Results tagged ‘ Garrett Richards ’

Just like American Pharoah, Yanks go wire-to-wire

Fresh in the Yankees’ minds was the memory of the Angels turning an 8-1 game into an 8-7 game with a six-run rally in the ninth inning Friday night, so the Yanks broke out of the gate much the same way American Pharoah did a few minutes earlier at Belmont Park in ending a 37-year drought of Triple Crown thoroughbred winners.

The Yankees flat-out mugged Garrett Richards, who failed to make it out of the first inning. They quickly loaded the bases on walks to Brett Gardner and Alex Rodriguez book-ending a single by Chase Headley. American League RBI leader Mark Teixeira got his 44th on a fly ball to center field.

After Richards wild-pitched Headley home, Brian McCann launched a two-run home run to right. The Yankees weren’t finished, either. Carlos Beltran re-started the rally with an infield single against the shift. Didi Gregorius also singled on a flare to center. Center fielder Mike Trout’s throw to third base trying for Beltran hit the runner in the back, which also allowed Gregorius to get to second. First baseman Albert Pujols tried to trap Gregorius off second on a ground ball by Stephen Drew, but shortstop Eric Aybar missed the tag, as the replay showed, which reversed the umpire’s call and loaded the bases for the Yankees.

Richards had a brief reprieve when he struck out Ramon Flores, but Gardner in his second at-bat of the inning lined a single to right field for two more runs, a 6-0 Yankees lead and the end of the line for Richards. The Yankees tagged on another run in the second inning off lefthander Cesar Ramos on successive singles by Teixeira, McCann and Beltran, the last of which was actually hit off another lefthander, Hector Santiago.

Now the question was whether this seven-run lead would hold up without an onslaught similar to the previous game.

Benefiting from all the runs was Adam Warren, who has not had a bevy of run support this year. The righthander retired the Angels in order the first time through the batting order. Aybar was the Halos’ first base runner on an infield single leading off the fourth. Headley made a diving, back-handed grab of a scorching line drive by Trout, which proved an important out because Warren walked the next two batters to load the bases. He got out of the jam by getting David Freese to ground into a double play.

Santiago, normally a starter, brought some order to the Angels’ pitching with 3 2/3 shutout innings in which he allowed two hits and struck out three. Los Angeles got on the board against Warren in the fifth, although the inning could have been uglier after a leadoff double by Matt Joyce and Warren hitting C.J. Cron with a pitch. A sacrifice fly by Johnny Giavotella accounted for the run. Trout got the Angels a second run in the sixth with a home run, his 15th, to right field.

Warren nearly made it through seven innings. A two-out walk in the seventh ended his night, but he evened his record at 4-4 with lefthanders Justin Wilson and Chris Capuano mopping up. The Yankees had only one hit from the third through the seventh but picked up another run on a bases-loaded walk to Teixeira (RBI No. 45) in the eighth.

And this time the visiting ninth was tame, thanks to Capuano’s perfect inning with two strikeouts.

Tanaka still undefeated thanks to Yanks’ comeback

Masahiro Tanaka still has a shot at another unbeaten season. He came close to sustaining his first loss in the major leagues Sunday night but got off to hook when the Yankees tied the score in the bottom of the seventh inning against the Angels and went on to a 3-2 victory despite totaling only three hits.

Tanaka, who was 24-0 in Japan last year, pitched well enough to win but came out of the game trailing, 2-1, with one out in the top of the seventh. The Yankees had only two hits off Angels starter Garrett Richards at that point, but Mark Teixeira got them even with his second home run of the season, a bomb to right field off a 2-2 fastball.

That kept Tanaka’s record at 3-0. The righthander struggled somewhat with his command. He walked four batters, twice as many as he had combined over his first four starts, and hit one. But Tanaka piled up 11 strikeouts and pitched exceedingly well with men on base, which the Angels had regularly with five hits in addition to the walks and the hit batter.

However, Tanaka kept Los Angeles hitless in seven at-bats with runners in scoring position as the Angels left seven runners on base over the first five innings. They loaded the bases in the fourth on a leadoff double by Erick Aybar, a hit batter and a walk with one out but got only one run on a fielder’s choice. Tanaka ended the inning with a strikeout of Collin Cowgill with Mike Trout on deck.

The Yankees made it 1-1 in the fifth. Richards walked Teixeira to start the inning and gave up a one-out double to Brian Roberts. The Angels kept the infield back conceding a run, and Ichiro Suzuki complied with a ground ball to shortstop.

Tanaka was taken deep by David Freese on a first-pitch fastball leading off the sixth and then did not allow another base runner. It took Tex’s drive the next inning to stick Tanaka with a no-decision. Tanaka’s 46 strikeouts are the third highest total for a rookie pitcher in his first five starts, the most since the Nationals’ Stephen Strasburg had 48 in 2010. The major league record is 50 by the Indians’ Herb Score in 1955.

The winning decision went to Adam Warren (1-1), who pitched 1 2/3 innings of shutout relief and benefit from the Yanks getting a gift run in the eight from the leaky Angels bullpen as the result of two walks, a passed ball and a wild pitch. David Robertson struck out pinch hitter Raul Ibanez with a runner on second base to end the game and earned his fourth save.

Kuroda survives very slim margin for error

You look at the record – 11-7 – and it does not appear overwhelming. Yet that is just what Hiroki Kuroda has been for the Yankees this season.

In a year when CC Sabathia has struggled to maintain his status as staff ace, Kuroda has taken the baton and given the Yankees ace-like quality for much of the season. Had run support been more plentiful in Kuroda’s starts, he might have five or six more victories.

Even Monday night when he pitched an absolute gem, Kuroda had slim margin for error as the Yankees managed only two runs off Angels starter Garrett Richards. That skinny margin nearly cost Kuroda another winning decision in this game when Los Angeles rallied in the ninth inning only to fall one run short.

Kuroda shut out the Angels on three hits in eight innings to lower his season ERA to 2.33, which ranks second in the American League only to the 2.28 of the Mariners’ Felix Hernandez. Over his past seven starts covering 48 innings, Kuroda’s ERA is a microscopic 0.94. He is 4-1 in that stretch.

Josh Hamilton opened the second inning with a double to right-center, but he never got beyond second base as Kuroda retired the next nine batters in a row. A leadoff walk to Eric Aybar ended that run of outs but Kuroda ran off six more before Mike Trout beat out an infield single to start the seventh. Kuroda quickly erased him by getting Hamilton to ground into a double play. The other hit off Kuroda was a two-out double in the eighth by catcher Chris Iannetta, who was also stranded.

Brett Gardner, the hero of Sunday’s walk-off victory over the Tigers, was productive again with a two-out, RBI single in the third. It stayed a 1-0 game until the seventh when Curtis Granderson homered into the second deck in right field. That likely created a sense of déjà vu for Richards. He was the first pitcher to make his major-league debut at the current Yankee Stadium Aug. 10, 2011 and gave up six runs and six hits in five innings of a 9-3 Yankees victory. Two of the hits off Richards in that game were home runs by Granderson.

Granderson’s third home run of this season proved pivotal when the Angels came alive after Kuroda left the game. Boone Logan started the ninth and gave up a hit and got a strikeout. At the same time, Yankees fans in the Stadium crowd of 37,146 chanted “We want Mo,” a good sign of their allegiance to Mariano Rivera despite his having blown three straight save opportunities.

Yankees manager Joe Girardi wanted to stay away from Mo in this one and brought in David Robertson, who got into immediate trouble by walking Mike Trout and giving up a bloop double down the left field line that made the score 2-1. It forced the Yanks to walk Aybar intentionally to load the bases and set up a force at each. Robertson bore down hard for his first save with impressive strikeouts of Mike Trout and Chris Nelson.

In a way, it was a view into the future. A year from now when Rivera is retired and enjoying his life with his family, Robertson just may be the guy called on regularly to get those last important outs.

Nova solidifies rotation spot

Yankees manager Joe Girardi had said before Wednesday night’s game that Ivan Nova was not pitching for his spot in the rotation. “He has been one of our best five guys,” Girardi said. “The last three months, especially, he has been really, really good for us.”

So there you have it. Nova is one of the five best starters, so he is going nowhere but to his next start. Girardi is going with a six-man rotation these days but will return to a five-man shortly, so one of the pitchers will be the odd man out, but it won’t be Nova.

After being basically guaranteed a spot in the Yankees’ crowded rotation, Nova went out and pitched another beauty. A home run by Angels center fielder Peter Bourjos was the only smear on Nova’s record until the seventh inning when he gave up two singles and two walks without retiring a batter.

Rafael Soriano did a nice job cleaning up Nova’s mess and leaving him in position for a winning decision, which has been a regular occurrence for the righthander who has not lost since June 3. Nova is riding a personal seven-game winning streak during which he has pitched to a 3.10 ERA in 52 1/3 innings and pushed his season mark to 11-4 with a 3.85 ERA that is sure to attract some attention to voters for the Jackie Robinson Rookie of the Year Award in the American League.

Nova did not strike out a batter in the 9-3 victory over the Angels but essentially gave Yankees outfielders the night off. Of the 18 outs Nova registered, 16 came in the infield. The busiest fielder was Mark Teixeira, who had 12 putouts and one assist at first base. Nova had two putouts and two assists himself.

The Yankees beat a pitcher making his major league debut for the first time in seven starts since 2004 in treating Angels rookie Garrett Richards harshly. Curtis Granderson connected off him twice for home runs. Robinson Cano got three-quarters of the cycle, falling a single short. His 19th home run of the season, off Joel Pineiro, also scored Granderson, who had walked and has now touched the plate 104 times this season.

It all combined for the Yankees to end a three-game losing streak and push the Angels back to seven games back in the wild-card race with a shot at picking up ground in the AL East against the Red Sox.

Welcome to the big leagues, kid

The Angels sure must have a lot of faith in Garrett Richards to have him make his major-league debut Wednesday night at Yankee Stadium. What a place for a young pitcher up from Double A to make his first big-league appearance.

Richards became the first pitcher to make his debut at the new Stadium. The righthander, 23, had a fastball clocked regularly in the mid-90s but had problems with command in a very shaky first inning against the Yankees. Before he could keep his heart from pounding, Richards was in a 3-0 hole after walking Brett Gardner and Derek Jeter and yielding Curtis Granderson’s 30th home run of the season on a 1-0 heater.

One out later, Robinson Cano lined a double to right-center, but the rookie settled down and got Nick Swisher and Eric Chavez out on ground balls. The Yankees don’t normally do this well in a pitcher’s first game. They had lost each of their past six games in which they faced a starting pitcher making his major-league debut. Their past victory in such a situation was May 1, 2004 against the Royals’ Eduardo Villacis, 12-4, at the Stadium.

Richards, whose contract was purchased from Double A Arkansas, was filling the place in this turn of the rotation of staff ace Jered Weaver, who is serving a six-day suspension for throwing at the head of a Tigers batter in a game last week. The Angels will get Weaver back early next week to pitch against their American League West rival Texas Rangers at Anaheim.

The Angels drafted Richards, who pitched for three seasons at the University of Oklahoma, in the first round of the 2009 first-year player draft as a compensation pick for their having lost relief pitcher Francisco Rodriguez to free agency and the Mets. Richards had been lights out at Arkansas with a 12-2 record, three complete games and a 3.06 ERA in 21 starts. In one inning, however, he discovered how wide the gap is between Double A and the majors.

The Angels pulled the same maneuver 15 years ago when a pitcher named Jason Dickson made his major-league debut at the old Stadium Aug. 21, 1996. Dickson, a righthander from Canada, pitched 6 1/3 innings and allowed 10 hits but only one run in a 7-1 Angels victory. The lone run Dickson gave up was on a home run by another rookie, a kid named Jeter.

That was Dickson’s only victory that year as he finished ’96 with a 1-4 record and 4.57 ERA. He pitched in parts of four seasons for the Angels and had a career mark of 26-25 with a 4.99 ERA.