Archive for May, 2013
Boesch gets another start in right • 05.30.13
Brett Gardner CF
Robinson Cano 2B
Vernon Wells LF
Travis Hafner DH
Lyle Overbay 1B
Brennan Boesch RF
David Adams 3B
Reid Brignac SS
Austin Romine C
LHP Vidal Nuno
Ivan Nova really hasn’t had too many good moments since the first half of last season, but the 26-year-old righty was one of the bright lights on an otherwise dark night for the home team at Yankee Stadium Wednesday.
He was working in the long-lost game against the Mets, entering for the fifth with the Yankees trailing 8-1. He allowed just one run and five hits with six strikeouts and only one walk across the final five innings of the 9-4 loss.
“I was throwing a lot of strikes and I was aggressive,” Nova said. “It’s a good one.”
In the eighth, he struck out the side, getting Ike Davis, Mike Baxter and Ruben Tejada swinging.
“The curveball was really good,” Nova said. “Once I get ahead, I go with my curveball. That’s my strikeout pitch.”
Nova knows he has to prove that he’s worthy of being put back in the rotation after posting a 6.48 ERA over four starts and then spending April 27 through May 23 on the DL with triceps inflammation and a back problem. He pitched into and out of a bases-loaded jam in the 10th inning and earned the win last Saturday at Tampa Bay in his first relief outing after returning. This second outing brought his ERA down from 6.11 to 5.16.
“I’m really excited about the way I’m pitching,” Nova said. “The way I pitched today, I’m pretty happy with myself.”
It would certainly be a boost for the Yankees if he can pitch like this consistently and regain the form when he went 16-4 as a rookie in 2011 or 10-3 in the first half last year.
Also, here’s the link to my story on last night’s game. The Yankees have scored just nine runs in the four-game losing streak. Here are updates on Mark Teixeira, Kevin Youkilis, Derek Jeter and Curtis Granderson. And I spoke with Lyle Overbay and he’s loving his time here and wants to stay no matter what the role after Teixeira’s return.
Photo by The Associated Press
Game 52: Yankees vs. Mets • 05.29.13
1. Brett Gardner CF
2. Robinson Cano 2B
3. Travis Hafner DH
4. Lyle Overbay 1B
5. Brennan Boesch RF
6. Ichiro Suzuki LF
7. Jayson Nix 3B
8. Reid Brignac SS
9. Chris Stewart C
David Phelps RHP
1. Ruben Tejada SS
2. Daniel Murphy 2B
3. David Wright 3B
4. Lucas Duda DH
5. John Buck C
6. Rick Ankiel CF
7. Marlon Byrd RF
8. Ike Davis 1B
9. Mike Baxter LF
Jeremy Hefner RHP
Umpires: Bill Welke HP, Adrian Johnson 1B, Fieldin Culbreth 2B, Brian O’Nora 3B
TV/Radio: YES/WCBS 880
Weather: Partly cloudy, comfortable
Streaking: The Yankees are on their first three-game losing streak of the season. The Mets are on their second three-game winning streak.
Update, 7:10: Two batters in, and the Mets are up 1-0. Tejada, apparently under threat to wake up or be sent to Vegas (Ike Davis, too) breaks 0-for-12 skid with leadoff single and Murphy drives RBI double to right-center.
Update, 7:17: Buck RBI single, 2-0. This is like an offensive explosion for this team.
Update, 7:23: Nix error at third, 3-0. Claiborne warming up.
Update, 7:25: Ike Davis two-run single. Phelps KO’d after one-third of an inning, 5-0 Mets. Claiborne comes on.
Update, 7:46: Hefner gives up a broken-bat single to Cano in the first and that’s it. The Mets are 0-9 in Hefner’s starts, 0-10 in games in which he has appeared.
Update, 7:52: Claiborne good as usual so far, five up, five down.
Update, 8:05: Stewart goes down looking to strand runners at the corners, 5-0 after two. Adam Warren is on.
Update, 8:13: Byrd solo homer, 6-0 Mets after 2 1/2.
Update, 8:17: 1-2-3 third for Hefner.
Update, 8:30: Mets up 8-0 on Duda’s two-run double in the fourth.
Update, 8:39: Boesch HR No. 3, 8-1.
Update, 8:43: Nova on for the fifth.
Update, 8:52: Nova strands two. Wonder who will go to make room for Pettitte. Nova? Warren?
Update, 9:00: 1-2-3 fifth for Hefner, one run, five hits for the Yankees so far.
Update, 9:04: Nova has a good inning, 1-2-3, vs. Murphy, Wright and Duda.
Update, 9:11: Single, double, infield hit, 8-2. Hawkins warming for the Mets.
Update, 9:13: Ichiro pops out. Rice joins Hawkins in bullpen.
Update, 9:15: Nix RBI single, 8-3.
Update, 9:24: Three scoreless innings for Nova.
Update, 9:27: Hefner is done, Scott Rice is on for the seventh.
Update, 9:35: Rice was sharp, three up, three down.
Update, 9:43: Four scoreless for Nova. Something positive is coming out of this game.
Update, 9:46: Hawkins comes on with Ichiro at second and two outs in the eighth. Attendance: 43,681.
Update, 9:51: Nix grounds out after a bobble by the shaky Tejada.
Update, 10:20: Yankees lose 9-4.
Yankees pregame: injuries and the roster • 05.29.13
Of course, the Yankees’ pregame chatter had much to do about injuries. Both Mark Teixeira and Kevin Youkilis played seven innings in the field and both went 0 for 2 with a walk in their first rehab game with Trenton today. Barring anything hurting after tomorrow’s rehab game, both are expected back for the start of the Red Sox series here Friday night.
Joe Girardi isn’t exactly sweating over messing up the chemistry. He called that talk “kind of strange.” Just bring back those bats, so he can balance out the lineup, especially vs. lefties.
“We’re so left-handed dominant,” Girardi said. “We’re running up six lefties in a row tonight, seven out of nine. (Their return) changes our lineup a little bit, makes it harder to navigate through. But it’s also experience and a lot of production that we’re bringing back.”
Curtis Granderson had a pin placed in his broken knuckle today.
“The surgery does not change (anything),” Girardi said. “It’s basically four weeks of inactivity and then you go from there. You can’t expect him to go four weeks of inactivity and be in a game the next day. So the healing process, the time doesn’t change. They just decided it was better to put a pin in there. Four weeks, he’ll start doing rehab.”
Girardi confirmed Andy Pettitte is expected back early next week if his trapezius is feeling OK, and he talked about cutting back from 13 to 12 pitchers. The Yankees will probably need two roster spots Friday and then one for Pettitte. So Vidal Nuno, who will start for Pettitte tomorrow night, figures to be one of the guys going to make room for Teixeira or Youkilis.
I spoke with Lyle Overbay when the clubhouse opened and he’s hoping to stay, even in a reserve role. And he should stay considering he’s second on the team in RBI with 29, nine of them driving in the go-ahead run. So it could come down to David Adams vs. Reid Brignac Friday. Your thoughts? And Nova for when Pettitte comes back? Hard to send down Preston Claiborne or Adam Warren with how they’ve pitched. We’ll see.
Also, Derek Jeter is on the field playing catch.
Yankees lineup • 05.29.13
1. Gardner CF
2. Cano 2B
3. Hafner DH
4. Overbay 1B
5. Boesch RF
6. Suzuki LF
7. Nix 3B
8. Brignac SS
9. Stewart C
As you might expect, my old friend Mike Ashmore has a ton of video from today’s Double-A rehab appearance by Mark Teixeira and Kevin Youkilis. Among the details from Brian Cashman…
• The Yankees are planning to have both Teixeira and Youkilis activated on Friday. Both went 0-for-2 with a walk today and will play another Double-A game tomorrow.
• Despite the presence of Lyle Overbay, Cashman left no doubt about how Teixeira will be used. “Mark is our first baseman, so there’s no working Mark back in,” Cashman said. “Mark is going to return right back to where he belongs. Like we’ve been doing all year, we’ll make this up as we go along. … Let’s get these guys back, first and foremost, then we’ll figure out our roster moves.”
• On David Adams’ performance filling in for Youkilis: “He’s kind of the prodigal son that’s returned because he’s been out with the injury for so long.”
• Nothing new on Francisco Cervelli, who’s doing only hand work with a physical therapist.
• Yesterday was supposed to be Michael Pineda’s final extended spring training start before beginning a rehab assignment. The cracked fingernail doesn’t sound like a significant issue. Just slows him down a little bit.
• Cashman told Meredith Marakovits that Andy Pettitte is scheduled to return to the Yankees rotation during the upcoming Cleveland series (that’s Monday through Wednesday at Yankee Stadium).
• Cashman also said that Curtis Granderson had relatively minor surgery to fix his broken hand, but it doesn’t change his timetable for return.
Yankee Stadium pitching matchups vs. Mets • 05.29.13
RHP David Phelps (3-2, 3.96)
RHP Jeremy Hefner (0-5, 4.76)
7:05 p.m., YES Network
LHP Vidal Nuno (1-1, 1.93)
RHP Dillon Gee (2-6, 6.34)
7:05 p.m., YES Network and MLB Network
Postgame notes: “He’s human after all” • 05.29.13
Mariano Rivera made his 1,072nd appearance tonight, passing Dennis Eckersley for the fourth-most ever. Remarkably, this was the first time in all those games, on all those nights pitching where the cushion was nothing or close to it, that Rivera had blown a save without recording an out.
Said Hiroki Kuroda: “He’s human after all.”
Rivera blows so few saves you can practically remember them all. Tonight marked his third blown save against the Mets, joining the Matt Franco game and Ronny Paulino game. Add Lucas Duda to the list. Duda drove in David Wright with the winning run after Daniel Murphy doubled to open the ninth.
Rivera was typically stoic afterward, saying this — or something like it — again and again: “It’s part of the game, man. I have to come back tomorrow strong.”
There’s no reason to believe he won’t. The 43-year old entered the night 18 for 18 in save opportunities this season. Neither the Wright nor Duda hits were hit hard, although Rivera did fail to back up on Brett Gardner’s throw home on Wright’s game-tying single.
“There’s no excuses,” said Rivera, taking the blame.
Joe Girardi pinned it on catcher Chris Stewart, who has suffered through a few defensive lapses the last two nights and went 0 for 3 against Matt Harvey with three strikeouts.
“It got under might glove, but I think it might have hit the bat or something and kicked a little further,” Stewart said. “But it got under me to begin with and I have to put my glove down and stop the ball and keep it in front. Bad play.”
“That ball’s got to be stopped,” Girardi said. “That’s the bottom line.”
• Girardi also disagreed with the suggestion of walking Wright — a heart-of-the-order of one — with first base open.
“You’re not going to put the winning run on,” he said. “We have a Hall of Fame closer on the mound, so no.”
• Rivera’s other two blown saves against the Mets: July 10, 1999 on Matt Franco’s RBI single; July 3, 2011 when Ronny Paulino’s RBI single sent the game to extra innings.
Rivera now has a 3.53 ERA against the Mets (14 ER in 35.2 IP). The only team to fare better is the Angels (3.65 ERA against).
• The ninth inning marred another brilliant night from Kuroda, who pitched seven scoreless and allowed just four singles, didn’t issue a walk and struck out seven. He struck out five of the last eight men he faced to drop his ERA to 2.39.
Kuroda tied Cleveland’s Justin Masterson and L.A.’s Clayton Kershaw by tossing his fourth scoreless outing of seven innings or more — the most in baseball. He has 10 such starts since joining the Yankees — again, the most in baseball.
Kuroda’s finest moment came in the sixth after Brett Gardner robbed Murphy of a game-tying extra-base hit. He threw a splitter to strikeout Wright and then picked Ruben Tejada off second.
“Same,” Girardi said of the dependable Kuroda. “Good split, good slider, good command of his fastball. He just really knows how to pitch.”
Surprisingly, Kuroda had been 0-4 with an 8.20 ERA in four career starts in Queens (one at Shea, three at Citi Field).
• Kuroda was up for his duel with Harvey, who finished the night allowing six singles and no walks and having struck out 10 in eight strong. The Mets have now scored 11 runs for their young ace in his last seven starts.
“He was impressive. He had command of four pitches, but our guys threw a pretty good game, too,” Girardi said. “It’s unfortunate we didn’t hold on to win.”
• Here’s more from Girardi:
• The Mets swept the Yankees for just the third time in Subway Series history. They also swept at Shea in 2004 and at Yankee Stadium in 2008.
The Yankees also lost three straight for the first time all season in their 51st game. It is the deepest into a year for them without a three-game skid since 1955 (58 games).
• Lyle Overbay now has nine go-ahead RBI this season. He’s tied with Travis Hafner for the team lead.
• Gardner is now 12 for his last 35 (.343). He had four strong at-bats (and two hits) against Harvey and drove deep outs to center and left in the first and eighth, respectively.
As for his larceny of Murphy…
“I don’t think he’s too happy with me right now,” Gardner said.
• More from Gardner:
Photos by Getty Images
Mets deal Rivera his first blown save • 05.29.13
Like Jeff Wilpon suspected, Mariano Rivera threw out both the first pitch and the last, but it didn’t end in typical Rivera fashion. The Mets stunned the Yankees for the second straight night, this time beating Rivera with three straight hits to lead off the ninth in a 2-1 win Tuesday night at Citi Field.
Lucas Duda blooped a walkoff single to plate David Wright with the winning run after Wright had singled home Daniel Murphy to tie it. Brett Gardner’s attempt to throw out Murphy at the plate eluded Chris Stewart and allowed Wright to scamper into scoring position.
The blown save — Rivera’s first in 19 attempts this season — spoiled another strong outing by Hiroki Kuroda, who threw seven scoreless innings. Lyle Overbay drove in Gardner with two out in the sixth to scratch a run off Matt Harvey, who struck out 10 and allowed six hits, no walks and just the one run in eight strong innings. Gardner also made a running catch, crashing against the fence in the sixth to rob Murphy for the second straight night.
Stat of the night: Rivera had never blown a save without recording an out in 1,072 career outings.
Photo by Getty Images
Game 51: Yankees at Mets • 05.28.13
Brett Gardner CF
Robinson Cano 2B
Vernon Wells LF
Lyle Overbay 1B
David Adams 3B
Ichiro Suzuki RF
Reid Brignac SS
Chris Stewart C
Hiroki Kuroda (6-3, 2.67)
Kuroda vs. Mets
Ruben Tejada SS
Daniel Murphy 2B
David Wright 3B
Lucas Duda LF
Marlon Byrd RF
Rick Ankiel CF
John Buck C
Ike Davis 1B
Matt Harvey RHP (5-0, 1.93)
(Harvey has never faced any hitter on the Yankees)
TIME/TV: 7:10 p.m., MY9, ESPN and SNY
WEATHER: It has rained almost the entire afternoon and is raining again now. The groundscrew removed the tarp and raked the infield, but the rain returned and the field is covered as of 6:50 p.m. No official word, but we’re not starting on time, folks. Having said that, the forecast claims it will dry up soon. Temperatures will hover in the high-50s with light winds.
UMPIRES: HP Brian O’Nora, 1B Bill Welke, 2B Adrian Johnson, 3B Fieldin Culbreth
FIRST NO MORE: The Yankees dropped out of first place with Monday’s 2-1 loss to the Mets and the Red Sox 9-3 win over the Phillies. They had been at least tied for first since beating the Rockies on May 9.
THE DARK KNIGHT OF GOTHAM: If we ever get underway, the Yanks are scheduled to face Matt Harvey, the 24-year-old phenom whose 0.83 WHIP is the best in baseball. He has never faced anyone on the Yankee roster in 20 starts, which have almost all been either good or brilliant. Harvey has a 2.30 ERA in his career and has posted 144 strikeouts in 129.1 IP while allowing just 83 hits.
TWO’S THE LIMIT: The Yankees have lost two straight, meaning they enter tonight with a chance to lose three in a row for the first time all season. According to Elias, the Yankees haven’t been this deep into a season without a three-game losing streak since 1955. They lost their third straight in game No. 58 that year.
UPDATE, 8:11 p.m.: According to the Mets, first pitch is scheduled for 8:40 p.m. The rain is very light and the Mets say the forecast looks good.
UPDATE, 8:41 p.m.: First pitch: 8:41. The delay was 1:31.
Also, Rivera threw out his ceremonial first pitch to John Franco. Mets PA deemed them “two of the greatest closers in baseball history.” I’ll leave the punchlines to you…
UPDATE, 9:52 p.m.: Both Harvey and Kuroda have been terrific. That Harvey-Cano encounter was the best moment of the night, but Harvey struck out Cano on a slider.
Harvey has been as good as advertised, painting the black with 98-mph heat and throwing all four pitches effectively for strikes. Kuroda has been nearly as sharp. He has retired 11 of 12 since Murphy and Wright had consecutive singles in the first.
Watch for Gardner in his next at-bat. He’s had two strong swings against Harvey so far.
UPDATE, 10:40 p.m.: Per Yankees PR on Twitter, the go-ahead single by Overbay was his ninth go-ahead RBI of the year, tying Travis Hafner for the most on the team.
Kuroda has continued to pitch great. He threw a splitter to strike out David Wright with Ruben Tejada on second. He then picked off Tejada to end the sixth.
Terry Collins was the luckiest Met of all. He doesn’t have to watch his awful team anymore. He was thrown out arguing the call.