Results tagged ‘ Tom Hallion ’

Zeroes follow Yankees from Florida to Canada

At a time when losing is not an option, the Yankees suddenly cannot score. Their precarious position in the chase for an American League wild card slot only grew worse with their second straight shutout loss Thursday night on a long trip that now seems headed for nowhere.

One night after losing a 2-0 game to Tampa Bay when they left 11 runners on base, the Yankees had only seven base runners total in a 9-0 bashing by the Blue Jays. The Yankees had merely three hits in the game, and if not for the phenomenon called Gary Sanchez they would have had only one hit. Sanchez doubled and singled to jeep his torrid hitting going, but he could use company if the Yankees want to move into serious contention.

The loss made it official that the Yanks cannot win the AL East division title as they were eliminated. The Red Sox, who won again to extend their winning streak to nine games, are pretty close to wrapping up the division. Boston has a 5 1/2-game lead over Toronto with eight games remaining.

So the wild card is the Yanks’ only remaining playoffs entry, and they are still at the bottom of a six-club scrum. The Blue Jays maintained their lead for the first wild card berth, and the Yankees are behind the Tigers, Orioles, Astros and Mariners for the second position. 

The Yankees’ series is a hot ticket in Toronto with 47,016 people in attendance at Rogers Centre Thursday, but there was nothing hot about Yankees’ bats. They threatened with two outs in the first inning against lefthander Francisco Liriano (8-13) on the Sanchez double and two walks, but Chase Headley struck out.

An error by Blue Jays shortstop Troy Tulowitzki and a single by Jacoby Ellsbury was a promising start to the third inning, but Sanchez flied out to deep center, Billy Butler struck out and Didi Gregorius popped out.

After that, the Yankees had only two base runners with neither getting beyond first base.

Yankees starter Bryan Mitchell gave up three runs, but only one was earned due to an error by Butler at first base. Mitchell also hurt himself in his six-inning stint with four walks, one of which forced in a run.

The Jays unloaded on the Yankees’ bullpen with four runs in the seventh inning against Blake Parker on a two-run double by Jose Bautista and Tulowitzki’s second two-run single of the game. The next inning, Ben Heller was burned on a double by Devon Travis and a two-run homer by Josh Donaldson.

Heller then drew a warning from plate umpire Tom Hallion after hitting Bautista with a 0-2 pitch. I have no idea what Hallion was thinking. Heller had control problems throughout the inning, and the pitch that struck Bautista was a breaking ball. It was a case of a rookie pitcher struggling and not some sort of headhunting.

It was a loss that underscored two troubling issues for the Yankees this year — their play in games started by lefthanders and within their division. The loss dropped the Yanks’ record to 21-26 against lefty starters and 30-37 against AL East opponents.

It was also the Yankees’ sixth straight loss at Rogers Centre, their longest losing streak in that building in 23 years. Earlier this month, the Yankees began their stretch run by getting their first three-game sweep of the season, over the Blue Jays at Yankee Stadium. They have to find a way to regain that momentum.

Cooler heads prevail

Curious as to what Yankees manager Joe Girardi and catcher Russell Martin were talking to plate umpire Tom Hallion about after the Blue Jays’ Juan Bautista greeted reliever Rafael Soriano with a home run, his 40th, into the left field bleachers in the eighth inning Sunday?

It turns out that Martin disputed some of Hallion’s calls in the Bautista at-bat. Girardi joined the conversation to make sure Martin did not get ejected. Players and managers are not allowed to question balls and strikes. Plenty of umps with short fuses take no guff at all and throw them out of the game.

Hallion, however, kept his cool. He let Martin have his say and didn’t run him.

“I give Tommy credit for not tossing Russell out,” Girardi said. “Russell disagreed with a couple of calls. They discussed it, and we went forward from there. It turned out to be a good situation.”

Citizens Bank Stadium?

It wasn’t exactly what Camden Yards is like when the Yankees are in Baltimore, but Yankee Stadium had a fair share of Phillies fans in the seats for Thursday night’s finale of the 2009 World Series rematch, won by the Phils, two games to one. Who would have thought the Yankees’ only victory in the series was the game started by Roy Halladay?

The visitors from Philadelphia, many of whom were clad in the team’s color red, did not have much to cheer about the first three innings when Andy Pettitte retired the first nine batters in order. Along the way, Andy picked up two strikeouts to move into sole possession of second place on the franchise’s career list. The first punchout tied Pettitte with Ron Guidry for the runner-up spot, and he moved ahead of Gator with the second, career No. 1,779. Andy still has a ways to go catch the all-time leader, Whitey Ford, at 1,956.

Cheering could be heard when the Phillies struck for a run in the fourth on a single by Ryan Howard. It was unearned due to an error by Ramiro Pena, who was playing third base in place of Alex Rodriguez, again the designated hitter as he works his way back from tendinitis of the right hip flexor.

Yankees fans then began booing Phillies fans. This went back and forth again in the fifth when Shane Victorino pushed the Phils’ lead to 3-0 with a two-run home run.

The Yankees didn’t give their fans much to cheer about until the sixth. Held to two singles and a walk through five innings by Kyle Kendrick in his first career start against the Yankees, they put together a two-out rally on a walk to Mark Teixeira and singles by Rodriguez and Robinson Cano.

A-Rod, whose running of late has been gingerly, should have been dead at third base, but Howard inexplicably held the ball after cutting off right fielder Jason Werth’s throw and made no attempt for Rodriguez. Nothing came of it as Nick Swisher fouled out to third baseman Placido Polanco, who made a terrific catch sprawling across the tarpaulin.

Yankees fans took charge of the noise in the seventh when Pettitte struck out Howard with the bases loaded to end the inning. It was another milestone for Andy, who tied Bob Shawkey for fifth place on the Yankees’ career innings list at 2,493. Fourth place belongs to Lefty Gomez at 2,497.

With disgruntled Yankees fans leaving early, the Stadium sounded more like Citizens Bank Park in the ninth as Joba Chamberlain, Damaso Marte and Chan Ho Park let the Phillies pull away with four runs. The inning ended because a hard grounder by Ben Francisco struck Raul Ibanez running between second and third.

But none of the umpires apparently saw it. Derek Jeter pointed to Ibanez’s leg and ran off the field, followed by the rest of the Yankees. Phillies manager Charlie Manuel wondered what was going on. There were no Yankees on the field, yet there was no call by an umpire until after a conference among the four plate umpire Tom Hallion made an out sign. Truly weird.

There will be more of this cheering for both sides Friday night when the second installment of this year’s Subway Series comes to the Stadium. Yankees fans must hope to do a better job of drowning out the sounds of Mets fans than they did against the Phillies.