Tagged: Marc Rzepczynski

Tex Clips Blue Jays’ Wings With Walkoff Hit


Coming from behind had been a Yankee hallmark in 2009. But in 2011, it had only happened once and that was against the Mets on Sunday.

Well, it happened again on Tuesday night.

Curtis Granderson smashed a two-out RBI single in the ninth to tie it and Mark Teixeira drove in Granderson with a game-winning single as New York rallied from a 4-1 deficit in the last two innings to defeat Toronto in front of 41,946 fans at Yankee Stadium.

CC Sabathia (5-3), who was tagged for three runs on a series of sacrifice bunts, bloop hits and a costly error in the fourth inning, stuck around to pitch all nine innings to earn the victory.

The Yankees struggled, as they so often do, with the change-ups from left-handed starter Ricky Romero. He pitched seven innings and only allowed the Yankees a solo home run by Russell Martin in the second inning despite the fact he was tagged for seven hits and three walks. Once again, the Yankees could not get the big hit with runners in scoring position. That is until the Blue Jays bullpen entered the game in the eighth.

The Yankees scored two runs off Casey Janssen and Marc Rzepczynski on a Granderson double, a Robinson Cano two-out RBI double and a Martin single.

But they saved their best for the final stanza. With one out, pinch-hitter Jorge Posada stroked a double to right-center off Jays closer Frank Francisco (1-2). One out later, with pinch-runner Chris Dickerson on third, Granderson singled to right to score Dickerson with the tying run. It was Granderson’s fourth hit in five trips to the plate.

Granderson then stole second to set up Teixeira’s heroics. Teixeira hit a 3-1 Francisco fastball on the ground between second and first base. The ball rolled off the glove of second baseman Aaron Hill and trickled into right-field to allow Granderson to scamper home with the winning run.

The victory gave he Yankees a record of 26-21 and propelled them into first place in the American League East. The Boston Red Sox are a half-game back in second place. The Blue Jays fell to 24-24 and they are in fourth place in the division 2 1/2 games out.

  • Granderson is so hot now it looks as if he could a ball the size of a marble. Granderson singled in the third and fifth innings, doubled in the eighth and singled in the ninth. He scored two runs, stole a base and drove in the game-tying run. He raised his season average to .275 and he is second in MLB in home runs with 16 and he fourth in the A.L. with 35 RBIs. 
  • Teixeira’s game-winning hit was his first in a regular season game for the Yankees. He had a game-winning home run against the Minnesota Twins in the 2009 Division Series. He finally got a face-full of whipped cream pie thanks to A.J. Burnett after the game. 
  • Give Posada credit for delivering a big hit in the ninth inning that ignited the rally. Posada has been struggling at the plate all season and has been routinely benched of late when left-handers start against the Yankees. But his double in the ninth inning was a clutch hit that was sorely needed.
  • Martin is just exceeding everyone’s expectations as a hitter. The Yankees knew we was a top-notch defensive catcher. But they are reaping the rewards of his bat as well. His home run in the second was his ninth of the season and his clutch two-out RBI single in the eighth gave him 26 RBIs on the season. He is batting .270.
  • Derek Jeter did not get the job done at all on Tuesday night. He was 0-for-5 with a strikeout and did not get a ball out the infield. In addition to that, he killed a rally in the seventh inning by grounding into a double play with Brett Gardner at second and Eduardo Nunez at third with one out. He also nearly derailed the ninth inning rally by grounding out again for the second out of the inning. Jeter is simply not getting it done with runners in scoring position this season. His average fell to .254.
  • Nick Swisher, who was rested to for two days because of a minor forearm injury and the fact he has been struggling at the plate, was not much help either. He was 0-for-4 with a strikeout and he is now hitting .208 on the season.
  • Cano has been a major disappointment in the field this season. His error on a flip from Sabathia on sacrifice bunt attempt by John McDonald kept the inning going and could have been worse if Jose Bautista had not grounded out with the bases loaded. It was Cano’s fifth error of the season. He made only four errors all last season.

High-priced set-up man Rafael Soriano has been sent to Dr. James Andrews on Wednesday in order to have his ailing right elbow examined. Soriano had a second MRI after having to cut short a throwing session on flat ground due to pain in the elbow. Soriano, who was placed on the 15-day disabled list on May 17, is out indefinitely. The Yankees had hoped to get Soriano back in a couple of weeks. Now they are very concerned.  . . .  Right-hander Phil Hughes, who is also on the disabled list threw for about 10 minutes and said he felt fine. Hughes will throw again on Wednesday and then rest on Thursday. There is no timetable for Hughes to throw off a mound. he is been sidelined since April 17 due to what was termed a “dead arm.”


The Yankees will go for a series victory on Wednesday against the Blue Jays before heading out on a three-city West Coast roadtrip.

The Yankees will start veteran right-hander Freddy Garcia (2-4, 3.12 ERA). Garcia gave up just two runs on five hits over seven innings in a loss to the Mets on Friday. Garcia, as so many other Yankee starters have, fell victim to a lack of run support. He is 6-6 with a 6.06 ERA in 15 career starts against the Blue Jays.

Toronto will counter left-hander Jo-Jo Reyes (0-3, 4.07 ERA). Reyes did not allow a run over seven innings to Houston in his last outing but ended up with a no-decision. He is now winless in his last 27 starts, one away from a major-league record set by Matt Keough. He has never pitched against the Yankees.

Game-time is 1:05 p.m. EDT and the game will be telecast by the YES Network.


Thames’ Two-Run Blast Leads Yanks To 8th Straight Win

GAME 136

Isn’t about time for New York Yankee fans to come up with a nickname for Marcus Thames?
Mar-T? The Marcsman? How about River Dog?
After Saturday’s dramatic tie-breaking two-run home run in the seventh inning that propelled the Yankees to a 7-5 victory over the Toronto Blue Jays, you can call him anything you like.
Thames is taking vitamin approach to hitting home runs these days: One a day. And in his last 10 starts he has six of them, which has got Yankee fans thinking “Alex who?” Pressed into a more prominent role in the starting lineup because of the absence of a hobbling A-Rod, Thames is delivering in a A-Rod-like fashion and the Yankees now have won a season-high eight games in a row because of it.
The bullpen, which earlier this season was a mess, took care of the rest. For the second straight day they combined to pitch 4 1/3 scoreless innings in relief of a struggling starter to hand a victory to the guys in pinstripes.
The struggling starter du jour was Javier Vazquez, whose shaky command of his slider led to a solo home run to Lyle Overbay with one out in the second inning. With two down in the same frame, Vazquez served up another home run to weak-hitting John McDonald, a two-run shot that hit the left-field foul pole and made it 3-0 Jays.
Vazquez has the dubious distinction of being tied with James Shields of the Rays for serving up the most home runs this season at 29. Vazquez has now become the Baskin-Robbins of soft-serve homers. Give him a paper hat and all he would need to do ask the hitters if they would like whipped cream and nuts with it.
The Yankees did manage to come back to tie it up in the third inning off Jays starter Marc Rzepczynski. 
With one out, Francisco Cervelli doubled, Brett Gardner walked (his ninth straight game with at least one walk) and Derek Jeter doubled in Cervelli. After Mark Teixeira walked to load the bases, Robinson Cano singled to center to score Gardner and Jeter to make 3-all.
The Yankees then took the lead in the fourth inning. With one out and Eduardo Nunez at first, Cervelli doubled again. Gardner followed with a soft infield liner that dropped just over Rzepczynski’s glove and McDonald was forced to retire Gardner at first as Nunez scored.
After a walk to Jeter, Rzepczynski uncorked a wild pitch that allowed Cervelli to score from third. 
But Vazquez did not protect the 5-3 lead well enough to suit manager Joe Girardi. With two out in the fifth inning, Vazquez walked Jose Bautista and Vernon Wells followed with a line-drive single to left.
Girardi decided to end Vazquez’s day much to the displeasure of the 34-year-old right-hander, who was one out away from a potential victory. 
It did not lighten Vazquez’s mood much when Dustin Moseley came out of the bullpen and gave up a two-run double to Overbay that tied the game again at 5. Vazquez’s line now read five runs on four hits and four walks in 4 2/3 innings. 
Fortunately for the Yankees, Boone Logan, Joba Chamberlain, Kerry Wood and Mariano Rivera combined to pitch four scoreless innings beginning in the sixth. They gave up only two hits and no walks as the the bullpen has now racked up 8 2/3 innings of shutout baseball against the Blue Jays in two days.
Of course, the victory would not have been possible without Thames, whose first two outs of the day travelled about 750 feet before he stepped to the plate in the seventh inning.
With two out in the frame, Cano banged out his second single of day, this one off reliever Jason Frasor (3-4). Thames, who previously drove Rzepczynski sliders to deep center in the second and deep left in the third, caught up to the first pitch Frasor threw: A slider.
“They threw me sliders all day so I was looking for it,” Thames told reporters after the game.
He deposited his 11th home run of the season into the Blue Jays’ bullpen in left-center and the Yankees were handed a lead they would not give up again.
Wood (2-4), who has only allowed one earned run in the 16 innings he has pitched for the Yankees, was credited with the victory after pitching a perfect eighth inning.
Rivera gave up a scratch single but still pitched a scoreless ninth to record his 29th save in 31 tries.
The better news for the Yankees came many hours later when the Baltimore Orioles battered the Tampa Bay Rays 8-2. By virtue of running their season record to a season-high 36 games over .500, the Yankees have opened up a 2 1/2 game lead on the upstart second-place Rays in the American League East.
The Boston Red Sox, who lost a pair of 3-1 games to the Chicago White Sox in a day-night doubleheader, are a full 10 games back in third place. They are 7 1/2 games out of the wild-card standings.
It may not be quite time to stick a fork in the Red Sox for 2010 but it is certainly time to get the utensil out the the drawer.

  • Thames was signed as a free agent just before the beginning of spring training and made the team as the team’s 25th man. But injuries to DHs Nick Johnson and Lance Berkman and the loss of Rodriguez for three weeks has given Thames more playing time. Known as a power hitter who murders lefties, Thames has hit seven of 11 home runs against right-handers. Before his home run on Saturday, however, Thames was one for his last 14 at-bats.
  • Cano is still swinging at pitches out of the strike zone but still came through with two key hits. His single with bases loaded put the Yankees in front 5-3 in the fourth. His two-out single in the seventh brought Thames up to the plate and he scored on Thames’ game-winning homer.
  • Since Wood has taken over as Girardi’s new 8th-inning man on Sept. 1, he has pitched 3 1/3 dominant innings and surrendered just one hit and a walk while striking out three. His ERA when he was acquired was 6.30. With the Yankees it is 0.56.

  • The rotation other than CC Sabathia may be in tatters but the Yankees keep winning. They have outscored their opponents 57-29 during their winning streak. However, to advance in the postseason the Yankees will need Javier Vazquez, A.J. Burnett and Phil Hughes to pitch better soon. Vazquez was just too tentative and he kept falling behind hitters all afternoon.
  • Moseley allowing two inherited runners to score was inexcusable. He fell behind Overbay at 1-0 and then gift-wrapped a cutter that sat in the middle of the plate with “hit me” written all over it. Overbay did hit it for a double and it allowed the Jays to tie the game.
  • Despite the fact that Jeter drove in a run with a clutch double in the third inning, he is still struggling at the plate. In his last two at-bats of the day he struck out swinging. His season average is at .266, which is 48 points below his career average.

Vazquez was visibly upset at being taken out of the game in the clubhouse afterward. Asked if he thought Girardi had lost confidence in him, Vazquez replied “You will have to ask him.” But Girardi said he took Vazquez out because he sensed he was struggling with his mechanics and Girardi said Moseley was summoned because “I wanted a fresh arm.” He also said he expects Vazquez to make his next scheduled start at Texas on Friday.  . . .  Andy Pettitte took part in the three-inning simulated game on Saturday prior to the regular game and he threw exactly 50 pitches. Tossing to Rodriguez, Greg Golson and Ramiro Pena with Reggie Jackson acting as the umpire, Pettitte looked sharp in throwing 31 strikes. Pettitte is scheduled to throw another bullpen session on Monday and, after that, the Yankees will have to decide if they want him to do a rehab stint during the minor-league playoffs. Pettitte is hoping for a return to the Yankees within the next 10 days.  . . .  Rodriguez had no setbacks in taking his swings and running during the simulated game. In six at-bats against Pettitte, Rodriguez got two hits, struck out once, grounded out twice and popped up. Rodriguez admits that he is not running at 100 percent but he said it unlikely he will run too hard at first when he returns to action with the Yankees.  . . .  Nick Swisher, who has been nursing a bruised left knee for a few days, was a late scratch from the lineup on Saturday. Swisher wanted to play but he was unable to run without pain. Girardi, who had already decided to give Austin Kearns a day off, penciled in Thames in right-field and moved Lance Berkman into the DH spot. 

The Yankees have already won the three-game series with the Blue Jays and they will aim for a series sweep and an extension of their winning streak to nine games on Sunday.
Phil Hughes (16-6, 4.10 ERA) will pitch for the Yankees. Despite not having his best stuff, Hughes was able to battle through against the Athletics and he limited the A’s to two runs on four hits and five walks over five innings. He is 2-2 with a 4.35 ERA lifetime against the Blue Jays.
The Jays are counting on left-hander Brett Cecil (11-7, 3.74 ERA), who picked up a loss despite pitching well over 7 2/3, innings against the Rays. Cecil gave up five runs but only two were earned. He gave up only five hits and a walk and struck out four. He is 2-1 with a 4.30 ERA against the Yankees.
Game-time will be 1:05 p.m. EDT and the game will broadcast by the YES Network.

Yankees Blast Blue Jays’ Nest With 5 Homers In Laugher

GAME 126
The loud noise you heard erupting from the Rogers Center in Toronto was not a military exercise or atmospheric anomaly. It was the Yankees re-emerging as the Bronx Bombers unleashing home runs on the Blue Jays.
After a barrage of 17 hits, five home runs and 11 runs, the Yankees had turned the tables on the American League home run leader Jose Bautista and the major league home run-leading Blue Jays.
The Yankee hitters began the evening as if they were kids celebrating a birthday and the pitches of Blue Jays starter Marc Rzepczynski (1-2) were their personal pinatas. Led by Mark Teixeira, who homered to the second deck in left with out in the third inning, the Yankees ended up hitting three home runs in that frame alone to chase Rzepczynski after bashing him for six runs on eight hits and and two walks.
They added two more home runs in the fifth inning off reliever Brian Tallet to make it a laugher at 10-1.
Teixeira led the way with a 4-for-5 night, including his 28th home run of the season and two RBIs, which now gives him 91 on the season. 
Not to be outdone was Jorge Posada, who blasted his third home run in his last four games. He followed Marcus Thames’ two-run home run in the third inning with his 16th homer of the season. He also ended up with a 4-for-5 night and two RBIs.
Curtis Granderson added to the assault with a three-run homer off Tallet in the fifth inning to make it 9-1. Jeter followed two batters later with his 10th of the season and he now has hit at least 10 home runs in each of his 16 seasons in the major leagues.
The beneficiary of all the run support was Dustin Moseley (4-2), who gave up two runs on five hits and four walks over six innings to tame Bautista and the Blue Jays. Though they lead the major leagues with 190 home runs this season, Moseley kept the Blue Jays in the yard after Bautista ripped two blasts on Monday and he showboated by watching them and taking his time running them out.
None of the Yankees needed to provide any theatrics to drive home the point that the Yankees are likely headed to the playoffs while the Blue Jays are doomed to go home empty handed — again.
With the victory the Yankees got back to 30 games over .500 at 78-48 and they maintained their tie with the Tampa Bay Rays for the top spot in the American League East. The M*A*S*H unit that is the Boston Red Sox fell a half-game back to six games out because their game with Seattle was postponed due to rain.
  • On June 30, Teixeira was hitting .231 and Yankee fans were not happy with the production from the their first baseman. But after going 4-for-5, Teixeira raised his average to .262. With 28 home runs and 91 RBIs, he also seems a lock to record his seventh consecutive season of at least 30 home runs and 100 RBIs. 
  • After struggling at the plate since he was activated from the disabled list on June 2, Posada appears to be heating up during the pennant push. He has a modest five-game hitting streak in which he is 8-for-20 (.400) with three home runs and six RBIs. 
  • With Alex Rodriguez on the disabled list, Marcus Thames is turning into a nice contributor as a right-handed batter. Thames was 3-for-4 with a home run and two RBIs and he also scored two runs. He is also ripping left-handers. He is 27-for-79 (.342) with two home runs and seven RBIs against them this season. He is hitting .313 with five home runs and 19 RBIs overall.
  • Granderson connected for only his second home run against a left-hander this season with his three-run shot off Tallet in the fifth inning. He has 14 home runs and 41 RBIs on the season. Granderson also sparkled in the field with a tremendous throw on a two-out, bases-loaded single by John Buck in the bottom of the sixth. His one-hop throw to Posada cut down Adam Lind trying to score and ended a big threat by the Jays to get back into the game.
  • Despite the 17 hits, two Yankee starters took the collar. Robinson Cano was 0-for-4 with a walk and run scored and Austin Kearns did the same. Kearns’ 11-game hitting streak in which he was 14-for-35 (.400) came to an end.
  • Moseley was either too cautious or he got tired after pitching a one-hitter for the first three innings. He walked the leadoff batters in each of the next three innings and ended up with the bases loaded in the fourth and sixth innings. A grand slam in either inning would have allowed the Jays to get back into the game.
  • Chad Gaudin, fresh off his great back-to-back stints of long relief totaling five innings, struggled mightily in his two innings of mop-up work on Tuesday. He was tagged for three hits and he walked two in giving up three runs in two innings. 
Nick Swisher was forced to leave the game — literally — by manager Joe Girardi after he fouled a pitch off his left knee in the seventh inning. Swisher originally fouled off a 1-2 pitch by Craig Janssen off his knee but stayed in to continue his at-bat. But after fouling a second pitch off his left foot Girardi went out and ordered Swisher to leave the game. Brett Gardner took over the at-bat and struck out looking. Swisher said he hopes to play Wednesday. The Yankees will re-evaluate his knee before the game.  . . .  Javier Vazquez has been moved to the bullpen for now. Because of the encouraging debut of Ivan Nova on Monday, Girardi has decided to give the 23-year-old rookie another start, in place of Vazquez on Sunday. Vazquez is 0-2 with a 8.10 ERA in four starts in August. He will be available in the bullpen starting on Wednesday.
The Yankees will try to win the rubber game of the three-game series with Toronto on Wednesday. The Yankees will try to do it with their All-Star right-hander Phil Hughes.
Hughes (15-5, 3.90 ERA) came off an excellent outing against the Detroit Tigers on Thursday in which he gave up a run on four hits in six innings and fanned six batters. Hughes retired the last 11 Tigers he faced. He is 2-1 with a 3.75 ERA in his career against the Blue Jays.
The Blue Jays will counter with right-hander Brett Cecil (10-6, 3.90 ERA). Cecil notched his first career victory against the Red Sox on Friday, limiting Boston to two runs in 6 2/3 innings at Fenway. He struck six and walked three. Cecil is 1-1 with a 4.91 ERA against the Yankees lifetime.
Gametime will be 7:07 p.m. EDT and the game will be broadcast by the YES Network.

Mitre Holds Blue Jays At Bay As Yankees Win 5-3

Transmission of this report was delayed by technical difficulties.


TAMPA – Sergio Mitre pitched a solid six innings as a New York Yankees split squad defeated a Toronto Blue Jays split squad 5-3 Tuesday night at George M. Steinbrenner Field in Tampa, FL.
Mitre (1-0) gave up only three hits, walked none none and struck five in gaining his first victory the spring. Boone Logan pitched a scoreless ninth inning and was credited with a save. Left-hander Marc Rzepczynski (0-2) took the loss.
The Yankees improved their Grapefruit League record to 12-14 while the Blue Jays fell to 12-14-1.

  • It is a shame for Mitre that Phil Hughes was named the No. 5 starter last Friday because he looked exceptionally sharp in his six innings of work. Other than giving up a single to Joes Bautista, a two-run home run to Aaron Hill and a double to Adam Lind to begin the fourth inning, Mitre was perfect the rest of the evening. 
  • Derek Jeter reached base in each of his four at-bats, including a walk, a stolen base, a single, a triple and two runs scored.
  • Nick Johnson drove in Jeter with the game’s first run with a single in the first inning.
  • With the Yankees trailing 2-1 in the fourth inning, Ramiro Pena doubled in Alex Rodriguez and DH Jon Weber scored Randy Winn in a ground out. The runs gave the Yankees a lead they would not relinquish the rest of the game.
  • The Yankees took advantage of infield errors on Hill and third baseman Edwin Encarnacion to score two more runs in the fifth inning to extend their lead to 5-1.
  • Pena helped Mitre’s cause in his shaky fourth inning. With one out and Lind at second, Pena speared a line drive off the bat of Lyle Overbay and flipped to Jeter at second to double off Lind and end the Jays’ threat.
  • Mariano Rivera needed only 14 pitches to complete a perfect eighth inning. Rivera has a perfect 0.00 ERA in seven innings of work this spring and looks ready to start the season.
  • Logan, who looks to be the odd man out of the bullpen battle with Mitre and Alfredo Aceves, looked sharp in his scoreless inning of work.
  • Alex Rodriguez had two hits and a walk in his four at-bats. His spring average is now .325.

  • Though the run Damaso Marte surrendered in the seventh inning was unearned because of an error by Rodriguez with one out in the seventh, Marte did not help the situation by giving up a single to Overbay and walking Encarnacion. Travis Snider followed with a sacrifice fly that scored the Jays’ third run.
  • Weber has been the hitting sensation of the spring, but he went 0-for-4 in a rare start at DH. He struck out and hit three weak infield grounders but his average only fell to .483 after the bad night.
  • Nick Johnson has a .250 average and .429 on-base percentage for the spring. But he would like to avoid the two double plays he hit into Tuesday night. He also tried to stretch a single into a double in the fifth and was thrown out easily by Vernon Wells at second base.
  • Marcus Thames has resurrected his hitting and he hit a double in the fifth inning, but he also struck out twice in the game. he leads the team in strikeouts this spring with 20. A-Rod is second with 11.

Mark Teixeira did not play in either game due to the bruised right elbow he suffered on Monday after being hit by a pitch by Jeremy Guthrie. Though the arm remains heavily wrapped, Teixeira hopes to return to action on Thursday.  . . . Alfredo Aceves was scratched from a pitching appearance scheduled for Tuesday due to stiffness in his back. Aceves will throw on Wednesday and he hopes to be able to pitch by Friday.  . . . Francisco Cervelli felt a little pinch in his hamstring and he will have an MRI on Wednesday to determine the extent of the injury.