Results tagged ‘ Corey Wade ’
The Yankees needed a break in the worst way Sunday and they got it at the best possible time. The Yanks were stuck in a four-game losing streak and had wounded bodies all over the place.
It seemed the Yankees were an arm’s length away from the Angels all day. The Halos scored two runs in the first inning, the Yankees closed to a run, the Angels increased their lead twice, but each time the Yankees came back and were within one run.
Then in the seventh inning, the break the Yankees were hoping for came their way and from a very unlikely source. Angels manager Mike Scioscia may have to put his campaign to get center fielder Peter Bourjos a Gold Glove Award on hold for a little while after what happened Sunday. Bourjos dropped a quite catchable fly ball on the warning track by Mark Teixeira that turned a sacrifice fly that would have tied the score into a three-base, two-run error that gave the Yankees the lead.
This time, the bullpen that had been spent during the losing streak was lined up to make that 5-4 advantage hold up. Corey Wade, Rafael Soriano, David Robertson and Mariano Rivera pitched a scoreless inning apiece to get the Yankees back to winning ways as they picked up another game on tumbling Boston in the American League East to increase their lead to 3 ½ games. Wade, who may be the pickup of the year, got the victory to go to 5-0, and Rivera earned his 40th save of the season and career No. 599, just two behind the record holder, Trevor Hoffman.
It was good to see the bullpen respond the way it has most of the year before the recent slide, and there were plenty of other good signs as well. A lineup weakened by the losses to injury of Alex Rodriguez, Nick Swisher and Russell Martin kept nibbling away at Angels starter Ervin Santana, who had hoped to follow teammates Jered Weaver and Dan Haren with a hat-trick performance to complete a sweep.
Not only is Martin hurting but so is backup catcher Francisco Cervelli, who was given clearance to fly home to New York to undergo tests for a concussion. With Jorge Posada sore from a six-inning emergency stint behind the plate Saturday night after not catching all season, the Yankees had two of their top prospects make their major-league catching debuts.
Jesus Montero, who has been with the Yankees for 10 days and done well as a designated hitter, started behind the plate working with Freddy Garcia and did a decent job. He threw out the first runner attempting to steal and allowed only one other steal. At the plate, however, Montero was not his usual DH self as he struck out three times and was intentionally walked.
Austin Romine, who was at Double A Trenton, flew across the country and arrived at Angel Stadium around the time a Sept. 11, 2001 tribute that included former Yankees manager and now southern California resident Joe Torre was taking place on the field. Romine, who is considered the better defensive catcher of the two, entered the game in the seventh and cut his major-league teeth on the very big-league stuff of Soriano, Robertson and Rivera. Bobby Abreu stole a base with Romine back of the plate, but it was on confusing play in which Torii Hunter, who thought he had walked but actually struck out, crossed in front of the rookie catcher.
In the other dugout was Austin’s brother, Andrew, an infielder for the Angels. In the stands was their father, Kevin Romine, who was a spare outfielder for the Red Sox in seven seasons during the 1980s and ‘90s. That made for a pretty feel-good moment right there.
Bourjos’ misplay in the seventh turned into a feel-good moment for the Yankees. The Angels were so high on Bourjos that a year ago they planted him in center field and moved Hunter, one of the best center fielders of the recent era, to right. Teixeira had struck out in his three previous at-bats and was probably just happy to make contact. He ended up standing third base after Brett Gardner and Derek Jeter, who had each singled, crossed the plate.
Another feel-good moment came in the fifth inning when Curtis Granderson, batting .156 this month and mired in a 0-for-13 slump, followed a Jeter single with his 39th home run. The two-run shot to right was Granderson’s first home run in 44 at-bats since Aug. 28 when he went deep twice at Camden Yards.
Look at a final score of 18-7, which the Yankees dropped on the White Sox Wednesday night, and you’d never know that there was a point when the game was in doubt. The Yanks’ bullpen came to the rescue of A.J. Burnett, who turned a 13-1 runaway into a 13-7 oops, and retired 14 of 15 batters to shut the door.
Corey Wade, the waiver-wire pickup by Yankees general manager Brian Cashman, set down the five batters he faced to get credit for the winning decision that eluded Burnett, who was stung for seven runs and 13 hits in 4 1/3 innings. Luis Ayala added two more scoreless innings and Rafael Soriano one while the Yankees kept putting runs across the board.
Burnett aside, this was an across-the-board beauty for the Yankees, who lashed out 23 hits, led by Derek Jeter’s second five-hit game in less than a month. The Captain, whose previous five-hit game included his 3,000th hit July 9, scored four runs and drove in two in the Yankees’ assault.
Curtis Granderson, who is having a monster series in his hometown, knocked in five runs with four hits, including his league-best ninth triple. Robinson Cano and Eric Chavez counted home runs among their three hits apiece and drove in four runs each. Brett Gardner also had three hits, all in the infield, and scored four runs. Everyone in the lineup had at least one hit and scored at least one run.
Granderson, who grew up in Chicago and has a slew of people in the yard watching him, has 7-for-13 (.538) in the series with 2 doubles, 1 triple, 6 RBI, 4 runs and 1 stolen base.
The four-game series against the White Sox that ends Thursday night is the start of a 30-game stretch of 21 games on the road for the Yankees. A 3-0 start to boost their road record to 30-20 is a great burst out of the gate.
So much for A.J. Burnett ending his 13-start winless streak in August as he pitched himself out of Wednesday night’s game at Chicago’s U.S. Cellular Field. Burnett was furnished a 13-1 lead in the third inning, but he allowed the White Sox to get too close for comfort and failed to last the five innings required for a starting pitcher to get a winning decision.
Yankees manager Joe Girardi was justified with the quick hook one out into the fifth inning and two outs shy of what Burnett needed to be in line for a W, which he had not had in August since 2008. Girardi summoned Corey Wade from the bullpen after Burnett was tagged for three quick hits and a run as the game was unraveling.
The White Sox had put up a five-spot against A.J. in the fourth and when they kept whacking him there was no real alternative for Girardi but to turn to a pitcher who could get some outs. Burnett was torched for seven runs and 13 hits in 4 1/3 innings and left the game with runners on second and third with one out. It could have easily been a four-run game had not Wade restored some order and kept the Yankees’ lead at 13-7.
One of the elements of doubleheaders, either the regular kind or the separate-admission variety such as the Yankees and Orioles played Saturday at Yankee Stadium, is that lineups can look quite unusual. For a manager, the task is to split up the duty so as not to tax players, especially the regulars who play every day and in particular those well on the north side of 30.
When I was a kid and doubleheaders were a regular part of the major league schedule, I used to like reading the boxscores of second games of doubleheaders and see the sometime bizarre batting orders that featured fifth infielders, fourth outfielders and third-string catchers getting rare starts.
I thought of that Saturday when I saw Joe Girardi’s lineup for the afternoon game. It had no Curtis Granderson or Derek Jeter. It had Eduardo Nunez in the 2-hole, reserve infielder Eric Chavez at third base and down at the bottom were spare outfielder Chris Dickerson and backup catcher Francisco Cervelli.
The reasons were simple. Granderson has been a workhorse all year, so Joe thought it best to let him sit out a game. Jeter is 37, which is reason enough to take a game off. Mark Texeira got to stay out of the sun at first base and switched roles with designated hitter Jorge Posada. Catchers usually split doubleheader duty, so Russell Martin was slated for the night game.
I do recall as a youngster watching a Yankees-Senators doubleheader on TV from Washington, D.C., on a steamy mid-August Sunday when Yogi Berra and Elston Howard were both nursing leg injuries. That forced manager Casey Stengel to use third-string catcher Johnny Blanchard for both games, and the second one went 14 innings! Players didn’t change jerseys during games in those days, so by the time extra innings began in the second game Blanchard’s shirt was so wet and dirty that a viewer could not detect his number, which was 38.
But if anyone thought the odd lineup Saturday was incapable of putting together a winning effort, they were sadly mistaken. While regular right fielder Nick Swisher had a big game with a two-run home run, a double and a single, much of the damage in the Yankees’ 8-3 victory was done by the spare parts.
Dickerson, who has been back and forth from Triple A three times and made only his fifth start in 41 games, had two hits, scored a run, drove in a run and stole a base. Cervelli had a double, a single, a run and an RBI and did a fine job behind the plate handling winning pitcher Bartolo Colon, who threw 105 pitches in five innings. Chavez singled twice, scored two runs and made a dazzling catch in foul ground in the seventh inning.
Posada also flashed some nice leather on a foul ball. The one blip on the screen was Nunez, who was 0-for-5 with three strikeouts and committed a throwing error.
Corey Wade and Boone Logan pitched efficiently in relief, which allowed Girardi to have David Robertson, Rafael Soriano and Mariano Rivera available for the night game.
With the starting time of Friday night’s game having been pushed back one hour and 49 minutes due to a rain delay, it meant that the Yankees would play four games in a 41-hour time frame. That is a tough row to hoe for any club. Saturday’s first game was a good example of how each member of the roster must step up for a team to be successful.
“The bottom of the order did a lot of damage,” Girardi noted. “Those contributions are important because it can’t always come from the guys in the middle.”
A couple of former Yankees combined to beat their old team Monday night at Cleveland in a 6-3 Indians victory that was a scoreless pitching duel for six innings between A.J. Burnett and the Tribe’s Josh Tomlin.
The key hits in Cleveland’s four-run seventh inning were an RBI single by Shelley Duncan and a three-run home run by Austin Kearns.
Duncan, son of Cardinals pitching coach Dave Duncan, played in 68 games over the 2007, ’08 and ’09 seasons with the Yankees and batted .219 with 8 home runs and 24 RBI in 146 at-bats. Kearns was a mid-season acquisition by the Yankees last year and hit .235 with 2 home runs and 7 RBI in 36 games and 102 at-bats. The second of those homers came Aug. 22, and was the last one he hit before Monday night.
An irony is that neither Duncan nor Kearns might have batted that inning had Alex Rodriguez or Brett Gardner been able to catch a foul ball near the left field line by Lonnie Chisenhill. There were two outs and a runner on second base with Burnett holding a 2-0 lead when Chisenhill hit the foul ball.
A-Rod, running with his back to the infield, seemed to have a beat on the ball, so Gardner sort of backed off, but the ball fell free. Chisenhill eventually walked, Burnett’s second base on balls of the inning. That brought up Duncan, who won a seven-pitch at-bat with a flare single to right that made the score 2-1. Burnett lost the lead when he grooved a 1-0 fastball to Kearns, who crushed the pitch and drove it through the wind blowing in from right field at Progressive Field.
It marked the second straight game when a fielding miscue factored in a Yankees loss. An error by shortstop Ramiro Pena proved costly in the Yankees’ 3-2, 10-inning loss to the Mets Sunday at Citi Field.
Curtis Granderson made it a one-run game in the eighth with his 23rd home run, but Corey Wade gave up his first runs as a Yankee in eight games in the bottom half when he gave up a single to Travis Hafner and a home run to Carlos Santana.
It was a whole different game over the first six innings. Tomlin, who improved his record to 10-4, had a no-hitter through six that was broken up by Mark Teixeira’s leadoff single in the seventh. Nick Swisher followed a one-out, infield single by Robinson Cano with a double to left-center for two runs. The Yankees failed to get Swisher home as Jorge Posada and Russell Martin both grounded out.
Burnett entered the seventh working on a two-hit shutout with both hits by All Star Game-bound shortstop Asdrubal Cabrera. A.J. seemed more upset after the game about the two walks in the seventh rather than the two hits. He was right, too. Those hits became productive for the Indians because of the walks.
It was a disappointing return for Derek Jeter, who was hitless in four at-bats and remains at 2,994 for his career.
Before the game, Alex Rodriguez paid Mets shortstop Jose Reyes a major compliment. During the game, Reyes tried to live up to it but ended up making a big out on the bases in the seventh inning as the Yankees were clinging to a 3-1 lead.
“They have the world’s greatest player playing shortstop over there, and the most exciting,” A-Rod said in reference to Reyes, who entered the game leading the National League in batting, runs, hits and triples. “I turn on the TV every time I get a chance to watch him.”
Rodriguez got a close-up view of the speedy leadoff hitter without need of a television Friday night in the opening game of Subway Series II at Citi Field. They were right next to each other in what proved a pivotal play, not to mention a disputed one and perhaps a mistaken one.
Reyes certainly showed off his wheels on an attempt to go from first base to third base on an outfield fly. He had led off the seventh with a single off Yankees reliever Corey Wade. When Justin Turner flied out to deep center, Reyes tagged up and headed for second after the catch by Curtis Granderson.
Shortstop Eduardo Nunez mishandled Granderson’s throw, and the ball trickled behind him. Reyes slid hands first into second, picked himself up and darted for third when he saw that the ball was loose. Nunez made a strong throw to Rodriguez, who applied the tag. Or did he?
Plate umpire Jerry Layne, who made the ruling at third, thought so and called Reyes out. Reyes and third base coach Chip Hale argued the ruling claiming that A-Rod did not tag Reyes. They were soon joined by Mets manager Terry Collins, who was ejected from the game by Layne.
Video replays were a bit inconclusive. One angle seemed to verify that Rodriguez had tagged Reyes on the left hip before he reached third base. Another angle was less convincing. Clearly, Reyes did not feel the tag, which is why he protested so demonstratively. But having already reached scoring position and with the heart of the order coming up, Reyes may have been smart not to try for third.
For this one night anyway, before a Citi Field record crowd of 42,020, Reyes had to take a back seat to another shortstop in New York because Nunez had four hits. The last of them was an RBI single in the eighth to score Russell Martin, who had reached on an error by first baseman Daniel Murphy and advanced on a sacrifice by Brett Gardner.
Pitchers Ivan Nova and Boone Logan also dropped down successful sacrifice bunts as the Yanks did a good job playing the NL game. Nunez was actually spared an error in the first inning due to Reyes’ speed. He was credited with a single for beating out a grounder to short ahead of a throw by Nunez that sailed over first baseman Mark Teixeira. Official scorer Jordan Sprechman wisely took into account Reyes’ jets in not charging Nunez with an error.
The Yankees had an incredible 19 at-bats with runners in scoring position but only four hits in those situations, so the score could have been a lot worse than 5-1. Rodriguez doubled in a run in the ninth that cost Mariano Rivera a save opportunity.
With the lead up to four runs, Yankees manager Joe Girardi started the bottom of the ninth with Hector Noesi, who sported a new uniform number. He switched to No. 64 so that new teammate Sergio Mitre could have the No. 45 he wore in his previous sting with the Yankees. Rivera was eventually summoned after Josh Thole singled with one out to face – who else? – Reyes.
The at-bat lacked drama as Reyes grounded out meekly to the guy who said so many nice things about him earlier in the evening.
The sixth inning Saturday was filled with mistakes by the Yankees until Brett Gardner, who had committed one of them, erased the miscues with a splendid play. And did the Yankees ever need it in what turned out to be another close game at Wrigley Field with them prevailing this time, 4-3.
The game was getting out of their hands even after they regained the lead on a sacrifice fly by Curtis Granderson in the top of the sixth. Gardner made the third out of the inning when he was caught off first base and thrown out in a rundown.
The Yankee had failed to make Cubs starter Ryan Dempster pay for walking six batters, none of whom scored (which is really strange; the odds are usually pretty good that at least of couple of the runners would have made it all the way home) but had taken a 3-2 lead behind A.J. Burnett.
Then just as quickly, the Yankees nearly gave it away. Burnett had good stuff, an above-average fastball and an effective curve, but as usual he was all over the place. He struck out eight batters but also walked three, threw a wild pitch (increasing his league lead to 11) and hit a batter.
The plunked batter came with one down in the sixth. Shortstop Eduardo Nunez then booted a ground ball (his eighth error in 37 games) and Robinson Cano dropped a throw for a potential force play (his sixth error, twice as many as he had all of last season), which loaded the bases for the Cubs.
Between the errors, Burnett was replaced by Corey Wade, who was able to get out of the jam in large part because of Gardner. Geovanny Soto hit a fly ball to left field. Gardner timed his catch perfectly and had his momentum taking him toward the infield when he unleashed his throw to the plate. It was straight and reached catcher Russell Martin on one bounce in plenty of time to get Carlos Pena trying to score to complete a double play. Pena tried a Pete Rose/All-Star Game move on Martin by running into him, but the catcher took the hit and held on to the ball.
Wade was the first of four relievers for the Yankees, and it isn’t every day that the least effective of them is Mariano Rivera. That is how strong the ensemble work of the Yanks’ bullpen has been these days. Hector Noesi and David Robertson followed Wade with a scoreless inning apiece to raise the pen’s steak of shutout work to 22 1/3 innings dating to June 10.
Cano and Nunez made up for their boots with ninth-inning doubles for an insurance run that proved necessary when Mo gave up a leadoff homer to Reed Johnson in the bottom half. This Johnson has been a ninth-inning Yankees killer in the series. Friday, he made a sliding, tumbling catch down the left field line to rob Cano of a potential extra-base hit.
Alfonso Soriano followed Johnson’s bomb with a single off his old teammate. Soto then did the Yankees another favor. Inter-league play is supposed to show the difference in the how the game is played in each league, right?
Okay, so with a National League team at home in the bottom of the ninth, and the potential tying run on first base and no outs, where was the sacrifice? Heck, Soto didn’t even make an attempt to push the runner into scoring position. He swung away on the first pitch and hit a ground ball near second that Cano gloved to start a rally-killing double play. That was the biggest mistake of all, and the Yankees took advantage of it.
The Yankees sure know how to salvage a homestand, don’t they? Thursday’s 3-2, 12-inning victory completed a three-game sweep over the Texas team that beat them out for the American League pennant last year and followed taking three of four from AL Central leading Cleveland (the Indians were in first place during that series, that is).
That’s a pretty impressive finish for a homestand that began with the Red Sox clobbered the Yanks in three games by an aggregate score of 25-13 in a series in which Alex Rodriguez said “Boston embarrassed us.”
Most of his teammates felt the same way, but they showed their resilience by bouncing back against the Tribe and the Rangers, whose pitching staffs rank sixth and seventh, respectively, in the AL. And the Yankees’ one loss in the past two series was by a 1-0 score to the Indians.
The Yankees finished off the homestand with one of the feel-good stories of the year so far. Brian Gordon, 32, who has spent 15 years in the minor leagues originally as an outfielder and until this year as a reliever, gave the Yankees 5 1/3 effective innings as a starter Thursday in front of a Yankee Stadium crowd of 47,487 that included his wife, two kids, parents and some other friends and relatives.
“I was more nervous with everything leading up to this,” he said. “But my agent told me to concentrate on my pitching and he’d do the rest. To do this against the Rangers made it even more special. Much of what I learned is due to my time with them.”
Gordon had what they call a cup of coffee with Texas in 2008. It was more like a sip. He got into three games totaling four innings and had a 2.25 ERA. Gordon went back to the minors and was eventually released by the Rangers after the 2009 season before the Phillies signed him, released him and then re-signed him. Gordon’s deal allowed him to opt out of the contract if he was not called up to the major-league club by June 15. He was 5-0 with a 1.14 ERA for the Phils’ Triple A Lehigh Valley club, but with the strongest rotation in baseball there was no room for Gordon at Citizens Bank Park.
There was room at Yankee Stadium for a pitcher, what with Phil Hughes and Bartolo Colon on the disabled list. Gordon showed Thursday that he might fill the bill.
“He has definitely evolved,” Rangers manager Ron Washington said. “I don’t remember him being able to move the ball around like he did.”
Gordon said his development of a cut fastball has been a major part of his success, although he said he did not have much of a feel for it Thursday, which may be why he walked three batters and hit two. But he pitched out of trouble effectively and earned a stay in the rotation.
Yankees manager Joe Girardi likes the idea that Gordon, who hit 119 home runs in the minors, can handle the bat because his next start will be Tuesday night in Cincinnati, a National League park where pitchers have to hit in inter-league games.
Another twist for the Yankees is that the game-winning hit came from Brett Gardner off a left-handed reliever, Michael Kirkman, a single to right field. Gardner was not in the original lineup against Texas starter C.J. Wilson, a lefthander, and ended up being the hero. Gardner’s hit scored Curtis Granderson, who no longer has problems with lefties as his leadoff single suggested.
Grandy moved into scoring position with one out when Robinson Cano was hit by a pitch. That was the fifth HBP of the day, an unusually high number for a game in which the teams did not get into a fight. Several were of the ball bounced on the foot variety with no harm intended. The winning pitcher was Corey Wade, another Triple A find (from the Rays’ organization) that the Yankees signed this week. Chalk this victory up to the scouts.