes and was the runner-up in the balloting with 98 points, led all AL rookies in runs (103), hits (151), doubles (34), triples (10), extra-base hits (48), stolen bases (27) and total bases (247). Jackson batted .293, stole 27 bases and scored 103 runs, but he struck out 170 times, a very high total for a player who hit only four home runs.

In the National League, Giants catcher Buster Posey beat out Braves right fielder Jason Heyward for the award. Posey, 23, was named first on 20 of the 32 ballots cast by two writers in each league city, second on nine and third on two to finish with 129 points. Posey hit .305 with 18 home runs and 67 RBI and handled a pitching staff that helped the Giants win the NL West title. His 21-game hitting streak from July 4-28 was the longest of the season by a rookie in either league.

Heyward (.273, 18 HR, 72 RBI) received nine first-place votes and was the runner-up with 107 points. Cardinals pitcher Jaime Garcia (13-8, 2.70 ERA) got one first-place vote and placed third with 24 points. The other two first-place votes went to Marlins first baseman Gaby Sanchez (.273, 19 HR, 85 RBI), who finished fourth with 18 points.

Posey was the sixth NL catcher honored, joining Johnny Bench, Earl Williams, Benito Santiago, Mike Piazza and Geovanny Soto. Catchers who won the award in the AL were Thurman Munson, Carlton Fisk and Sandy Alomar Jr. Other former Giants winners were Willie Mays, Orlando Cepeda, Willie McCovey, Gary Matthews and John Montefusco.

The victories by Feliz and Posey marked the third time since the award’s inception in 1947 that the winners were opponents in the World Series. The other years were 1981 when Righetti and the Dodgers’ Fernando Valenzuela started Game 3 at Dodger Stadium and 1951 when Mays and Yankees infielder Gil McDougald played in all six games of the Series.

It should have happened in 2003 with the Yankees’ Hideki Matsui and the Marlins’ Dontrelle Willis, but Matsui lost out to Berroa in a disputed election.

Charity event at NYY Steak

Oakland Athletics relief pitcher Craig Breslow will make the NYY Steak restaurant at Yankee Stadium the site of a fund raiser for his Strike 3 Foundation for childhood cancer research when the A’s come to town later this month.

Breslow, who started the foundation based on an older sister’s successful battle with thyroid cancer as a child, has held several charity events throughout the year. The one at NYY Steak will be Wednesday, Sept. 1, before the third of four games between the A’s and the Yankees on the next homestand.

“I was able to eat at the steakhouse last year, and I found it to be the perfect venue,” Breslow told MLB.com. “It’s a great place, where fans can come and interact and mingle with players in a more formal and intimate environment.”

The luncheon will feature appearances by several Oakland players – pitchers Andrew Bailey and Dallas Braden and catcher Kurt Suzuki – as well as the Yankees’ Joba Chamberlain and Curtis Granderson.

A limited number of tickets priced at $450 apiece for the exclusive event are available to fans and may be purchased through Aug. 25 at strike3foundation.org.

“All the money goes straight to the foundation,” Breslow said. “That’s what great about this. It’s always directly helping kids.”