Results tagged ‘ Kirby Yates ’

HOPE Week: ‘Harlem Grown’

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The Yankees continued their eighth annual HOPE Week (Helping Others Persevere & Excel) Wednesday by recognizing the organization Harlem Grown and its founder, Tony Hillery. Pitchers Masahiro Tanaka, Andrew Miller, Michael Pineda, Ivan Nova, Chasen Shreve, Kirby Yates and Richard Bleier, catcher Austin Romine and infielder-outfielder Rob Refsnyder visited the Harlem Grown garden and greenhouse on 134th Street, surprising Hillery and a class of kindergarten students from P.S. 125.

Tony and the children were treated to a salad prep demonstration from celebrity chef Andrew Carmellini. Then the group got down in the dirt, planting seeds and doing work in the garden. Additional participants included hip-hop artists “The Lox” (featuring group members: Jadakiss, Sheek Louch and Styles P), Miss New York USA 2016 Serena Bucaj and singer-songwriter Kany Garcia. During the ceremonies, the Yankees presented a donation to Harlem Grown on behalf of the New York Yankees Foundation.

Hillery, a Bronx resident, was ready for a career change after the 2009 recession and decided to leave behind his limousine business to do something to help the next generation. While volunteering at Harlem’s P.S. 175 (where most students come from female-led, single-parent homes), Hillery noticed the utter lack of healthy food options in the neighborhood. He counted 53 fried chicken restaurants within a three-block radius of the school without a single place to get a fresh salad.

“I was like most of us, reading and hearing that low income people don’t want to eat healthy,” Hillery said. “But when you go to where they live, there is pizza, fried chicken, fried fish, fried everything, and absolutely no healthy food.”

Hillery took an abandoned lot across the street from the school and reclaimed it through an application to the Parks Department, turning the space into an “urban farm” with farming skills he learned from the internet. He started a program called Harlem Grown, which inspires youth to live healthy and ambitious lives through hands-on education in urban farming, sustainability and nutrition.

The programs have expanded to include one-on-one mentoring, operation of a hydroponic greenhouse (which produces arugula, kale, Swiss chard and basil among other items), a summer camp, cooking workshops, and training for Harlem parents to learn about urban agriculture. All of the food produced by Harlem Grown is given to the children to take home or sold to local establishments for revenue that is reinvested in the program.

Bullpen had leaky boat on 4-6 trip

Too bad it stopped raining Sunday in Baltimore.

Had the game not been resumed, it would have been a 1-0 victory for the Yankees. The Orioles had runners on first and second with one out in the bottom of the eighth inning when a thunderstorm held up play for 1 hour, 37 minutes. Since the Yankees had scored their run in the third inning and not the top of the eighth, the game would have been considered official and not suspended.

No such luck for the Yankees as the skies cleared. Still, with previously invincible Aroldis Chapman entering the game the odds still favored the Yankees, especially after he struck out Jonathan Schoop for the second out. Francisco Pena, son of Yankees first base coach Tony Pena, kept Baltimore’s hopes alive with a sharp single to right field that loaded the bases.

Chapman got ahead in the count 0-2 to pinch hitter Matt Wieters, who turned a 99-mph fastball around on the next pitch for a single through the middle that scored the tying and go-ahead runs. An insurance run scored when center fielder Jacoby Ellsbury’s throw bounced over catcher Brian McCann with Chapman failing to back up the plate. It was the first blown save for Chapman this season in 10 opportunities.

That run proved inconsequential because Orioles closer Zach Britton retired the Yankees in order in the ninth for his 17th save. The 3-1 loss ended a 4-6 trip for the Yankees and a 12-game stretch against American League East opponents in which they were 4-8.

The bullpen, which had been considered a Yankees strength, had some holes on the trip. The relief squad had a 1-2 record with three saves and a 6.15 ERA in 26 1/3 innings. It was even worse over the final six games — an 8.40 ERA in 15 innings. In the three-game set at Camden Yards, the pen blew late-inning leads of 5-2 and 1-0 in losses and came within one run of blowing a 7-0 lead in the Yanks’ lone victory in the series.

Dellin Betances had a particularly rough ride. In four appearances on the trip, the righthander was 1-2 with a 9.53 ERA. He allowed six earned runs and seven hits in 5 2/3 innings, and in his one winning decision Thursday night at Detroit in a rain-makeup game he, Andrew Miller and Chapman combined to turn a 5-1 lead into a 5-4 squeaking victory.

Sunday starter CC Sabathia pitched five scoreless innings, but six walks shoved his pitch count to 111 one batter into the sixth, once again forcing manager Joe Girardi to send for reinforcements a little more than halfway through the game. CC twice struck out major-league home run leader Mark Trumbo with the bases full.

Kirby Yates finished the sixth by retiring the side. Betances withstood a leadoff single in the seventh for a clean inning but started the eighth with a walk to Mark Trumbo, who had struck out three times against Sabathia, and giving up a single to Chris Davis before striking out Nolan Reimold before the rains came.

At least the Yankees’ offense woke up in Baltimore. The Yanks had 36 hits in the series, including 10 Sunday but they left 10 on base in going 1-for-11 (.091) with runners in scoring position. Breaking out of slumps during the series were Alex Rodriguez, who had 6-for-13 (.462) with a home run and three RBI, and Brett Gardner, who had 7-for-13 (.538) with two runs, two doubles and a stolen base.

Yanks’ offensive woes cost Tanaka 1st loss in 11 starts

Game by game as the Yankees’ offense continues to sputter fans have to wonder when their team will hit rock bottom. Technically, that was back after the games of May 5 when the Yankees’ record was 9-17. A 13-5 run that included a six-game winning streak got the Yankees back to .500 at 22-22 May 24, but they have been free falling again in losing six of the past eight games.

A new version of rock bottom has come on the current trip as the Blue Jays finished off a three-game sweep at Toronto’s Rogers Centre Wednesday night with a 7-0 victory that handed Masahiro Tanaka his first loss of the season in 11 starts. The loss was tagged to Tanaka, but it was hardly his fault.

The righthander allowed only one earned run in six innings. An error by center fielder Jacoby Ellsbury led to an unearned run in the fifth. It was a 2-0 game when Tanaka departed before the Blue Jays put up a five-spot in the seventh off Kirby Yates and Nick Goody on two-run singles by Edwin Encarnacion and Justin Smoak book-ending an RBI double by Michael Saunders.

The feeble Yankees offense had scant chance to come back from that. They left nine runners on base and were 1-for-8 with runners in scoring position as they sustained their fourth shutout loss of the season. It was an unproductive series in general for the Yankees, who had two hits in 20 at-bats (.100) with runners in scoring position, neither of which scored a run but merely advanced a runner one base each.

This offensive malaise has hit epidemic proportions for the Yankees on the 2-5 trip in which one of their two victories came in a game in which they had just one hit. And if there is any finger-pointing to do, Yankees fans would need both hands to count the culprits.

Apart from Ellsbury (.320/.407/.493 last month) and Carlos Beltran (nine doubles, eight home runs in May), who had two hits apiece in the series finale, the Yankees’ failures with the bats have been top to bottom in the lineup. The collective slump has a come at a time when the pitching has kept the team in games for the most part, including Wednesday night for six innings at least.

Most glaring, however, has been the relative quiet of Alex Rodriguez and Mark Teixeira, the power duo that carried the Yankees in the first half last year. After the Yankees’ 52nd game of 2015, which was also June 1, A-Rod and Tex were batting a combined .257 with 18 doubles, one triple, 26 home runs and 66 RBI in 343 at-bats. The Yanks’ record was 27-25. Through 52 games this season, the pair have teamed to hit .181 with nine doubles, no triples, nine homers and 18 RBI in 254 at-bats. The Yanks’ record is 24-28.

Again, it is not fair to level all the blame on just those two aging sluggers. There are plenty of others who have yet to live up to expectations.

Yanks homers give Chapman a chance to close

Yankees fans got their first look at Aroldis Chapman in pinstripes Monday night. The lefthander was everything as advertised with gun readings in triple figures, but there was some rust as well befitting a pitcher who sat out a 30-day suspension at the start of the season for violating Major League Baseball’s domestic violence policy.

Of the 17 pitches Chapman threw in the ninth inning, six were 100 miles per hour or faster — four topped out at 101 and the other two were at 100. After quick strikeouts of the first two batters of the inning, pinch hitter Paulo Orlando ripped a double to center field on what at 90 mph was probably a changeup.

That was impressive for Orlando, who was on the bench all night and then was told to go up and try to hit a guy throwing 100 mph regularly. Alcides Escobar followed with a sharply-struck single past Didi Gregorius at shortstop to drive in Orlando before Lorenzo Cain was out on a pepper shot to Chapman.

In the 6-3 victory, the Yankees figured out a way to solve their dilemma of hitting with runners in scoring position — just come up with no one on base let alone in scoring position and hit the ball over the fence.

That approach worked very well against Royals righthander Chris Young, not the former Yankees outfielder but the journeyman pitcher who was one of Kansas City’s World Series heroes last year. The Yanks bashed five solo home runs off Young in 2 2/3 innings.

Brian McCann began the assault with two out in the first inning. After the Royals tied the score in the second on a homer by Alex Gordon, Carlos Beltran led off the bottom of the inning by taking Young deep. Beltran was just getting started it seemed.

Brett Gardner and Aaron Hicks started things off in the third with bombs to right field. Two outs later, Beltran connected again for his 38th multi-homer game (all but one are two-homer games). That marked the first three-homer inning for the Yankees since May 25 last year, also against KC and Jeremy Guthrie, by Gardner, McCann and Chase Headley.

That was it for Young, who tied a dubious franchise record for home runs allowed in a single appearance and departed the game with a swollen 6.68 ERA. Such an outing did not bode well for the defending World Series champs because they have had just as hard time as the Yankees scoring runs this year. KC entered play with only one more run scored than the Bombers.

The Royals might have been better off starting Dillon Gee, who gave up only one run on a sacrifice fly by Hicks in 5 1/3 innings.

Yankees manager Joe Girardi was hoping Ivan Nova, starting in place of disabled pitcher CC Sabathia, could give the Yankees at least 75 pitches. Nova did even better than that (81 pitches), but his own error probably cost him a shot at a winning decision.

Nova missed the bag taking a throw from Mark Teixeira while covering first base on a grounder by Escobar and lost a precious out. When left-handed Eric Hosmer came to the plate with two down in the fifth, Girardi brought in lefthander Phil Coke to face the Royals first baseman who flied out to the left field warning track. Failing to pitch a full five innings to qualify for a victory, Nova was hung with a no-decision despite a first-rate effort.

The victory went to Kirby Yates (2-0), who pitched scoreless, one-hit ball for 1 2/3 innings. It was also a big night for rookie Ben Gamel, who singled in his first major-league plate appearance in the eighth.

The Yankees finished the game 0-for-2 with runners in scoring position, but they enjoyed their new formula for scoring.

Sabathia gem ends six-game skid

That was not the old CC Sabathia on the Camden Yards mound for the Yankees Wednesday night but rather the CC Sabathia of old, the stud they counted on to stop long losing streaks. Reaching back into his past, the 6-foot-7 lefthander provided an outing worthy of a true stopper.

With seven shutout innings, Sabathia did his part in making the Yankees’ six-game losing streak history. Mixing his best changeup of the season with sliders, sinkers and cut fastballs and aided by three double plays turned behind him, Sabathia held the Orioles at bay and kept the Yankees in the game long enough to figure a way to get to Orioles starter Tyler Wilson, who matched CC in throwing up zeroes over the first five innings.

The Yanks’ feeble offense of late awakened in the sixth with the help of some needed breaks. Baltimore center fielder Adam Jones’ failure to get the ball out of his glove after a catch of a Carlos Beltran fly ball gave the Yankees a run as Jacoby Ellsbury, who had a perfect night in his 1,000th career game, was able to score from third. Brian McCann got the first of his three RBI with a single, and a throwing error by Wilson on a Starlin Castro squib in front of the plate accounted for another run.

The Yankees turned on the juice by batting around in the eighth against the Baltimore bullpen to produce four runs on a two-run double by McCann, a two-out, RBI single by Didi Gregorius and Brett Gardner getting hit by a pitch with the bases loaded. Gardner came out of the game in the ninth and may not play in Thursday night’s finale. Fortunately, X-Rays on Gardner’s right triceps were negative.

The 10-hit attack came on a needed occasion with Alex Rodriguez going on the 15-day disabled list because of a strained right hamstring. Beltran took over as the designated hitter with Adam Hicks starting in right field. Hicks was 0-for-4 and was the only Yankees player who did not get to run around the bases.

Ellsbury was 3-for-3 with two walks and two stolen bases. Gardner singled, scored a run and drove in one. Beltran had a sacrifice fly, a double and scored a run. Mark Teixeira reached base four times with a single and three walks and scored twice. McCann had two hits and three RBI. Gregorius had a hit, a run and an RBI. Even slumping Chase Headley had a single.

The 7-0 victory was the Yankees’ first shutout of the season on the winning side (they have been blanked twice).

The lone hiccup was that of Kirby Yates, who took over in the eighth inning and loaded the bases with one out on a double to Manny Machado and two walks, a cardinal sin for pitchers working with a seven-run lead. Manager Joe Girardi would have preferred to stay away from Dellin Betances or Andrew Miller in this game but had no choice but to bring in Betances, who has had a rough trip but ended the threat with a called strikeout of Chris Davis and getting Mark Trumbo on a foul pop.

Sabathia deserved every bit of run support the Yankees could give him. In his 203rd start for the Yankees, which tied him with Tommy John for 15th place on the all-time franchise list, Sabathia improved his career record against the Orioles to 19-7 with a 3.35 ERA, including 11-6 with a 3.63 ERA at Camden Yards. Much of Sabathia’s success in Baltimore was back in his prime. Since the start of the 2012 season, CC had eight winless starts at Camden Yards before Wednesday night.

Since joining the Yankees in 2009, Sabathia has won all four of his starts with the club trying to stop a losing streak of five or more games. His record on those occasions is 4-0 with an ERA of 0.86 over 31 1/3 innings in which he has allowed 21 hits and six walks with 30 strikeouts.

In his seventh start with the Yankees May 8, 2009 at Baltimore, Sabathia pitched a four-hit shutout — the 11th shutout of his career — to stop a five-game losing streak with a 4-0 victory. He ended a five-game skid May 31, 2013 with a 4-1 victory over the Red Sox, his fifth career game with at least 10 strikeouts and no walks. Two and a half weeks later June 16, 2013 at Anaheim, Sabathia halted another five-game losing streak and took a shutout bid into the ninth inning in an eventual 6-5 victory.

Wednesday night was like old times.

Nova still adapting to reliever’s role

The invincibility of the Yankees’ bullpen took a hit Wednesday night due mainly because of a pitcher not used to working in relief. In his previous appearance a week ago at Yankee Stadium, Ivan Nova earned his first career save with four shutout innings against the Astros.

So Yankees manager Joe Girardi had every reason to believe that they could remain within a run’s reach of the Blue Jays when he brought in Nova to hold them down in the eighth inning after Mark Teixeira’s third home run of the season had cut Toronto’s lead to 3-2. Nova, who was beaten out in the spring for a spot in the rotation by CC Sabathia, had a miserable time of it in yielding four runs as the Jays pulled away for a 7-2 victory.

“It’s different for him.” Girardi said about Nova’s new role, “but we need him to get outs.”

Toronto scored a run before Nova got an out that inning on doubles by Josh Donaldson and Jose Bautista. The two-base hit was big for the Jays, who have not homered in either game of the series but lashed out six doubles Wednesday night, including two by 9-hole hitter Ryan Goins, who had three hits and two RBI. After getting Edwin Encarnacion out on a ground ball, Nova gave up an RBI single to Troy Tulowitzki and Michael Saunders’ second double of the game on a late swing against the shift.

Russell Martin knocked in a run with a sacrifice fly for the second out, but Nova hit Justin Smoak in the foot with a pitch and gave up a run-scoring single to Goins. The four runs allowed by Nova raised his ERA from 0.00 to 7.20 and that of the overall bullpen from a league-best 0.84 to 2.31.

Michael Pineda got through six innings but threw 105 innings and was uncharacteristically wild with three walks. Goins’ first double with two out in the second put Toronto ahead. After tying the score in the fifth against J.A. Happ on a double by Ronald Torreys, a single by Austin Romine and an infield out, an errant throw by Torreys, who played shortstop with Didi Gregorius getting a night off, opened the door for two Toronto runs. Smoak scored on the wild throw, and Goins came home as Donaldson grounded into a double play.

Kirby Yates pitched a shutout seventh with two strikeouts to extend the bullpen’s scoreless string to 7 1/3 innings before Nova came unglued in the eighth.

Power bats sparking Yanks in early going

The long ball is back for the Yankees at Yankee Stadium, which they will continue to need if their starting pitchers cannot pick up the pace. One game after Michael Pineda lucked out behind a 16-run, 17-hit attack, Nathan Eovaldi struggled through five innings only to be saved by his teammates’ wiping away 3-0 and 5-2 deficits in an 8-5 victory over the Astros Thursday in the rubber game of the season-opening series.

Mark Teixeira’s second three-run home run in two days unlocked a 5-5 score in the seventh inning and was a great sign from a player who has a history of grim Aprils and is coming off a leg injury that ruined the final portion of his — and the Yanks’ — 2015 season. Tex is batting .364 with two homers and seven RBI after a somewhat lackluster spring training during which he expressed concern about his poor timing at the plate. He has come alive at the right time. His 193rd home run with the Yankees pushed him past Tino Martinez into 17th place on the club’s all-time list.

There were plenty of other good signs from the Yankees in a game that began with a 12-minute rain delay but stayed dry the rest of the way. Starlin Castro continued his torrid hitting with two more knocks, including his second home run. Brian McCann got on the board with this first homer of the season and is batting .455 with three RBI. Mac’s 50th homer since joining the Yankees was his 36th at the Stadium. The Yankees belted seven home runs in the series, including three in each of the past two games.

Alex Rodriguez still has not homered since his first at-bat of the exhibition season, but he broke out of a 0-for-9 season start with a single in the fifth that scored the tying run. A-Rod also singled in the seventh and scored on Tex’s homer, an opposite-field blow off Ken Giles thaty cleared the left-field wall. Jacoby Ellsbury entered the game batting .111 and contributed two doubles and an RBI.

For the second straight game, the Yankees got four scoreless innings from their bullpen. Wednesday night all four frames were handled by Ivan Nova. Thursday, it was an ensemble effort with a shutout inning apiece from Kirby Yates, Chasen Shreve, Dellin Betances and Andrew Miller, who earned his first save. Miller allowed two hits but struck out the side in showing no ill effects from a chip fracture in his right (non-pitching) wrist. Betances bounced back from the Opening Day loss with a 1-2-3, two-strikeout eighth.

Eovaldi’s five-inning start was a mixed bag. He did not walk anybody, which was good. He had seven strikeouts, which was good. But the righthander was touched for two home runs, which was not good, that came in successive at-bats in the second inning by Tyler White and Preston Tucker. White made it a four-RBI game when he singled in two more runs in the fourth as Houston regained its three-run lead. The power bats of McCann and Castro came to Eovaldi’s rescue, and he got off the hook when Rodriguez knotted the score in the fifth. It was A-Rod’s 1,066th RBI with the Yankees as he passed Jorge Posada for 11th place on the franchise’s career list.