Results tagged ‘ Cody Eppley ’
From the when-will-they-ever-learn department: Yankees starter Hiroki Kuroda reached with his pitching hand to try to snare a line drive up the middle by Red Sox right fielder Shane Victorino in the second inning. The ball skimmed off Kuroda’s fingertips and into center field for a single.
Kuroda was examined by trainer Steve Donohue but remained in the game – temporarily. The righthander walked one batter and hit two others with pitches over the next four batters. After the second hit-by-pitch, to designated hitter Daniel Nava, that forced in Boston’s second run, Yanks manager Joe Girardi decided to remove Kuroda. Cody Eppley did an efficient job of keeping the damage to a minimum by getting Dustin Pedroia to ground into an inning-double play.
Pitchers are warned constantly about the dangers of trying to catch a ball with their bare hand, but most cannot help themselves because it is an instinctual maneuver. The risk of a serious injury to their pitching hand is not worth attempting such a play. Roger Clemens was frequently guilty of this, but using one of the game’s freaks of nature as an example is unwise thinking.
Yes, Alex Rodriguez was in the starting lineup for Saturday night’s ALCS opener against the Tigers at Yankee Stadium. He was not batting third or fourth but rather sixth.
Some media types seemed surprised. Much was made in the press about the fact that Detroit does not have a lefthander in its rotation. Rodriguez struggled against righthanders in the AL Division Series against the Orioles (0-for-11, nine strikeouts), but did anyone really think A-Rod was not going to start any of the games against the Tigers?
Listen, Alex Rodriguez is the Yankees’ regular third baseman. He is going to play. Just because he got pinch-hit for two games in a row and was out of the lineup the next game does not mean he is going to sit on the bench for the rest of his time with the Yankees, which just happens to be another five more years.
A-Rod is going through a rough stretch, but, remember, a couple of years ago, the same sort of stuff was being said and written about Derek Jeter, and look at how he turned his career around at the age of 38? Everybody just needs to relax and let Rodriguez work himself out of this rut.
The only roster change between the ALDS and the ALCS for the Yankees was the addition of a 12th pitcher. Cody Eppley was added to the staff, which was a good move. It meant a position player had to come off, which turned out to be Eduardo Nunez. Manager Joe Girardi believes Derek Jeter is healthy enough to play shortstop regularly and is comfortable with Jayson Nix as a backup.
Nunez gave the Yankees speed off the bench, but they also have Brett Gardner for that. Besides, now that Mark Teixeira is stealing bases the way he did to build a run in Game 5 of the ALDS, who needs extra speed?
Ever since returning from Kansas City where his ears were besieged by boos at the All-Star Game, Robinson Cano has generated the usual sounds of cheering at Yankee Stadium. It was Cano who started the Yankees toward their 29th come-from-behind victory with a two-run home run that erased the 2-0 deficit the Yankees faced at the start of the inning.
They used a familiar formula – power hitting and ensemble relief pitching – to continue their winning ways Saturday in a 5-3 victory over the Angels. Cano and Curtis Granderson supplied the power with two-run homers, and Robinson added a key tack-on run in the sixth with an RBI single.
The Stadium crowd of 47,789 loved it. They have regarded Cano exactly the opposite of how he was treated in KC. Cano stumbled somewhat coming out of the game this season, but ever since he heated up the sizzle hasn’t stopped. Even the one part of his game that continued to be questioned he had answers for Saturday. The second baseman entered the game batting .190 with runners in scoring position and proceeded to go 2-for-3 (.667) in those situations.
“Remember in the first few months people were asking about Robbie,” manager Joe Girardi said, “but he has turned it around.”
Has he ever? During a club-high, 17-game hitting streak, Cano has batted .391 with five doubles, six home runs, 19 RBI, 10 runs and nine multi-hit games in 69 at-bats. He has had the longest hitting streak for a Yankees player in each of the past four seasons (also 17 games in 2011, 17 in 2010 and 18 in 2009). Cano has hit 17 home runs in his past 45 games since May 22 after having hit four homers in his first 42 games. Of his 21 homers, 14 have come at the Stadium, including 10 in his past 17 games in the Bronx since June 6.
The first-inning homer off Angels righthander Jerome Williams was impressive. It was a drive to the opposite field with the ball hitting the top of the fence in left-center and carrying on the fly over the visitors bullpen and into the bleachers.
“That was big to bounce back,” Girardi said. “To answer quickly was very important.”
The blow allowed Freddy Garcia time to settle in, and the veteran righthander came through with a thoroughly acceptable outing from a fifth starter with five functional innings. In the third, Granderson reached the second deck in right for his 24th homer to put the Yanks ahead for good.
Cody Eppley, who has been a real find this season for the Yankees, took over for Garcia in the sixth and allowed one hit. Five of the six outs he recorded were in the infield and four on ground balls.
“He has good movement on his fastball and is good at getting ground balls,” Girardi said.
The manager could then go to his post-Mariano Rivera rotation for the late innings with David Robertson working the eighth and Rafael Soriano the ninth; two more scoreless innings from them and save No. 22 for Soriano in 23 opportunities.
“It’s hard to say where we would be without Soriano,” said Girardi, who also deserves credit for manipulating the relief corps so well. “It is hard if you don’t know what you have. My responsibility is to put them in spots where they can be successful.”
That success has given the Yankees the largest lead of any division winner in the majors and prompted a question to Girardi about where he would rank this team among the four he has managed since 2008.
“Well, we won 103 games in the regular season in 2009 when we won the World Series,” Girardi said, naming the obvious choice. “I have had clubs that hit more, but this team plays together as well as you can. Some individuals’ numbers could be better, but contributions have been coming from everybody”
One of the strengths of the 2012 Yankees is how they have overcome injuries. Much has been made in this weekend series at Fenway Park about the makeshift lineups that manager Bobby Valentine is throwing out there because of injuries to key Red Sox players, but the Yankees have not been exactly running on all cylinders, either.
And yet the Yanks have the best record in the major leagues just past the midway point of the season, due in large part to the contributions of players filling in for those on the disabled list. What better example could there have been than the matinee of Saturday’s split-admission twin bill with Freddy Garcia and Andruw Jones reaching back into their past glory to put their stamps on a 6-1 victory.
Garcia, who was banished from the rotation three months ago, has been given a second chance as a starter with CC Sabathia and Andy Pettitte on the DL, and he has responded with two straight quality starts. The righthander pitched into the seventh inning for the first time this season in his longest start (6 2/3 innings) over a calendar year and held the Red Sox to five singles, a double and two walks with five strikeouts to post his first victory as a starter this year.
Granted, Boston’s lineup won’t make anyone think of its 2004 or ’07 World Series champions, but Garcia had the kind of stuff that might have handled those squads as well. Freddy’s fastball was in the upper 80’s, which made his breaking stuff more effective. Considering that Pettitte will be out probably until around Labor Day, Garcia could become a fixture in the rotation for a while.
Jones, who along with Raul Ibanez has made up for the nearly season-long loss of left fielder Brett Gardner, supported Garcia with two solo home runs and a splendid play at the base of the Green Monster in the sixth inning that became a stylish double play at the expense of Adrian Gonzalez.
One day after winning a game without hitting a home run, the Yankees left the yard four times Saturday afternoon. Jones was part of two back-to-back homer innings for the Yankees. He followed Nick Swisher’s three-run bomb in the first with a home run and went yard again in the fourth in front of Jayson Nix, who played shortstop to give Derek Jeter a half-day off as the designated hitter. Swisher’s homer ended a hitless stretch that had reached 17 at-bats.
The Yankees’ four-run first gave Garcia a comfort zone. Unlike teammate Hiroki Kuroda, who blew a 5-0, first-inning lead Friday night in a game the Yanks eventually won, 10-8, Garcia protected the early bulge. The only run he allowed came in the fourth on successive singles by David Ortiz, Gonzalez and Mauro Gomez.
Jones added another solo homer in the nightcap, a sloppy, 9-5 Yankees loss in which they committed four errors. Three more first-inning runs, on Mark Teixeira’s 15th home run, makes it 14 first-inning runs for the Yankees in five games this season against Boston. Phil Hughes failed to hold the lead, and one-day call-up Cory Wade continued to have problems as the Red Sox batted around in both the sixth and seventh innings to produce seven runs.
Garcia and Jones are just two examples of players who have plugged holes for the Yankees. Cody Eppley (2.74 ERA), who pitched 1 1/3 innings of scoreless relief, has been an effective situational right-handed reliever in the absence of Joba Chamberlain and while David Robertson was on the DL. And the panic the Yanks felt at first following the knee injury to Mariano Rivera back in May has subsided with Rafael Soriano stepping in for 20 saves in 21 opportunities.
Think also of the recent career week of reserve outfielder DeWayne Wise and the season-long steadiness of veteran corner infielder Eric Chavez and you have the ingredients that have kept the Yankees from tumbling down the standings despite the injuries they have sustained.
The most effective pitcher for the Yankees Friday night was not really a pitcher. DeWayne Wise, outfielder by trade, faced two batters and retired them both in mop-up duty in a 14-7 loss to the White Sox. Manager Joe Girardi explained that he did not want to use Rafael Soriano or David Robertson or Cody Eppley in that situation and that Wise “was really my last guy.”
Wise had not stepped on a mound since his high school days in the mid-1990s back in Chapin, S.C. He said he threw only fastballs. The radar gun had him between 82 and 86 miles per hour, which is pretty fair velocity for a non-pitcher.
Wise became the Yankees’ first position player to pitch in a game since fellow outfielder Nick Swisher threw a scoreless inning April 13, 2009 in a 15-5 loss to the Rays at St. Petersburg, Fla.
It was 44 seasons ago that a Yankees position player last pitched in a home game. Gene Michael, then a shortstop and currently the club’s senior vice president and special adviser, pitched three innings in a 10-2 loss to the Angels in the second game of a doubleheader at Yankee Stadium. “Stick” gave up five runs and five with no walks, a hit batter and three strikeouts. None of the runs against him was earned because of an error by shortstop Ruben Amaro, father of the current general manager of the Phillies. Michael also drove in one of the Yankees’ runs that game with a single in his only at-bat. He did not play in the first game.
The Yankees are playing musical chairs with their pitching staff these days. Adam Warren, who gave up six earned runs and eight hits, including two home runs, in 2 1/3 innings Friday night in his major-league debut, was optioned back to Scranton/Wilkes-Barre as the Yankees recalled pitcher D.J. Mitchell from the Triple A affiliate. Mitchell, a righthander, was 5-4 with a 5.36 ERA in 14 starts but will be used out of the bullpen. David Phelps, who took over for Warren Friday night and ended up with the losing decision, will start Wednesday night at St. Pete.
Yankees fans got a pre-game treat Saturday as Tom Coughlin, head coach of the Super Bowl champion Giants, accompanied by his four grandchildren, threw out the ceremonial first pitch.
With temperatures in the mid- to high-90s this weekend, the Yankees implemented hydration stations inside the Stadium at the following locations: 100 Level-Gate 4, Gate 6 and Gate 2; 200 Level-Sect. 210 and Sect 234; 300 Level-Sect 309 and Sect 330; Bleachers-Sect 237. Additionally, cooling stations will be located at Sect. 128, Sect. 221 and Sect. 320.
Yankees manager Joe Girardi took a lot of heat in the media for the way he managed the ninth inning Thursday night against the White Sox, who pulled out a 4-3 victory on Dayan Viciedo’s three-run home run off David Robertson. I do not think all the criticism is warranted.
One area in which Girardi has showed real expertise as a manager is handling the bullpen, which is a far easier job we all know when Mariano Rivera is around. Mo has been out of the picture since early May and yet the Yankees have thrived largely because of their relief work. Rafael Soriano, an experienced closer, has done a good job spelling Rivera and the other relievers have responded well to Girardi’s mix-and-match system.
Boone Logan and Cody Eppley did great work getting out of an eighth-inning jam Thursday night to bail out Ivan Nova. Had Soriano been available, he surely would have worked the ninth with the Yanks ahead, 3-1, and been in line for a save. The righthander had pitched four of the previous five days and was not sharp in his last outing, so Girardi decided to let Eppley start the ninth against a right-handed batter, Alex Rios, who singled, and bring in lefthander Clay Rapada to face the left-handed batting A.J. Pierzynski.
Girardi looked pretty smart when Pierzynski hit a dribbling roller back to the mound that had “double play” written all over it. Then Rapada threw the ball wide left of Derek Jeter covering second base and into center field, and suddenly Girardi got a whole lot dumber. That forced him to bring in Robertson, who gave up the Viciedo bomb on a 1-0 fastball.
Why didn’t Girardi simply let Robertson start the ninth inning? That is what a lot of reporters wanted to know after the game. Truth be told, so did Robertson, at least judging from his body language in the clubhouse after the game. Girardi explained that Robertson missed considerable time this year because of injury and he is being cautious with him.
To me, that is a reasonable explanation. Besides, if Rapada doesn’t throw away two outs, there is probably no need to have a conversation about all this. Managerial moves are judged positively or negatively based on execution. Rapada’s lack of it is what cost the Yankees in that inning, not the bullpen manipulation by the manager.
The home run allowed to Viciedo was the first go-ahead jack allowed by a Yankees pitcher in the ninth inning working with a lead since the Mariners’ Ichiro Suzuki hit a walk-off, two-run homer off Rivera Sept. 9, 2009 at Seattle with the Yanks leading 2-1. It was the first such homer with the Yanks leading by at least two runs since Marco Scutaro’s three-run walk-off homer off Rivera April 15, 2007 at Oakland with the Yankees up, 4-2. The previous time an opponent hit a go-ahead homer when down by at least two runs in the ninth or later at Yankee Stadium was the Red Sox’ Bob Montgomery July 28, 1972 off Sparky Lyle in the first game of a doubleheader with the Yankees ahead, 5-3.
Pitchers David Robertson and Cody Eppley and outfielders Nick Swisher and Brett Gardner surprised the GlamourGals group at one of their events at the East Haven Nursing and Senior Rehab Center in the Bronx Thursday as part of the Yankees’ HOPE Week celebration.
The players participated in the makeovers of the senior citizens residents. Volunteers and GlamourGals founder Rachel Doyle were special guests of the Yankees for their 7:05 p.m. game against the White Sox at Yankee Stadium. They observed batting practice from the field and were honored during pre-game ceremonies during which Doyle threw out the ceremonial first pitch after she got to listen in on the conference behind the plate among the umpires, Yankees first base coach Mick Kelleher and White Sox manager Robin Ventura. GlamourGals volunteers also took part in the roll call with the Bleacher Creatures
Rachel Doyle was a sophomore in high school when her grandmother passed away in a Nevada nursing home. To honor her memory and create a bridge between the generations, Doyle, then 17, created the first chapter of GlamourGals in 2000.
The organization is comprised of male and female high school and college-age volunteers who give manicures and makeovers to the elderly at senior homes. The organization’s goal is to foster self-esteem and mutual respect while building meaningful relationships. Many seniors in nursing homes do not receive frequent visitors. GlamourGals helps to fill that void.
More than a decade after her first makeover, Doyle serves as chief executive officer. Her vision and dedication have been responsible for the organizations growth to approximately 1,300 volunteers in more than 62 chapters spanning 13 states, along with a chapter in St. Andrews, Scotland. The organization just expanded to the Bronx in April of this year.
For more information, visit http://www.glamourgals.org.
Wednesday was supposed to be a feel-good day for Andy Pettitte. The lefthander was to spend some time with 5-year-old Andy Fass, a legally blind fan whom Pettitte met at a Double A game in Trenton back in April, as part of the HOPE Week celebration.
Pettitte didn’t feel very well in the fifth inning of Wednesday’s game when Indians first baseman Casey Kotchman drilled a liner just above the pitcher’s left ankle. Pettitte tried to tough it out and stay in the game, but one pitch later Yankees manager Joe Girardi decided to take him out and Andy limped into the dugout.
X-rays revealed a fractured fibula, which will sideline Pettitte for at least six weeks. He was on crutches and wearing a large boot after the game. Surgery will not be required, but the recovery period, especially for a 40-year-old, will not be brief.
The injury came on the same day that the Yankees placed their other left-handed starter, CC Sabathia on the disabled list due to a strained left adductor muscle near the groin. In less than 24 hours, 40 percent of the Yankees’ rotation was in sick bay.
“I know CC felt bad about going on the DL,” Pettitte said. “I think I made him feel better when I told him I’ll be on there a lot longer than he will.”
“A bad day for lefthanders,” Girardi called it. “It’s not what you’re looking for, but no one is going to feel sorry for us. We have been a resilient team. It’s what you have to do.”
General manager Brian Cashman said there is no need to go into panic mode. He does not expect Sabathia to be gone longer that two, perhaps three, starts, and there are some pitching resources within the organization to offset Pettitte’s loss before looking elsewhere. You can be sure that Cashman will get plenty of phone calls Thursday from general managers trying to stick him with overpriced and ineffective pitchers. Did someone say Carlos Zambrano? Yikes!
For the short term, the Yankees will cover the rotation holes with Triple A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre call-up Adam Warren, who will start Friday night against the White Sox, and Freddy Garcia, who was the winning pitcher in relief of the Yanks’ 5-4 victory Wednesday, Monday night at St. Petersburg, Fla.
Garcia was originally penciled by Girardi to start Friday night but after losing Pettitte and with Cody Eppley and Clay Rapada having control issues Garcia was summoned to keep the Yanks close, which he did with 2 1/3 hitless innings with two strikeouts. Girardi reasoned correctly that you can’t worry about Friday’s game when you trying to win Wednesday’s.
Don’t forget that Garcia began the season as the Yankees’ fifth starter and has considerable experience to help them whether this storm. Freddy has done a solid job in long relief (2-0, 1.56 ERA) in 10 relief appearances spanning 17 1/3 innings to lower his season ERA to 6.39.
The other important aspect for the Yankees is that remaining starters Hiroki Kuroda, Ivan Nova and Phil Hughes don’t go out of their way to “step it up” with Sabathia and Pettitte out. Girardi was asked about that and made it clear that none of those pitchers can replace a Sabathia or a Pettitte.
“I’m going to tell them to just be themselves and we’ll take care of the other two days,” Girardi said.
Pettitte had hoped he would be able to continue. He is used to balls being hit back to him and has the shin bruises to prove it.
“That’s what I thought it was at first,” he said. “I figured once I started throwing the pain would lessen the way it did with my shins. It was bothering me in my warm-ups, but when I threw that first pitch [after play resumed] there was an awful lot of pain. It’s frustrating because I had been feeling good. It’s time to put on the pom-poms and be a cheerleader.”
Garcia, Robinson Cano and Eric Chavez came to Pettitte’s rescue as the Yankees ran off their fifth straight victory. Cano put the Yanks ahead with a two-run home run in the sixth off Ubaldo Jimenez, one of the second baseman’s three hits in the game. Chavez drove in three runs with a two-run double in the fourth and an RBI single in the eighth for a crucial insurance run that loomed large when Rafael Soriano gave up a run.
It could have been worse, much worse, but Soriano got a huge strikeout of Johnny Damon with the bases loaded in a confrontation that pleased the Yankee Stadium crowd of 45,099. A walk pushed in the run, but Soriano got Asdrubal Cabrera on a fly ball for his 17th save.
Yankees manager Joe Girardi has finally admitted publicly what we all pretty much new. The Yankees need to hit the ball out of the ballpark to win games. All there struggles hitting with runners in scoring position point to that. Despite batting .217 in clutch situations, the Yankees are in first place in the American League East largely because of two elements – quality pitching and power hitting, both of which were on display Saturday night.
The Yanks guaranteed their winning of this year’s the Subway Series with a stirring, come-from-behind, 4-3 victory over the Mets at Citi Field. It was all Mets for six innings until the Yankees began hitting the ball over the fence. They have taken four of five games from the Mets this year, which turns Sunday night’s series finale into merely a marquee match-up between CC Sabathia and R.A. Dickey.
Raul Ibanez’s three-run home run in the seventh inning off Chris Young was the Yankees’ only hit in eight at-bats with runners in scoring position in this series, but it was a big one. It tied the score after the Yankees had looked pretty lifeless for six innings. One out later, Eric Chavez got a pinch-hit homer, the first of his career, to put the Yankees ahead.
The Yanks’ bullpen handled the rest. Spelling Ivan Nova over the final 3 1/3 innings, winning pitcher Clay Rapada (2-0), Cody Eppley, Boone Logan, David Robertson and Rafael Soriano (14th save) combined to hold the Mets to two hits and two walks with eight strikeouts. From the third out of the sixth through the second out of the ninth, all eight of those outs by the Mets were on strikeouts. In all, the Mets struck out 15 times in the game.
Rapada came on for Nova and ended the sixth with a strikeout of Kirk Nieuwenhuis, who had homered three innings earlier, after the Mets had gone up, 3-0. Logan inherited a one-out, runner on third situation in the seventh and struck out two left-handed hitters, Lucas Duda and Daniel Murphy. Robertson had a no-contact eighth with two walks and three strikeouts.
Soriano had two strikeouts sandwiched around a single by David Wright before Murphy excited the record Citi Field crowd of 42,122 with a fly ball to the warning track in right where it nestled in the glove of Nick Swisher. No leap at the wall this time.
“We’re a home run-hitting club,” Girardi had said Friday night when three Yankees home runs were not enough to avoid a 6-4 loss. “We are who we are. There are basketball clubs that are built around 3-point shooting and when they don’t make their 3’s they don’t win. If we hit two- and three-run homers, we usually win games.”
Plainer truth could not be spoken about the 2012 Yankees. They lead the majors in homers with 110 in 70 games, including 32 over their past 18 games. The Yankees are 41-15 when they hit at least one home run and 30-7 when they hit more than one. In games when they fail to go yard, the Yankees are 1-13. They have out-homered the Mets this year, 13-4.
But let us not forget pitching. The Yankees made sure that fans remember that aspect in helping to end a three-game losing streak and ensuring bragging rights over the Mets for another year.
Joe Girardi’s 500th managerial victory will be easy for him to remember because so many things went well for the Yankees. When two teams with six-game winning streaks collide, something has got to give, but all the American League East leading Yanks gave the National League East leading Nationals Friday night was trouble.
In their 7-2 victory, the Yankees got another strong start from Phil Hughes, they got big hits with runners in scoring position, had a hit with the bases loaded and came within one out of winning a game without hitting a home run. Curtis Granderson ruined that possibility when he slammed his 20th homer with two down in the ninth, but that was fine for Girardi.
The manager was even able to work David Robertson into the mix by using him in a non-save situation in the ninth. Robbie showed some rust by allowing a run on a pair of doubles, but it was nice to see him back in a game for the first time in more than a month.
Hughes scattered six hits and two walks with nine strikeouts over six innings to win his third straight start. It was a one-run game while Hughes was on the mound in a duel with Nationals lefthander Gio Gonzalez, who is 8-3 this season but sustained his fourth straight loss to the Yankees as his career record against them fell to 1-5.
Actually, Gonzalez was out of the game by the time the Yankees broke it open. Manager Davey Johnson lifted Gonzalez, who seemed none too happy about it, after he gave up a leadoff single to Andruw Jones in the seventh. The Yanks then roughed up relievers Brad Lidge and Mike Gonzalez for four runs.
Derek Jeter got the bases-loaded hit, a single. Another run scored on a wild throw by shortstop Ian Desmond. Granderson doubled in two more runs. The Yankees had 4-for-8 (.500) with runners in scoring position. Cody Eppley and Clay Rapada provided a shutout inning of relief apiece before Robertson worked the ninth.
The 2-1 lead Hughes worked with was supplied by RBI singles from Alex Rodriguez and Nick Swisher. For A-Rod, the RBI was career No. 1,924, which tied him with Hall of Famer Jimmie Foxx for sixth place on the all-time list. In the fifth spot is another Hall of Famer, Stan Musial, at 1,951. And just the other day, Rodriguez matched Lou Gehrig’s grand slam mark of 23. A-Rod is running elbows with an awful lot of Hall of Famers these days.
Hughes, whose record improved to 7-5, has pitched to a 1.29 ERA over his past three starts, all victories. Going back further, over his past eight starts since May 6, Hughes is 6-1 with a 3.27 ERA and 49 strikeouts in 52 1/3 innings. The righthander has lowered his ERA over that stretch from 7.48 to 4.50. Hughes also ran his career record in inter-league play to 4-1 with a 3.55 ERA.
It was the Yankees’ first game at Nationals Park. They are 19-18 in their debut games at new stadiums in the expansion era dating to 1961.