Results tagged ‘ David DeJesus ’

First-inning fade costs Yanks & Eovaldi

The way the first inning was going for the Yankees Tuesday night, no one would have expected them to score only two runs in the game and lose it as well. That is precisely what happened as the Yankees let longtime nemesis Chris Archer off the mat and could not generate more support for Nathan Eovaldi, who was lights-out for six innings.

Eovaldi, who was working on a three-hit shutout, came unglued somewhat in the seventh. A four-pitch walk to Logan Forsythe and a damaging wild pitch set up a game-tying, two-run single by David DeJesus. An inning later, Eovaldi gave up a walk and a single with one out and watched from the bench as both runners scored on a sacrifice fly by Evan Longoria and the second of two wild pitches by reliever Dellin Betances.

It held up for a 3-2 Tampa Bay victory, only the second in eight games against the Yankees this season and the first in five against them at Tropicana Field, which has been damn near empty the past two nights with crowds slightly more than 10,000. And people ask why Joe Maddon checked out of St. Petersburg when he had the chance?

But, really, this game was lost in the first inning when the Yanks took a 2-0 lead. They had Archer on the ropes and let him slide by making the least of five straight at-bats with the bases loaded.

Archer, whose career record against the Yankees is 5-0 with a 2.02 ERA in 49 innings, allowed the first five batters he faced to get on base — Jacoby Ellsbury and Brett Gardner on singles (the sixth time this season they both reached base in the first inning) and Alex Rodriguez on a walk.

Brian McCann and Carlos Beltran followed with sharply-struck singles to right, which put the Yankees in station-to-station mode as only one run scored on each hit. Archer took control after that. He struck out Chase Headley, retired Stephen Drew on a fly to medium center field, a distance no longer sufficient to bring home Rodriguez, and set down Garrett Jones with a ground ball to the right side.

Five straight at-bats with the bases loaded and merely two runs to show for it.

The Yankees went after Archer again in the second. Ellsbury and Gardner both singled, but each was thrown out at second trying to steal. Archer retired 15 of the next 16 batters, including the last 10 he faced in a row.

By doing so, Archer kept pace with Eovaldi, who pitched to the minimum number of batters through four innings. He gave up a one-out single to Steven Souza Jr. in the first but picked him off. There would not be another Tampa Bay hit until the fifth when Forsythe and DeJesus each singled. Eovaldi ended the threat with a strikeout of Brandon Guyer on a 98-mph fastball.

Yet it was not Eovaldi’s high-octane stuff that was as effective as his well-placed slider and a darting splitter in this outing, which is an indication that he is learning well under pitching coach Larry Rothschild that there is more to getting outs than trying to break radar-gun readings.

Eovaldi certainly pitched well enough to win, although he hurt himself fatally with that wild pitch. He just did not have the margin for error to make such a mistake. The Yankees’ first-inning fade was responsible for that

Ironic that Indians should eliminate Yankees

Go back to early April in Cleveland and who would have thought the season would end the way it has for the two clubs on the field in two games at Progressive Field? The Yankees outscored the Indians, 25-7, in those games. Cleveland fans treated former Tribesman Travis Hafner to a standing ovation for his past service as the Yankees newest designated hitter was well on his way to a very productive first month of the season. Many folks in the media were wondering if Terry Francona did a smart thing in going back to the dugout with that franchise.

It just shows how much things can change in six months. The Yankees were eliminated from the race for a postseason berth Wednesday night while the Indians were still in line for a shot at their first postseason appearance in six years. Cleveland still has to fight off the challenges of Texas and Kansas City but no longer has the Yankees to worry about.

The Yanks’ tragic number for elimination was down to one entering play Wednesday night. One more loss or one more Indians victory would knock the Yankees out of the playoff picture. As it turned out, both results happened. The Indians beat the White Sox, 7-2, to eliminate the Yankees, who lost a few minutes later to the Rays, 8-3.

In head-to-head competition, the Yankees were clearly superior to Cleveland this year. They won six of the seven games between them and outscored the Tribe, 49-19. The Yankees batted .295 with 13 home runs and 46 RBI against the Indians and averaged seven runs per game. Yankees pitchers combined for a 2.71 ERA in limiting the Indians to a .205 batting average and 2.71 runs per game.

But over the course of the entire season against all levels of competition, the Yankees finished behind the Indians. For all their success against Cleveland, the Yankees were done in by failing to beat inferior teams when it counted. Losing two of three at San Diego followed by getting swept by the White Sox at Chicago last month was a bad sign. Losing all four games this year to the Mets certainly hurt. And earlier this month after giving fans encouragement by winning three of four games at Baltimore, the Yankees were swept by the American League East winning Red Sox at Boston and then, even worse, dropped two of three to the last-place Blue Jays at Toronto.

Matters did not improve when the Yankees came home. They held the Giants to three runs total in three games but did not sweep the series, which was a must. Tampa Bay beat the Yanks each of the past two nights. Do not expect a spring-training lineup from the Yankees in the final home game of the season Thursday night.

“We have a responsibility to baseball,” Yankees manager Joe Girardi said.

What he meant is that the Rays have not yet clinched a postseason berth, so for the sake of the Rangers and the Indians Girardi will field a representative lineup. Whether it will include Alex Rodriguez or not remains to be seen. He was lifted for a pinch hitter, Ichiro Suzuki, in the eighth inning and complained of sore legs.

Phil Hughes (4-14) lasted four batters into the third inning and was hung with another loss, his 10th in 11 decisions at Yankee Stadium this year. According to the Elias Sports Bureau, Hughes’ 1-10 mark in 16 home starts made him only the second pitcher in major league history to win fewer than two home games in a season in which he made at least 15 starts at his home yard. The other was the Blue Jays’ Phil Huffman, who was 1-9 in 16 starts at Exhibition Stadium in 1979.

Evan Longoria whacked two home runs and David DeJesus one in a 15-hit Tampa Bay attack that supported last year’s AL Cy Young Award winner, David Price (9-8). Say this for Yankees fans. They were on their feet and applauding during an eighth-inning rally despite their team trailing by five runs.

Thursday night will mark the final Stadium appearance by Mariano Rivera and Andy Pettitte. Mo will almost certainly get in the game regardless of the score. He is hoping for one more save situation. So are all of us.

Yankees’ condition is critical

As if the Yankees didn’t have enough trouble Tuesday night, a former teammate added to their misery. Jason Giambi put the finishing touch on a wild, 5-4 Indians victory over the White Sox in Cleveland while the Yankees were going down quietly, 7-0, to the Rays at Yankee Stadium.

The Yankees’ situation is now critical. They trail the Indians for the second wild-card playoff berth by five games with five to play. Do the math and it comes out to the Yankees’ tragic number being down to one. One more Yankees loss or Indians victory will keep the Bombers home during the postseason for only the second time in the past 19 seasons.

Tampa Bay kept a sturdy hold on the first wild-card spot with the victory despite a shaky start by Matt Moore (16-4). The lefthander struggled with command (six walks, three wild pitches, one of which put a strikeout victim on base) but gave up only three hits in five innings. The Yankees were 0-for-8 with runners in scoring position and left 10 runners on base against Moore and were 0-for-10 with 11 stranded runners for the game.

Runs have been hard to come by for the Yankees lately. They have scored one in their past 20 innings on Mark Reynolds’ third-inning home run Sunday against the Giants. The Yanks were shut out for the 11th time this season, the most in one year since they were blanked 15 times in 1990. This was the third time the Yankees were held scoreless this year by Tampa Bay.

As has been in the case in his recent starts, Hiroki Kuroda took a while to get into a rhythm on the mound. The Rays had a 3-0 lead four batters into the game. Kuroda gave up a leadoff home run to Matt Joyce, a single to Wil Myers, a double to David De Jesus (who took third on the throw home) and a sacrifice fly to Evan Longoria. The way the Yankees’ offense has sputtered lately, that was probably the game right there.

Yankees manager Joe Girardi had lefthander Boone Logan up in the bullpen in the sixth inning but curiously did not bring him into the game to face left-handed batting James Loney with the bases loaded and one out. Loney lined a double to right-center for two runs that pretty much sealed the deal for the Rays.

Meanwhile, the Indians had one of those inspiring victories that can propel a club into postseason play. Cleveland closer Chris Perez blew a 3-2 lead in the ninth by giving up two solo home runs. The Tribe had the last laugh, however, when Giambi went yard as a pinch hitter in the bottom of the ninth with two out and a runner on second base.

It was tough going all around for the crowd of 43,407 at the Stadium. The truck carrying Mariano Rivera bobblehead dolls for Tuesday night’s giveaway was late, which created long lines for ticketholders to collect their gift.