Results tagged ‘ Colby Lewis ’

Yanks’ and Tanaka’s winning streaks stopped

The extra day’s rest did not help Masahiro Tanaka Wednesday night as it had in his three prior starts, all winning decisions. The righthander labored his way through six innings in which the Rangers had base runners in each of them. Tanaka worked out of a couple of jams nicely but he could not keep Texas batters from reaching base on a regular basis.

Tanaka fell behind in the count continually in the outing, which robbed him of effective use of his split-finger fastball, a key weapon for him. His slider lacked the usual bite as he allowed nine hits and three walks. He left the game trailing, 4-2, but it might have been worse if the Rangers had done better than going 3-for-12 (.250) with runners in scoring position. They were 3-for-5 at one point before Tanaka held them hitless in the last seven clutch at-bats Texas had against him. The Rangers finished the 5-2 victory by going 4-for-17 (.235) in those situations.

Sloppy base running by the Rangers also kept the game close. Tanaka picked off Delino DeShields at first base after he walked him to start the first inning. Texas catcher Robinson Chirinos doubled with one out in the fourth but made the mistake of trying to cross to third base on a ground ball to the left side and was an easy out on shortstop Didi Gregorius’ alert toss to Chase Headley to stifle that rally.

One night after five runs in the first inning were not enough for the Rangers, who watched the Yankees do the rest of the scoring with 21 runs, five would be sufficient for Texas to end a four-game winning streak by the Bombers. The Yankees scored 11 runs in the second inning Tuesday night but only got two in that same frame Wednesday night. That turned out to be the only inning in which they scored.

Carlos Beltran led off that inning against eventual winning pitcher Colby Lewis (11-4) with his eighth home run of the season, and the Yankees added a run on successive singles by Gregorius, Stephen Drew and Jacoby Ellsbury.

However, Tanaka (7-4) coughed up the lead in the bottom of the inning as the Rangers used four singles and a walk to score three runs. Tanaka put the lead runner on base in five of his six innings. Two of them scored, including Adrian Beltre in the fifth when Josh Hamilton, who had two hits and two RBI, grounded into a double play.

The Yankees bullpen’s stretch of hitless innings ended at 13 when Hamilton singled in a run with two down in the seventh off Triple A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre call-up Caleb Cotham. The run, charged to Chasen Shreve, was not earned due to an error by Gregorius, his first since June 21.

It was a winning night all around for the Rangers, who also acquired All-Star pitcher Cole Hamels from the Phillies in an eight-player trade.

See what happens when games start early

The television ratings for the World Series between the Giants and the Rangers have been dreadful. Oh, how Fox would have loved Yankees vs. Phillies.

I hope that the ratings for Saturday night’s Game 3, which started an hour before the others, are impressive enough that the powers that be in baseball realize that World Series starting times have been too late for a sizeable part of the population and will hold fast in the future on a first pitch at 7 p.m. Eastern time.

I can dream, can’t I?

I always go back to this situation. When Bill Mazeroski homered to win the World Series for the Pirates against the Yankees in 1960, I as a schoolboy saw it happen. When Joe Carter homered to win the World Series for the Blue Jays against the Phillies in 1993, my school-aged children were in bed. Game 7 in 1960 was a day game. Game 6 in 1993 was a night game with a first pitch of about 8:45 Eastern.

It helped that there was a decent game with enough drama going on Saturday night to keep channel surfers stuck to the Series.

The drama was clearly from the Texas point of view. Down 2-0 in games, a loss by the Rangers would have been disastrous. Colby Lewis, whom I had suggested was as deserving of Most Valuable Player designation in the American League Championship Series as Josh Hamilton, had another gutting start and gave up two runs on solo shots by Cody Ross and Andres Torres in 7 1/3 innings.

For all those experts that chided Rangers manager Ron Washington for not getting rookie closer Neftali Feliz’s feet wet in the Series at some point in the first two games in San Francisco, the smoke the righthander threw in the ninth inning was all the evidence needed that his knees have stopped banging together in the post-season.

And it was all over in 2 hours, 51 minutes. Go ratings!

Helicopters were hovering over Rangers Ballpark In Arlington as part of the security coverage with former President (and Rangers owner) George Bush in attendance. Sunday night, he and his father, another President named George Bush, will be in Arlington to throw out the ceremonial first pitch(es). My money is on No. 43 throwing a strike the way he did during the 2001 World Series at Yankee Stadium after the terrorist attacks, still among the most spine-tingling moments I have ever witnessed.

Another sub-par job by a Yanks starter

Thunderstorms threatened to hold up the start of Game 6 of the American League Championship Series Friday night at Rangers Ballpark In Arlington, but skies cleared to get the game under way. That was good news for the Yankees. A rainout would have allowed the Rangers to start Cliff Lee in Game 6 Saturday night.

Tired of hearing about Lee? So are the Yankees, especially Nick Swisher, whose profanity-laden response to queries about Lee from reporters was fodder for talk radio in Texas. It was kind of silly, really. Who can blame Swisher for getting hot when asked about Texas’ Game 7 starter when they hadn’t even played Game 6 yet.

It was odd to view CC Sabathia sitting in the bullpen. Counting post-season play, Sabathia has pitched in 335 major-league games, all of them starts. Friday was CC’s throw day between starts, but he didn’t have his usual session and was available to Yankees manager Joe Girardi for around 50 pitches if needed.

Help was needed in the fifth inning as Girardi had to replace Phil Hughes after Vlad Guerrero’s two-run double unlocked a 1-1 score, but it was David Robertson, not Sabathia, who came into the game and was greeted by a two-run home run by Nelson Cruz.

Hughes seemed to have settled down after a shaky first inning when the Rangers broke through for the first run and did not allow another hit until Guerrero’s game breaker. The Texas designated hitter got his first RBI of the series in the first inning with an infield out, but the Yankees continued to challenge him.

They walked Josh Hamilton intentionally with two down in the third to face Guerrero, and it worked as he popped out. The purposeful walk had a glitch as Hughes threw a wild pitch on one of the throws. With two out in the fifth and a runner on second, the Yankees walked Hamilton again. This time it backfired as Guerrero crushed a hanging breaking ball for a double to left-center.

Hughes’ outing was the latest sub-par one in the series for a Yankees starter. The rotation has a 7.11 ERA in the series, having allowed 25 earned runs and 42 hits in 31 2/3 innings. Speaking of unsightly ERAs, there is the 20.25 belonging to Robertson.

The Yankees were lucky to have the run they did against Texas starter Colby Lewis. It came on a wild pitch that video replays revealed had actually hit Swisher in the shin at the plate and should have been a dead ball. Shortly after that, Swisher was probably hoping and praying that the Yankees would get one more shot at Cliff Lee.


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