Results tagged ‘ Chris Parmelee ’

Scranton/Wilkes-Barre captures Triple-A championship

The Yankees’ Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre affiliate won its second championship of the season Tuesday by defeating the Padres’ El Paso club of the Pacific Coast League, 3-1, to win the 2016 Gildan Triple-A National Championship at AutoZone Park in Memphis. 

It was the RailRiders’ first Triple-A title since the game’s inception in 2006. Friday, SWB won the 2016 Governors’ Cup to become International League champions. In his first year as manager, Al Pedrique led the RailRiders to an overall record of 98-53 (.649) and was named IL Manager of the Year. It was an impressive showing for the RailRiders considering so many of their players are up with the Yankees.

First baseman Chris Parmelee, who had 2-for-4, drove in all of SWB’s runs with a three-run home run in the first inning and was named the game’s Most Valuable Player. Right fielder Clint Frazier and center fielder Jake Cave also had two hits apiece. Lefthander Jordan Montgomery allowed one run and six hits with no walks and five strikeouts in five innings to earn the winning decision. Three SWB relievers combined to retire all 12 batters they faced with three strikeouts.

During their postseason run, RailRiders pitchers threw shutouts in four of eight games, posted a 1.13 ERA in 72 innings and limited opponents to a .191 average in 262 at-bats.

A heavenly sweep gets Yanks back to .500

As far as the Yankees are concerned, the Angels were heaven sent.

The visitors from Orange County, Calif., have 10 players on the disabled list, although with reigning American League Most Valuable Player Mike Trout and former three-time National League MVP Albert Pujols the Halos can still do some damage.

Just not against the Yankees this week. The Yanks returned from a 4-8 trip through four cities to the comfort of Yankee Stadium and a struggling foe from the AL West and completed a four-game sweep that got them back to .500 at 30-30.

It was the Yankees’ first four-game sweep of the Angels since July 21-24, 1994 at Anaheim and their first at the Stadium since July 22-25, 1993. They have won 10 consecutive games outside their division. This is also HOPE Week, the Yankees’ community-service initiative that has been something of a good-luck charm for the team. Since HOPE Week’s founding in 2009, the first year of the current Stadium, the Yankees are 27-10 (.730) during those weeks. They have won 15 of the past 17 HOPE Week games.

Thursday night’s 6-3 victory was fashioned primarily from a five-run fifth inning against Angels starter Jhoulys Chacin, who was obtained last month from the Braves. The Yankees entered the inning trailing 1-0, but a one-out, RBI single by Chris Parmelee tied the score.

After Jacoby Ellsbury singled and Brett Gardner walked to load the bases, Carlos Beltran doubled for two runs, Alex Rodriguez contributed a scoring fly ball and Brian McCann doubled in a run.

Ivan Nova, who scared the Yankees last Saturday when he nearly gave back all of a 7-0 lead, yielded a two-run, pinch-hit home run to Jefry Marte in the seventh, but the bullpen trio that has earned a new nickname kept the game from getting out of control. Nova has pitched at least six innings in five straight starts.

Thursday night marked the first game the Yankees marketed t-shirts for “No Runs DMC,” a takeoff on the rap group Run DMC. The letters obviously stand for D (Dellin Betances), M (Andrew Miller) and C (Aroldis Chapman). They combined for 2 2/3 innings of shutout, two-hit, four-strikeout relief. The Yankees are 8-0 with a 1.85 ERA in the game when all three relievers have pitched.

Rodriguez got his second RBI of the game in the seventh with a double that scored Gardner, who singled and made it around to third base on a balk and a wild pitch by reliever Cory Rasmus. Gardner had quite a series with eight hits in 15 at-bats (.533), seven runs, one double and two RBI. The left fielder is batting .556 in 27 at-bats in his seven-game hitting streak that has raised his season batting average from .211 to .261.

The Yankees have scored at least five runs in seven off their past eight games and are averaging six runs per game in that stretch while batting .323 in 282 at-bats.

One downer from Thursday night was the likely loss to injury of yet another first baseman. Parmelee had to be helped off the field after making a split to catch a throw from Didi Gregorius for the third out of the Angels seventh. Parmelee, who hit two home runs Wednesday night, was to undergo an MRI exam on his right hamstring and groin. Parmelee was only the second player to homer twice in his Yankees debut. The other was Roger Maris on Opening Day in 1960 at Boston. Greg Bird and Dustin Ackley have both had surgery this year and are out for the season, and Mark Teixeira is on the 15-day disabled list because of a cartilage tear in his right knee.

Who’s on first, indeed.

Yanks rally early but need pen to secure victory

The national television audience watching Fox’s coverage of Saturday night’s Yankees-Orioles game had to be wondering about all the reports they read or heard about the Bombers’ slumbering offense.

There were the Yankees on national TV lashing out 16 hits and scoring runs in bunches. It was a throwback to the days when the Yankees loved coming to hitter-friendly Camden Yards against some weak Baltimore clubs to improve their batting averages and slugging percentages. The Orioles have had the upper hand in recent years, but the Yankees looked like the Bronx Bombers of old in building a 7-0 lead through six innings.

Ivan Nova was cruising along on a three-hit shutout until Mark Trumbo led off the seventh with his 18th home run, most in the majors. That was just the beginning of the wheels falling off for Nova, who gave up an infield hit to Matt Wieters and a two-run, opposite-field homer to Pedro Alvarez. The onslaught did not give Yankees manager Joe Girardi must time to get a reliever warm up in the bullpen and stayed with Nova, who gave up a bloop single to Jonathan Schoop and walked Ryan Flaherty on a full count.

Nova was on fumes at this point, so Girardi brought in Nick Goody, who proceeded to yield a three-run home run to Adam Jones. Suddenly, 7-0 was 7-6, and the Yankees had nine more outs to get. What for a time was a laugher became a sweat box.

With Dellin Betances, who had pitched the previous two night, unavailable, Girardi relied on Andrew Miller, who did a yeoman’s job in retiring the six batters he faced over the seventh and eighth innings. The Yankees came up with a huge insurance run in the ninth off reliever Vance Worley with one out on a double by Aaron Hicks, who entered the game in right field as a defensive replacement in the seventh, and a single by Alex Rodriguez, his third hit of the game.

Aroldis Chapman took it from there, although the ninth inning began with catcher Austin Romine having to leave the game after being cut on the left hand trying to catch a warmup pitch in the dirt. Brian McCann, who was on the bench nursing a hyperextended left elbow, took over behind the plate.

Chapman walked Jones with two out before striking out pinch hitter Nolan Reimold looking for his ninth save and put to rest any chance of an Orioles comeback. The bullpen has been leaky of late. Kirby Yates and Betances contributed to the Yankees’ blowing a 5-2 lead Friday night. Thursday night in Detroit, the Yankees were up 5-1 and held on for a 5-4 victory despite Betances, Miller and Chapman all being scored upon over the final three innings.

A serious injury to Romine would be critical. The Yankees are running out of catchers. McCann is still not 100 percent, and Triple A Scranton/Wilkes Barre’s Gary Sanchez is on the disabled list. The Yankees purchased the contract of first baseman Chris Parmelee from SWB to help fill the void of Mark Teixeira, who was placed on the 15-day DL because of torn cartilage in his right knee. Dustin Ackley, who had been Tex’s back-up at first base, had season-ending surgery on his right shoulder and was transferred to the 60-day DL. That opened a spot on the 40-man roster for Parmelee.

Girardi spoke before the game of a possible platoon at first base with Parmelee and Rob Refsnyder, yet with righthander Tyler Wilson starting for the Orioles the manager started Refsnyder, who had an RBI double in four at-bats. Parmelee took over in the field in the eighth.

After taking a 1-0 lead in the third on a sacrifice fly by Romine, the Yankees attacked Wilson for four runs and five hits in the fourth. Carlos Beltran and Rodriguez started the rally with singles. Starlin Castro, who had three hits, doubled home Beltran. A-Rod scored on an infield out. Refsnyder restarted the rally with his double that scored Castro and came home on a single by Romine.

Jacoby Ellsbury and Brett Gardner, who were a combined 4-for-10 at the top of the order, teamed on a double steal with two out in the sixth that resulted in Ellsbury’s second swipe of home this season and the third time in his career.

Everyone in the Yankees’ starting lineup plus Hicks had at least one hit. It would have been an absolute crime if the pitchers could not make all that offense hold up.

No no-decision for Kuroda this time

Five days after getting hit with a very tough no-decision, Hiroki Kuroda got plenty of support from his teammates to ensure that would not happen again as the Yankees overcame terrible weather conditions Friday night to post a 2-0 victory over the railing Twins.

Kuroda had pitched a three-hit shutout over seven innings last Sunday against the Orioles in the game that was eventually lost on only the second blown save this season by Mariano Rivera. Mo practically apologized to Kuroda after that game, so there was plenty of satisfaction in nailing down the save for him this time.

Kuroda was able to be in place to secure a winning decision by coming back out to pitch after a 1-hour, 13-minute rain delay. Normally starters do not come back if a rain delay lasts for more than an hour, but with the All-Star break coming up there was plenty of time for Kuroda to rest before his next start.

Yankees manager Joe Girardi allowed Kuroda to convince him to stay in the game based on the pitcher’s contention that he had done so plenty of times before.

It was a scoreless game when Kuroda pitched the fifth inning, his last, so the Yankees needed to score for him to qualify for a victory. They held up their end of the bargaining by scoring twice in the bottom of the fifth on RBI singles by Brett Gardner and Robinson Cano.

Matters got dicey in the seventh under rainy conditions when Preston Claiborne gave up singles to Pedro Florimon and Brian Dozier with none out. The potential tying runs that were threats to Kuroda’s lead were on base. Boone Logan did a magnificent job by striking out Chris Parmelee, Joe Mauer and Justin Morneau to keep the shutout in place.

David Robertson added two more punchouts in the eighth and turned the game over to Rivera, who did not slip up this time but retired the Twins in order for his 30th save.

Kuroda (8-6) was by no means flawless in this outing. He gave up six hits and threw a wild pitch but was stingy when it counted as the Twins stranded eight runners while going 0-for-9 with runners in scoring position in his five innings. Minnesota ended up 0-for-12 overall in clutch at-bats and left 10 runners on base.

The Yankees’ four-game sweep at Target Field July 1-4 began the current slide for the Twins, who have lost 11 of their past 12 games and are only one-half game out of last place in the American League Central.

Joe wins 600th; Andy passes Whitey in Ks

Perhaps the Yankees decided to play Monday night’s game at Target Field as if it were a playoff game. After all, they beat the Twins nine times in 10 games in winning three American League Division Series against Minnesota. Monday night was like many of those playoff games with the Yankees overcoming early deficits with some late-inning lightning.

It was a tight game for seven innings before the Yankees broke through with seven runs over the last two innings against a sloppy Minnesota bullpen for a 10-4 victory, which marked the first time in 48 games that they reached double figures in runs. They had not done that since an 11-6 victory over the Royals May 10 at Kansas City.

It was also the 600th managerial victory for Joe Girardi and was a long time coming following a five-game losing streak that had pushed the Yankees into fourth place in the AL East.

Andy Pettitte overcame a 42-pitch first inning in which he turned a 1-0 lead into a 3-1 deficit to pitch into the sixth inning and along the way unseat Whitey Ford as the pitcher with the most strikeouts in franchise history. Pettitte’s punchout of Justin Morneau in the fifth, one of only two Ks in the game for the lefthander, was his 1,958th.

Of course, Andy already had more career strikeouts than Whitey. Pettitte had 428 strikeouts in his three seasons with the Astros and has a career total of 2,386, which is 41st on the all-time list, 10 behind Sandy Koufax. With his Yankees total, Pettitte ranks third among pitchers on New York teams in strikeouts behind Tom Seaver’s 2,541 with the Mets and Christy Mathewson’s 2,504 with the Giants.

It was not a strong outing by Pettitte, who allowed six hits and four walks and made a throwing error that accounted for one of the four runs against him. He was removed after giving up a home run to Chris Parmelee leading off the sixth inning that put the Twins ahead, 4-3. The late rallies by the Yankees took Pettitte off the hook, but he remains winless in four starts since June 8.

Robinson Cano, who had driven in the Yankees’ first three runs with two home runs off Twins starter Scott Diamond, ignited the eighth-inning uprising when the Yankees regained the lead for good. He opened the frame with a double to right-center. After a bunt single by Ichiro Suzuki pinch hitting for Vernon Wells, Cano scored from third on an errant pickoff by Jared Burton, who ended up the losing pitcher as his record fell to 1-6.

A one-out single by Zoilo Almonte gave the Yankees a 5-4 lead, and they were far from finished. Almonte came around to score after a walk and a wild pitch on an infield out by Chris Stewart. In the ninth, they loaded the bases with none out and pushed across four more runs on RBI singles by Travis Hafner and Almonte, a passed ball and a bases-loaded walk to Stewart.

The 14-hit attack was spearheaded by Cano, who reached base four times and scored each time. He and Almonte each had three hits, and Brett Gardner and Wells added two apiece. After going 0-for-6 with runners in scoring position over the first seven innings, the Yankees went 4-for-10 in those situations in the final two innings.

For the first time since the losing streak began, the Yankees had cause to use Mariano Rivera, who in a non-save situation pitched a scoreless ninth, following a shutout inning apiece by pen pals David Robertson, Joba Chamberlain (1-0) and Shawn Kelley.

Move to the pen proves costly

A perfect example of how managerial moves are based on players’ execution was on view in the seventh inning Tuesday night. Yankees manager Joe Girardi made a pitching change that seemed to make a lot of sense at the time only to have it explode in his face.

Phil Hughes cruised through six innings and had a 3-1 lead with a relatively low pitch count. He gave up a leadoff single in the seventh to Ryan Doumit and then lost Chris Parmelee to a walk in a 10-pitch at-bat in which Parmelee fouled off six pitches. Hughes didn’t appear gassed, however. He got an out on a popup before an infield single by Jamey Carroll loaded the bases. Hughes got a huge second out on a strikeout of Pedro Florimon on a high fastball.

This is when Girardi made his move to Boone Logan. Although Hughes was only at 99 pitches (like it or not, pitch count for starter plays into such moves), Girardi’s decision had merit. Logan is a lefthander, and the next four Minnesota batters were left-handed. This was as book a move as they come. It was also as disastrous a move as they come, which was because of Logan’s failure to execute pitches.

He got off to a bumpy start while pitching to Denard Span by throwing a wild pitch through the legs of catcher Russell Martin that scored Doumit to make it a one-run game with the other two runners advancing as well. Span worked the count full before lining a slider into right-center field for a two-run double that cost the Yankees the lead.

Logan continued to struggle against the lefty hitters as Ben Revere walked and Joe Mauer singled for his third hit to score Span for an insurance run that proved necessary when the Yankees scored in the ninth on a pinch home run by Andruw Jones.

The 5-4 loss was a tough one for the Yankees and an excruciating one for Hughes, who instead of improving his record to 17-12 fell to 16-13 and lost the chance to equal his career high in victories of 2010 when he was 18-8. If nothing else, though, Hughes probably cemented his position in the Yankees’ postseason rotation, assuming they get there, of course.

That would have been more of a cinch had the Yankees won Tuesday night. The Orioles had lost at home to the Blue Jays. A Yankees victory would have pushed Baltimore 2 ½ games away (and three in the loss column) in the American League East, but they had to satisfy for another calendar date turnover.

It was a disappointing turnaround for the Yankees, who used the long ball once again with a two-run home run by Nick Swisher and a solo by Martin. Jones’ 14th home run of the season was his first in 49 at-bats since Aug. 16. The Yankees continued to find Target Field to their liking with 17 home runs in nine games there over the past three seasons.

Swisher is heating up at a good time with an eight-game hitting streak in which he has 11-for-30 (.367) with four home runs and 11 RBI. Another good sign was Robinson Cano reaching base four times on three singles and a walk after coming into the game with three hits in his previous 25 at-bats, a .120 stretch.

Derek Jeter had 1-for-5 to extend his hitting streak to 19 games, matching the third longest of his career. The other was in 2007, the same year that he also had a 20-game streak. The longest streak of DJ’s career was a 25-gamer in 2006, the year he finished second to Twins first baseman Justin Morneau for the AL Most Valuable Player Award.

Fans wanted the game to go to Mo

Be honest, Yankees fans. Weren’t you rooting against them in the bottom of the eighth inning Monday?

A lot of people in the Yankee Stadium crowd of 40,045 were cheering with each out and let up a roar when Nick Swisher grounded into a double play. They had their eye on the bullpen where Mariano Rivera was getting ready to come into the game to the familiar sounds of Metallica’s “Enter Sandman.”

The Yankees were ahead, 6-4. If they scored two or more runs, Rivera would have lost the save situation. They had two runners on base in the eighth. If Swisher had put one in the seats, Mo would have had to sit down, and who know how loudly Swish would have booed as he rounded the bases.

The weird thing is that Rivera could never root against his own team. Winning games matters more to him than anything. The more runs the Yankees score the more he likes it. Yet even he understood why everybody was so excited on a day that when a game was not supposed to be played at the Stadium.

Rivera came through and gave those who attended Monday’s rainout makeup game against the Twins a slice of history. With his usual efficiency, Rivera pitched a 1-2-3 ninth inning finishing it off with a called third strike with his patented cutter to Minnesota rookie first baseman Chris Parmelee for his 602nd career save.

That makes it official. Rivera is the greatest relief pitcher of all time, which we already knew. He surpassed Trevor Hoffman in career saves that removes any doubts. Not included in that number are the 42 additional saves Rivera has chalked up in postseason play, 42 and counting, just as he has 602 regular-season saves and counting. There are 10 games left on the Yanks’ schedule, and they are going to postseason play again, giving Rivera plenty of opportunities to add to his totals.

You could tell Mo really liked this one. As cool as he was after saves Nos. 600 and 601, this one was different. He could not hide his joy. His wide, toothy smile that he reserves for teammates when they do something special, like when Derek Jeter got his 3,000th hit July 9, was evident as he stood on the mound and accepted congratulations from Jeter, catcher Russell Martin, his long-time previous catcher Jorge Posada, manager Joe Girardi, trainer Gene Monahan and the rest of the Yankees.

Posada told Mo to go back on the mount to acknowledge the cheers of the fans who were clearly rooting for this important Yankee at that point. His wife and sons were in the crowd as well for this big day for their family.

“It felt strange,” Rivera said. “Nobody in front of me, nobody behind me; I never had that before.”

I was thinking Monday about the first time I became aware of Rivera. It was 1993. I was sitting in the Stadium office of then manager Buck Showalter. The Yankees weren’t very good in those days, so you spent more time looking at what was going on down in the minors. Mark Connor, then the Yankees pitching coach, showed me a statistics sheet with Rivera’s figures at Class A Greensboro underlined.

“Keep your eye on this kid,” Mark said. “He’s going to have to put on some weight, but all he does is throw strikes, and he’s coming off elbow surgery.”

From that point on, I regularly checked Rivera’s record when he was in the minors. He showed signs of what was to come with outstanding relief work in the American League Division Series against the Mariners in 1995. The next season, he was a legitimate AL Most Valuable Player candidate for his setup work for closer John Wetteland. Mo finished 12th in the voting, which was the highest ranking of any Yankees player that year, the first time in MVP voting history that a championship team did not have a player finish in the top 10.

I remember a player coming up to me the day after Rivera blew that save in Game 4 of the 1997 ALDS at Cleveland on the eighth-inning home run by Sandy Alomar Jr. Rivera had been calm after the game, reiterating that he would have thrown the same pitch but with different location.

“Wasn’t the closer a little too blasé about what happened yesterday?” the player asked me. “Some of the guys commented on that last night.”

The following spring, I mentioned to Goose Gossage what the player had said about Rivera.

“Whoever that guy was doesn’t know what he’s talking about,” Goose said. “That is exactly the attitude a closer has to have. Don’t second-guess yourself and move on to the next game.”

Rivera has done that over and over. I was on the official scoring crew for the 1999 World Series and was on the committee that voted for the MVP, which was Rivera. Mo came over to me during spring training the next season and said, “I was told you were one of the World Series MVP voters,” he said. “I wanted to thank you for your support.”

Rivera has been saying all season that 602 is merely a number and that it won’t change him. Good. It would be unfathomable for Mariano Rivera to be anything but what he is, baseball’s ultimate class act.