Tagged: Rachel Robinson

Jeter, Ibanez Power Yankees Over Angels



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.


  • 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).


  • 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.


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.


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.


Cano Marks Robinson Celebration With Pair Of Jacks


In the pre-game ceremony honoring the 63rd anniversary of Jackie Robinson breaking the color line in baseball, Robinson Cano — who was named after the icon — handed a bouquet of flowers to Robinson’s widow, Rachel.
After the game, Rachel Robinson should have handed the bouquet back to Cano.
Cano continued his one-man destruction of American League pitching this season with two home runs and three RBIs to lead the New York Yankees to a 6-2 victory over the Los Angeles Angels at Yankee Stadium on Thursday night.
Phil Hughes (1-0), making his first start of the season, pitched into the sixth inning and earned the victory. Hughes gave up two runs on three hits and five walks and struck out six batters. Mariano Rivera, who is the only player in Major League Baseball who wears Robinson’s No. 42, came in to retire one batter to notch his fourth save of the season. 
Scott Kazmir (0-1), who also was making his first start of the season, surrendered six runs on eight hits and three walks in five-plus innings to the loss.
The Yankees won the three-game series with the Angels 2-1 and ran their season record to 6-3. The Angels dropped to 3-7 on the young season.

  • Cano’s two hits give him six multi-hit games in the nine games in which he has played and he has hit safely in all nine games. Cano is batting .395 with four home runs and nine RBIs. Cano hit a solo home run in the second inning and added a two-run shot in the fifth that chased Kazmir from the game.
  • Derek Jeter, who entered the game hitting .111 in his career off Kazmir, hit a solo home run to lead of the third inning and added a RBI double in the third. Jeter is hitting .333 on the season.
  • Hughes was very good early until the Angels collectively decided to run up his pitch count starting in the third inning. Hughes threw only 28 pitches in the first two innings, striking out four and only giving up a solo home run to Hideki Matsui in the second inning. The rest of way Hughes threw 79 pitches. He gave up only two more hits but he walked five.
  • Curtis Granderson stroked two triples in the game, drove in a run and threw out Matsui at the plate with a perfect throw in the fourth inning.
  • Marcus Thames, getting a start at DH with the left-hander Kazmir pitching, was 2-for-3 with a double and single and scored a run.
  • Joba Chamberlain entered the game in the seventh inning with runners on first and third and one out. He then retired Howie Kendrick on a double play he started to end the threat.

  • Mark Teixeira did walk three times but he also struck out twice. His batting average dipped to .091.
  • Randy Winn replaced Brett Gardner in left field in his first start of the season. He grounded out three times and struck out and is hitless on the season.
  • David Robertson pitched better than he did his last time he faced the Angels, striking out three of the six batters he faced. However, he uncorked a wild pitch with two runners on and allowed one of them to score on a Kendrick groundout.
  • Damaso Marte gave up singles to Hunter and Matsui to begin the eighth inning, giving the Angels hope when they were trailing 6-2.
  • Chamberlain also faltered in the ninth when he walked Mike Napoli to begin the inning and then gave up a single to Erick Aybar with two outs. If Chamberlain had gotten Aybar out he would have picked up his first save since September 2007. 
  • In defense of Chamberlain, Jeter should have made the play on Aybar’s grounder but it snuck under his glove for a single.

The two teams combined to give up 15 hits and 13 walks in the game. There were 29 batters who reached three-ball counts in the game. Kazmir ran up 3-2 counts to five of the 23 batters he faced. Angel relievers ran 3-2 counts on six more batters. So control and attacking the strike zone would not be words with which I would describe the game.  . . .  Managing general partner Hal Steinbrenner made it clear that Jeter, Rivera and manager Joe Girardi are not going anywhere. Though the team’s policy is to not negotiate extensions, Steinbrenner told reporters that he would like all three — whose contracts expire at the end of season — to stay with the Yankees.  . . .  The game was telecast nationally by the MLB Network with Bob Costas and former YES Network analyst Jim Kaat behind the microphones. If Yankee Stadium is The Cathedral, listening to Costas do a Yankees’ game is like hearing the pope address the masses. He was magnificent as always and reminded us of the years we missed him when NBC lost the contract to telecast baseball.  . . .  Costas perfectly cast the batting struggles of Teixiera in April by relating the words of T.S. Eliot from his 1922 poem “The Waste Land”:

APRIL is the cruellest month, breeding  
Lilacs out of the dead land, mixing  
Memory and desire, stirring  
Dull roots with spring rain.


The Yankees will play host to the Texas Rangers at the stadium on Friday night. The Yankees will send CC Sabathia (1-0, 3.46 ERA) to the mound for the first time after his flirtation with a no-hitter against the Rays on Saturday. Sabathia is 7-3 with a 4.50 ERA against the Rangers in his career. But this will be his first start against them as a Yankee.
The Rangers will start left-hander C.J. Wilson (0-0, 0.00 ERA), who was pushed back from his start on Wednesday due to food poisoning. Wilson has a 3.24 ERA against the Yankees in 17 appearances, but all of them have been in relief.
Game-time is 7:05 p.m. EDT and the YES Network will broadcast the game locally.