Tagged: Clayton Kershaw

Overbay’s RBI Single Boosts Yankees Over Dodgers

GAME 107

YANKEES 3, DODGERS 0

Facing an 0-2 count with Dodgers left-hander Paco Rodriguez on the mound, pinch-hitter Lyle Overbay knew that he had looked terrible swinging at two sliders. He also came close to swinging at a third slider for strike three but third-base umpire Bill Miller ruled he had checked his swing.

Rodriguez’s next slider was in the middle of the plate and Overbay won the game for the Yankees on Wednesday with a clutch two-out RBI single to center.

Overbay’s game-winner was all part of a three-run inning and Mariano Rivera pitched a perfect ninth for his 34th save of the season as New York paid back Los Angeles for their walk-off 3-2 victory on Tuesday in front of a sellout Dodger Stadium crowd of 53,013.

The Yankees entered the ninth inning of a scoreless game when Derek Jeter opened the frame by drawing a walk from right-hander Ronald Belisario (4-6). Robinson Cano hit into a fielder’s choice and Alfonso Soriano grounded out, leaving Cano at second with two out.

Manager Joe Girardi pinch-hit for Vernon Wells with Ichiro Suzuki and Dodgers manager Don Mattingly had Belisario walk him intentionally to bring up Brent Lillibridge.

Girardi then called upon Overbay to pinch-hit and Mattingly summoned Rodriguez to pitch to him. But Overbay’s lined single to center to plate Cano spoiled the strategy.

Overbay’s RBI also gave him three RBis in the two-game series because he had driven in both of the Yankees’ two runs on Tuesday.

The Yankees were able to tack on two unearned runs in the inning when Jayson Nix lofted a routine popup into shallow right. Though second baseman Mark Ellis was camped under the ball, right-fielder Yasiel Puig charged in to make the catch, causing Ellis to turn his head and the ball deflected off his glove to allow Suzuki and Overbay to score on the error.

The game featured a classic pitchers’ duel between Dodgers left-hander Clayton Kershaw, who came in leading the National League in ERA at 1.96, and Yankees right-hander Hiroki Kuroda, who had toiled for the Dodgers for four seasons (2008 through 2011) before signing as a free agent with the Yankees in 2012.

Kershaw and Kuroda matched zeros through 7 1/2 innings.

Kuroda, 39, gave up five hits and a walk while he struck out eight over seven innings to record his eighth start of the season in which he had not allowed a run.

Kershaw, 25, was touched for five hits and he walked none while he fanned five over eight innings.

Kershaw was threatened only in the second and eighth innings.

In the second, Wells and Lillibridge stroked back-to-back one-out singles. But Kershaw got Nix on an infield popup and Chris Stewart grounded into a force play. In the eighth, Stewart and pinch-hitter Melky Mesa came through with a pair of two-out singles. But Kershaw ended that threat by retiring Brett Gardner on a flyout.

Kuroda only had one shaky inning  –  the seventh.

Adrian Gonzalez opened the frame with a single down the right-field line but he was thrown out trying to stretch the hit into a double on a perfect throw from Wells from right-field. One out later, Andre Ethier and A.J. Ellis notched consecutive singles.  But Kuroda fanned Skip Schumaker swinging to end the threat.

Boone Logan (3-2) pitched a scoreless eighth inning, getting out of a two-on, two-out jam by retiring Gonzalez on a flyout, to earn the victory in relief.

With the victory the Yankees improved their season record to 56-51 and they remain in fourth place in the American League East, eight games behind the first-place Boston Red Sox. The Dodgers fell to 57-49.

PINSTRIPE POSITIVES

  • Kuroda was absolutely sensational in limiting the Dodgers to five hits and a walk in seven innings and he deserved a better fate.  In his past nine starts, Kuroda is 4-1 with a 1.56 ERA. He lowered his season ERA to 2.38, which is second in the American League to Felix Hernandez of the Seattle Mariners. Kuroda also has not allowed an earned run in his past two starts covering 14 innings.
  • Overbay came off the bench to deliver a huge hit in the ninth inning for the Yankees. Though Overbay is hardly a match for the production of Mark Teixeira at first base, he still has provided the Yankees with some clutch hits this season, batting .248. with 12 home runs and 45 RBIs.  He was 2-for-5 with a home run and three RBIs and two runs scored in the two-game series with the Dodgers.
  • The bullpen, as it has so often done this season, kept the Yankees in the game long enough for the Yankees to get their offense going with Kershaw out in the game in the ninth. Logan did not bend in the eighth and Rivera was dominant in the ninth, striking out the first two betters he faced before getting A.J. Ellis on an infield roller to clinch the victory.

NAGGING NEGATIVES

Kuroda and the bullpen shut down a Dodger team that came into the game 10-1 since the All-Star break. The Yankees were facing arguably the best starter in the National League in Kershaw. So why quibble over negatives? The Yankees could have fell nine games back with a loss so this one was a big victory. Kudos!

BOMBER BANTER

Mattiingly was ejected from the game in the ninth inning by Miller. Mattingly had replaced Rodriguez with right-hander Brandon League after Ellis’ two-run error. As he was leaving the field, Mattingly talked with Miller about his failure to call out Overbay on strikes on a check swing and the discussion grew heated before Miller ejected Mattingly. Television replays indicated that Miller could have called Overbay out for a swing on the pitch.  . . .  Alex Rodriguez will play in a simulated game on Thursday and then will begin a new minor-league rehab assignment on Friday as he prepares to start his season with the Yankees despite a potential looming suspension. Rumors persist that Rodriguez might be hit with a lifetime ban from baseball if he does not agree to accept a lengthy suspension for his role in the Biogenesis drug scandal. Meanwhile, the Yankees will have Rodriguez play in the simulated game in Tampa, FL, on Thursday and he possibly could appear in a minor-league game with Double-A Trenton on Friday. Rodriguez, 38, recovering from hip surgery in January and Grade 1 left quad strain he suffered a week ago, could be activated as soon as this weekend.  . . .  Outfielder Curtis Granderson, who is rehabbing from a broken left pinkie knuckle, will be activated from the 15-day disabled list on Friday.  After playing in only seven games after recovering from a broken bone in his right wrist he suffered in his first at-bat of spring training, Granderson was sidelined on May 24 when he struck by a pitch from Tampa Bay Rays left-hander Cesar Ramos.

ON DECK

The Yankees will have Thursday off before opening a three-game weekend road series with the San Diego Padres.

Left-hander CC Sabathia (9-9, 4.65 ERA) will start for the Yankees. Sabathia is 0-2 with a 10.93 ERA in his past three starts against the Minnesota Twins, Red Sox and Rays. Sabathia is 3-0 with a 2.12 ERA in his career against the Padres.

The Padres will counter with right-hander Andrew Cashner (7-5, 3.88 ERA). Cashner yielded three runs on four hits and and five walks while striking out five in six innings in a victory over the Arizona Diamondbacks. Cashner has never faced the Yankees.

Game-time will be 10:10 p.m. EDT and the game will be telecast by the YES Network.

 

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Yankees’ Miracle Victory Over Dodgers Has Many Heroes

GAME 75

YANKEES 8, DODGERS 6

                        “It ain’t over ’til it’s over”
                                                          — Yogi Berra

It wasn’t just Alex Rodriguez’s one-out single or
Curtis Granderson’s magnificent battle to draw a walk to load the bases or David Huffman’s bases-loaded two-run single or even Colin Curtis’ 10-pitch at-bat to tie the game on a infield grounder.
It was the team as a whole and the New York Yankees proved to the Los Angeles Dodgers on Sunday night that they have a team with dogged resolve.
Down 6-2 in the top of the ninth inning with Dodgers’ closer Jonathan Broxton on the mound the Yankees rallied for four runs to tie the game and make a hero out Robinson Cano in the 10th inning.
Cano, who was 0-for-11 in his career against Dodger left-hander George Sherrill, laced a 0-1 pitch into the left-centerfield pavilion with Alex Rodriguez on base to give the Yankees an 8-6 come-from-behind victory over the incredulous Dodgers and manager Joe Torre.
Mariano Rivera (2-1) pitched two scoreless innings in relief to earn the victory. Ramon Troncoso (1-2) was saddled with the hard-luck loss as the Yankees took the three-game series 2-1 and ended their road trip at 4-2.
With the victory the Yankees raised their season record to 47-28 and maintained their two-game lead over the Boston Red Sox in the American League East. The Tampa Bay Rays are three games out. Meanwhile, the Dodgers, who have lost eight their last 10 games, are now 40-35 and fading in the National League West.
Rodriguez probably said it best after the game: “It took 25 guys, and the bullpen did a really nice job, and great at-bats late in the game.”
YANKEE POSITIVES

  • Games like this only grow the MVP credentials for Cano. Cano was 0-for-3 in the game until the ninth inning when he doubled in Rodriguez to make the score 6-3. His two-run home run in the ninth gave the Yankees their 8-6 margin of victory. Cano now has a team-leading 15 home runs and he is second to Rodriguez in RBIs with 53. By the way he also leads the majors with a .359 average. Despite being charged with an error in the game, Cano has committed only two errors all season.
  • Rodriguez also wrapped up a series of which he can be proud. If he wanted to show Torre up he did. Rodriguez was 5-for-13 (.385) with two home runs and four RBIs. In Sunday’s game he was 2-for-5 with a two-run homer in the sixth inning and he scored three runs. Rodriguez raised his batting average to .285 over the weekend.
  • You can’t say enpough about the ninth-inning at-bats off Broxton by rookies Chad Huffman and Colin Curtis. Huffman laced a 1-1 pitch into right-field to score Cano and Jorge Posada to make the score 6-5. Curtis fouled off four consecutive 3-2 offerings before grounding a ball to James Loney at first base. Loney stepped on the bag to retire Curtis for the second out but Granderson scored the tying run from third base.
  • Rivera, even at age 40, proves he is still the best closer in baseball. For the second time on the road trip, Rivera pitched two innings to nail down a victory. Rivera gave up just one hit and fanned three in lowering his season ERA to 0.92. 
THE NEGATIVES

  • Andy Pettitte lost his composure but it was not because of his pitching. Pettitte basically misplayed two sacrifice bunts. In the third inning on a bunt by Dodgers’ starter Clayton Kershaw, Pettitte threw wide of Rodriguez at third base trying to get Reed Johnson. Later in the same inning, Pettitte fielded a bunt by Ronnie Belliard and threw the ball into him at first base, though Cano was charged with the error for dropping the throw. That cost the Yankees three runs in the inning.
  • Pettitte also was not pressed much by the Dodgers’ power hitters. It was the singles hitters like Johnson, who doubled twice and Belliard who homered off Pettite in the fourth inning. The Yankees were down 5-0 largely due to the errors, Johnson’s two leadoff doubles and Belliard’s home run.
  • The Yankees could do nothing with Kershaw in the first seven innings. Other than Rodriguez’s two-run homer, the Yankees could not put a rally together on the 22-year-old left-hander. He walked none and struck out five. 
  • Joba Chamberlain got into trouble in the eighth inning when allowed pesky Jamey Carroll to get on with an infield hit with two outs. Carroll stole second and scored on a Rafaell Furcal double to make it 6-2 heading to the ninth inning.
DIAMOND NOTES

Brett Gardner was removed from the game in the fourth inning after he was hit on the right forearm by a pitch from Kershaw in the third inning.  No X-rays were taken but Gardner is scheduled to visit team doctor Chris Ahmad on Monday to determine the severity of the injury. Gardner was replaced in the field by Chad Huffman, who later keyed the Yankees come-from-behind victory with a two-run single in the ninth inning.  . . .  The Yankees expect to have pitching coach Dave Eiland back in the dugout for Tuesday’s game. Eiland left the Yankees for personal reasons on June 4 and Mike Harkey has been the acting pitching coach. Considering the pitching woes of A.J. Burnett the Yankees will be pleased to have Eiland back.  . . .  Rodriguez and Torre finally exchanged pleasantries before Sunday’s game. Torre put his arm around his former third baseman and Rodriguez smiled as they greeted each other. Rodriguez said to reporters that he chose to say hello to Tore in order to not let things fester between the two. Torre apparently rankled Rodriguez with comments he made about the All-Star in his book. Rodriguez also seems to be still angered by Torre’s decision to bat him eighth in a playoff game against the Tigers in 2006.
THE NEXT GAME

The Yankees come home to open a three-game series against the Seattle Mariners that will begin on Tuesday night.
The Yankees will open the series with right-hander Phil Hughes (10-1, 3.17 ERA). Hughes, who had his last start skipped, will be shooting for his sixth straight victory.  IN his last five starts, Hughes is 5-0 with a 3.86 ERA. Hughes is 1-0 with a 2.00 ERA in four appearances against the Mariners.
The Mariners will counter with veteran left-hander Cliff Lee (6-3, 2.39 ERA). Lee has a streak of 37 consecutive innings without having given up a walk.  He has 76 strikeouts and four walks in his last 11 starts. Of course, the Yankees last saw him in the World Series, where he won Game 1 and Game 5 for the Phillies, the only two games the Phillies won in the series.
Game-time will be 7:05 p.m. EDT and the game will be telecast locally by MY9.