Results tagged ‘ Cory Guerrin ’
For more than half a century, Lou Gehrig held two major-league records that most people in baseball felt could never be broken. The big one, of course, was his 2,130 consecutive games played, basically playing every day for 14 seasons. It stood for 55 years until Cal Ripken Jr. broke it in 1995 and pushed it to 2,632 before ending it in 1998.
The other major mark that belonged to baseball’s original “Iron Horse” was 23 home runs with the bases loaded. Contenders came and went from Jimmie Foxx and Ted Williams to Willie McCovey and Eddie Murray to Robin Ventura and Manny Ramirez. Yet 73 years after Gehrig played his last game, his record for grand slams held.
It still does, technically, except now his claim is only a share. Alex Rodriguez tied Lou Tuesday night and in so doing provided one of the true highlights of the Yankees season to date. A-Rod’s drive to left off a 3-2 sinker from lefthander Jonny Venters with the bags full erased a 4-0 deficit in the eighth inning as the Yankees went on to beat the Braves, 6-4, thanks to a two-run homer later that inning by Nick Swisher.
The Yankees looked absolutely flat in this game for seven innings and were in danger of having their four-game winning streak end and falling out of first place in the American League East. Instead, the Yankees ran their streak to five games and stand alone atop the division for the first time since April 21 as the Rays were trounced by the Mets.
How ironic that Rodriguez would tie the record this season when the Yankees have struggled so much with the bases loaded. True, A-Rod’s salami was the fifth for the Yankees this year, but they have only 11 hits total in 68 at-bats with the bags juiced, a .162 average. Rodriguez had been among the culprits in bases-loaded situations with only one hit, a single at that, in 10 such at-bats previously this season.
The timing could not have been better. The Yankees were held in check for seven innings by lefthander Mike Minor, who entered the eighth working on a four-hit shutout. A one-out single by Derek Jeter prompted a pitching change by Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez, who would come to regret it.
Venters, who was one of three relievers who helped shut out the Yanks Monday night, could not located the strike zone. He gave up a single to Curtis Granderson, walked Mark Teixeira to load the bases and fell behind 3-0 in the count to Rodriguez. After taking a called strike and fouling off two pitches, A-Rod made solid contact on a sinking fastball and launched the ball over the left field wall at Turner Field.
The carnage continued as Robinson Cano chased Venters with a single and Swisher greeted Cory Gearrin, who had pitched two scoreless innings the night before, with a bomb to right. The home runs by A-Rod and Swish were the 10th for each as the long ball once again came to the Yanks’ rescue.
Another irony is that the winning pitcher was CC Sabathia, who ended the stretch of quality starters from the rotation. Actually, CC would have been credited with a quality start if he had not come out for the seventh inning. A quality start is considered pitching at least six innings and allowing three runs or fewer, which CC did, although all three runs came in the first inning leaving the Yankees to go uphill the rest of the night.
With the game at an NL park, the designated hitter was not in effect. If Chris Stewart had made the third out of the top of the seventh, Sabathia likely would have been pinch-hit for, but when Stewart flied out Yankees manager Joe Girardi could let Sabathia keep pitching. The Braves got another run off CC in the seventh, which seemed at the time like plenty of insurance for Minor.
So after being carried for the bulk of the past two weeks by the pitching staff, Yankees hitters came through in, well, grand style.