Results tagged ‘ Tyson Ross ’

Nova supplies another gem

Considering the recent struggles of CC Sabathia, the year-long inconsistency of Phil Hughes, the periodic problems suffered by Andy Pettitte and the arm injuries to David Phelps, how important has Ivan Nova been to the Yankees’ rotation? The answer is pretty simple – huge.

Nova pitched another gem Saturday night as the Yankees bounced back from Sabathia’s latest shaky outing for a 3-0 victory over the Padres. This was a pitchers’ duel for the first six innings of a game that started in the late afternoon Pacific time that made life difficult for the hitters.

Padres righthander Tyson Ross retired the first 13 batters he faced – six by strikeout – before Lyle Overbay singled with one down in the fifth to become the Yanks’ first base runner. Ross took a one-hit shutout into the seventh when the proverbial bloop and a blast seemed to unglue the pitcher.

After Alfonso Soriano led off with a flare single to center, Curtis Granderson turned around a 1-0 fastball for a home run to right field, his first hit since coming back from his second stint on the disabled list Friday night. Ross, who had not walked a batter to that point, promptly walked the next two hitters and then walked to the dugout as Padres manager Buddy Black made a move to the bullpen.

Nova, meanwhile, kept right on throwing up zeroes through the seventh inning. He had some early tight spots but worked out of them each time. He gave up a pair of one-out singles in the first inning and a leadoff double in the second but did not allow a run either time. Same thing in the seventh when Nova yielded another leadoff double; for the game the Padres were hitless in eight at-bats with runners in scoring position against Nova.

Once again, the righthander had a very effective curve and a well-spotted fastball, which have sustained him over the past 10 weeks of solid pitching. Since coming off the disabled list in late May after recovering from an inflamed right triceps, Nova is 4-3 with a 2.08 ERA in 56 1/3 innings. He has allowed 45 hits and 15 walks with 56 strikeouts over that stretch. Opponents have hit only .216 off Nova since then. In his past five starts, Nova has pitched to a 1.66 ERA. He has looked every bit like the pitcher the Yankees thought he would turn into after a 16-4 rookie season in 2011.

The Yankees picked up a gift insurance run in the ninth for Mariano Rivera, who earned his 35th save. Why was the run a gift? Well, for a change the Yankees benefit from a bad umpiring call rather than being victimized, which they were at least twice Friday night and have been quite often over the course of the season.

The break came when Granderson, who led off the ninth with a single, hustled to get back to first base on a fly ball to center field by Overbay on a hit-and-run play. Granderson hit the brakes as the ball was caught by center fielder Alexi Amarista, who launched a tremendous throw to first baseman Yonder Alonso that appeared to have doubled-up Granderson. First base umpire Alonso Marquez thought otherwise and called Grandy safe. Video replays indicated the call was wrong.

The Yankees sure didn’t have to apologize. Granderson ended up stealing second base with two out and scored on a single through the right side by Jayson Nix. It was good to see Granderson get back into the mix after going 0-for-4 Friday night without getting the ball out of the infield.

Yanks savor an absolutely miraculous victory

There is an old saying among baseball writers that the sentence you never want to write is something along the lines of “Each side scored four runs in the 13th.”

It is naturally a reference to an unusually long game that seems as if it will never end. Well, I am getting to write that sentence today. The Yankees and the Athletics, both locked into tight races for postseason berths, got tangled in an old fashioned marathon Saturday at Yankee Stadium.

The game ended five hours and 43 minutes after the first pitch and memorably for the Yankees. Frankly, this was nothing short of a miracle. They blew early leads of 4-2 and 5-4 and were left for dead in the 13th when it appeared Oakland had taken an insurmountable lead. But the Yankees would simply not quit and because of that emerged with their most improbable victory this year.

That the winning run of the 10-9, 14-inning victory scored on an error is immaterial. The Yankees earned this victory, which kept them one game ahead of the Orioles in the American League East. The Birds had won yet another extra-inning game earlier at Fenway Park, 9-6, to raise their record in overtime games to 16-2. The Yankees improved to 5-3 in extras, which gives you an idea what kind of season Baltimore is having.

“It was an unbelievable comeback,” Yanks manager Joe Girardi said in the understatement of the season.

The back-and-forth game reached its zenith in the 13th when, that’s right, each side scored four runs. Oakland pounded three home runs in the top half, two off Freddy Garcia and one off Justin Thomas as the Yankees were well into a depleted bullpen.

But then, so were the A’s. Lefthander Pedro Figueroa could not get an out as the Yanks filled the bases in the bottom of the 13th on singles by Ichiro Suzuki, Alex Rodriguez and Robinson Cano. Righthander Pat Neshek, a side-winder, wild-pitched in a run and gave up another on a sacrifice fly by Eduardo Nunez.

Raul Ibanez, who had a remarkable game, pushed it into the 14th with a two-run home run. His first homer of the game as a pinch hitter in the fifth unlocked a 4-4 score. In the 12th, Ibanez led off with a double as he looked very much like the Hall of Fame outfielder Frank Robinson, who always broke out of the batter’s box after a hit with an idea of taking an extra base. Ibanez was out at the plate on a contact play later in the inning. There was a lot of contact as he slammed into catcher Derek Norris.

Cory Wade, the Yankees’ ninth pitcher of the game, supplied a scoreless 14th and was rewarded with a winning decision when the Yanks rallied once more in the bottom half. Eric Chavez started it with a single off righthander Tyson Ross. Melky Mesa made his major-league debut as a pinch runner and would figure dramatically later in the rally.

Derek Jeter bunted Mesa to second. After Suzuki was walked intentionally, Rodriguez singled sharply through the middle. Those remaining in the Stadium crowd of 44,026 figured the game was over and were stunned when Mesa did not score. The problem was that he missed third base rounding it and by the time he went back to tag it did not have the momentum to come home even though A’s center fielder Yeonis Cespedes hesitated before throwing the ball.

The situation loomed large when Ross made a graceful fielding play flagging down a high chop and recovering to get a force at the plate for the second out. Nunez followed with a grounder to the right side that behaved like a cue ball with a lot of English on it and clanged off the glove of first baseman Brandon Moss for a tough error but an error nonetheless as Ichiro trotted home.

The scene that followed was something out of a World Series. The Yankees mobbed the field the way they have over the years when a championship was secured. They are a long way from that, of course, but as the Yankees continue their march toward another invitation to the postseason dance they will look back on this game for inspiration.

Scoring change benefits Cano

Robinson Cano picked up an additional extra-base hit and run batted in before taking the field Friday night at Detroit’s Comerica Park. In response to an appeal by the Yankees, Major League Baseball overruled an official scorer’s decision during their 6-3 victory May 25 at Oakland.

A liner to right-center field with two out in the third inning by Cano was initially ruled an error on center fielder Coco Crisp, who got a glove on the ball but failed to hold it. Mark Teixeira then hit a two-run home run. MLB decided to credit Cano with a double and an RBI. The change was good news for Cano but not for Athletics pitcher Tyson Ross because it made all three Yankees runs that inning earned instead of unearned.

Another change announced by MLB was the starting time for the Yankees-Mets game June 24 at Citi Field. ESPN has selected the game for its Sunday Night Baseball cablecast and will begin at 8:05 p.m.

Trip off to a bounceless start

A lot of ailing Yankees bats got healthy Friday night as the team opened its longest trip of the first half with a convincing, 6-3 victory over the offensively woeful Athletics. Oakland entered the game batting .210 as a team and averaging 3.4 runs per game and did little to improve either statistic.

Ivan Nova, who had given up at least five earned runs in five of his previous six starts, limited the A’s to three runs and six hits, including two home runs, through seven innings in winning his ninth consecutive road game dating to June 20 of last year. The Yankees have won the past 12 games Nova has started on the road during which he is 9-0 with a 3.35 ERA.

It was also the Yankees’ seventh straight victory at the Oakland Coliseum where they have won 11 of their past 12 games and are 22-9 since 2004. A cool thing about this year’s schedule is that the Yankees go to Oakland twice.

As for the sickly bats, well, how do 12 hits, seven for extra bases, sound? On top of that, the noises came from bats that had been somewhat quiet lately. Mark Teixeira, who told reporters during the past homestand that he was going to swing for the fences more, crushed one of the Yanks’ three home runs and also doubled. Robinson Cano, who was coming off a 5-for-20 homestand, and Nick Swisher, who was in ruts of 0-for-13 and 3-for-32, also homered as left-handed batters had a field day against A’s righthander Tyson Ross. Lefty swingers had 9-for-15 with three doubles, three home runs and five RBI in Ross’ 4 1/3 innings.

A glaring error by Oakland center fielder Coco Crisp on a Cano liner allowed a run to score and prolonged the inning for Tex’s sixth homer as the Yankees jumped out to a 3-0 lead in the third. Considering Oakland’s weak lineup, falling behind by so much that early was asking for trouble, and the Yankees obliged.

After a perfect eighth inning by Boone Logan, Rafael Soriano pitched a shutout ninth for his fourth save in four opportunities. Except for Derek Jeter’s 0-for-5 with three strikeouts, this was an ideal way for the Yankees to start off this trip.