Tagged: Vin Mazzaro

Bronx Bombers’ Barrage Buries Bewildered Bucs



On a day when David Phelps was struggling with his command and his pitch count was exploding the Yankees found a time-honored way to dispatch the Pirates: Break out the home-run ball.

Mark Teixeira and Brian McCann connected for a pair of two-run home runs and Zoilo Almonte, Brett Gardner and Alfonso Soriano each added solo shots as New York deep-sixed Pittsburgh in front of a national TV audience and a paid crowd of 47,353 at Yankee Stadium.

It was only the second time this season the Yankees have hit more than three home runs in a game and they tied their season high with five set against the Boston Red Sox on April 12.

Despite his struggles, Phelps (1-0) managed to pitch five shutout innings, yielding five hits, three walks and a hit batter while striking out five. Phelps did not have a single 1-2-3 inning but kept the Pirates off the scoreboard by wriggling out of jams.

He escaped a two-on, no out situation in the second by retiring Gaby Sanchez on a flyout and striking out Jordy Mercer and Tony Sanchez. He did the same thing in the fifth by striking out Neil Walker, getting Andrew McCutchen on a flyout and Pedro Alvarez on a groundout.

He also gave up three hits in the fourth, but he escaped without giving up a run thanks, in part, to a strike-’em-out, throw-’em-out double play when Ike Davis struck out and McCann threw out Starling Marte attempting to steal second base. Gaby Sanchez then stroked a two-out double and Mercer followed with a single to right but Soriano nailed Sanchez with a perfect throw to McCann.

Four of the five home runs came off Pirates right-hander Edinson Volquez (1-4), who had given up just one homer in his first five starts but has surrendered eight in his past four starts. he was charged with five runs on six hits and struck out three in 6 1/3 innings.

Teixeira opened the barrage in the first inning by following a one-out single by Derek Jeter with his ninth home run in just 23 games after coming off the disabled list on April 20.

Almonte, who was a late addition to the lineup because Jacoby Ellsbury was scratched from the lineup due to flu-like symptoms, hit Volquez’s first delivery in the third inning deep into the second deck in right-center for his first home run of the season and only the second of his major-league career.

Dellin Betances relieved Phelps and the sixth and he was greeted on his first pitch with a line-drive homer into the left-field bleachers by Marte to account for the Pirates’ only run of the day.

Gardner got the run back by stroking his third home run of the season to lead off the sixth inning, making the score 4-1.

Soriano added his sixth home of the season to lead off the seventh and McCann capped the scoring by cracking a two-run shot, also his sixth of the season, with two out in the eighth off right-hander Vin Mazzaro.

The Yankees have hit 25 home runs in just 20 games at Yankee Stadium compared to 13 home runs in 21 games on the road.

After going through a stretch of losing four games in a row earlier this week, the Yankees have now won three straight and Yankee pitchers have given up just one earned run (Marte’s homer) over the past 27 2/3 innings.

The Yankees improved their season record to 22-19 and they also climbed into a tie with the Baltimore Orioles for first place in the American League East, one game ahead of the Toronto Blue Jays. The Pirates dropped to 17-24.


  • To put Phelps’ struggles in perspective, he threw 25 pitches in both the first and second innings and 26 in the fifth. His breaking pitches were diving out of the strike zone and the Pirates were not looking for anything but fastballs. But give Phelps credit for keeping the Pirates scoreless and he now owns a 1-0 record and a 2.93 ERA in his three starts in place of the injured Michael Pineda.
  • McCann looks like he is beginning to be heating up with the bat. He was hitting .209 on May 6 but since then he has had at least one hit in six of his past seven games. In that span he is 8-for-28 (.286) with two homers and five RBIs to raise his season average to .225.
  • Teixeira has hit in seven straight games and is 9-for-25 (.360) with four homers and nine RBIs in that stretch. With Carlos Beltran on the disabled list and McCann hitting well below his normal level, Teixeira has helped the Yankees by providing consistent production in the middle of the order.


The starter pitches five shutout innings, the team hits five home runs and the defense chips in by nailing base-runners at second and at the plate. Despite Betances blowing the shutout there is not much to criticize in this one.


The Yankees’ banged up outfield took another hit when Ellsbury had to be scratched before Saturday’s game. He had only missed one game this season. Ellsbury is day-to-day but the Yankees hope to have him available for Sunday’s doubleheader.  . . .  Meanwhile, Ichiro Suzuki, who has missed all of this week with a lower-back strain, was used as a defensive replacement in right-field in the ninth inning of Saturday’s game. He is expected to start at least one of two games on Sunday.  . . .  Although CC Sabathia will be eligible to come off the 15-day disabled list on May 26, manager Joe Girardi told reporters on Saturday that he will need more time. Sabathia had right knee drained of fluid and a degenerative change in the knee was treated with a cortisone and stem-cell injection this week by Dr. James Andrews in Birmingham, AL. Sabathia is expected to be back in New York on Sunday and he will be re-evaluated early next week.


Because of a rainout on Friday the Yankees will play a single-admission doubleheader against the Pirates on Sunday.

Right-hander Hiroki Kuroda (2-3, 4.62 ERA) will pitch the first game for the Yankees. Kuroda, 39, gave up four runs on seven hits in six innings against the New York Mets on Monday before the bullpen imploded after he left. He did not get a decision.

The Pirates will counter with hard-luck right-hander Charlie Morton (0-5, 3.22 ERA). Morton yielded three unearned runs in the first inning and lost to St. Louis Cardinals despite yielding just one earned run on seven hits in six innings last Sunday.

Left-hander Vidal Nuno (1-1, 6.43 ERA) will pitch the second game for the Yankees. Nuno has been a disappointment so far as a No. 5 starter, having given up seven runs (five earned) on four hits and four walks in just 3 1/3 innings against the Mets on Tuesday. He is 1-1 with a 4.94 ERA in his five starts.

He will be opposed by hard-throwing right-hander Gerrit Cole (3-3, 3.76 ERA). Cole was tagged for three runs on seven hits and three walks while he struck out six in 5 2/3 innings of a loss to the Milwaukee Brewers on Tuesday.

Game-time for the first game will be 1:05 p.m. EDT and the second game will start approximately 30 minutes after the first game is completed. Both games will be broadcast nationally by the MLB Network and locally by the YES Network.


Yanks Batter A’s Again; Reclaim One Game Lead Over Rays

GAME 132

The thundering bats of the New York Yankees continue to overcome their pitching woes and Tuesday’s pounding of the Oakland Athletics handed them first place.
Since June 20, the Yankees have either held first place alone or in tandem with the Tampa Bay Rays. For the last eight days they have held first place in tandem. But entering September the Yankees hold first place in the American League alone.
The Toronto Blue Jays erupted for 10 runs in the sixth inning off Jeff Niemann and the Rays en route to a 13-5 victory. The Rays now trail the Yankees by a game.
Yankee power was on display in the Bronx as Mark Teixeira blasted a three-run home run, Nick Swisher added a two-run blast and Curtis Granderson snapped a 1-for-17 slide with a solo shot of his own as the Yankees pounded New Jersey native Vin Mazzaro (6-7) for nine runs, seven of them earned.
Meanwhile, Phil Hughes (16-6) looked like he was showing Yankee fans just how bad he could pitch and still win a game.
Hughes, lacking command on all of his pitches, gave up only two runs in five innings. However, he also pitched into deep counts to just about every batter and gave up four hits and five walks. He left after five innings having thrown 98 pitches — 46 of them balls.
With the victory Hughes became only the second pitcher in the American League to win 16 games. The other is teammate CC Sabathia, who has 18 wins.
In their first two games against the A’s the Yankees have scored 20 runs on 22 hits, six home runs and seven walks. 

  • Teixeira’s three-run home run into the second deck in the right-field bleachers gives him 30 home runs on the season, his seventh consecutive season of 30 or more home runs. He also became the sixth Yankee to hit 30 or more home runs in his first two seasons in pinstripes. The others are Babe Ruth, Roger Maris, Jason Giambi, Alex Rodriguez and Gary Sheffield. Teixeira also raised his batting average back to his previous season high of .264.
  • Swisher may not be the team MVP but he has to be considered the team’s Swiss-army knife. He extended his hitting streak to eight games and he is 12-for-23 (.364) in that span with three home runs and 10 RBIs.
  • Jorge Posada drove in the third and final run of the first inning off Mazzaro with a triple, only the 10th triple of his career and his first since Aug. 26, 2008 in Cleveland.
  • Chad Gaudin rescued Hughes and the Yankees with three solid innings of relief. He did give up a solo home run to Daric Barton in the seventh inning but he only gave up one other hit and no walks in facing 11 batters.

  • The Yankees have to be very concerned about Hughes. Since July 9, Hughes is 5-4 with a 5.59 ERA. In 43 1/3 innings he has given up 52 hits and 19 walks and only has 32 strikeouts. He also has failed to pitch past the sixth inning in each of those nine starts.
  • Derek Jeter’s struggles at the plate continue. He went 0-for-3 with a walk and a run scored. After batting .243 in June and .242 in July, Jeter ended August batting .239. This is not a minor slump. It is big concern heading into September.
  • Marcus Thames has been one of the hottest Yankees at the plate lately, but he ran into a buzz-saw on Tuesday night. He struck out in his first three trips to the plate and then finally made contact — hitting a foul popup to the catcher.

The Yankees are expected to add to their roster on Sept. 1. Lance Berkman, who was on a rehab assignment for a sprained ankle at Double-A Trenton will likely be one of the players added. The Yankees also have to make a decision on whether to activate right-handed reliever Alfredo Aceves, who has been out since May with a lower-back strain. The Yankees would like to add more players but their Trenton and Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre teams are both in the playoffs.  . . .  Manager Joe Girardi refused to say whether anything has changed with the rotation after Javier Vazquez came through his second good outing out of the bullpen on Monday. For now, Dustin Moseley is still a starter but Vazquez may get the nod if Moseley struggles again.

How bad can you season be? Injuries, incon
sistency and just down-right bad baseball. But not only is the Red Sox Nation in tears over the fact the team likely will be playing golf in October, but they have to be stunned that Johnny Damon said no to a comeback to Fenway. Of course, it could be the fact that Damon was booed, derided, criticized and vilified by these same fans after he left Boston. They say that karma is a bitch and in this case it snapped up and bit the “Idiots” in the buttocks. Not that Damon would have rescued the season. But he sure would have added class and work ethic to your piddling poor team in the last month. Good for you, Johnny. You are always welcome back to the Bronx, where you really were loved and still are.

The Yankees will try to win the four-game series on Wednesday. But after watching Hughes struggle with his command on Tuesday, Yankee fans may need to refill their Valium prescriptions before A.J. Burnett takes the mound.
Burnett (9-12, 5.17 ERA) gave up nine runs (eight earned) in just 3 1/3 innings in his last start in Chicago last week. Yankee fans planning to sit in the bleachers for this game should also bring big gloves and batting helmets. Burnett has given up six or more earned runs in nine of his 26 starts this season. He is 3-3 with a 3.81 ERA in his career against the A’s.
The Athletics are countering with left-hander Brett Anderson (3-5, 3.32 ERA). Anderson gave up four runs on six hits and two walks against the Rangers on Friday. He left the game after two innings with a hyperextended right knee but has been cleared to make this start. He is 0-2 with a 5.68 ERA lifetime against the Yankees.
Game-time is 7:05 p.m. EDT and the game will be broadcast nationally by ESPN and locally by the YES Network.

CC And Four E’s Bury the A’s


CC Sabathia loves pitching close to his home but the results of his previous games have been something less than spectacular. Well, maybe now he can be proud of one really good effort.
Sabathia pitched eight solid innings and the New York Yankees took advantage of four Oakland errors as the Yankees defeated the Athletics 7-2 on Tuesday night.
Sabathia (14-7) overcame surrendering two early solo home runs to settle down to win his fifth game in his last six decisions. The left-hander gave up just five hits and one walk and fanned seven batters to run his August record since 2005 to 18-2.
“It means a lot,” Sabathia told MLB.com. “I felt like every time I came here, this was going to be the game that I’ve pitched well. Tonight just happened to be the night.”

Sabathia, a native of nearby Vallejo, CA, purchased 150 seats for friends and family for the game. But Sabathia entered the game with a 1-4 record and an 7.12 ERA in eight starts at Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum.
With the victory, the Yankees snapped a two-game skid and maintained their seven game lead in the American League East standings over the Boston Red Sox, who held on to beat the Toronto Blue Jays 10-9.
“I think this was a big win for us, because you do want to stop it,” Yankees manager Joe Girardi said. “We’ve had a couple of three-game losing streaks, and we’ve come out very well. Let’s just make it a two-game losing streak.”
The Yankees offense again sputtered in the early innings against Oakland starter Vin Mazarro. They took advantage of an Adam Kennedy error on a Derek Jeter grounder that allowed Melky Cabrera to score in the second inning.
An inning later the Yankees took advantage of a Mazzaro wild pitch that allowed Alex Rodriguez to take second. He later went to third on a Hideki Matsui groundout and scored on Jorge Posada’s ground-rule double to tie the score at 2.
The A’s, meanwhile, scored a pair of runs on a pair of swings. Kurt Suzuki connected on a Sabathia fastball in the first inning one pitch after Sabathia threw a pitch behind him. In the top of the inning, Mazzaro struck Rodriguez with a fastball in the left arm.
Home plate umpire Jerry Layne immediately warned both benches that no further knockdown pitches would be tolerated. Suzuki then connected with the next pitch to give Oakland a 1-0 lead.
In the second inning, Sabthia challenged Oakland rookie DH Tommy Everidge with high inside fastball and Everidge slammed it into the left-field bleachers to give the A’s a 2-1 lead.
“I’m just trying to make pitches,” Sabathia said to MLB.com. “I always want these guys to swing early in the count so I can go deeper in the game. When they scored the two in the first two innings, I was just trying to keep it right there and let these guys come up to have a big inning. They did.”
The Yankees missed numerous opportunities to break the game open against Mazzaro, a native of New Jersey. In the first inning Posada struck out with the bases loaded. Mark Teixeira left two runners on in the second inning with fly to right.
After the Yankees tied it in the third inning, Posada was gunned down by Suzuki trying to take third base on a wild pitch.
In the fourth inning, the Yankees loaded the bases with one out when Cabrera reached on an error by Nomar Garciaparra, a single by Derek Jeter and a walk to Johnny Damon. But Teixeira grounded into a double play to end that threat.
In the fifth inning, Posada grounded into a double play to end that inning but Mazzaro’s pitch count was at 103 and he was relieved in the sixth by rookie lefty Jay Marshall (0-1).
The Yankees finally broke through on Marshall and right-handed reliever Sergio Casilla. They scored five runs on four hits, a hit batter, two walks and a passed ball as 10 batters in all came to the plate in the sixth.
Jeter broke the 2-all tie with a single to left. Damon followed a pop fly double down the left-field line. After Teixeira was intentionally walked, Casilla walked Rodriguez on four pitches to score another run. 
Matsui followed with a RBI single and Posada capped the scoring with a sacrifice fly.
Handed a five-run lead, Sabathia, cruised from there. After escaping a bases-loaded, two-out jam in the fourth by inducing Ryan Sweeney to bounce out to Rodriguez, Sabathia retired 12 of the next 13 batters he faced.
David Robertson pitched a scoreless ninth for the Yankees despite issuing two walks to open the frame.
Jeter had his third consecutive three-hit game. On the road trip he hit in every game and in his last 14 games, Jeter is batting .403.
“He’s been really, really good,” Girardi told MLB.com. “He’s been good all year for us. He has done a great job in that leadoff spot. He sparks so many things.”
“CC was dominant tonight,” Swisher said. “It seemed like once we got him the lead, there was no giving it back. He’s a great pitcher. That’s why he’s got a Cy Young sitting in his house somewhere.”

“Like I said, I’ve pitched well in San Francisco,” Sabathia said to MLB.com. “It was just this place. Now I’ve put that behind me and I can go forward now. … It just feels good to come in and pitch well. You can hear all [the fans], and I always know when I’m back.”
The Yankees, who are the first team in baseball to win 75 games, will try to win the three-game series with Oakland on Wednesday night. Chad Gaudin (5-10, 5.13 ERA) will make his first start for the Yankees to help hold Joba Chamberlain to his innings limit. He has not started a game since Aug. 5 with the San Diego Padres.
Oakland will st
art lefty Brett Anderson (7-8, 4.55 ERA). After going 4-1 with a 2.23 ERA in his past eights starts, Anderson allowed seven earned runs on nine hits and three walks in five innings last Friday against the White Sox. In two starts against the Yankees this season, Anderson has given up nine earned runs in 12 innings (6.75 ERA).
Gametime is 10:07 p.m. EDT.

Yanks Storm Back On A’s For 7th Straight Win


CC Sabathia knew the calvary would arrive. He didn’t know when it would come or how many runs it provide, but Sabathia knew the Yankees offense would bail him out.
They did and the New York Yankees erased an early 3-0 deficit to be the Oakland Athletics 6-3 on Thursday night for their seventh straight victory and a 2 1/2 game lead on the slumping but idle Boston Red Sox in the American League East.
Sabathia, despite early command issues that led to the early deficit, pitched seven innings for the 12th time in his last 15 starts and won his 10th game of the season.
Mark Teixeira homered and doubled and drove in three runs. Jorge Posada added two RBIs as the Yankees ruined the Yankee Stadium debut for Oakland starter and New Jersey native Vin Mazzaro (2-7), who had a contingent of family and friends who braved a two-hour, 53-minute rain delay before the game started.
Sabathia (10-6) surrendered a sacrifice fly to Jack Cust and an RBI single by Bobby Crosby in the second inning. In the fourth, Kurt Suzuki touched Sabathia for an RBI single. But Sabathia shut down the Athletics the rest of the way.
Sabathia gave up nine hits but did not walk anyone and fanned four batters.

“Just keep it there — that’s what I’ve been saying all year,” Sabathia told MLB.com. “I’m not trying to go out and throw shutouts and try to win the game myself. It’s damage control, just keeping the game where it is until the offense can score some runs.”

Sabathia then turned the game over to the Yankees new eighth-inning specialist, Phil Hughes. The only thing is that manager Joe Girardi took off the training wheels for his new prize reliever.

Because closer Mariano Rivera had closed five games in the past six days, Hughes was allowed to pitch both the eighth and ninth. Hughes was perfect and earned his first career major-league save.

“It was good. I had a little cushion to work with, so that was nice,” Hughes said to MLB.com. “It didn’t sink in until they threw me the ball.”

Hughes lowered his bullpen ERA to 0.37 and he has not been scored upon in 15 straight appearances, a total of 18 2/3 innings. In that span he has given up just 10 hits and three walks and struck out 22 batters.

“He’s been really good,” Girardi told MLB.com. “He has taken this role and really ran with it. He comes out with a lot of confidence and very good stuff every night.”

Mazzard, a 22-year-old righthander and native of Rutherford, N.J. who grew up a Yankees fan, stifled the Yankees for the first three innings. He struck out six of the first 10 batters he faced and only surrendered a single to Robinson Cano in the second inning that was quickly erased when leftfielder Matt Holliday gunned Cano out at second base trying to stretch the hit into a double.

But the Yankees spoiled Mazzaro’s 10th major-league start with a four-run fourth inning, fueled by Teixeira’s 24th home run after Johnny Damon had singled to lead off the inning. Teixeira had worked the count to 3-0 and guessed right on the next pitch. He scorched it into the second deck in rigthfield.

“The pitch has to be right down the middle and that’s what I got,” Teixeira said to MLB.com.

Posada later added a game-tying double and Eric Hinske capped the rally with a two-out single to score Posada.

The Yankees then chased Mazzaro in the fifth when Teixeira ripped an RBI double to right and Posada later added a bases-loaded single that scored Damon and end
ed Mazzaro’s night.

“The kid has got a great arm,” Teixeira said. “Location was probably the difference.”

Mazzaro left having given up six runs in 4 1/3 innings. He yielded eight hits and four walks but did strike out seven.

It was not a sure thing the game would even be played Thursday night. Rain forced a long delay of a game that actually was a makeup game of April 20 game scheduled between the two teams. Though the game was played, not many of the announced crowd of 44,206 stayed to watch the game, which was played in steady drizzle and it became a downpour in the ninth inning.

The victory gave the Yankees their second consecutive seven-game winning streak following the All-Star Break. The Yankees won eight in a row after the 2008 All-Star Break.

“We’re just playing really well,” Hughes told MLB.com. “It’s the same team, the same guys. It’s not like we’re trying to do anything different. We’re getting great starting pitching and scoring some runs. It all starts with starting pitching.”

The Yankees will attempt to extend that winning streak to eight games with righthander Joba Chamberlain (5-2, 4.05 ERA) on the mound. Chamberlain is coming off his first victory at home this season. In one of his strongest outings of the season, Chamberlain struck out eight and pitched in to the seventh inning to lead the Yankees to a 2-1 victory and a sweep of the Detroit Tigers.

Chamberlain will be opposed by Athletics lefthander Brett Anderson (5-7, 4.25 ERA). Anderson was perfect for 6 1/3 innings in his last time out against the Angels on Sunday. He ended up throwing eight scoreless innings. He gave up two hits, walked none and struck out six. He will enter tonight with a 21-inning scoreless streak over his past four starts. 

Anderson gave up five runs in 5 1/3 innings on April 22 to the Yankees in his third major-league start.

Gametime is 7:05 p.m. EDT.

NOTES . . . It looks to be very bad news for Yankees injured starter Chien-Ming Wang. Because Wang felt discomfort in his arm after trying to rest it for two weeks, the Yankees are sending Wang to have his sore right shoulder looked at by Dr, James Andrews. Andrews will be offering a second opinion on whether Wang may require season-ending surgery. The Yankees will not comment on Wang’s status until they get the results back . . . General Manager Brian Cashman said Chamberlain’s role will be changing because of a team-imposed 150-inning limit on the righthander. Chamberlain has already pitched 95 innings. Though Cashman did not specify what the new role would be, it is clear that the Yankees might be looking for yet another starter to replace Chamberlain. The Yankees could acquire a pitcher like Mariners lefty Jarrod Washburn before the trade deadline, move Chamberlain back to his setup role, keep Sergio Mitre in the rotation, send Hughes to the minors to prepare to come back as a starter and supplant Mitre in September. This is only speculation but the moves could make the Yankees rotation stronger with lefties Sabathia, Pettitte and Washburn separated by righthanders A.J. Burnett and Hughes. I am not sure the Red Sox would want to face that group with Chamberlain, Aceves, Coke and Rivera looming in the bullpen.