Tagged: Carlos Gomez

Beltran’s Sac Fly Ends Duel With Astros In Ninth

GAME 124

YANKEES 1, ASTROS 0

When two of the top three home run hitting teams in baseball meet at Yankee Stadium with its inviting short right-field porch it only stands to reason that the game will be  . . .  a pitchers’ duel!

Both the Yankees and Astros went against type but it was the Yankees who managed to win the game on Monday with a bases-loaded sacrifice fly in the bottom of the ninth.

Carlos Beltran scored Brett Gardner with the only run of the game with no outs in the ninth as New York edged Houston to reclaim a share of first place in the American League East in front of a paid crowd of 37,125 in the Bronx, NY.

Yankees right-hander Nathan Eovaldi and Astros right-hander Scott Feldman matched each other pitch for pitch for eight innings until Astros manager A.J. Hinch elected to use left-hander and former New York Mets headcase Oliver Perez to pitch the ninth.

Gardner was able to work a leadoff walk and, after Perez uncorked a wild pitch to allow Gardner to reach second, the Astros decided to walk Alex Rodriguez intentionally so Perez could face left-handed hitting Brian McCann.

But Perez ended up also walking McCann to load the bases and Hinch called upon right-hander Chad Qualls to pitch to the switch-hitting Beltran.

Beltran jumped on the first pitch and he lofted the ball into deep center-field to score Gardner easily with the game-winning run.

Left-hander Andrew Miller (2-2) struck out two batters in a scoreless ninth inning to earn the victory in relief. Perez (2-2) was saddled with the loss.

Eovaldi, who entered the game undefeated in his past 11 starts and winner of eight straight decisions, held the Astros to just four hits and three walks and he struck seven in eight innings.

He also managed to kept the Astros 0-for-7 with runners in scoring position. He was at his best in the seventh inning after Carlos Correa singled to open the frame and Colby Rasmus drew a walk.

Carlos Gomez laid down a sacrifice bunt to advance both runners but Eovaldi got out of the jam on a fielder’s choice off the bat off Evan Gattis that retired Rasmus roaming too far off second and Luis Valbuena flied out to center.

Feldman, 32, held the Yankees to six hits and he struck out six without issuing a walk in eight innings.

The Yankees had an excellent opportunity to score in the second when Didi Gregorius and Stephen Drew opened the inning with singles. But Feldman retired Drew on a fielder’s choice off the bat of Jacoby Ellsbury, Gardner struck out swinging and Rodriguez flied out.

The Yankees also had a chance to score with McCann on third and Beltran on first with no outs in the seventh. However, Greg Bird struck out swinging and Chase Headley hit a fly ball to medium center and Gomez was able to throw out the slow-footed McCann at home plate on a three-hop heave for an inning-ending double play.

With the victory the Yankees improved their season record to 69-55 and they jumped into a tie with the Toronto Blue Jays for the top spot in the division. The first-place Astros dropped to 69-57.

PINSTRIPE POSITIVES

  • Eovaldi has come a long way in his development as a starter this season. In his past 12 starts, he is 8-0 with a 2.93 ERA. He used his slider to compliment his 100-mile-per-hour fastball, splitter and curveball to keep the Astros guessing all night. The Yankees very quietly are developing a strong, young rotation in 26-year-old Masahiro Tanaka, 26-year-old Michael Pineda (who will be activated form the disabled list on Wednesday), 25-year-old Eovaldi, 27-year-old Ivan Nova and 21-year-old Luis Severino.
  • McCann was 3-for-3 with a walk in the game and he is now 5-for-11 (.455) with his new forward-leaning stance. In addition, McCann also managed to throw out pinch-runner Jake Marisnick attempting to steal on a strike out of Valbuena in the ninth inning. McCann has now caught 22 of 55 base-runners stealing this season, which puts him at a career-best 40 percent. McCann credits bullpen coach Gary Tuck. “We work every single day on it,” McCann told reporters. “I’ve gotten better as the season’s gone on. It’s good to put the ball on the bag there.”
  • Beltran’s night began with him striking out looking in the second and bouncing into a double play in the fourth. But he singled to advance McCann to third before McCann was thrown out to end the seventh. But his at-bat in the ninth was classic Beltran. Though Qualls is noted as a ground-ball pitcher, he was able to get under his first offering and hit it deep enough to get Gardner home with the winning run.

NAGGING NEGATIVES

  • Rodriguez was placed back into the lineup after two days off but he ended up 0-for-3 with a walk. He struck out in the sixth on a pitch that was about two feet outside and it nearly hit the dirt. Since Aug. 7, Rodriguez is 7-for-57 (.123) with two homers and six RBIs. That has dropped his season average from .281 to .259. As long as he slumps he is killing the Yankees offense.
  • Gardner and Ellsbury combined to go 0-for-7 with two strikeouts. If you add Rodriguez batting third they were a combined 0-for-10, which makes you wonder how Perez was able to walk Gardner and Rodriguez to begin the inning. The Yankees need their top three hitters to HIT! If they don’t, the team loses to last-place teams like the Cleveland Indians and surrenders first place in the A.L. East. It’s that simple.

BOMBER BANTER

The Yankees will not say it but I will: CC Sabathia has thrown his last pitch of the 2015 season and his career in real jeopardy. Sabathia, 35, was placed on the 15-day disabled list on Monday with inflammation in his right knee. Sabathia left Sunday’s game against the Indians with two out in the third inning due to pain in the knee, which was drained twice this season and received a cortisone shot last week. After making only eight starts last season, Sabathia underwent debridement surgery on the knee and was told that he would have to follow strict procedures to limit recurring pain. Sabathia, who is 4-9 with a 5.27 ERA in 24 starts this season, will see a specialist on Tuesday. But Yankees manager Joe Girardi told reporters, “Is it possible that he doesn’t pitch the rest of the year? It’s a possibility.” To replace Sabathia on the roster the Yankees announced that left-hander Chris Capuano had elected free agency and then signed a new Major-League contract with the team of the rest of the season.  . . .  Mark Teixeira, who has been nursing a deep bone bruise on his right leg, said on Tuesday that he was available to pinch-hit in Monday’s game. He was not used and Teixeira has now missed the team’s past six games with the injury. Girardi told reporters that he is hopeful Teixeira will be able to start Tuesday’s game.

ON DECK

The Yankees will continue their three-game home series with the Astros on Tuesday.

Nova (5-5, 3.72 ERA) will pitch for the Yankees. Nova is coming off a loss against the Indians on Thursday in which he was tagged for three runs on six hits and two walks while he struck four in five innings.

The Astros will start left-hander Dallas Keuchel (14-6, 2.37 ERA). Keuchel did not get a decision while giving up two runs on seven hits and one walk with five strikeouts in seven innings against the Tampa Bay Rays on Wednesday.

Game-time will be 7:05 p.m. EDT and the game will be broadcast nationally by the MLB Network and locally by the YES Network.

 

 

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Yankees’ 4-Run Fourth Keeps Tanaka Unbeaten

GAME 34

YANKEES 5, BREWERS 3

In a town famous for its beer Masahiro Tanaka came into Milwaukee and dropped a baseball version of a sake bomb on the Brewers on Friday.

Tanaka pitched into the seventh inning to push his record to 5-0 and the Yankees got a three-run home run from Yangervis Solarte as part of a four-run fourth inning as New York edged Milwaukee in front of a paid crowd of 40,123 at Miller Park.

Tanaka, 25, shut the Brewers out for five innings on only two hits before yielding a pair of runs on three hits in the sixth inning. But Tanaka had already proved to the Brewers earlier in the game that he can be a tough pitcher to crack under pressure.

The Brewers leadoff man Carlos Gomez drew a walk in the first, stole second and advanced to third on a sacrifice bunt by Scooter Gennett. But Jonathan Lucroy popped out and Aramis Ramirez struck out swinging to strand Gomez at third.

After the Brewers opened the sixth with a leadoff double by Gomez, an RBI double by Gennett and an RBI single by Lucroy off Tanaka to get the Brewers to within two runs, Ramirez hit into a double play and Mark Reynolds struck out looking.

In the seventh, Jean Segura hit a one-out single and Logan Schafer added another single to move him to third. Manager Joe Girardi replaced Tanaka on the mound with right-hander Adam Warren and Warren was able to get Tanaka off the hook by striking out pinch-hitter Lyle Overbay and catcher Brian McCann gunned down Schafer attempting to steal second in a double play that ended the rally.

Meanwhile, the Yankees were able to get to right-hander Yovani Gallardo (2-2) in the fourth when Carlos Beltran drew a leadoff walk and, one out later, McCann singled to center. Solarte then ripped Gallardo’s first offering into the right-field bleachers for his second home run of the season.

Brett Gardner then reached on an infield single and Brian Roberts laced a double down the right-field line that scored Gardner easily.

The Yankees added an insurance run in the eighth inning off right-hander Brandon Kintzler when Beltran looped an opposite-field double. Ichiro Suzuki pinch-ran for Beltran and stole third. He then scored on a slow-rolling groundoutoff the bat of Mark Teixeira.

David Robertson was touched for a solo opposite-field homer off the bat of Reynolds but he struck out the other three batters he faced to earn his sixth save in six chances on the season.

Tanaka finished the evening giving up two runs on seven hits and one walk and he fanned seven in 6 1/3 innings of work. Tanaka has now reached 41 consecutive regular-season starts dating back to Aug. 19, 2012 in Japan without suffering a loss.

Gallardo was touched for four runs on five hits and three walks and fanned seven in 5 2/3 innings.

The Yankees extended their winning streak to three games and now are 19-15 on the season. They are a half-game behind the first-place Baltimore Orioles in the American League East. The Brewers fell to 22-14.

PINSTRIPE POSITIVES

  • In Tanaka’s seven starts this season he has not pitched less than 6 1/3 innings, yielded more than eights hits or three runs and struck out less than five. He is 5-0 with a 2.57 ERA and 58 strikeouts and just seven walks in 49 innings. Tanaka has already learned that when teams lay off his split-finger fastball in the dirt he can go to his slider to get strikeouts. Even with all the hype and all the money Tanaka was paid he has proven he is well worth it.
  • Solarte, 26, went through a cold streak from April 19 through May 3 in which he was 5-for-34 (.147). But the rookie infielder has put together a four-game hitting streak and he is 6-for-14 (.429) with a home run and five RBIs in that span. His 18 RBIs lead the team. It also seems that he has replaced Kelly Johnson as the team’s primary third baseman. Solarte has started 21 games at third to Johnson’s 10 this season.
  • Roberts extended his hitting streak to six games and he is 9-for-24 (.324) with a home run and four RBIs in that stretch. That has raised Roberts’ season average from .213 to .253. It appears that Girardi’s faith in the 36-year-old second baseman is paying off.

NAGGING NEGATIVES

  • After going 5-for-11 (.455) in the three-game series against the Angels, Derek Jeter was 0-for-4 with a strikeout and he did not get a ball out of the infield on Friday. That dropped his season average to .252, which is low as it has been since he was hitting .250 on April 8.

BOMBER BANTER

A man interrupted play in the sixth inning by running onto the field to ask Jeter for a hug. Security personnel apprehended the man, who appeared to be in his 20s and was wearing a Ryan Braun jersey and a headband, without getting his hug from Jeter. “I said, ‘You’re going to get in trouble, man,'” Jeter told reporters. “And then he repeated that he wanted a hug, and I said, ‘Look out.’ That’s pretty much what happened.”  . . .  Right-hander Shawn Kelley was unavailable to pitch in Friday’s game due to stiffness in his lower back. Kelley underwent an MRI, which came back negative, after he experienced discomfort after the team’s flight from Anaheim, CA, to Milwaukee. Kelley said he hopes to be available to pitch on Saturday.  . . .  Former Yankees manager Joe Torre will have his No. 6 retired in a pregame ceremony scheduled for Aug. 23 at Yankee Stadium. Torre is also scheduled to be inducted into the National Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, N.Y. in July. Torre’s No. 6 will be the 17th number retired by the team and it leaves Jeter’s No. 2 as the only single-digit number that has not been retired. Of course, Jeter will have his No.2 honored in Monument Park sometime soon.

ON DECK

The Yankees will continue their three-game weekend interleague series with the Brewers on Saturday.

Former Brewer left-hander CC Sabathia (3-4, 5.75 ERA) will return to Miller Park after helping the Brewers make the playoffs in 2008. Sabathia, however, is nothing like the 2008 version. He was shelled for five runs on 10 hits and one walk in only 3 2/3 innings against the Tampa Bay Rays on Sunday.

He will be opposed by veteran right-hander Kyle Lohse (4-1, 2.72 ERA). Lohse surrendered just two runs on eight hits and one walk in 6 2/3 innings against the Cincinnati Reds on Sunday and he did not get a decision.

Game-time will be 7 p.m. EDT and the game will be broadcast by the YES Network.

 

Robertson’s Houdini Act in 11th Turned Tide

ALDS GAME 2: KEY MOMENT:


The New York Yankees and the Minnesota Twins are tied at 3 in the top of the 11th inning. Yankees manager Joe Girardi, noting that lefthand hitters Joe Mauer and Jason Kubel will lead off the inning, brings in lefthander Damaso Marte to pitch to them. He has righthander David Robertson warming up to pitch to righthand-hitting Michael Cuddyer, the third scheduled hitter.

MARTE vs. MAUER

Marte pitches carefully to Mauer, knowing that one bad pitch could mean a home run for the American League batting champion. On a 1-1 pitch, Marte throws a slider that runs to the outside corner. Mauer swings and hits a high popup down the leftfield line. Because Mauer is being played to pull, leftfielder Melky Cabrera has a long run to get to the ball.
Cabrera gets to the leftfield line just as the ball descends. The ball ticks off his glove, lands about four inches in fair territory and bounces into the stands. Leftfield umpire Phil Cuzzi makes a definitive sweeping motion to his left to indicate the ball was foul.
No one on the Twins disputes the call and the game resumes. Replays show that Cuzzi made the wrong call and Mauer should be at second with a ground-rule double.
Marte decides to rely on his fastball. Mauer fouls another off and the count remains 1-2. His fourth fastball of the at-bat hangs high on the outside corner and Mauer hits it into centerfield for a single.
MARTE vs. KUBEL

Kubel is 0-for-5 with four strikeouts on the night. He is 0-for-9 in the series with six strikeouts and he has not hit a ball out of the infield. 
Marte tries inside with a fastball and misses. He tries the outside corner with a fastball and gets a called strike. Marte then loses Kubel by missing twice on sliders that sweep outside the strike zone. With the count at 3-1, he is forced to throw a fastball over the plate and Kubel hits it between Cano and Teixeira for a single to right.
Those that complain that Cuzzi’s missed call cost the Twins might be interested to know that if Mauer were at second, Cano would have been playing over in the hole and likely would have thrown Kubel out.

Girardi comes to the mound to take the ball from Marte and Robertson enters the game to pitch to Cuddyer with two on and nobody out. Marte is showered with boos form Yankee fans as he fails to do his job.

ROBERTSON vs. CUDDYER

Robertson is noted for his sneaky-fast fastball. He throws one for a strike and then one for a ball to Cuddyer. Catcher Francisco Cervelli decides to cross up Cuddyer and call for a curveball and Robertson drops it over for called strike two. Cervelli then decides to further cross up Cuddyer and he calls for a another curve. 
But the previous curve was up in the strike zone and Cuddyer could not do much with it if he had known it was coming. The second one dropped over the heart of the plate. Cuddyer times it and hits it right up the middle for a single. The ball is hit sharply and centerfielder Brett Gardner charges it quickly. Twins third-base coach Scott Ullger decides to hold Mauer at third rather than risk having him thrown out the plate.
Bases loaded and nobody out.
Robertson must now face Delmon Young, Carlos Gomez and Brendan Harris without a safety net and trying to keep the game tied at 3.

ROBERTSON vs. YOUNG

Young is 0-for-8 in the series. Robertson wants to get ahead in the count and tries a backdoor curveball to the outside corner. Young swings late and lines a knuckling line drive right to first baseman Mark Teixeira. Teixeira catches the drive at shoulder height and whirls around to check if any of the runners can be doubled up. They all get back.
One out

ROBERTSON vs. GOMEZ

Gomez was put in the lineup for this game after not playing in Game 1. He is a work in progress. Talented but prone to mistakes. His base-running gaffe in the fourth inning already has cost the Twins a run. Robertson tries a fastball riding into Gomez, right in on his hands. Gomez swings and hits a weak two hopper to Teixeira, who carefully throws home to make sure they force Mauer at the plate. Cervelli realizes that with the speed of Gomez a double play is not possible and he holds the ball.
Two out

ROBERTSON vs. HARRIS

Harris only entered the game in the sixth because of a left oblique strain suffered by third baseman Matt Tolbert. He has been a pest to the Yankees all night. His triple in the sixth gave the Twins a 1-0 lead and his single in the eighth extended the Twins two-run rally off Phil Hughes and Mariano Rivera that made it 3-1. He also robbed Derek Jeter of a hit in the bottom of the eighth with a diving stop of his hot grounder. So he was a big thorn in the Yankees’ side all night.
Now he had a chance to do more damage. 
Robertson started him out with a fastball that basically was right down Broadway. If Harris had been first-pitch swinging he would have had a cookie. But Harris was watching as Young and Gomez both had swung on the first pitch and made outs. He was not about to swing and Robertson took advantage it for an easy strike.
Robertson then tried to hit the low inside corner on Harris but missed low to run the count to 1-1. Cervelli and Roberston then decided to try the same pitch on which they got Gomez, a four-seam fastball that runs in on the batter. The 92 mile-per-hour fastball rode low but moved in on Harris and Harris swung. The ball immediately jumped straight up high into the air.
Harris missed the pitch and the ball settled into medium right-center and Gardner let it fall harmlessly into his glove.
Three out

David Robertson completed the most difficult escape act a relief pitcher is called upon to do. He has retired three batters with the bases loaded and nobody out. The rookie righthander walked back to the Yankee dugout with his head down like he does it every day.
Roberston was not even a lock to make the team’s postseason roster because of some right elbow soreness that shut him down for almost all of September. But two relief outings against the Tampa Bay Rays convinced Girardi and pitching coach Dave Eiland that he was healthy. The Yankees even shelved a plan to carry only 10 pitchers to accommodate Robertson on the roster.
One of the big reasons Robertson is so valued in the bullpen is his strikeout rate. He struck out an amazing 63 batters in 43 2/3 innings this season. That is even a higher strikeout rate than that of Yankee setup man Phil Hughes and closer Mariano Rivera!
Truth be told, Girardi probably was hoping Robertson could strike out those three batters in the 11th. But the former University of Alabama closer ended up not needing his trademark strikeout.
His effort in retiring the Twins in the 11th set up Mark Teixeira’s walk-off home run in the bottom of the inning. It simply was the key moment of Game 2
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“We called him Houdini after that. That’s a tough jam to be in. We were fortunate they hit that one ball to [Teixeira], but I liked his demeanor, his expressions. He looked like he was unfazed the whole time out there.”

                                                                                                              — Yankee captain Derek Jeter

“Those sort of defensive stands — you almost feel like you are going to score a run the next inning, because it deflates [the Twins] so much. To have bases loaded, nobody out [and] not be able to score, that was just a really good job by [Robertson].”

                                                                                                              — Yankee reliever Phil Hughes