Results tagged ‘ Chris Getz ’

Yanks’ clutch hitting needs to improve

The Yankees can’t say they didn’t have their chances. A season-long problem of hitting in the clutch, particularly against opponents’ bullpens, plagued them throughout Wednesday night’s 4-3, 11-inning loss to the Royals.

On a night when they got a one-hit effort from starter A.J. Burnett over the first seven innings, the Yankees couldn’t get a lead of more than one run, leaving them vulnerable to a Kansas City comeback, which occurred in the eighth when a two-out single by former Yankees utility player Wilson Betemit knocked in the tying run.

Inning after inning, the Yankees squandered scoring opportunities. Twice they left the bases loaded, and in three other innings they stranded two runners. They were forced into extras by a Royals team that had only two hits through nine innings while the Yankees had 11.

The Yankees left 14 runners on base and had only one hit in 14 at-bats with runners in scoring position in regulation play. The Royals weren’t much better (1-for-9, 8 left on), but were good enough to stay even with the Yankees despite the large discrepancy in hit totals.

The second inning looked especially promising for the Yankees when Robinson Cano, Nick Swisher and Jorge Posada strung together singles with none out, but the rally gagged after that. Curtis Granderson’s 12th home run gave the Yankees a 2-0 lead in the third but was offset by Eric Hosmer’s first major-league homer, an impressive blast by the former No. 1 draft choice into the second deck in right field in the fourth.

Each side scored in the 10th, but it only prolonged the agony for the Yankees. Hosmer struck again in the 11th with a sacrifice fly that scored .220-hitting Chris Getz, who opened the inning with a walk off losing pitcher Buddy Carlyle. Yankees pitchers allowed 11 walks, which helped fortify the Royals, who finished with four runs and four hits to the Yanks’ three runs and 12 hits, 10 of which occurred in non-RBI situations.

Granderson’s two-out, run-scoring single in the 10th was only the Yankees’ second hit in 16 at-bats with runners in scoring position. For the season, they are batting .236 in those situations. Needless to say, this must improve.

Smilin’ Yanks tame Royals

Freddy Garcia climbed back onto the bike Tuesday night after bumpy outings in his two previous starts. The righthander some help from his defense, not to mention some over-aggressive base running by the Royals.

The Yankees were aware Kansas City likes to run (44 stolen bases), which became evident right away when Chris Getz swiped third base with two outs in the first inning. Garcia stranded him there by retiring Billy Butler on a ground ball to shortstop.

The Royals ran themselves out of a potential rally in the third inning. After giving up a leadoff single to Matt Treanor, Garcia made a nice play to glove a sacrifice attempt by Alcides Escobar. Treanor, a catcher, wandered off first base and was thrown out trying to steal second by Garcia. Getz reached base with two out and also was gunned down trying to advance on a ball in the dirt but Russell Martin recovered nicely to get an out at second base.

Melky Cabrera’s home run off a 2-0 pitch leading off the fourth ensured that a Royals player would navigate his way around the bases without incident and tied the game at 1. Garcia gave up back-to-back, one-out singles to Mike Aviles and Treanor in the fifth but escaped damage with a strikeout looking of Escobar and then watched right fielder Nick Swisher skid across the grass to make a run-saving grab of a low liner by Getz.

Yankees manager Joe Girardi allowed Garcia to start the seventh (he had pitched into the eighth his last time out), but after Jeff Francoeur singled and Eric Hosmer walked made the move to the bullpen. David Robertson retired Aviles on a routine fly ball but walked Treanor to fill the bases. After a conference on the mound with pitching coach Larry Rothschild, Robertson came back to strike out Escobar and Getz.

It was a key moment for the Yankees because usual eighth-inning reliever Rafael Soriano was not available because of a sore right elbow. He met with team physician Chris Ahmad before the game and is scheduled for an MRI Wednesday.

Joba Chamberlain and Mariano Rivera finished off the 3-1 victory rather nicely to guarantee that Garcia, who lowered his ERA to 2.61, would even his record at 2-2. He has been a terrific addition to the staff. And before you get the idea that the Royals were some kind of pushovers out there, consider that they went into the game with a team batting average 15 points higher than the Yankees’.

This one finished with smiles all around, especially after Rivera made a Gold Glove stop of a hard grounder by Aviles and started a game-ending double play. Mo’s grin was particularly ear-to-ear as he notched his 13th save.

There were smiles, too, for Derek Jeter, who had his third straight multi-hit game and knocked in the Yankees’ first run with a two-out single in the third, and Alex Rodriguez, who unlocked a 1-1 score with a bases-loaded single in the fifth, also after two were out. After going eight games without driving in a run, A-Rod has three RBI in the past two games.

Gardner triples your pleasure

Among the most pleasurable things for Yankees fans to watch is Brett Gardner running out a triple. Those in attendance Tuesday night at Yankee Stadium got to view that thrill with two out in the bottom of the second inning when Gardner hit a ball in the gap in right-center and took off for the races.

It was the first hit for the Yankees off Royals starter Kyle Davies, who had set down the previous eight batters in order. The second hit came quickly for the Yankees as Derek Jeter hit a 3-2 pitch on the ground up the middle for a single to score Gardner. It was nice to see DJ keep showing the hitting stroke he showed on the recent trip.

The lead proved short-lived, however, as Freddy Garcia gave up a home run to Melky Cabrera leading off the third. The reaction from the crowd was mixed. Amid the usual boos one hears when an opposing players homers were some cheers for a former Yankees player who was a popular guy during his time with the team.

A much more conditioned Melky was on display. He dropped about 20 pounds in the off-season and appeared pretty ripped as the results of a new weight-training regimen. Cabrera already has four home runs and 22 RBI for Kansas City. He is also playing a strong center field and is tied with teammate Alex Gordon, the left fielder, for the American League in outfield assists with 4.

Speaking of outfield assists, how about Nick Swisher coming to Garcia’s aid in the fifth? Swish may be struggling with the bat, but with runners on first and second he saved the Yankees at least one run with a belly-flop catch in right field of a low liner by Chris Getz for the third out.