Results tagged ‘ Empire State Building ’

Yanks suffer a sweep in the subway

Maybe it was a good thing that the Subway Series was reduced from six games to four this year. The Yankees could do without any more games against the Mets, thank you. The annual, cross-borough matchup was all blue and orange as anyone passing the Empire State Building this week knows.

The Yankees did not need to stare at the midtown landmark to know what the Mets did to them the past four nights. Thursday night’s 3-1 loss was another example of an offensive breakdown. After Robinson Cano accounted for the Yankees’ only run with one out in the third inning, the next 20 batters were retired.

Dillon Gee looked like Tom Seaver as the Mets righthander gave up only three singles other than Cano’s 14th home run with no walks and 12 strikeouts, including the last five batters he faced, in 7 1/3 innings. Relievers Scott Rice and Bobby Parnell (ninth save) handled matters from there.

The Yankees failed to draw a walk for the third consecutive game. They had only two walks in the four games and struck out 40 times. They scored seven runs overall and only one in three of the games as their losing streak expanded to five games, their longest in two years. They wasted a decent start from rookie lefthander Vidal Nuno (6 innings 3 hits, 2 runs, 2 walks, 2 strikeouts) and could not keep the taunts of “Let’s Go Mets” from being heard throughout the game among the Yankee Stadium crowd of 44,207.

This is definitely a low point for the Yankees, who were swept by the Mets in the Subway Series for the first time since inter-league play began in 1997. There are 11 players on the current roster that played in the Subway Series for the first time. They were looking forward to the experience going in but have little positive to say about it now.

“We have got to find a way to get out of it,” Yankees manager Joe Girardi said. “Tomorrow is as good a day to get back to our winning ways as any.”

Tomorrow (Friday) the first-place Red Sox roll into town for a three-game series. Boston has a two-game lead over the Yankees in the American League East, which means they have to sweep to get back into first place. There is a good chance that Mark Teixeira and Kevin Youkilis will be activated for the series. I wouldn’t be surprised if the Yankees sent a limousine to Trenton to get them to the Bronx.

“I hope they feel good and can be productive,” Girardi said.

Nuno was victimized by Marlon Byrd’s second home run of the series, a two-run shot to left in the second inning. Cano’s homer in the bottom half made the score 2-1, and it stayed that way until the eighth when Joba Chamberlain, in his first game back from the disabled list, was guilty of a costly wild pitch that set up a run when John Buck’s slow roller along the third base line hit the bag for an RBI single.

The Yankees have lost back-to-back series for the first time since going 1-2 in each of their first two series of the season, against the Red Sox April 1-4 and the Tigers April 5-7 and were swept in back-to-back series for the first time since 2009, 0-2 vs. the Red Sox May 4-5 and 0-2 vs. the Rays May 6-7.

The Yanks finished the Subway Series 0-4, which matches their most losses in a single season against the Mets (2-4 in both 2004 and ’08). The four-game losing streak against the Mets is the Yankees’ longest against them. According to the Elias Sport Bureau, the Yankees were swept in a season series of at least four games against a single team for only the second time in franchise history. They were 0-12 against the Athletics in 1990.

King Felix a clone of Yanks’ Garcia

Observing Felix Hernandez over the course of a game and one can tell that Freddy Garcia is his idol. King Felix has a similar delivery except that he turns his back more to the plate than Garcia, who is having a solid season for the Yankees. The way Hernandez comports himself on the mound is the spitting image of Garcia.

Hernandez’s regard for Garcia is no surprise. Growing up in Venezuela, Hernandez had Garcia and Johann Santana to emulate, and since Garcia is right-handed the same as Hernandez the choice was simple. Garcia, who built his reputation in Seattle, also befriended Hernandez early on, and the two remain in close contact.

Mariners general manager Jack Zduriencik has made it clear that Seattle has no intention to trade Hernandez, the 2011 American League Cy Young Award winner who is only 25 years old. The trading deadline will come and go in four days, and King Felix will still be in Seattle.

Obviously, Hernandez would be a wonderful fit for the Yankees. Seeing him pitch in tandem with CC Sabathia is salivating to Yankees fans. And like Sabathia, Hernandez is indeed King Felix at Yankee Stadium, which he showed again Wednesday in pitching the Mariners out of their 17-game losing streak with a 9-2 victory.

This was the second time the Yankees played a game against a team on a 17-game losing streak, and they lost each time. The other occurrence was 85 years ago when the Red Sox broke out of a similar slump with a 5-2 victory Sept. 8, 1926 at the original Stadium.

Hernandez remained unbeaten in the current Stadium with Wednesday’s victory. He was not as dominant as in 2010 when he pitched 17 shutout innings in two starts, but Felix was nonetheless effective and for a change got some strong offensive support. The Mariners banged out a week’s worth of hits with 17, including four apiece by Ichiro Suzuki and Mike Carp.

Hernandez was 1-1 with a 4.97 ERA in two career starts in the previous Stadium, but in three starts in the current facility he is 3-0 with an ERA of 0.38. A seven-run seventh fueled in part by an error by second baseman Robinson Cano and center fielder Curtis Granderson’s wayward tracking of a fly ball that fell for a three-run triple for Carp gave Hernandez breathing room.

It was a 2-1 game before that, so the Yankees still had their chances. But they did not capitalize when those chances presented themselves. Hernandez walked four batters but none scored. The Yankees repeatedly let Hernandez off the hook by going 1-for-8 with runners in scoring position off him and 0-for-2 against the Seattle bullpen. Both Yankees runs scored on outs, a sacrifice fly by Derek Jeter in the fifth and a grounder by Cano in the eighth.

Phil Hughes, who may or may not be pitching for his spot in the rotation, was serviceable for six innings, the longest stretch of his injury-truncated season, in which he allowed nine hits (a lot by the weakest offense in the majors), although he pitched effectively in some jams.

Yankees manager Joe Girardi announced three-quarters of the rotation for the upcoming four-game series at home against the Orioles. A.J. Burnett will start Friday night, Bartolo Colon Saturday afternoon and Garcia Sunday afternoon. Still undecided is the starter for the night portion of Saturday’s split-session doubleheader, but in all likelihood it will be Ivan Nova up from Triple A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre.

Sabathia is being given an extra day of rest before his next start Monday night in Chicago at the start of a trip that continues to Boston. The rotation may have been set up to keep Burnett from pitching at Fenway Park where he has been dreadful the past two years.

Speaking of pitchers, reliever David Robertson will be filling them up with beers and creating other drinks as a guest bartender at Foley’s New York Pub and Restaurant beginning at 7 p.m. Thursday as a fund raiser for his and wife Erin’s foundation – High Socks for Hope – to aid tornado victims in his hometown of Tuscaloosa, Ala. Foley’s is located at 18 West 33rd Street across from the Empire State Building. Have Dave serve you up a cold frosty. It is for a good cause.

HOPE Week: Game & city tour for Haitian refugees

The Yankees continued HOPE Week Wednesday by treating a group of Haitian refugees aged 7 to 13 to the game against the Mariners at Yankee Stadium followed by a special tour of the city.

Pitchers CC Sabathia, Freddy Garcia and Bartolo Colon; catcher Jorge Posada; bench coach Tony Pena and bullpen coach Mike Harkey will join the Haitian children from a Queens school for a tour of Manhattan on a Gray Line double-decker bus leaving directly from the Stadium.

Stops will include the United Nations, where representatives of the body will greet the children, followed by the Empire State Building, where the children will participate in a ceremonial lighting of the building followed by a photo opportunity with the Yankees from the observation deck.

The children and Yankees will then re-board the bus to visit Times Square. The final stop will be at St. Patrick’s Cathedral, where Archbishop Timothy Dolan will give a tour of the building and have dessert with the children in his private residence.

For 15 child refugees who endured the devastating earthquake in Haiti Jan. 12, 2010 were taken in by Sts. Joachim and Anne’s School in Queens Village. The children arrived in New York with nothing, having lost loved ones and been witness to unspeakable horrors.

All have taken to their new home and cherish their opportunity at an education. One child walks 45 minutes each way to school. Another, who lost both of his parents, dreams of becoming president of his homeland so he can rebuild his nation.

Even the school’s parochial vicar, Rev. Jean-Moise Delva, 34, was not spared tragedy as his Haitian elementary school collapsed, killing the parish priest who was his mentor.

‘Boss’ Trophy to be unveiled Tuesday

The blizzard that struck the Eastern seaboard forced the postponement of Monday’s New Era Pinstripe Bowl Kickoff Event at the Times Square Visitor Center at 1560 Broadway. The event has been rescheduled for 3 p.m. Tuesday at the Visitor Center, which has its entrance on Seventh Avenue between 46th and 47th Streets in Manhattan.

The New Era Pinstripe Bowl will pit Syracuse against Kansas State at 3:20 p.m. Thursday at Yankee Stadium, the first college football bowl game in New York since 1962. Among the festivities Tuesday will be the unveiling of the George M. Steinbrenner championship trophy that will be presented to the winning team after the game.

Yankees first baseman Mark Teixeira will be on hand Tuesday along with team president Randy Levine and chief operating officer Lonn Trost to launch Bowl Week in New York. Kansas State director of athletics John Curie and representatives of Syracuse will also be in attendance as well as cast members from the Tony Award nominated Broadway musical Rock of Ages, plus the Kansas State band and the school’s mascot, Willie the Wildcat.

Fans will be able to purchase tickets to the New Era Pinstripe Bowl all week at the Times Square Visitors Center all week as well at all Ticketmaster outlets and online at http://www.pinstripebowl.com.

Wednesday, the Empire State Building will get into the act. The north and south sides of the building will be lit orange and white for Syracuse, and the west and east sides will be lit purple and white for Kansas State.

Subway Series tracks

Take a look at the Empire State Building this weekend and you’ll notice the Subway Series is being observed with the edifice’s color scheme. The north and south side of the tower are colored Yankees blue and white, and the east and west side are in Mets blue and orange. The team that wins the series will have its colors displayed on all four sides Monday. I’m betting on blue and white.

New York City is also the home of the United Nations Building, which is pretty appropriate when the Yankees and Mets face each other. Their rosters feature players from more countries than any other teams. The Yankees have players from eight countries – Cuba (Juan Miranda), Dominican Republic (Robinson Cano, Damaso Marte), Korea (Chan Ho Park), Mexico (Ramiro Pena), Panama (Mariano Rivera), Puerto Rico (Javier Vazquez), Venezuela (Francisco Cervelli) and the United States (all others). They are topped only by the Mets, who have players from nine countries – Cuba (Raul Valdes), Panama (Manny Acosta), Mexico (Elmer Dessens, Oliver Perez), Venezuela (Kelvim Escobar, Fernando Nieve, Francisco Rodriguez, Johann Santana, Henry Blanco), Dominican Republic (Jenrry Mejia, Luis Castillo, Jose Reyes, Fernando Tatis), Japan (Ryota Igarashi, Hisanori, Takahashi), Puerto Rico (Alex Cora, Angel Pagan), Canada (Jason Bay) and the U.S. (all others).

My seat in the Citi Field press box is next to Bob Waterman of the Elias Sports Bureau, the statistics organization that is always coming up with gems. The latest is with regard to one of Friday night’s stars for the Yankees, Kevin Russo, whose double in the seventh inning scored both runs of the eventual 2-1 victory.

Russo, who grew up in West Babylon, N.Y., on Long Island, about 30 miles east of Flushing, was the first player to drive in all of his team’s runs in his first major-league start since the Montreal Expos’ Shane Andrews in 1995 in a 2-1 victory over the Pittsburgh Pirates.

Elias also noted that no other Yankees player has accomplished the feat in the expansion era that began in 1961. But Archie Moore was the last Yankees player to drive in all his team’s runs in his first big-league start in a 2-1 loss Oct. 4, 1964 to the Cleveland Indians.

Curtis Granderson’s path back to the Yankees was to begin Saturday night in Louisville, Ky., where he was to start a rehabilitation assignment for Triple A Scranton/Wilkes Barre. Granderson, disabled since May 2 because of a left groin strain, could be back with the Yankees when they return to the Stadium next weekend. The Yankees won’t know until Monday at the earliest whether Javier Vazquez will be able to make his next start. The pitcher has a bruised right index finger sustained when he was hit trying to bunt in the seventh inning Friday night.