Results tagged ‘ Mark Buehrle ’

W’s continue to elude CC

If nothing else, CC Sabathia gave the Yankees length Wednesday night. Other than that, quite frankly, there was nothing else.

Sabathia pitched one out into the seventh inning, but once again he came up empty, even against longtime Yankees patsy Mark Buerhrle. The Yankees have not given Sabathia much run support this year, and while manager Joe Girardi claims CC could have two or three victories by now that 5.45 ERA says otherwise. It has gotten to the point that the Yankees need to score six runs for CC to win a game. True. It can happen. Look at Buerhle. His record is 4-2 despite a 6.00 ERA.

Toronto leads the league in runs scored, and the Blue Jays had their hitting cleats on again with 12 knocks in a 5-1 victory that ended several streaks. The big one from the Jays’ point of view was the 12-game losing streak Buehrle had going against the Yankees over the past 11 seasons. The lefthander allowed one run over five innings and is now 2-12 in his career against them.

The big one from the Yankees’ point of view was that of five straight winning series by dropping two of three in Toronto. It was still a good trip overall at 4-2 but somewhat dissatisfying because the Yankees were 3-0 at one point leaving Boston. They kept their hold on first place for the 14th straight day since April 23.

Another streak stopped was the lossless stretch by the rotation as Sabathia became the first Yankees starter to suffer a losing decision since he was beaten by the Mets April 25 10 games ago. The rotation had been 4-0 with a 2.25 ERA in the past seven starts since Masahiro Tanaka went on the disabled list.

Sabathia’s record now stands at 0-5 as he has gone winless for 13 months. The lefthander took the mound with a 1-0 lead, but he gave it up in the second inning by hanging a breaking ball to 9-hole hitter Ezequiel Carrera, who grounded a two-run single to right field.

A balk by Sabathia in the fourth inning led directly to another run on a single by Chris Colabello, the Triple A Buffalo call-up who had four hits Wednesday night and was 6-for-8 in the series.

Russell Martin, a one-time batterymate of Sabathia, had an even more productive series against his former team. He homered in the seventh inning in his second straight 3-for-4 game. Martin also had the game-winning hit as a pinch hitter Monday night. He was 7-for-9 in the series with two doubles, two home runs and three RBI. Martin, who also scored three runs and stole a base, entered the series batting .227 and finished it hitting .286.

The only positive streak that continued for the Yankees was that of Jacoby Ellsbury (1-for-4), who has hit in nine straight games. Infielder Jose Pirela, who sustained a concussion in spring training, was activated and doubled and singled his first two times up. Pirela took the place of fellow infielder Gregorio Petit, who was placed on the DL because of a bruised right hand, a result of being hit by a pitch Tuesday night.

So far, so good on Jeter’s last stand

Derek Jeter’s final homestand is off to a promising start for the Yankees, who beat the Blue Jays for the second straight night and capitalized on their usual spanking of Mark Buehrle. The Yanks’ dominance over the workhorse lefthander has covered a decade and shows no sign of letting up.

The Yankees stung Buehrle for five runs and eight hits and two walks in six innings to post their 12th consecutive winning decision against him. Buehrle has not defeated the Yankees since April 10, 2004 with the White Sox. His overall record against the Bombers is 1-14 with a 6.21 ERA in 120 1/3 innings, including 1-8 with a 5.94 ERA at Yankee Stadium.

This has been a see-saw season for Buehrle. Remember, his record was 10-1 in early June. Friday night’s loss dropped his record for the season to 12-10. Four of those losses have been to the Yankees. Hiroki Kuroda continued his strong second half with 6 2/3 sturdy innings and ran his record to 11-9.

Jeter delighted the Stadium crowd of 40,059 with two singles and had fans on their feet with a flyout to the warning track in left field in the seventh inning.

There was a downside to the game, however, as Jacoby Ellsbury was forced out of the game and may be sidelined for an indefinite period because of a strained right hamstring.

The Blue Jays had given Buehrle a 2-0 lead by the time he took the mound, thanks to Edwin Encarnacion’s two-run home run off the left field foul pole in the top of the first inning. The Yanks cut the margin in half in the bottom half on a double by Ellsbury and singles by Jeter and Brian McCann, but a bigger rally was snuffed when Mark Teixeira grounded into a double play.

Ellsbury thrust Kuroda and the Yankees into the lead in the third inning by following a leadoff single by Ichiro Suzuki with his 16th home run. Ellsbury got his third RBI of the game in the Yankees’ two-run fourth. Batting with the bases loaded and one out, the center fielder beat the play at first base to avoid being doubled up as a run scored. A second run immediately followed on an errant throw to first base by Jose Reyes.

Ellsbury remained on the bases the rest of the inning but did not come onto the field for the fifth inning. He was to undergo a magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) exam later in the evening.

Kuroda overcame the first-inning homer by Encarnacion and pitched well for the most part into the seventh. The Blue Jays got an unearned run in the fifth. Reyes singled, stole second and continued to third on a throwing error by McCann. Jose Bautista notched his 100th RBI of the season on a grounder to third base.

Bautista had another RBI situation in the seventh when he came up with two out and runners on second and third. Kuroda, who gave up a single to Anthony Gose and a double by Reyes with two down, was replaced by lefthander Josh Outman, who got ahead 0-2 in the count against Bautista before walking him to fill the bases.

Esmil Rogers then came in against the dangerous Encarnacion and retired him on a grounder to shortstop. The Yanks’ bullpen came through again in the eighth. Adam Lind led off with a single and was balked to second.

Dioner Navarro put a scare into the crowd with a fly ball to right field that Suzuki caught on the warning track. Lind crossed to third but was stranded as Adam Warren took over and struck out Danny Valencia and Munenori Kawasaki. Warren followed that with a 1-2-3 ninth for his third save.

Meanwhile, the Royals were losing, which meant the Yankees might have cut the deficit in the wild-card standings to four games with nine to play.

Yanks bounce back and bounce Buehrle again

Things were looking so bad for a while there Friday night for the Yankees that it appeared they might not win a game started by Mark Buehrle. The lefthander, who has not beaten the Yankees in 10 years, looked as if he might end that streak over the first six innings.

Then came the seventh and then went Buehrle. He was working on a four-hit shutout entering the inning but faced four batters without getting an out and left the game in his usual circumstance against the Yankees — trailing.

The five spot the Yankees put on the board in the seventh meant that Buehrle would fail to get a winning decision in his 16th straight start against them, the second such losing streak only to a 19-start stretch by Slim Harriss.

Brian McCann, who came within inches of winning Thursday’s game at Detroit that became a tough loss for the Yankees, got the seventh inning started for the Yanks with a double off the right field wall. Buehrle then gave up his first walk, to Carlos Beltran.

Brett Gardner might have been expected to bunt the runners over, but manager Joe Girardi had him swinging away, and it paid off. Gardner ripped a double to left that scored McCann, and Beltran followed him home on an errant relay by second baseman Steve Tolleson that gave the Yankees the lead.

Matters just got worse for Buehrle, who gave up an infield single to Ichiro Suzuki and after leaving the game watched his catcher, Dioner Navarro, try to pick Gardner off third base and throw the ball into left field.

Jacoby Ellsbury hit a rocket over the right field wall for his 14th home run and a 5-1 Yankees lead. It came off lefthander Aaron Loup, the first he had ever yielded to a left-handed batter in the major leagues. Ellsbury continued his torrid trip in which he is batting .440 with a 1.000 slugging percentage, one triple, four home runs and nine RBI in 25 at-bats.

The Blue Jays made it 5-3 in the bottom of the seventh, but the Yankees went on to win, 6-3, with Chase Headley adding a bomb of a home run to right-center in the ninth. It was an impressive victory for the Yanks coming off Thursday’s low ebb. They moved 3 1/2 games ahead of the Blue Jays and dropped Toronto back to .500 at 67-67.

Buehrle’s career record against the Yankees fell to 1-13. Only one other pitcher in major-league history was worse against them, Red Ruffing, who was 1-16 during his years with the Red Sox. Ironically, he was traded to the Yankees and became one of the franchise’s great aces and was elected to the Hall of Fame in 1967. It was also Buehrle’s eighth straight loss this season. He had a 10-1 record as of June 1 and is now 11-9.

Chris Capuano finally got his first victory with the Yankees. He gave up a home run to Juan Bautista in the fourth but stayed close with Buehrle into the seventh. Errors by Derek Jeter and Brett Gardner were responsible for one of the two runs Capuano gave up in the seventh.

Lefthander Josh Outman, the reliever the Yankees obtained from the Indians Thursday, made his first appearance and allowed a pinch-hit single to Munenori Kawasaki, but David Robertson got a four-out save to get the Yankees an uplifting victory to start the Labor Day weekend.

Taking turns messing up

No sooner had the Yankees allowed the Blue Jays to pull in front by the score of 6-0 due in part to shabby defense that Toronto did the same thing in return and watched its sizable lead disappear.

Mark Buehrle seemed poised to end his personal nine-game losing streak against the Yankees only to watch his career record against them remain at 1-11 as he was hung with a no-decision. Errors by left fielder Melky Cabrera and shortstop Jose Reyes were key factors in the Yankees’ putting up a five-spot in the seventh inning to knot the score at 6.

Derek Jeter, whose hesitating play in the fifth contributed to a three-run inning by the Blue Jays, began the Yankees’ comeback in the sixth with a solo home run (No. 2) off Buehrle. After Brian McCann doubled with one out in the seventh, Brian Roberts (No. 3) also took Buehrle deep, and Toronto’s lead was cut in half.

Then things got really crazy after Yangervis Solarte made the second out. Brett Gardner was credited with a double when Cabrera couldn’t hang on to the ball while attempting a sliding catch in shallow left field. Righthander Dustin McGowan replaced the left-handed Buehrle and had all four batters he faced reached base.

Jacoby Ellsbury followed a walk to Jeter with a single to left that scored Gardner. Jeter and Ellsbury were able to advance a base apiece on an errant throw to the plate by Cabrera. Mark Teixeira hit a grounder up the middle that was gloved by Reyes, who had plenty of time to throw out Tex but hurried his peg that bounced past first baseman Edwin Encarnacion for an error that allowed Jeter and Ellsbury to score and tie the game.

Alfonso Soriano kept the line moving with a single to left, which prompted another pitching change. Lefthander Aaron Loup got the final out by gloving a hard grounder to the box by Carlos Beltran.

So it was somewhow appropriate that the game should end on an error, which it did in the bottom of the ninth. Reyes, who had a miserable game in the field with two errors, doubled to lead off the ninth against Adam Warren. Cabrera, whose 20-game hitting streak against the Yankees came to an end, dropped a sacrifice bunt toward third baseman Yangervis Solarte, whose throw to first base sailed past Roberts covering as Reyes ran all the way home with the winning run.

The Yankees’ losing streak stretched to four games as they fell 3 1/2 games behind the first-place Blue Jays in the American League East.

Giveaway outs = giveaway runs

The last thing a team struggling with the bat needs to do is give the opposing team extra outs that often result in gift runs. Such was the case for the Yankees in the fifth inning Tuesday night at Toronto.

Oddly, it was Derek Jeter, master of alertness on the field, who was guilty of an infraction that ultimately cost the Yankees three runs and dumped them into a 6-0 hole against their old punching bag, Mark Buehrle.

Jeter was not solely at fault. Third baseman Yangervis Solarte was also implicated in what can be described as a rookie mistake. With two out and runners on first and third, David Phelps seemed to get out of the inning when Edwin Encarnacion hit a grounder to Jeter, who turned toward third seeking an inning-ending forceout.

Solarte was nowhere near the bag, however. Jeter then looked toward second base before finally firing to first base in an attempt to get Encarnacion, who beat the play. No error was charged, but the hesitation fielder’s choice loaded the bases for the Blue Jays and kept the inning alive.

Colby Rasmus immediately followed with a drive off the right field wall missing a grand slam by inches for a two-run single. A third run scored when Rasmus beat Jeter back to the bag at first base in a rundown. Jeter appeared to lose a step chasing Rasmus as he eyes Encarnacion coming down the third base line.

Ragged defense must be avoided at all times, but especially when runs are tough to come by, which they have been for the Yankees. They entered the game averaging merely four runs per game and trailing opponents by 35 runs for the season.

Yanks trump Blue Jays in home runs

Nice weather has finally reached the area. You could tell the difference with all the home runs hit at Yankee Stadium Thursday night. Though it cooled off somewhat in the latter innings, a game time temperature of 65 degrees signaled the possibility that the ball would carry much better than in previous homestands when temperatures barely got out of the 40s.

Over the first four innings, five baseballs left the yard. Hiroki Kuroda, who handled the Blue Jays with ease last week at Toronto, was down quickly, 3-0, on a two-run home run in the first inning by Edwin Encarnacion and a solo shot in the second by Brett Lawrie. Encarnacion’s blow made up for a terrible series last week at Rogers Centre in which he was hitless in 12 at-bats.

But just as quickly, the Yankees struck back with the long ball against Mark Buehrle, a good sign for the team against a lefthander. Southpaws have been tough on the Yanks, particularly lately with Kevin Youkilis out of the lineup. He did not play again Thursday night because of continuing back stiffness.

Vernon Wells hit a towering drive over the center field wall leading off the second inning for his sixth home run, which tied him for the club lead. Temporarily, that is. Robinson Cano thrust the Yankees in front in the third inning with a three-run shot to right. Cano’s seventh home run this season was career No. 184, which tied him with Charlie Keller for 18th place on the Yankees’ all-time list. Next up in 17th place at 185 is Paul O’Neill.

Cano also moved up the Yankees’ career RBI list and into the top 10. His 732 RBI tied him with Elston Howard for 10th place. Give Cano credit. This was the time of year with all the injured Yankees that Cano might have felt pressure to do too much and chased bad pitches, but he has displayed patience and is off to a very productive start, batting .322 with seven homers and 17 RBI.

A lot of that has to do with the protection Cano has received in the lineup from Wells (.293, six home runs, 10 RBI) and Travis Hafner (.300, five home runs, 10 RBI), who was on the bench Thursday night with the Jays starting a lefty.

Francisco Cervelli continued the Yankees’ home run parade with a shot off the barrier in front of the left field bleachers. The catcher’s third home run of the season apparently upset Buehrle, who hit Cervelli with a pitch in his next at-bat. After yielding a single to the next batter, Ichiro Suzuki, Buehrle was taken out of the game and said something to Cervelli at third base as he headed for the dugout.

The Yankees are hopeful they can get the other Francisco, Ben, going. Hafner’s designated hitter partner has struggled. He got a hit with a bunt single that was not awarded until an umpire was overruled by one of his mates. First base umpire Chad Fairchild called Francisco out at first base on a bang-bang play. Replays indicated Encarnacion at first base may not have had control of the ball as Francisco hit the bag. Second base ump Jeff Kellogg, the crew chief, huddled the umpires together, and the call was reversed.

It was the proper call, but Blue Jays manager John Gibbons didn’t think so. He got ejected by Kellogg after a heated argument. The season has not gone the way Gibbons hoped back in spring training. The Jays, who had been picked in many preseason publications as the favorite in the American League East, are 9-14 and have lost three of four games to the Yankees.

Francisco was just thankful to be standing on a base instead of walking back to the dugout. For all of Gibbons’ screaming, the play was not involved in the scoring. Thanks to the weather in the early innings, this was a home run game, and despite the perception that the Yankees are weaker in the power department their 31 homers are the most in the league.

Lineup adjustment works ‘Wells’

Yankees manager Joe Girardi is known to be stubborn in some of his thinking, for which he is often taken to task, but I generally believe he does a thorough job when constructing a batting order.

The skipper tried a different wrinkle Saturday at Toronto’s Rogers Centre. Girardi had been using Vernon Wells in the 2-hole when the opposition starts a left-handed pitcher to break up the lefty-hitting Brett Gardner and Robinson Cano. Saturday, however, Girardi decided to use Ben Francisco in that spot and keep Wells to the 5-hole where he usually bats against a right-handed starter.

Girardi’s reasoning was sound. Wells had a home run and another hit Friday night and had great career numbers against Blue Jays starter Mark Buehrle, so it seemed a good idea to keep him in an RBI slot in the lineup. The move might have also been designed to get Francisco going. The right-handed part of the designated hitter platoon with Travis Hafner is off to a slow start (.154 entering play) and perhaps situated between Gardner and Cano might get a better assortment of pitches.

It worked out fine for Wells, who had another good game against Buehrle, with a home run off the left field foul pole in the second inning, plus an opposite-field single in the fifth. Wells is a .489 career hitter against Buehrle with four doubles, one triple, two home runs and nine RBI in 47 at-bats.

The lineup change did not work out as well for Francisco as he took a 0-for-4 collar against Buehrle.

Postseason scenarios vary for Yankees

Two hours before the scheduled first pitch Tuesday night at Yankee Stadium and rain is falling steadily. The last thing the Yankees want is to have to play a split-admission doubleheader Wednesday. Tuesday night’s game is bound to have a late start. The Yanks will do whatever is in their power to get this game in.

A pal of mine suggested that the Yankees could wait until the Orioles-Rays game was over before deciding whether to play. If the Orioles lose, the Yanks would win the division and could care less about Wednesday. Playing two games wouldn’t matter in that case. But if the Orioles should win, the Yankees would want to get Tuesday’s game in at all costs.

A major goal of the Yankees is to win home-field advantage in the first two rounds of the playoffs, which is definitely possible. They are tied with the Rangers for the best record in the American League and own the tiebreaker over Texas because they won the season series. If the Yankees win home-field advantage, they would open the postseason against the Wild Card team Sunday at the Wild Card club’s field. If the Yankees win the AL East but are second to Texas in record, they would open the AL Division Series Saturday at Detroit. If they finish tied with the Orioles atop the AL East, the Yankees would travel to Baltimore for a one-game playoff for the division title. The winner would advance to the ALDS. The loser would play the Athletics in the Wild Card Playoff Friday.

Got all that?

Me, neither.

Red Sox manager Bobby Valentine’s lineup for Tuesday night had both Jacoby Ellsbury and Dustin Pedroia in it. The Sox took a lot of heat from people around the Orioles for the Triple-A type lineup it fielded Monday night in a 10-2 Yankees victory. Valentine sat Ellsbury because he has struggled recently against lefthanders, and the Yankees were starting CC Sabathia, against whom Ellsbury is a career .214 hitter. Pedroia was out with a fractured left ring finger. He was not supposed to play Tuesday night but talked himself into the lineup if for no other reason than to shut up the Orioles.

The Red Sox have been the longest-running soap opera in the major leagues this season.

Sabathia earned his 15th victory and reached the plateau for the eighth time and sixth season in a row. CC is the only big-league pitcher with at least 15 victories in each of the past six seasons (2007-12). He is the first Yankees pitcher to reach 15 victories in four straight seasons since Ron Guidry (1977-80). Sabathia is also one of six Yankees pitchers to do so in each of first four years with club and the first since Allie Reynolds did it in six consecutive seasons (1947-52). CC went eight innings to get to 200 innings for the sixth straight season (2007-12) and seventh time in his career, joining the Marlins’ Mark Buehrle as only lefthanders to reach the plateau each year since 2007.