Daily Archives: May 22, 2011
From MLB.com’s Bryan Hoch:
NEW YORK — Alex Rodriguez has cemented his reputation as a historic punisher with the bases loaded, but even as he was only able to muster a weak roller on the infield grass, it proved to be all the Yankees needed.
They’d add much, much more. A-Rod’s infield hit knocked in the go-ahead run in an eight-run seventh inning as the Yankees came from behind to defeat the Mets, 9-3, and take the rubber game of the Subway Series.
“I loved it — I was the happiest guy in the stadium,” Rodriguez said. “We’ve been talking about playing small ball here for the last week or two, and I don’t think it could have gotten any smaller.”
An intentional walk to Mark Teixeira preceded a pitching change and brought up Rodriguez, the owner of 22 career grand slams, needing one more to tie Lou Gehrig’s all-time Major League record.
Instead, the at-bat against Pedro Beato produced a nubber that third baseman Willie Harris had to eat, watching Francisco Cervelli charge home with the run that would tip the balance of the interborough set.
“When you put the ball in play with runners on, sometimes good things are going to happen like that,” Yankees manager Joe Girardi said. “It wasn’t a grand slam, but it was just as effective.”
After his team had been limited to a run over the first six frames, Derek Jeter gave the Yankees a brand-new game in the seventh, stroking a two-run single that chased Mets starter Mike Pelfrey.
With the bases loaded and no outs, Jeter connected with a dribbling single up the middle that shortstop Jose Reyes couldn’t get to, marking the captain’s 2,975th career hit.
“A lot of times, it’s not how hard you hit them, it’s where you hit them,” Jeter said.
By the time the 29-minute half-inning was complete, the Yankees had sent 13 men to the plate against four Mets pitchers in their biggest barrage of the year.
Ultimately, the Mets ignored the book on A-Rod, who is 6-for-8 with 19 RBIs in 10 career plate appearances following an intentional walk to Teixeira, including the postseason.
“I’m aware of A-Rod and who he is, but the situation dictates that you try to get out of the inning with a ground ball. And we actually got it,” Mets manager Terry Collins said.
Beato also surrendered a run-scoring single to Robinson Cano. Brett Gardner added a two-run double off Pat Misch and Chris Dickerson contributed a two-run single as the wheels came off for the Amazin’s.
“We were fortunate,” Jeter said. “We hit a lot of balls that fell in for us. Sometimes things are contagious.”
The seventh-inning outburst made a winner of Luis Ayala, who relieved starter Ivan Nova for the final out of the top half and pitched a silent eighth.
Getting hits with runners in scoring position was another positive sign for the Yankees, who homered four times on Saturday but took criticism for a feast-or-famine, homer-happy approach.
They had a taste of the long ball in this one as well: Curtis Granderson homered for the second time in as many games, slugging a solo blast, his 16th, to right field in the first inning off of Pelfrey.
Granderson seemed even more pleased by his sacrifice bunt in the seventh, which followed Jeter’s game-tying single and helped set up Rodriguez’s go-ahead hit.
“I bat second; I’m known for being able to get sacrifice bunts down and do that,” Granderson said. “I’ve been doing it my whole career. I’m definitely not surprised by any means.”
Nova didn’t have his best stuff, scattering a career-high 11 hits in 6 2/3 innings, but he limited the damage to three runs and said he’d head home feeling good about his outing.
“I feel happy because we won the game and I feel happy with the way I threw the ball,” Nova said. “I’ve got [a start] five days ahead, so I’ve got to start thinking ahead and start working.”
All three of the Mets’ runs came in the second inning, and Nova might have been able to escape with less if he hadn’t juggled a potential double-play ball from Justin Turner.
Settling for just one out, Willie Harris stroked an RBI single, Ronnie Paulino knocked in a run with a groundout and Jason Pridie collected a run-scoring knock.
Nova slammed the door from there, despite all the hits he surrendered. He tossed 110 pitches, his most in the big leagues, and allowed just one extra-base hit — a double hit by Carlos Beltran on his final pitch.
“It was impressive,” A-Rod said. “I didn’t think he had his good stuff today by any means, but he kept throwing strikes and kept attacking, and kept his composure.”
The Yankees have won five of their last six games and improved to a perfect 9-0 in home rubber games against the Mets, but there was no chest-thumping about scoring bragging rights for the weekend.
“It’s not over, in a sense, because we have to go over there in the month of July,” Girardi said. “Obviously, we won a series at home, which is good. We’ve struggled at home of late. And we’re going to play them again.”
|Rodriguez, A, 3B||5||1||4||1||0||1||1||.284|
SWB L 5-4
2B: Pena, R (6, Wilson, J), Maxwell (6, Wilson, J).
3B: Russo (2, Wilson, J).
TB: Krum, A; Pena, R 3; Montero, J; Maxwell 2; Russo 4; Brewer; Nunez, L; Molina 2.
RBI: Maxwell 2 (29), Molina (3), Russo (9).
2-out RBI: Maxwell; Russo.
Runners left in scoring position, 2 out: Laird; Krum, A; Brewer 2; Montero, J.
GIDP: Montero, J.
Team RISP: 3-for-12.
Team LOB: 6.
SB: Russo (3, 2nd base off Watson, T/Brown, D), Maxwell (8, 2nd base off Wilson, J/Brown, D).
E: Pena, R (4, fielding).
DP: 2 (Brackman-Molina-Russo-Nunez, L, Nunez, L-Pena, R-Laird).
1. Jeter SS
2. Granderson CF
3. Teixeira 1B
4. Rodriguez 3B
5. Cano 2B
6. Posada DH
7. Gardner LF
8. Dickerson RF
9. Cervelli C
Ivan Nova (4-3, 4.33) vs. Mike Pelfrey (3-3, 5.11)
From MLB.com’s Gameday:
Though Pelfrey extended his winless streak against the Marlins to 13 starts, he did hold the Fish to one run in seven innings of a no-decision Monday. He’ll look for similar success at Yankee Stadium, where he lost his only career start last year.
Nova helped the Yanks snap a six-game skid in his last start, holding the Rays to a run on four hits in 5 1/3 innings for his fourth win of the year. It was a big improvement over his previous start, a three-inning dud in which he gave up 10 hits.
Enjoy the game.
Here’s the latest from the minors, from RAB:
Triple-A Scranton (5-3 loss to Indianapolis)
Austin Krum, CF: 1 for 5, 1 R – threw a runner out at second
Ramiro Pena, SS & Dan Brewer, RF: both 1 for 4 – Ramiro scored a run and struck out
Jesus Montero, C: 1 for 3, 1 R, 1 HR, 2 RBI, 1 BB, 1 K – second homer in eight games … five of his last eight hits have gone for extra bases
Justin Maxwell, LF & P.J. Pilittere, DH: both 0 for 3, 1 BB – Maxwell whiffed twice, P.J. once
Brandon Laird, 1B: 2 for 4, 1 RBI – OPS approaching .800 this month
Kevin Russo, 2B: 0 for 2, 1 BB, 1 HBP
Doug Bernier, 3B: 0 for 4, 1 K
D.J. Mitchell, RHP: 6 IP, 8 H, 5 R, 5 ER, 1 BB, 1 K, 10-7 GB/FB – 56 of 96 pitches were strikes (58.3%) … only the second time all year he’s allowed more than two runs in a start
Buddy Carlyle, RHP: 3 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 1 K, 5-1 GB/FB – 29 of 43 pitches were strikes (57.4%)
Here’s the NYY Recap from MLB.com’s Bryan Hoch:
NEW YORK — It has been suggested that the Yankees lean on the home run too much, warning that continuing to wait for baseballs to clear outfield walls might turn out to be a recipe for disaster.
The next time that pops up, they may shrug and point to Saturday’s box score. Four Yankees homers off Mets hurlers powered a 7-3 Subway Series victory as, once again, the long ball proved to be their best weapon.
“Right now, it is,” said Mark Teixeira, who homered for the third straight night, a two-run shot in the fourth inning. “I’d hate for anyone to say, ‘I’m not going to hit any home runs anymore.'”
One night after the Yankees went 1-for-10 with runners in scoring position, those situations weren’t an issue. They didn’t have an at-bat with a runner in scoring position until the eighth inning and stranded no one on base all night.
“It seems like we find a way usually to score runs, somehow,” Yankees manager Joe Girardi said. “I feel good about this offense. I just think as we start to move forward, you’re going to see guys get hot again.”
Russell Martin belted a two-run homer in the second inning and Teixeira followed suit in the third, giving the Yankees the lead off Mets lefty Chris Capuano with a shot to right-center.
Curtis Granderson homered in the sixth and Alex Rodriguez also cleared the wall, chasing Capuano, who set a career high with the four homers allowed and was charged with six runs on six hits.
The Yankees have scored 52.2 percent of their 226 runs this season via the homer, having hit 70 homers that account for 118 runs.
“You don’t go up there trying to do it, unlike in some sports,” Granderson said. “In football you can say, ‘We’re going to throw the ball down field a lot.’ In baseball, it just happens.”
And while no one wants to spoil the fun, the owner of 622 big league blasts struck a cautionary note, saying it is actually possible to have too much of a good thing.
“I think so,” A-Rod said. “It’s important for us to think small ball and hit behind runners, score with base hits, doubles and sacrifices. There’s many ways to score, and later on when it counts the most, it’s hard to score only by home runs.”
A.J. Burnett wasn’t complaining. The long ball display helped make a winner of the right-hander, who limited the Mets to three runs on six hits in 6 1/3 innings, logging a victory for the first time in four starts.
Burnett did not have his good control early and the Mets took advantage with two first-inning runs, but he said he has been more able to shrug off mistakes and get back to business this year.
”That’s key,” Burnett said. “The less hard I am on myself, the more I’m able to turn the page. I’m not going to have a perfect outing every time; they’re going to hit good pitches. When all that happens, you stand there and get the ball and throw the next one.”
In the first inning, Jose Reyes logged his first career hit off Burnett after 17 at-bats, a double, and scored on a Jason Bay sacrifice fly. Justin Turner’s single knocked in Daniel Murphy, who had singled.
After that, Burnett was touched only by Carlos Beltran’s fifth-inning RBI single.
“I thought A.J. after the first inning really attacked the zone better,” Mets manager Terry Collins said. “We got him behind in some counts, and after that, he was threatening with strike two to a lot of guys.”
Burnett impressed with a cool attitude in the sixth, working out of a two-on, one-out jam by inducing a pair of grounders. The first could have been a double-play ball if Robinson Cano had found a better handle.
“That’s what he’s been able to do most of the year for us,” Girardi said. “He’s pitched with runners on and been pretty good with them.”
Burnett exited after a one-out single to Reyes in the sixth. Murphy singled off Boone Logan, but Dave Robertson pitched out of another tight spot by striking out Beltran and getting Bay to pop out.
“You get out there enough, you’re going to know what to expect and know what to do,” Robertson said. “Sometimes it works out and you make a pitch. Sometimes it doesn’t.”
Joba Chamberlain pitched a scoreless eighth, and a four-run lead allowed Mariano Rivera to rest as Luis Ayala finished up.
Granderson’s homer was his 15th of the season and his eighth off a left-handed pitcher. Even so, he’s among those trying to figure out why the Yankees have leaned on their muscle so much.
“Any way you can get the run to come across is great,” Granderson said. “I think home runs are a luxury.”
Granderson noted that it was a good sign the way the Yankees manufactured their last run in the eighth off Taylor Buchholz, doing it the old-fashioned way.
Derek Jeter singled and stole second base — his 326th career steal, tying Rickey Henderson’s franchise record — before tagging up on a flyout and scoring on a Teixeira sacrifice fly.
“I’ll take the home runs, but at the same time, if we do have guys on base we might as well get them in,” Teixeira said. “I think we can score both ways.”
|Rodriguez, A, DH||4||2||2||1||0||0||0||.267|
|Jones, An, LF||3||0||0||0||0||2||0||.191|
|Nunez, E, 3B||3||0||0||0||0||0||0||.273|
|Burnett, A(W, 5-3)||6.1||6||3||3||3||4||0||4.02|
|Robertson, D(H, 9)||0.2||0||0||0||0||1||0||1.47|