Results tagged ‘ J.J. Hardy ’
For an organization that relies so much these days on analytical statistics, the Yankees seem to be stubborn in the belief that Luis Severino is better suited as a starting pitcher than a reliever when the numbers at this point clearly suggest otherwise.
Severino got another start Saturday as the Yankees chose to shut down Mashiro Tanaka the day before the end of their season. In his prior start last Monday night at Toronto, Severino in my view got into a foolish exchange of purpose pitches with the Blue Jays and was ejected from the game in the second inning.
None of that nonsense occurred this time, but once again in a starting appearance Severino failed to fulfill the promise he displayed a year ago when he was 5-3 with a 2.89 ERA in 11 starts.
Saturday was Severino’s 11th start this season and the sixth time he did not pitch the minimum five innings to qualify for a winning decision, of which this year he has none. The righthander was gone two outs into the fourth after giving up three earned runs, five hits and two walks with five strikeouts.
The stats tell the story on Severtino. In 11 starts this year, he was 0-8 with an 8.49 ERA and 41 strikeouts in 47 2/3 innings. In 11 appearances in relief, he was 3-0 with a 0.39 ERA and 25 K’s in 23 1/3 innings. The Yankees continue to have faith that Severino will emerge as an important figure in the rotation someday, but the numbers lend evidence to the possibility that late-inning work may be a better fit for him.
His teammates got Severino off the hook by coming back from the 3-0 deficit to stall at least momentarily the Orioles’ path to the playoffs with a 7-3 victory. Baltimore’s loss opened the gates somewhat for the Blue Jays, Tigers and Mariners, all of whom were playing later in the evening. The sound man at Seattle’s Safeco Field was so happy he played the Frank Sinatra hit, “New York, New York,” before the Mariners’ game against the Athletics.
The Yankees fought back in small chunks the way teams that fall behind early are supposed to. Tyler Austin singled in the Yanks’ first run, in the fifth, and Chase Headley made it a one-run game with a two-out, RBI double in the sixth. Austin tied the score and chased Orioles starter Wade Miley with another opposite field home run, to right-center, in the seventh. All five of Austin’s home runs have been to the opposite field at Yankee Stadium and have either tied the score or put the Yankees ahead.
Baltimore’s bullpen came apart in the eighth and surrendered four runs. The normally reliable Brad Brach imploded starting with a walk to pinch hitter Jacoby Ellsbury with one out and giving up Headley’s second double on a ground ball over the first base bag and down the right field line.
Austin Romine thrust the Yankees ahead with a two-run single. After a two-out walk to Ronald Torreyes, who was on base three times, Brett Gardner greeted reliever Oliver Drake with a double to left field for two more runs.
Headley showed some heads-up base running on Gardy’s hit. Orioles shortstop J.J. Hardy bumped into Headley between second and third. Headley ignored the stop sign put up by third base coach Joe Espada and continued to the plate. Third base umpire Jim Reynolds took note of Hardy’s interference, so there was a good chance he would have called obstruction on the shortstop but Headley made it home safely anyway.
Dellin Betances bounced back from some disappointing outings recently to withstand a leadoff single in the ninth by Michael Bourn to wrap things up by striking out the next three batters. It was a stirring October victory for the Yankees, albeit in a spoiler role.
On nights like Monday, you wonder where the Yankees could be this year if they had Michael Pineda the whole season. The righthander, who missed 86 games because of a shoulder injury, was close to perfect for 7 1/3 innings Monday night as the Yankees got their final home series off to a good start with a 5-0 victory over the Orioles.
Pineda gave up only one hit, a one-out single in the fifth inning to J.J. Hardy, and allowed only one other base runner on a walk with one out in the eighth to his last batter. Shawn Kelley, Rich Hill and David Phelps finished up the one-hitter for Pineda, who earned his first victory since Aug. 25 at Kansas City. He was 0-3 with a no-decision over his past four starts despite pitching to a 2.49 ERA. His ERA for the season is 1.93.
Derek Jeter continued his hot final home stand with a double and three runs batted in that raised his career total to 1,307, which tied him with Hall of Famer Paul Molitor for 109th place on the all-time list. The Captain is 9-for-20 (.450) on the home stand with three doubles, one home run and six RBI.
Also climbing up a career list was Ichiro Suzuki, whose infield single in the seventh was his 2,840th hit in the major leagues, which tied him with Hall of Famer Charlie Gehringer for 47th place on the all-time list.
The Yankees set a franchise mark for players used with rookie Jose Pirela serving as the designated hitter batting ninth. He tripled in his first major-league at-bat and got his first RBI in the big leagues as well in the third and scored on a groundout by Jeter. Pirela singled in the fifth and scored on Jeter’s two-run double. Pirela was the 57th player the Yankees have had on their 25-man roster this year, the most in club history. They used 56 players in 2013.
They could add to the total since they claimed outfielder Eury Perez off waivers from the Nationals. In 67 games combined with Triple-A Syracuse, Class A Potomac and the Class A Gulf Coast League Nationals, the right-handed batter hit .310 with 36 runs, 14 doubles, two home runs and 15 RBI in 242 at-bats. Perez has appeared in 22 career major-league games with the Nationals (2012-13) and batted .154 with four runs and four stolen bases in 13 at-bats.
Chase Headley added to the scoring with a home run in the seventh, his 12th of the season and fifth since joining the Yankees.
Sunday was one of those rare Old-Timers’ Days when the game between the team’s former stars is more pleasant than the real game. The Yankees put a damper on a fun-filled weekend with full houses at Yankee Stadium Saturday and Sunday with losses to the Orioles both days.
They followed an uplifting comeback victory Friday night on Carlos Beltran’s three-run home run. That was the last real burst of offense for the Yankees, who scored one run over the final 18 innings of the series.
“Going 4-2 against your division rivals in one week is pretty good,” manager Joe Girardi said, “but it’s also disappointing because we were 4-0 at one time.”
Friday night’s victory followed a three-game sweep of the first-place Blue Jays that tightened up the American League East standings. They stiffened even more Sunday. The Yankees and the Orioles are tied for second place, 1 1/2 games behind the Jays. All three clubs are even in the loss column.
Baltimore’s 8-0 victory was all the more shocking because Masahiro Tanaka started the game for the Yankees. He was credited with another quality start for having allowed three earned runs in seven innings with six hits, a walk and six strikeouts, but since the Yankees could not score the effort went for naught as his record went to 11-2 and ended a personal five-game winning streak.
Perhaps the game might have gone differently had Brett Gardner not been thrown out at third base trying for a triple leading off the first inning. He slid past the bag and was tagged out by Manny Machado, who kept his glove on Gardy’s leg while his hand came off the base following a head-first slide.
Then again, maybe not. The Yankees got only three more hits in the game while the Orioles kept pounding away. They hit four home runs Saturday and added two more Sunday. Jonathan Schoop took Tanaka deep in the second. Catcher Jacob Joseph added his first career homer in the ninth off David Huff.
Tanaka gave up two more runs in the seventh without the ball leaving the yard. Adam Warren was tagged for four runs in the eighth, an unsightly inning for the Yankees that included two errors.
One was a wild throw by third baseman Kelly Johnson that was excusable under the circumstance. With runners on first and second and none out, Nelson Cruz hit a chopper to Johnson, who stepped on third and then threw the ball into the first base stands while Steve Pearce running from second to third slid in front of him.
Pearce appeared to have run out of the baseline and should have been called for interference. That was Girardi’s argument, too. He was told, however, that Pearce was still in the proximity of third base. Well, judging from my view Pearce must have the wing span of a 747 jetliner to have had his right hand anywhere near third base on that play.
Didn’t matter; the play was not renewable and stayed. “You don’t need to review it,” Girardi said. “You just need to call it. It was a dangerous slide. If it happens at second base or first base it gets called.”
The game soon went out of hand when J.J. Hardy cleared the bases with a double. The bottom of the eighth didn’t go well for the Yankees, either. Mark Teixeira, who accounted for the Yanks’ only run of the past two games with his 12th homer Saturday, was hit in the left foot with a pitch and came out of the game. X-rays were negative, however, and Tex was relieved after the game.
Nevertheless, the good feeling the Yankees derived from their climbing up Toronto’s back was negated somewhat by Baltimore doing the same to them. This is a division race up for grabs.
Someone will have to explain to me what CC Sabathia and Chris Tillman had to do with the beef between their managers, the Yankees’ Joe Girardi and the Orioles’ Buck Showalter, at the end of the first inning Monday night in the opener of a crucial four-game series between the American League wild-card playoff berth foes at Camden Yards.
The shouting match between the skippers apparently was over Girardi’s admonishing Orioles third base coach Bobby Dickerson for reasons the Yankees manager did not specify after the game only to say that he has always been dedicated to defending his players. One can only assume the player he was defending was catcher Austin Romine after hearing Showalter’s post-game remarks that the issue may have been sign stealing or signaling pitch location.
Well, it all made for interesting theater and little else. So what was the point of plate umpire Ed Hickox issuing warnings to the pitchers? What did Sabathia and Tillman have to do with all this? Here is a pivotal game between a couple of postseason candidates and the pitchers are neutralized for no good reason.
Camden Yards is a home-run haven that requires pitchers to use every inch of the plate and they are told from practically the start of the game that they work the inner half at their peril. What a joke.
Despite this limitation, both starters worked deeply into the game. Sabathia was provided a 1-0 lead before he took the mound on a home run by Alex Rodriguez. But for the 12th time this season, CC gave up a lead as the Orioles tied the score with a run in the bottom half of the first on a sacrifice fly by Adam Jones.
The pitchers exchanged zeroes until the fifth when another sacrifice fly, by J.J. Hardy, put the Orioles ahead. Baltimore picked up an additional run thanks to the legs of Alexi Casilla. He singled with two out and stole second from where he scored on a single by Nick Markakis, one of his three hits in the game.
Sabathia hurt himself in the eighth with a throwing error that helped the Orioles to another run on a two-out double by Manny Machado. Lyle Overbay’s 14th home run leading off the eighth inning ended Tillman’s stretch of 14 consecutive outs and his outing as well. Tommy Hunter struck out the next three innings.
The Yankees got the tying run to the plate after Rodriguez led off the ninth with a single, but Jim Johnson withstood a warning-track drive by Curtis Granderson to get his 43rd save.
It was not the way the Yankees wanted to start the series. They fell three games behind the Rays for the second wild card and 1 ½ games behind the Orioles and Indians with only a one-game edge over the Royals.
At the beginning of the same week that the National Football League will begin its schedule, the Yankees fumbled their chance to blow past the Orioles in the wild-card race. They caught one break this weekend with fellow contenders Tampa Bay and Oakland playing each other in the Bay Area so they would gain ground on one of them daily and were on the brink of sweeping Baltimore and putting the O’s in the Yanks’ rear-view mirror.
That was before the Birds changed their luck by rolling seven in the seventh inning that ruined yet another strong starting effort by Andy Pettitte (3-0, 1.20 ERA in past five starts) and jostled the Yankees back into fourth place in the American League East and kept them at least 3 ½ games back in the wild-card hunt with another calendar date torn off.
The 3-0 lead that Pettitte took into the seventh appeared pretty safe with the Orioles offering little resistance until newly-acquired Michael Morse and Danny Valencia opened the inning with singles. Yanks manager Joe Girardi turned to a well-rested bullpen but found no relief.
Shawn Kelley and Boone Logan each faced two batters without retiring either. Kelley did the most damage by giving up an RBI single to Matt Wieters and a three-run, opposite-field home run to J.J. Hardy on a ball that hit the top of the wall just beyond the reach of Curtis Granderson in right field. Logan yielded a bunt single to Brian Roberts and a walk to Nick Markakis before Joba Chamberlain got clobbered one out later by Adam Jones with the second three-run homer of the inning, this one onto the netting above Monument Park that created the 7-3 final score.
It marked the first time in 33 home games this season that the Yankees lost when they had a lead of at least two runs.
“They have been so good for us all for so long, it was surprising to see,” Girardi said of the pen.
Despite the pitching changes, all of this seemed to happen in a mini-second. What would have been Pettitte’s 256th victory went flying out the window and offset the decision to have him start instead of Phil Hughes, who is scheduled to get the ball Monday in the Labor Day afternoon tilt against the White Sox, a last-place team but one that swept the Yankees Aug. 5-7 at Chicago.
In games like this, you look back at missed chances for the Yankees to put up more runs. They were 1-for-10 with runners in scoring position and stranded 10 base runners. Cano, who usually rakes against Baltimore (.340, 27 HR, 99 RBI) was 0-for-5 and struck out three times in a game against the O’s for the first time in his career.
Derek Jeter had a sacrifice fly but was 0-for-4 with three strikeouts. The RBI was career No. 1,258, which pushed him past former teammate Bernie Williams into sixth place on the all-time franchise list. The Yanks’ 2-through-6 hitters in the Yankees’ lineup were a combined 1-for-19 (Alfonso Soriano’s RBI single in the third inning giving him 36 RBI in 34 games for the Yanks) with 10 strikeouts.
The Yankees were able to contain Baltimore first baseman Chris Davis in the series. The major-league home run leader had 1-for-10 with a walk, a hit by pitch, an RBI and 10 strikeouts. He was the only Orioles player who did not reach base Sunday as he made five outs.
It was Baltimore’s relief corps that held sway. After a shaky start by starter Wei-Yin Chen (three earned runs, four hits, five walks in four innings), four Orioles relievers teamed up to pitch five scoreless innings allowing three hits and one walk with seven strikeouts. The Orioles lead the season series, 8-7, with four games remaining against the teams Sept. 9-12 at Camden Yards.
What Yankees fans never see from Mariano Rivera was what Orioles fans witnessed Monday night from Jim Johnson. The Orioles closer, who led the American League is saves last season with 51, sustained his third consecutive blown save, something that Rivera has never done, and the Yankees took advantage of it to come away with a 6-4, 10-inning victory.
Johnson was gone by the time the Yankees scored the deciding runs in the extra inning off Pedro Strop and Brian Matusz with clutch hitting by Vernon Wells and Travis Hafner. Rivera kept the lead intact with his 17th save in 17 opportunities. Johnson began the season with a similar streak with 14 saves before coming unglued in his past three appearances.
Hafner dealt the crushing blow to Johnson this time with a one-out home run in the ninth, the Yankees’ fourth solo shot of the evening in Baltimore’s humid Inner Harbor air. Johnson’s latest failure opened the gates for the Yankees to improve their record in games where they get on the scoreboard first to 19-0 and extend the Orioles’ losing streak to six games.
The Yankees were in danger of losing their first game when they scored first because their offense was reduced to the long ball with no one on base and CC Sabathia blew leads of 2-0 and 3-2. Robinson Cano and Orioles first baseman Chris Davis entered the game tied for the AL lead in home runs with 12 and maintained that tie as each got his 13th in his first at-bat.
David Adams, the rookie who has done so well at third base and turned a few more good plays Monday night, hit his first career home run to put the Yankees up, 2-0, in the second, but Davis made it 2-1 in the bottom of the second and Nick Markakis singled in the tying run in the fifth.
It was a strange start for Sabathia, who allowed a double-digit hit total (11) for the second game in a row (23 total in his past 12 2/3 innings) and had only two strikeouts, although he did not walk a batter. The lefthander is winless in four starts since April 27. Former teammate Freddy Garcia actually pitched better. He allowed the two solo homers and just one other hit with two walks and two strikeouts in six innings.
Lyle Overbay’s leadoff homer in the seventh off lefthander Troy Patton put the Yankees ahead again, but Sabathia couldn’t hold the advantage as the Orioles grabbed the lead on RBI doubles by Markakis and J.J. Hardy. Shawn Kelley stopped the O’s there with two more strikeouts. He added a third in the eighth, which gives the righthander 15 of the past 21 batters he has faced and 33 in 18 1/3 innings for the season.
Baltimore manager Buck Showalter entrusted the lead to Johnson, who began the ninth by retiring Cano on a groundout. Johnson fell behind 3-1 in the count to Hafner, who drove a 94-miles-per-hour fastball over the left field fence for his eighth home run. The Yankees were back in business.
Johnson’s woes have come after a run of 35 consecutive saves dating to last July. He has given up eight earned runs and nine hits in 2 1/3 innings (30.86 ERA) in the three blown saves, which has driven his season ERA from 0.95 to 4.22.
In the 10th, Ichiro Suzuki ran his Camden Yards hitting streak to 20 games with a leadoff double off Strop, a reliever who has struggled against the Yankees. Vernon Wells, riding the bench despite having good career numbers against Garcia (.438, one home run), came up as a pinch hitter for shortstop Reid Brignac and doubled to left to send home Ichiro.
Austin Romine bunted Wells to third, but Wells could not advance as Jayson Nix grounded out. After Cano was intentionally walked, Hafner delivered an insurance run with a line single to right off the left-handed Matusz. Rivera then showed Johnson how it’s done with a 1-2-3 bottom of the 10th.
Hafner. Wells. Overbay. There are those names again. Yankees fans are getting used to seeing these guys do important stuff.
The Orioles continued to be in a giving mood Saturday, the day after a three-run error by Adam Jones and a triple play by the Yankees helped secure a Bombers victory.
Baltimore ran itself out of a rally in the second inning when Nate McLouth, running from first base on a single off the right field wall by Manny Machado, ran through a stop sign by third base coach Bobby Dickerson and was a dead duck at the plate. Machado’s hit banged hard off the fence back to right fielder Ichiro Suzuki, who fed Robinson Cano, the best second baseman in the majors at the cutoff play, whose relay gunned down McLouth with plenty to spare.
The Yankees tied the score in the bottom of the second, due in part to another Orioles gaffe. A throwing error by Baltimore shortstop J.J. Hardy put Francisco Cervelli on second base with two out. Lyle Overbay brought Cervelli home with a soft single to center to make the score 2-2. The Yankees’ first run that inning came on Travis Hafner’s third home run of the season.
Jayson Nix was at shortstop again for Eduardo Nunez, who is sidelined with a bruised right wrist the result of being hit by a pitch Friday night. X-rays were negative. The Yankees also have yet to decide when Andy Pettitte’s next start will be. The lefthander continued treatments Saturday for back spasms.
Friday night’s triple killing in which Nix was the middle man was the Yanks’ first triple play in a home game in nearly 45 years. The previous time occurred May 3, 1968 against the Twins and catcher Johnny Roseboro and was turned by pitcher Dooley Womack to third baseman Bobby Cox to first baseman Mickey Mantle. Yes, that was the same Bobby Cox who managed the Braves to all those division titles in the 1990s and 2000s.
Nobody said it better than CC Sabathia, just as nobody pitched it better. The Yankees spent most of the past two months trying to shake the Orioles off their pant cuffs and finally did so Friday in advancing to the American League Championship Series, which will start immediately Saturday night at Yankee Stadium against the Tigers.
As Baltimore manager Buck Showalter said, there are just a handful of pitchers who are truly No. 1 starters and that Sabathia is one of those. Buck also mentioned Detroit’s Justin Verlander, who threw a complete-game shutout over Oakland to clinch the other AL Division Series. ALCS Game 3 could very likely be a matchup between the two of them.
Sabathia didn’t pitch a shutout, but he sure came close. The big lefthander was nothing short of brilliant in pitching a complete-game four-hitter, 3-1. All the hits were singles. He had a couple of walks and eight strikeouts in pitching to the Yankees to the next level by taking his own game to the next level. He pitched 17 2/3 of a possible 18 innings in his two starts in the series.
“That’s what I’m here for,” Sabathia said afterward. “That is what I play for.”
Perfect. That is the attitude an ace has to have. Looking back, maybe those two stints on the 15-day disabled list did wonders for Sabathia, who essentially had a month’s time off in the regular season. He certainly displayed an abundance of strength Friday against the Orioles, who ended up the regular season two games behind the Yankees and the ALDS two runs behind them. They played 23 games against each other in 2012 and were separated by four runs.
Sabathia had only one troublesome inning, the eighth, while working with a 3-0 lead. That was when the Orioles scratched out their run and threatened for more by loading the bases with one out. CC needed to bear down and did so effectively with a huge strikeout of Nate McLouth, who was a pest all series, and with major help from hobbling shortstop Derek Jeter, who charged a grounder by J.J. Hardy and threw him out at first base.
“I was trying to back off a little bit and not try to overthrow and leave the ball over the plate,” Sabathia said. “After I got a couple of runners on, that went out the window. I went back to being fired up and trying to be aggressive with fastballs. Obviously, that didn’t work; I was all over the place. That late in the game in that situation, I can go ahead and let it go and just be aggressive.”
“He was going so well that I didn’t want to pull him,” manager Joe Girardi said. “He’s our ace. He has been there, done that. This was vintage CC.”
A Yankees offense that sputtered much of the series came across with all the run support Sabathia would require. Who would figure a Mark Teixeira stolen base would help build a run? Ichiro Suzuki, who will play in his first ALCS since his Mariners opposed the Yankees 11 years ago, doubled home a run in the sixth.
The best sight, though, was Curtis Granderson belting a home run in the seventh, one of his two hits in the game. The Yankees need their bats to get hot. Granderson entered the game with one hit in 16 at-bats with nine strikeouts, so he was due to bust out. Now they need Robinson Cano (.091), Nick Swisher (.111) and Alex Rodriguez (.125) to follow suit.
Since the Tigers do not have a lefthander in their rotation, it remains to be seen where A-Rod, who was benched in ALDS Game 5 against a righthander, will fit in. That is one of the items on Girardi’s agenda for Saturday night when the ALCS begins. Friday was about the valuable left arm the Yankees relied on to get them into the next playoff round.
“We have so much belief in CC,” Girardi said. “You think of what he has done since he got here. It has been an unbelievable run for him.”
For 10 weeks, the Orioles whittled away a 10-game deficit in the American League East to the Yankees, eventually drawing even in mid-September. Back and forth the teams went all that month with Baltimore unable to unseat the Yankees from first place.
The two clubs wound up opposing each other in the AL Division Series in another see-saw skirmish that fittingly will go down to the wire. There is no more appropriate way for the Yankees and the Orioles to settle this business between them that on the field at Yankee Stadium Friday night in a winner-to-advance finale.
“It is pretty fitting,” Yankees manager Joe Girardi said. “It has been a grind the whole year. It has been a fight to stay ahead of this club the whole year.”
Game 4 Friday night went 13 innings with the Orioles coming back from a hard, 12-inning loss Thursday night to win, 2-1, in one of their patented one-run, extra-inning affairs. The Orioles are 17-3 postseason included in extras this year, but all three losses have been to the Yankees.
Each side used eight pitchers. It came down to David Phelps giving up a pair of doubles to Manny Machado and J.J. Hardy in the 13th for the deciding run. Jim Johnson, who blew a save opportunity Thursday night on the first of Raul Ibanez’s two dramatic home runs, retired the side in order in the bottom of the 13th.
For the second straight game, Yankees manager Joe Girardi pulled Alex Rodriguez for a pinch hitter against the right-handed Johnson. Ibanez had already been used off the bench in the ninth as a pinch hitter for Jayson Nix and grounded out. Batting for A-Rod in the 13th was fellow third baseman Eric Chavez, who lined out to Machado at third base to end the game.
Phelps entered the game in the 12th after Joba Chamberlain was struck in the right elbow by the top half of Matt Wieters’ shattered bat on the follow-through of his single to left field. Phelps got the next three batters out but was in immediate trouble in the 13th when Machado lined a double to right-center.
Nate McLouth, who had accounted for Baltimore’s run in regulation time with a homer run in the fifth off Yankees starter Phil Hughes, advanced Machado to third base with a grounder to the right side. It proved unnecessary when Hardy doubled to left-center. He also got to third on an infield out but was stranded as Adam Jones made the third out on a pepper shot.
Keeping the rally to one run kept the Yankees’ chances alive to tie the score with one swing as Ibanez had done the previous night. Mark Teixeira, Robinson Cano and Chavez came up short, which brings this tug of war between the two best teams in the AL East to an apt conclusion.
First, it was Ichiro Suzuki making like Fred Astaire or Gene Kelly dancing around the catcher to score a run. Next, it was Derek Jeter and Alex Rodriguez making like Daniel Day-Lewis and Johnny Depp in convincing the Orioles’ J.J. Hardy that a ball was caught instead of being a hit that should have scored him.
Baltimore rallied against Andy Pettitte in the bottom of the third inning to take a 2-1 lead. It could have been worse, except that Hardy didn’t get a full view of a grounder by Adam Jones slithering under Jeter’s glove and into left field for a single. A-Rod got into the act by feigning taking a throw from Jeter at the bag, so Hardy stopped, even though third base coach DeMarlo Hale was down the line waving him home.
It proved a big play because Matt Wieters popped up for the third out.