Results tagged ‘ Brian O’Nora ’

Yanks cannot overcome Pineda’s poor 1st inning

Too bad Monday night’s game did not start until the second inning for Michael Pineda. After a miserable first inning, the righthander settled in and was lights out through the sixth. It was another one of those Jekyll-and-Hyde outings for Pineda, whose record fell to 6-11 in the 8-5 loss to the Royals.

The Yankees are on a trip to Kansas City and Baltimore against two of the clubs they are chasing for the second wild-card slot and have a great opportunity to work themselves up the standings, so Monday night’s loss to KC and its fifth starter, Dillon Gee, was a major disappointment. The Orioles and the Mariners also lost, but the Royals, Tigers and Astros all won, so the Yankees remained 3 1/2 games back in the wild-card race.

The Royals jumped on Pineda for three runs in the first, a rally fueled by two stolen bases and three straight two-out singles. Opposing hitters are batting .341 with two outs against Pineda, which has been his Achilles heel all season. His catcher, Gary Sanchez, got the third out of that inning by throwing out Alex Gordon attempting to steal second base.

Pineda then proceeded to retire 15 batters in a row, including seven on strikeouts, before the Royals got another base runner on a leadoff single in the seventh by Kendrys Morales. Salvador Perez followed with a single, which ended Pineda’s night. Tommy Layne got an out, but Blake Parker took the Yankees out of the game by giving up a three-run home run to Alcides Escobar and two more runs on three singles.

The Yankees, who got a run in the fourth on back-to-back, two-out doubles by Didi Gregorius and Starlin Castro, batted around in the eighth to get back in the game against an erratic Chris Young with only two hits in an inning that featured a catcher’s interference (in another Jacoby Ellsbury at-bat), a hit batter and two walks. Kelvin Herrera quieted the Yanks and went on to a four-out save.

The frustration of the game got to manager Joe Girardi, who has issues with plate umpire Brian O’Nora throughout the game and was ejected in the eighth during an at-bat by Gregorius, who then smoked a two-run double.

The Yankees emphasized the importance of winning this game when rookies Aaron Judge and Tyler Austin were both lifted for pinch hitters, Brett Gardner and Mark Teixeira, respectively, in the eighth-inning rally.

5-game suspension slap on wrist for Dempster

There is a real problem with Major League Baseball’s suspension directives when it comes to starting pitchers. MLB suspended Red Sox righthander Ryan Dempster Tuesday for five games for throwing at Alex Rodriguez intentionally and hitting him in the left elbow in the first inning of the Yankees’ 9-3 victory Sunday night at Fenway Park.

Big deal. The way the Red Sox schedule flows over the next week they can essentially skip Dempster one turn in the rotation, so where is the punishment?

Unless Dempster appeals, the suspension will start with Tuesday night’s game against the Giants in San Francisco. But as Ian Browne, the Red Sox beat reporter for MLB.com pointed out, Dempster might not appeal because the discipline comes at a favorable portion of Boston’s schedule.

With open dates Thursday and Monday, the Red Sox could rework their rotation with four pitchers until Dempster’s return. Jon Lester could pitch in Dempster’s previously scheduled turn Saturday on regular rest at Los Angeles. Jake Peavy could pitch Sunday against the Dodgers. Dempster would be eligible to return Aug. 27 when the Red Sox open a homestand against the Orioles.

Talk about a slap on the wrist! Dempster was also fined $2,500, according to the Associated Press, but Yankees manager Joe Girardi, who was ejected for arguing furiously for plate umpire Brian O’Nora to run Dempster out of the game, was hit with a $5,000 fine.

It is another case of blind justice.

Once again, Yanks fight back but can’t close the deal

The Yankees had a chance over the weekend to bury the Red Sox but failed to do so. Boston took two of the three games to get back to .500 (51-51). While the Sox are still in last place in the American League East they got the deficit below double figures (9 ½ games).

The Yanks were able to overcome a 2-0, second-inning deficit and push Sunday night’s game into extra innings. The way the Yanks’ offense has hummed this season, two runs is almost like being shut out. Russell Martin drove in both Yankees runs with his 12th home run and a single. The Yanks stranded 10 base runners in losing a series at home for only the fourth time this year.

Nine of the Yankees’ past 10 games have been decided by three runs or less, including five by one run, and they have lost all of those. For the second straight game, they came back in the eighth inning to tie the score only to lose the game eventually.

Typical of almost any Yanks-Red Sox match-up, there was some weirdness going on. After David Robertson got himself in trouble by walking Jarrod Saltalamachia to open the 10th, Red Sox third baseman Will Middlebrooks attempted a sacrifice on a fastball from Robertson that ran in on the batter. The ball appeared to hit Middlebrooks on the right hand. Plate umpire Brian O’Nora fell to the ground because the ball ricocheted off Middlebrooks’ bat and struck him in the left knee.

The ump then pleased the Yankee Stadium crowd of 48,526 by ruling the play a foul ball. That brought Red Sox manager Bobby Valentine out of the dugout to argue what he thought was a foul call. Bobby V. put on a pretty good show and earned his ejection. What got to Valentine was O’Nora’s explanation, which is where the weird part comes in. After all, how can ump call a play when he is on the ground?

“Heard it,” Valentine said. “That’s what I take exception with. No one saw anything. He just heard it. What are you going to do?”

What Middlebrooks did was even better than bunting over the runner. He singled on a 0-2 pitch. Robertson got an out as Ryan Sweeney grounded into a force play, but new Yankee killer Pedro Ciriaco hit a bloop single to right field to drive in what proved the winning run.

Ciriaco, 26, who has bounced all over the majors and minors the past 10 seasons, is hitting an even .500 with two doubles, one triple and six RBI in 22 at-bats against the Yankees this year.

So the Red Sox picked up some hope. They still have to climb over four teams, but there are two months left in the season and nine more games against the Yankees, who now turn their attention to the second-place Orioles, who come to town for a three-game set beginning Monday night.