Tagged: Mike Gonzalez

Nationals Feeling ‘Hughesed’ By Red-Hot Yankees



When Phil Hughes took the mound at Nationals Park on Friday he was facing a daunting challenge. His opponents were the hottest team in the National League and they boasted a lineup packed with power hitters who could take advantage of Hughes’ propensity to give up home runs.

But when he left after six innings, Hughes proved he was more than up to the challenge.

Hughes (7-5) gave up only one run on six hits (none of them home runs) and two walks and he struck out a season-high nine batters to lead New York past Washington for the Yankees’ seventh straight victory.

Hughes got some early run support when the Yankees touched Nationals starter Gio Gonzalez (8-3) for two runs with two outs in the third inning.

Derek Jeter started it off by lacing a one-out double off the wall in right-field. One out later, Mark Teixeira drew a walk and Alex Rodriguez followed with a slow rolling single in the hole between first and second base that scored Jeter with the game’s first run.

Nick Swisher capped the scoring with a single to left that plated Teixiera while Rodriguez was thrown out rounding second base too far.

The Nationals struck back in the home half of the third when Michael Morse smacked a hanging 0-2 curveball into center to score Steve Lombardozzi with one out and the bases loaded. However, Hughes limted the danage by inducing Ian Desmond to hit into an inning-ending double play.

The game stood at 2-1 until the seventh inning, when the Yankees broke open the contest by chasing Gonzalez and preying upon the Nationals’ bullpen.

Andruw Jones started the inning with a single into left and Dewayne Wise was deployed as pinch-runner while Gonzalez was removed in favor of reliever Brad Lidge.

Wise stole second and Russell Martin drew a walk. Jayson Nix then advanced Wise and Martin a base on a perfect sacrifice bunt. Manager Joe Girardi chose to use Robinson Cano, who was resting against the left-handed Gonzalez, as a pinch-hitter. But Nationals manager Davey Johnson had Lidge walk Cano intentionally to load the bases.

Jeter then rolled a slow grounder to Desmond at short but Desmond’s throw to first base skipped past Adam LaRoche and it allowed Martin to follow Wise to the plate, expanding the Yankees’ lead to 4-1.

Johnson then removed Lidge in favor of lefty Mike Gonzalez but Curtis Granderson slapped an opposite-field double off the wall in left-field to score Cano and Jeter and the Yankees had finally blown the game wide open.

Granderson added his third RBI of the night with a solo home run with two out in the ninth off left-hander Tom Gorzelanny for his 20th home run of the season to cap the Yankee scoring for the evening. If Granderson had not hit that home run the Yankees would have won their first game of the season in which they had not homered. They are 0-12 without homering this season.

The Nationals added an “oh-by-the-way” run in the ninth on an RBI groundout by Danny Espinosa off David Robertson, who was making his first appearance in a game since May 17 when he was placed on the 15-day disabled list with a strained left oblique.

The hero of the night, however, was Hughes, who had entered the game having given up at least one home run in his previous 12 starts. Hughes has now won his last three starts and four of his last five.

With the victory the Yankees improved their season record to 38-25 and they extended their lead in the American League East to 1 1/2 games over the second-place Baltimore Orioles. The Nationals had their six-game winning streak snapped and they fell to 38-24.


  • If there was any doubt Hughes was back to his 2010 form, his performance on Friday removed it. In his last five starts, Hughes is 4-0. In his last three starts, Hughes has given up four runs on 16 hits and seven walks and struck out 23 in 21 1/3 innings of work. That translates to a 1.69 ERA and a 1.08 WHIP. Anybody who still believes the Yankees’ starting rotation is weak is either crazy, stupid or smoking some funny herbs.
  • Granderson drove in three runs with a double and a home run. His home run puts him third in the major leagues behind Adam Dunn of the White Sox and Josh Hamilton of the Rangers, who are tied with 22. Granderson also extended his hitting streak to six games and during that span he is 9-for-25 (.360) with two home runs and six RBIs. His three RBIs now give him 39, which is second to Swisher’s 40 on the team.
  • Jeter singled, doubled, scored two runs and drove in a run in the game. Jeter also extended his hitting streak to six games and he is 10-for-26 (.385) during than span. It helps the Yankees’ offense when Jeter and Granderson are a combined 19-for-51 (.373) over the past six games at the top of the lineup.


Absolutely nothing to criticize about this game. Everybody pretty much contributed something offensively and Hughes just pitched a sensational game.


Rodriguez’s RBI single in the third inning was the 1,924th RBI of his career, which ties him with Jimmie Foxx for sixth place on the all-time list.  . . . Girardi made it clear to reporters that Cano did not start on Friday because he wanted to give him two days off, including Thursday’s off day. Cano was spiked on the left ankle in Wednesday’s game against the Braves but he was not seriously injured. Cano did enter the game as a pinch-hitter in the seventh inning and he drew an intentional walk. He stayed in the game as the second baseman and singled in the ninth inning.  . . .  Robertson gave up two hits and a run in his first outing since being activated from the disabled list on Thursday. David Phelps was sent to Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre  to make room on the roster for Robertson.


The Yankees will continue their weekend road series in Washington against the Nationals on Saturday.

Birthday boy Andy Pettitte (3-2, 2.81 ERA) will get the start for the Yankees after he turned 40 on Friday. Pettitte gave up three runs (two earned) on four hits and two walks and struck out eight in six innings against the Mets on Sunday before leaving the game with a bruised left hand he sustained fielding a hard-hit comebacker in the sixth. But the hand is fine and Pettitte declared himself ready to go. He is 2-1 with a 5.64 ERA in his career against the Nationals.
The Nationals will counter with right-hander Jordan Zimmermann (3-5, 2.91 ERA). Zimmermann allowed three runs on seven hits and struck out seven in seven innings in a no-decision at Fenway Park against the Red Sox in his last start. Zimmermann has never faced the Yankees in his career.
Game-time will be 1:05 p.m. EDT and the game will be telecast nationally by the MLB Network and locally by the YES Network.

Cano’s Hit Gives Yankees’ Rookie Win in 15th


YANKEES 4, ORIOLES 1 (15 Innings)

For nearly five hours the Yankees and Orioles seemed to be handing victory to each other and both teams kept giving it back.

But Robinson Cano ended the nonsense in the 15th inning with a two-run double and rookie Hector Noesi pitched a “thrill-a-second” four innings of relief  to win a game in his major-league debut as New York knocked off Baltimore at Oriole Park at Camden Yards on Wednesday, ahh, make that early Thursday morning.

The Yankees actually spoiled eight innings of shutout baseball by starter Bartolo Colon only to have the great Mariano Rivera cough up his third save chance of the season, which sent the game into six incredible extra frames in which there were 18 hits, six walks and 18 runners left on base between the two teams.

But Mark Teixeira led off the 15th inning with a single to right off losing pitcher Jeremy Accardo (2-1). Alex Rodriguez followed with his fourth single of the night into center. Orioles manager Buck Showalter brought in lefty Mike Gonzalez to face the lefty swinging Cano and Cano blasted his first offering into the gap in right-center for a double to score Teixeira and Rodriguez. An error on the play by Adam Jones allowed Cano to reach third.

Gonzalez then struck Chris Dickerson in the head with a 1-1 fastball and Dickerson was forced to leave the game for a precautionary CT scan. Home-plate umpire Dan Bellino immediately ejected Gonazlaez and Showalter was forced to use Mark Guthrie, the scheduled starter for Thursday’s game, to pitch in relief. The Yankees added another insurance run on Brett Gardner’s sacrifice fly to right to score Cano.

Noesi, meanwhile, kept both Yankee and Oriole fans on the edge of their seats. Noesi (1-0) gave up four hits and four walks and stranded seven runners in four eventful shutout innings. He actually started the 15th by giving up a single to Nick Markakis and he walked Brandon Snyder. But he retired Luke Scott on a soft liner to left and caught the biggest break of the game. Matt Wieters stroked a sure ground single towards right but the ball struck Snyder while he was running in the baseline and Snyder was ruled out. A pitch later, J.J. Hardy ended the four-hour and fifty-six minute marathon with a fly ball to right.

With the victory the Yankees improved their record to 22-19 and they remain two games behind the Tampa Bay Rays in the American League East. The Orioles fell to 19-22 and they trail the Rays by five games.


  • If Bartolo Colon could throw a game any better, it would have had to have been a no-hitter. Over eight innings he silenced the Orioles on only three hits and one walk and he struck seven. He finished his evening by striking out the side by painting the outside corner as he did all night long. He only needed 87 pitches and 61 were strikes. That is an amazing 70 percent strike ratio. He deserved the victory and it is a shame he did not get it. This scrap-heap 37-year-old right-hander has a season ERA of 3.16, the best mark among the Yankees’ starters.
  • Rodriguez continues to show improvement at the plate. He had four hits in the game and scored two of the Yankees four runs. In his last two games he is 6-for-11 (.545). That raises his season batting average to .266.
  • Give Noesi credit for his “bend but don’t break” pitching. He loaded the bases after striking out his first two major-league batters and then induced Markakis to hit an easy tapper back to Noesi. In the 13th, Noesi had runners on first and second with two out and struck out Mark Reynolds looking. In the 14th inning, Noesi gave up a long fly ball to the deepest part of right-center that was caught at the wall by Dickerson. Considering the 24-year-old rookie held it together for four innings in his major-league debut is very impressive.
  • Cano continues to frustrate the Orioles. He entered the game hitting .565 at Oriole Park since the beginning of the 2009 season. Showalter and the Orioles foiled his attempt to end the game in the 13th inning by walking him intentionally with Curtis Granderson at third and Teixeira at first with one out. Accardo escaped the jam by striking out Dickerson and getting Brett Gardner to ground out.


  • No one can fault the great Rivera for being human. He faltered in the ninth by giving up one-out singles to both Jones and Markakis and Vladimir Guerrero stung him for a sacrifice fly to score Jones. It was Rivera’s third blown save and his second against the Orioles this season. The other was against the Blue Jays. It is not surprising that Rivera would have less success against the teams he faces the most inside the A.l. East.
  • Actually the Yankee offense could only muster an unearned run off Orioles starter Zach Britton. Rodriguez led off with a single and he advanced to second on a Cano groundout and took third on an error by Robert Andino. He then scored on a Nick Swisher sacrifice fly. The Yankees had at least one base-runner in the seven innings Britton pitched. Before Cano’s hit they were 1-for-13 with runners in scoring position. This has been an ongoing issue all season long with the Yankees.
  • Francisco Cervelli committed yet another throwing error trying to throw a base-stealer. In the eighth inning, Mark Reynolds stole second and too third when Cervelli’s throw tailed past Cano at second base and rolled into center. Colon bailed Cervelli out by striking out Andino. Cervelli has two errors in limited play and has allowed 11 steals on 13 attempts (18 percent).

Dickerson was taken to University of Maryland Hospital to have a precautionary CT scan. Dickerson wanted to remain in the game but manager Joe Girardi and trainer Gene Monihan insisted he come out. He was replaced as by pitcher A.J. Burnett as a pinch-runner.  It is unknown if Dickerson will miss any time.  . . .  Rodriguez will have his surgically repaired hip checked on when he returns to New York with the team this Friday. Rodriguez insists his hip is fine. But hitting coach Kevin Long said Rodriguez has been having trouble using his lower half swinging the bat lately and thinks a checkup is needed to be sure. With A-Rod going 6-for-11 in his last two games it is not looking like he has any issues. Rodriguez insists there is no pain.  . . .  Swisher returned to the starting lineup after missing Tuesday’s game with flu-like symptoms. Swisher was 0-for-2 in the game with an RBI.  . . .  Derek Jeter was used as the DH and Eduardo Nunez took his place at shortstop. However, when Dickerson was removed from the game, Nunez had to be used in right and Jeter was inserted at shortstop. losing the DH.

The Yankees will attempt to sweep the short road series with the Orioles later today.
The Yankees will start ace left-hander CC Sabathia (3-3, 3.47), who is coming off one his oddest outings of the season on Saturday against the Red Sox. Sabathia actually was dominant for most of the game. But he wilted in the seventh and ended up giving up six runs on eight hits and three walks in 6 1/3 innings. But facing the Orioles should be the tonic. Sabathia is 15-2 with a 2.92 ERA against the Orioles in his career.
The Orioles, forced to use Guthrie on Wednesday, will call on right-hander Brad Bergesen (1-4, 4.35 ERA). Bergesen is 0-3 with a 6.65 ERA against the Yankees in his career.
Game-time will be at 7:05 p.m. EDT and the game will be televised nationally by the MLB Network and locally by the YES Network.

Yankees Rally To ‘Nick’ O’s In 10th On Swisher’s Sac Fly

YANKEES 6, ORIOLES 5 (10 Innings)
After the game Nick Swisher got a sweet taste of pie courtesy of A.J. Burnett because he gave the Yankees the taste of an even sweeter big come-from-behind victory.
Swisher’s sacrifice fly scored Mark Teixeira in the 10th inning with the winning run as New York came back from a 5-0 deficit to humble Baltimore on Thursday night at Yankee Stadium.
No-hit for four-innings by Baltimore starter Jake Arrieta, the Yankees scored four runs in the next three innings and finally tied the score on a solo home run by Jorge Posada on the first pitch delivered by Oriole closer Kevin Gregg in the bottom of the ninth inning.
In the bottom of the 10th, Teixeira began the inning with a walk off losing pitcher Mike Gonzalez (0-1). Alex Rodriguez followed with a double to left. One out later, Swisher smacked a line drive to deep right and Teixeira scored as Nick Markakis’ throw was late and up the third-base line.
Mariano Rivera (1-0) pitched the top of the 10th and earned the victory in relief.
The Yankees improved their record to 7-4 and took sole possession of first place in the American League East. Baltimore dropped to 6-5 and fell a game back in the division.
  • Bartolo Colon once again had to bail out struggling starter Phil Hughes. Colon came into the game with one out in the fifth inning and pitched three scoreless innings. He gave up three hits and a walk and struck out three. 
  • Posada’s game-tying home run in the ninth was only his seventh hit of the season, but five of those hits have been home runs. He now leads the Yankees in home runs.
  • Rodriguez and Robinson Cano continue to punish A.L. pitching. They combined to go 5-for-8 with two RBIs. Rodriguez raised his average to .412 and Cano is hitting .326.
  • Yankee defense made three sparkling plays in the field. Swisher robbed Brian Roberts of a potential two-run home run with a catch at the right-field wall in the fifth inning. Instead it was a sac fly that scored the Orioles’ fourth run. To begin the eighth inning, Derek Jeter denied Vladimir Guerrero a single by ranging to his left, spinning 360 degrees and firing a one-hop throw to Teixeira. But the play of the night came in the same inning with pinch-runner Felix Pie at third and one out and Joba Chamberlain pitching to Mark Reynolds. Chamberlain uncorked a wild pitch that ricocheted off the wall behind home plate and kicked back to catcher Russell Martin. Chamberlain blocked Pie’s slide into home as he caught Martin’s relay and tagged Pie out.
  • Though he pitched somewhat better, the Yankees still have to be concerned with the way Hughes is pitching. Hughes gave up five runs on seven hits and struck two in 4 1/3 innings. He did lower his ERA but it still is a very high 13.94.
  • Brett Gardner is in a major slump. He was 0-for-5 and struck out three times and he is one for his last 18 at-bats. He struck out to end the seventh inning with the tying run at second. In the ninth he struck out looking with the potential game-winning run at second.
  • Russell Martin committed another throwing error in the fifth inning. After Cesar Izturis bunted his way on base Martin tried a snap throw to first base to pick him off and the ball sailed over Teixeira’s head into right field. Izturis moved to third on Roberts’ long fly that Swisher grabbed and he scored on a Markakis single. 
Left-hander Jose Felicoano said he is thinking about having surgery to repair a torn capsule in his left shoulder, a serious surgery that will end his season before it ever started. An MRI showed damage in his shoulder and Feliciano will meet with Dr. James Andrews on Monday to get a second opinion on the recommendation for surgery by the Yankees’ team physician.  . . .  General manager Brian Cashman does not expect to be able to make a deal for another left-handed reliever. They are in pretty short supply and it is even tougher to make deals in April, Cashman said. The Yankees have two options at Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre: 28-year-old Andrew Sisco and youngster Steve Garrison, who pitched well for the team this spring. But the team is not planning to making any moves for now. That leaves Boone Logan has the team’s lone lefty reliever.
The Yankees will open a home weekend series against the Texas Rangers in a rematch of last year’s A.L. Championship Series.
Ivan Nova (1-0, 6.10 ERA) will start for the Yankees. He gave up four runs in 4 1/3 innings against the Red Sox last Friday. Nova has never pitched against the Rangers.
The Rangers will start left-hander Matt Harrison (2-0, 1.29 ERA). Harrison allowed one run in seven innings in both of his first two starts. He is 1-1 with a 7.53 ERA in five appearances (two starts) against the Yankees.
Game-time will be 4:05 p.m. EDT and the game will be telecast nationally by the MLB Network and locally by the YES Network.