Tagged: Hisanori Takahashi

Ibanez, Yankees Finally Hit Wall To Overtake Halos

GAME 50

YANKEES 6, ANGELS 5

Throughout their three-game series with the Angels the Yankees have banging their heads against a wall in trying to get hits at the wall off outfielders Mike Trout and Peter Bourjos. It took them three games but they found an answer.

Raul Ibanez laced a one-out triple over Boujos’ head and off the wall for a triple and Nick Swisher followed a sacrifice fly to Trout in left that scored Ibanez with the tie-breaking run in the sixth inning and New York held on to edge Los Angeles on Wednesday at Angel Stadium.

Earlier in the game, the Yankees torched Angels starter Ervin Santana with five runs in the third inning as Curtis Granderson smacked a three-run home run safely over the wall in right field for his 16th home run of the season. Robinson Cano followed two batters later with a two-run shot of his own – again nowhere near the gloves of the Angels’ outfielders.

Staked to the 5-1 lead, Yankees starter Ivan Nova was unable to hold it for long. The Angels struck for four runs of their own in the fourth inning on a two-run homer by Trumbo and a two-run double by Trout.

But Nova (6-2) was able to complete 6 2/3 innings and pick up the victory, giving up five runs on eight hits and and three walks and striking out two batters.

Santana left after five innings, also surrendering five runs on six hits and two walks and fanning four.

Reliever Hisanori Takahashi (0-2) took the loss as the Yankees snapped the Angels’ season-high eight-game winning streak.

Rafael Soriano made things interesting in the ninth by giving up a one-out walk to Alberto Callaspo and a single to Albert Pujols. But he was able to get Trumbo to fly out to left to end the game and earn his sixth save in as many opportunities.

With the victory the Yankees improved to 27-23. The Angels fell back to .500 at 26-26.

PINSTRIPE POSITIVES

  • Ibanez was 2-for-4 on the night, including his clutch triple off Takahashi in the sixth. Ibanez was 4-for-11 (364), drove in a run and scored three in the series. Ibanez is hitting .288 in May with six home runs and 16 RBIs. He also has held his own in the outfield even though the Yankees do miss Brett Gardner’s defense.
  • Swisher’s sac fly must have been some form of retribution for him for the out-and-out thievery that Trout and Bourjos pulled on him on Tuesday. Despite going only 2-for-11 (.182) in the series, Swisher was able to drive in a run in each of the three games and he now has a team-leading 32 on the season.
  • Cory Wade redeemed himself after giving up that walk-off game-winning home run to Trumbo in the ninth on Monday. He retired all four batters he faced and struck out three of them. He came on the seventh after Boone Logan had surrendered two-out singles to Kendrys Morales and Trumbo. Wade struck out Howie Kendrick on a 3-2 pitch to strand his 21st and 22nd inherited runners of the season. Wade has not allowed a single inherited runner to score this season.

NAGGING NEGATIVES

  • Though Nova was the winning pitcher he is still having trouble keeping the baseball in the yard. The home run Trumbo hit in the fourth was the 13th he has allowed this season in 10 starts. Nova succeeded in this game by wriggling out of trouble. He loaded the bases with no one out in the first but gave up just one run on a sac fly by Trumbo. He also benefitted from some good defense behind him by Cano and two double plays got him out the third and fifth innings.
  • Eric Chavez had a rough night. He went o-for-4 including hitting into a double play, a strikeout and he did not get a ball out of the infield. Chavez ended April with a .321 average but he is struggling mightily at the plate on the May. He is hitting .213 with no home runs and four RBIs this month.
  • The Yankee offense took a long siesta after Cano’s home run in the third inning built their 5-1 bulge. For the rest of the game the Yankees were 1-for-21 (.048) and the one hit was Ibanez’s well-timed triple. By contrast the Angels were 10-for-27 (.370) after the third inning. It is a miracle the Yankees pulled the game out.

ON DECK

The Yankees will take Thursday off as they head to Detroit to continue their nine-game road trip by starting a three-game weekend series with the Tigers on Friday.

The Yankees will call upon ace left-hander CC Sabathia (6-2, 3.66 ERA). Sabathia is coming off a two-run, seven-inning victory over the Oakland Athletics on Saturday. He is 16-12 with a 4.46 ERA in his career against the Tigers, including the eight innings of two-run ball he threw at them for a victory on April 29.

The Tigers, meanwhile, lost starter Doug Fister to injury and they called up left-hander Casey Crosby from Triple-A Toledo to make a start. Crosby, 23, was 4-2 with a 4.26 ERA at Toledo. This will be his major-league debut.

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

 

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Jeter, Ibanez Power Yankees Over Angels

GAME 9

YANKEES 11, ANGELS 5

The Yankees’ game plan sounds so simple but it is not easy to do. They try to knock the starting pitcher out of the game early, keep tacking on runs against the weak underbelly of the opponent’s bullpen and win easily going away.

They did that to perfection against the Angels on Sunday night at Yankee Stadium in front of national television audience.

Derek Jeter blasted a three-run home run in the fourth inning to give New York an 8-1 lead and Raul Ibanez added a two-run shot of his own in the seventh as Ivan Nova pitched a solid six innings to give the Yankees a series-deciding victory over Los Angeles.

Nova (2-0) gave up four runs on eight hits and two walks and fanned eight batters to collect his 14th straight victory, which ties the legendary Whitey Ford for the second-best winning streak in franchise history. Roger Clemens holds the team record with 16 in a row.

The Yankees did most of their damage early against Angels right-hander Jerome Williams (0-1).

After Ibanez drove in the Yankees’ first run on a one-out single to center in the second inning, the Yankees erupted for four runs in the third inning keyed by an RBI double by Mark Teixeira and a sacrifice fly by Nick Swisher that chased Williams, who left on the losing end of a 5-1 deficit.

Reliever Hisanori Takahashi did not fare much better in the fourth when he walked Russell Martin and Brett Gardner followed with a lined single to center. Jeter then hit his second home run of the season, a line-drive shot into the bleachers in right field to give the Yankees what looked to be a comfortable 8-1 lead.

But the Angels added to Mark Trumbo’s solo home run off Nova in the second when Chris Iannetta ripped his second two-run home run of the series in the fifth. The next inning, the Angels used a two-out walk to Trumbo to add another run on a Maicer Izturis double.

The Angels then added another run in the seventh off reliever Rafael Soriano on a Albert Pujols single after Soriano opened the frame by walking Erick Aybar and Howie Kendrick followed with a bunt single.

After Bobby Abreu drew a two-walk from Soriano to load the bases, David Robertson was summoned with the Yankees holding a tenuous 8-5 lead with the potential lead run at the plate in Trumbo. But Robertson got Trumbo to fly out to right to end the threat.

The Yankees then added a run on Swisher’s two-out RBI single in the seventh off reliever Bobby Carpenter. Jason Isringhausen was brought into the game to face Ibanez, but Ibanez greeted him a long blast into the second deck down the right-field line that gave the Yankees what would their winning margin.

With the victory the Yankees improved their season record to 5-4. The hard-luck Angels, who are showing vulnerability in their bullpen this season, are 3-6.

PINSTRIPE POSITIVES

  • Jeter’s amazing start to the 2012 season continues. He was 2-for-5 with three RBIs and two runs scored. The two hits raised his season average to .366. Even when Jeter makes outs he is hitting the ball hard. He hit a long fly ball to center in the seventh inning that was caught by Vernon Wells on the warning track. In the eighth his hard-hit grounder struck Isringhausen and Aybar had to scramble to reach the ball bounding up the middle and nip Jeter at first base with the throw.
  • Robertson’s showdown with Trumbo in the seventh was the key at-bat of the game. If Trumbo had extended the rally or homered it would have been a devastating blow to the Yankees after leading the game 8-1. But Robertson was able to force Trumbo to hit a weak opposite-field fly ball to Swisher to end the rally. Robertson did not allow a hit and his 1 1/3 scoreless innings and he remains unscored upon on the young season.
  • Ibanez, like Jeter, also drove in three runs. Ibanez now has nine RBIs on the season, which is second on the team to Swisher’s 11. This is despite the fact that Ibanez is only hitting .217. So Ibanez is making the few hits he has been getting count.
  • The Yankees as a team finally broke out of their funk with runners in scoring position.  They were 5-for-13 (.385) on Sunday. The Angels, on the other hand, were 1-for-11 (.091).

NAGGING NEGATIVES

  • Nova did much better than his 4.15 ERA might indicate. He did strike out eight and he looked in control of the game with an 8-1 lead. But two things hurt him: the home-run ball and walks. Trumbo and Iannetta homered and walks to Izturis and Trumbo later scored.
  • Soriano nearly blew the 8-4 lead he entered the game with in the seventh. The leadoff walk to Aybar and the four-pitch walk to Abreu put the Angels in a position to bring the potential lead run to the plate in Trumbo. Fortunately, for Soriano and the Yankees, Robertson was able to retire Trumbo and the Angels scored only the one run.
  • The Yankees scored 11 runs on 12 hits and the only starter who did not get a hit in the game was Martin. The veteran catcher did walk twice and score a run. But he is off to a bit of a slow start with the bat, hitting .182 with no home runs and one RBI.

BOMBER BANTER

Andy Pettitte threw four shutout innings for Class A Tampa on Sunday against Clearwater in a Florida State League game. The 39-year-old left-hander gave up two hits and no walks in his second minor-league start. He threw 31 of 47 pitches for strikes and induced seven groundball outs. Pettitte is targeting his return to the majors for early May.  . . .  The Yankees celebrated Jackie Robinson Day with a pregame ceremony honoring Robinson’s widow, Rachel, and his daughter, Sharon. Curtis Granderson wore a commemorative pair of Jackie Robinson Day spikes for the game and will auction them and his No. 42 jersey to benefit the Jackie Robinson Foundation.

ON DECK

The Yankees will stay home and open a four-game series against the Minnesota Twins.

Right-hander Freddy Garcia (0-0, 5.79 ERA) gets the starting nod for the Yankees. He is looking to atone for a rough first start against the Orioles in Baltimore last week. Garcia, unable to grip his split-finger pitch in the cool weather, threw five wild pitches, but he did limit the damage to three runs in 4 2/3 innings.

He will face the former toast of Yankee fans, Carl Pavano (0-1, 5.93). In his second start, Pavano gave up five runs in 6 2/3 innings against the Angels on Wednesday. He is 0-1 with a 4.58 ERA against the Yankees in his career.

Game-time will be 7:05 p.m. and the game will be telecast nationally by ESPN and locally by the YES Network.

 

Vazquez Dazzles Before Injury As Yanks Edge Mets

GAME 42
YANKEES 2, METS 1

Just another day in the life of the New York Yankees. They have won 26 games and for each game there is an injury — or so it seems.
Much-maligned right-hander Javier Vazquez pitched six dominant innings of one-hit shutout baseball against the New York Mets but he left the game with a finger he bruised bunting as the Yankees went on to edge the Mets Friday night 2-1 at Citi Field.
Vazquez (3-4) only gave up a bloop single to Angel Pagan with one out in the fifth inning, as he struck out six batters and walked two. The Yankees breathed a huge sigh of relief after the game when X-rays on Vazquez’s right finger showed no fracture.
Kevin Russo, making his first-ever major-league start, backed up Vazquez with a two-run double in the seventh inning off 39-year-old Mets reliever Elmer Dessens (0-1). 
Mariano Rivera, making his first appearance after consecutive games in which he blew a save and lost a tie game, pitched a shaky ninth inning but hung on to record his eighth save of the season.
With the victory the Yankees ran their season record to 26-16 and snapped a three-game losing streak. They are still four games in back of the Tampa Bay Rays in the A.L. East. The Mets are 20-23 and are seven games back in last place in the N.L. East.
YANKEE POSITIVES

  • Vazquez was really brilliant in his first start since May 12. In his last 13 1/3 innings, Vazquez has given up just two runs on eight hits and four walks and he has struck out 14 batters. That is an ERA of 1.26. His ERA after his fifth start on May 1 against the White Sox was 9.78. Give pitching coach Dave Eiland credit for helping Vazquez turn his season around in a big way.
  • Russo, 25, a native of West Babylon, N.Y., took advantage of his first start of his career with his first major-league hit  — a single off 35-year-old Mets starter Hisanori Takahashi in the third inning. Then Russo took advantage of a sloppy fielding play by Mets second baseman Alex Cora. Francisco Cervelli followed Nick Swisher’s leadoff single with a bouncing ball to Cora that was a tailor-made double-play ball. However, Cora air-mailed his toss to the right of shortstop Jose
    Reyes and Swisher and Cervelli reached third and second, respectively. Russo then followed with his game-winning double down the right-field line to score both runners.
  • Give Russo some additional credit for playing his first major-league start in an unfamiliar spot: left-field. Russo, who primarily is a second baseman, was inserted into left-field because the Yankees are short on outfielders with Curtis Granderson on the disabled list and Marcus Thames nursing a sprained ankle. Russo handled his three chances in the outfield flawlessly before leaving the game in the bottom of the seventh inning for Randy Winn.
  • Alex Rodriguez followed his miserable 0-for-4 with three strikeouts against the Rays on Thursday night by going 2-for-3 with a walk. Rodriguez raised his average to .295 on the season.
  • Joba Chamberlain also seemingly has recovered from his two shaky most recent outings. Summoned in the bottom of the seventh inning with one out and runners on first and second, Chamberlain ended the threat by striking out David Wright looking and Angel Pagan swinging. He also pitched a perfect eighth inning.
THE NEGATIVES

  • The Yankee offense seemed totally flustered and bewildered by veteran Japanese League left-hander Takahashi for the first six innings. All they could muster off a pitcher making his first major-league start was five hits and a walk. The soft-tossing lefty struck out five batters — including Derek Jeter, who struck out twice in his three at-bats against him.
  • There has to some minor concern about Rivera now. Though he did record the save, Rivera gave up back-to-back doubles to Jason Bay and Ike Davis with two outs in the bottom of the ninth inning. In his last three appearances, Rivera has given up five runs (three earned) on five hits and one very costly walk to Jim Thome of the Twins in three innings of work. His last 1-2-3 outing was on May 14 against the Twins.
  • Mark Teixeira, after showing signs of having a monster May, has now fallen right back into the same kind of slump that plagued him in April. As of May 17, Teixeira had raised his average to .a season-high 224. In his past four games he is 1-for-16 and his average has slipped back to .209. He was 0-for-4 against the Mets on Friday including hitting into a double play in his first at-bat.
DIAMOND NOTES

The Yankees’ victory on Friday was their fifth consecutive win over the Mets dating back to June 14, 2009 and they are undefeated in all four games played at Citi Field.  . . .  The Yankees feared the worst when Vazquez left the game with a bloody right index finger. But X-rays showed only a bruise and Vazquez said he is sure he will be able make his next scheduled start.  Vazquez, who is an exceptionally good hitter for a pitcher, successfully put down two sacrifice bunts in the game. The second one off Dessens was successful despite the fact the ball caught Vazquez on the tip of his right index finger.  . . .  Thames, who has not played since he left Wednesday’s game against the Rays with a sprained left ankle he suffered stepping on his bat while running to first on a single, has progressed enough that he was available to pinch-hit on Friday. Thames ran and took fly balls before Friday’s game and said his ankle felt fine. Manager Joe Girardi elected to keep him on the bench and played Russo in left-field instead. Russo later made that decision pay off with his game-winning double in the seventh inning.  . . .  Curtis Granderson, who has been on the 15-day disabled list with a strained groin, is going out on a rehab assignment to Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre at Louisville beginning on Saturday. Girardi said Granderson will play about five or six games with Scranton and the Yankees hope to have him back in the lineup by late next week if all goes well.  
THE NEXT GAME

The Yankees will hold their breath when he bats but they will have no trouble letting right-hander Phil Hughes take the mound to face the Mets on Saturday. Hughes (5-0, 2.25 ERA) is coming off his worst and shortest outing of the year on Monday against the Boston Red Sox at Yankee Stadium. Hughes gave up five runs in five innings in a game the Yankees eventually won in the ninth inning with a pair of two-run home runs off closer Jonathan Papelbon. Hughes has thrown 2 1/3 scoreless innings in two relief appearances against the Mets.
Hughes will face fellow young Mets phenom, right-hander Mike Pelfrey (5-1, 3.02 ERA). Pelfrey limited the Atlanta Braves to two runs in 7 2/3 innings on Monday. He struck three and walked two. In two previous starts against the Yankees, Pelfrey is 1-1 with a 5.40 ERA. 
The game is scheduled for 7:10 p.m. EDT and it will be telecast nationally by FOX.