Results tagged ‘ David Murphy ’
The string of strong starts for the Yankees against the Rangers in the four-game series ended Thursday as Ivan Nova struggled over 5 2/3 innings and left the game trailing, 4-0. Nova had stopped a five-game winless streak in his previous start, but he was not as sharp this time out.
Yet it was the bullpen that was at greater fault for the Yankees’ failure to complete a four-game sweep as Texas saved face with a 10-6 victory. Nevertheless, taking three of four games pushed the Yankees over the Rangers for the best record in the American League and served notice on Texas that a third consecutive trip to the World Series has a treacherous pathway through New York.
The Yanks’ pen will have to do better than it showed Thursday, however. The Yankees overcame the deficit Nova created and actually took the lead before Cody Eppley, Boone Logan and Joba Chamberlain let it get away. The Rangers struck for eight runs over the last four innings against four relievers.
Chamberlain had the roughest outing. He allowed two earned runs, four hits and two walks in 1 2/3 innings. Cut him some slack because Chamberlain is coming back from Tommy John shoulder surgery and an injured ankle. The rust shows. Opponents are batting .448 against Joba, whose ERA is 9.00.
Nova’s most impressive inning was the third when he worked himself in and out of trouble. He loaded the bases on a double by rookie Mike Olt and walks to Elvis Andrus and Michael Young, not a smart thing to do with Josh Hamilton coming up. But Nova struck out Hamilton on three pitches, the last a mean curve in the dirt, got Adrian Beltre to ground into a fielder’s choice with third baseman Casey McGehee getting a force at the plate and struck out David Murphy.
The Rangers had gotten to Nova early. A single by Young, a double by Hamilton and a single by Beltre gave Texas a 2-0 lead in the first inning. Nova faced another bases-loaded situation in the sixth but did not escape this time.
The Texas rally began with one of those dreaded fly balls to left field at Yankee Stadium during day games. Andruw Jones lost sight of Hamilton’s drive in the blazing sun, and the ball fell for a leadoff double. Nova worsened matters by hitting Beltre with a pitch. A single by Murphy scored a run, and after a sacrifice and an intentional walk the bags were full.
Nova got an out on a force play at third base but a run scored. When he walked Olt, the 9-hole hitter, to load the bases again, manager Joe Girardi made the move to Cody Eppley, who retired Andrus on a fielder’s choice to end the inning.
The Yankees got Nova off the hook, however, as they batted around in the bottom of the sixth in putting up a 5-spot to take the lead. Rangers lefthander Derek Holland entered the inning with a one-hit shutout working but he could not survive the onslaught that befell him. As many rallies do, it began somewhat quietly on an infield single by Ichiro Suzuki, who advanced to second on an infield out.
Derek Jeter got the Yanks on the board with a single to center, extending his hitting streak to 10 games. Jeet took second on the throw to the plate and was able to score on a single to center by Nick Swisher, who got his ninth RBI of the series. After Mark Teixeira struck out, Jones atoned for his misplay at the top of the inning by driving a first-pitch slider down the left field line for a two-run home run that tied the score.
McGehee also hit the ball hard to right-center, but it looked like the third out until Olt, playing right field, dropped the ball for a two-base error. Russell Martin abruptly greeted reliever Tanner Scheppers with a single to center that scored McGehee to put the Yanks ahead.
Too bad it did not last very long.
A couple of scary incidents during the Subway Series involving Yankees starting pitchers have proved not long-lasting. Hiroki Kuroda and Andy Pettitte were both hit by batted balls over the weekend against the Mets, but it appears that they will be able to stay on turn in the rotation.
Kuroda was struck in the left ankle Friday night by a line drive by David Murphy with the ball ricocheting to third baseman Alex Rodriguez for the last out of the seventh inning. That was also the final out for Kuroda, who limped off the mound and was seen leaving the clubhouse several hours later on crutches. He was able to go through his normal between-starts throwing regimen, however, and is expected to start Wednesday night at Atlanta.
Pettitte pulled a pitching no-no Sunday by reaching with his bare hand for a chopper toward the mound by Scott Hairston in the sixth inning. It was a stylish maneuver by Pettitte because the ball was actually behind him. It was also painful. Pettitte sustained a bruise that left him with a purple mark below the left index finger but no broken bones. He told reporters at Turner Field that he sees no reason why he shouldn’t make his next assignment Saturday at Washington, D.C.
Russell Martin’s game winning home run Sunday marked the Yankees’ second walk-off victory this season and their first game-ending homer since Sept. 8, 2010, against the Orioles, by Nick Swisher. The span of 641 days was the longest amount of time between walk-off homers for the Yankees since a span of 650 games between Sept. 18, 1991 (Roberto Kelly against the Brewers) and June 29, 1993 (Wade Boggs against the Tigers).
It was Martin’s fourth home run in the past six games, as many as he had over his first 44 games. Russell was the first Yankees catcher with a walk-off home run since Jorge Posada May 16, 2006, against the Rangers. According to ESPN Stats & Info, Martin became the second Yankees catcher since 1950 to homer twice in a game with one a walk-off. The other was Yogi Berra Sept. 16, 1955 against the Red Sox.
The Yankees’ comeback from a 5-0 deficit with four runs in the third inning to make a game of it was an encouraging sign since they did not have a home run to help them along the way until Nick Swisher brought them all the way back with his solo shot in the fifth off Brett Tomko.
The Yankees won Friday night with not much offense other than Curtis Granderson’s two home runs, so the homerless, third-inning rally was good to see. It looked for a while as if the Rangers would run and hide after battering Bartolo Colon for two innings, but the Yankees proved to have their pitcher’s back with the four-run rally in the third that came about after two were out.
Derek Jeter restarted the inning with a double off the left field wall, his first extra-base hit in 44 at-bats since April 24 at Baltimore. The Yankees got help from Rangers starter Derek Holland, who walked four batters in the inning, and a big lift from center fielder Julio Borbon, who made a very questionable decision to dive for a liner by Robinson Cano that fell free and shot past him for a bases-clearing triple.
Mark Teixeira also had an RBI hit earlier in the inning on a bloop single to center as suddenly the Yanks found themselves in a one-run game. Bolstered by his teammates’ support, Colon pitched a scoreless third and fourth but was lifted in the fifth after yielding a pair of one-out singles.
That marked the first time in 19 games since April 15 that a Yankees starter failed to last the required five innings for a winning decision. But Colon was not hung with a losing decision, thanks to the home run by Swisher, who did not play Friday night because of a head cold.
Colon was taken deep twice, by Michael Young and David Murphy (the Rangers aren’t much into nicknames), but the bases were empty each time. Colon had location problems and was touched up on a two-run triple by Borbon and a sacrifice fly to the left field warning track by Ian Kinsler. Colon’s 4 1/3 innings of work matched Ivan Nova’s start of April 15, the last previous tine a Yankees starter didn’t make it through the fifth.
Jeter made history once it became an official game in the middle of the fifth. It was the 2,324th game of his career, surpassing Hall of Fame second baseman Charlie Gehringer of the Detroit Tigers for 20th place among players who spent their entire careers with one club.
Jeter took over from Hall of Famer Cal Ripken Jr. of the Baltimore Orioles the distinction of most games at shortstop for one club with his 2,303rd game at that position. Only three players have played more games at shortstop than Jeter: Omar Vizquel (2,692) and Hall of Famers Luis Aparicio (2,583) and Ozzie Smith (2,511).
Give A.J. Burnett a D. I think that is fair. I know it is kind.
He was working on a C Tuesday night in Game 4 of the American League Championship Series before his outing came apart in the sixth inning when he lost the sellout crowd at Yankee Stadium that had been supporting him from the first pitch.
Fans knew the importance of this game and decided to get behind the righthander who had pitched so erratically during the regular season.
In the end, Burnett’s performance was a microcosm of his season. He blew both leads the Yankees gave him and was cascaded with boos as he walked off the mound in the sixth only moments after giving up a three-run home run to Bengie Molina. Last year, another of the Molina brothers, Jose, had been an ally of Burnett’s as his regular catcher.
But not this Molina, whose drive into the left field lower stands was on the pitch after an intentional walk to David Murphy and gave the Rangers a 5-3 lead. Setting up the situation was heads-up base running by Nelson Cruz, who advanced from first to second base tagging up after a flyout to deep center by Ian Kinsler. That opened first base for the intentional walk to Murphy.
Burnett’s line: 6 innings, 6 hits, 5 runs, 5 earned runs, 3 bases on balls (1 intentional), 4 strikeouts, 1 wild pitch, 1 hit batter, 1 home run, 1 stolen base allowed. Doesn’t that all look familiar?
The crowd’s anger toward Burnett seemed to spill over to manager Joe Girardi, whose unrewarded faith in the pitcher put him in the fans’ crosshairs. It didn’t help that he brought in lefthander Boone Logan to pitch to left-swinging Josh Hamilton, who slugged his third home run of the ALCS. His fourth of the series and second of the game would come in the ninth when Texas piled on three more runs off Sergio Mitre in the 10-3 victory that has pushed the Rangers within one victory of the World Series.
Before then, the Yankees came close to having an opening in the eighth inning against the same four pitchers they staged that five-run, eighth-inning rally in Game 1. They loaded the bases on walks, but once again could not come up with the big hit. Nick Swisher popped out behind second base, and Lance Berkman hit a scorching grounder to third baseman Michael Young, who picked it in a way that he did not against Alex Rodriguez in Game 1.
Derek Holland got a well-deserved victory with 3 2/3 innings of impressive relief. He stopped the bleeding in the fourth inning when the Yankees regained the lead against starter Tommy Hunter, pitched out of jam in the fifth and retired the side in order the next two innings before departing after a leadoff walk of Curtis Granderson in the eighth.
The Yankees need CC Sabathia Wednesday in Game 5 to pitch them to Texas. The loss not only puts the Yankees on the brink of elimination from the post-season but also guarantees that the only way they can return to the World Series is to win three straight games, including Game 7 against Cliff Lee.
On top of that, the Yankees will have to proceed through this minefield without Mark Teixeira, who was forced out of the game in the fifth inning due to a pulled right hamstring while running to first base. Tex told Girardi he felt a “pop” in the hamstring. That’s not a good sound. The Yankees can only hope the next sound they hear is not that of a pennant dropping.
For the first time in the American League Championship Series, the Rangers did not score in the first inning, which was an encouraging early sign for A.J. Burnett. The Yankees also took an early lead for the first time in the series, which was an encouraging sign, period.
It was a busy second inning for umpire Jim Reynolds, who was working the right field line. Robinson Cano got the first hit of the game, his third home run of the series, which featured a scene out of Yankees post-season history. As Texas right fielder Nelson Cruz jumped at the wall and reached for the ball, the outstretched hands of two fans in the front row came into view as the ball hit the top of the fence and bounced into the stands.
Cruz claimed interference, and Rangers manager Ron Washington exited the dugout to talk to Reynolds. The exchange was not heated, so Washington apparently accepted the ruling. The situation brought to mind Game 1 of the 1996 ALCS between the Yankees and the Orioles when a New Jersey schoolboy named Jeffrey Maier interfered with a drive by Derek Jeter for a home run. The difference that night was that after the game right field ump Richie Garcia admitted he made the wrong call.
The umpires may now use televised replays on questionable home runs but did not in that case. Two batters later, they did, however. Lance Berkman’s high drive to right kept hooking and from my seat in the press box where the right field foul pole is directly in my view the ball veered foul into the second deck.
I was astonished to see Reynolds signal a home run. The crowd loved it. Pitcher Tommy Hunter and catcher Bengie Molina did not. Washington was out of the dugout again, but he was taking nobody’s word for it until the play was reviewed. The call was correctly reversed to a foul ball. Now Yankees fans were upset, but as the replay plainly revealed the ball hooked in front of the pole and landed in foul territory.
Burnett could have used that extra run, too, because the Rangers came back to score two runs in the third without a ball leaving the infield. After two perfect innings, Burnett had his first burst of wildness. He walked David Murphy and hit Molina with a pitch. Molina was attempting to sacrifice, so Burnett hit a guy who was giving him an out.
After Mitch Moreland bunted the runners over, Mark Teixeira made an excellent, short-hop pickup of a grounder by Elvis Andrus but could not set himself for a throw home. Tex tossed to Burnett covering first instead as Andrus scored the tying run. Michael Young followed with a slow roller to third that Alex Rodriguez had trouble getting out of his glove and beat the throw at first for a single that scored Molina for a 2-1 Texas lead.
The Yankees tied the score in the bottom of the inning with the run also coming on an infield hit. With two out, Jeter missed a home run by inches as the ball hit near the top of the center field fence next to the 408-foot sign. The ball caromed back toward the infield, and Jeter hustled it into a triple.
Curtis Granderson followed with a hard, one-bouncer that ate up second baseman for a single as Jeter crossed the plate with his 32nd run scored in ALCS play. It broke the record he had shared with former teammate Bernie Williams, who just happened to have thrown out the ceremonial first pitch.
In his previous start, A.J. Burnett was upset with himself for failing to produce shutdown innings after the Yankees had given him leads. He was victimized by a pair of two-out, RBI hits by the Orioles’ Brian Roberts. That scenario continued Saturday night at Rangers Ballpark in Arlington.
In front of a crowd that included former President Bush and his wife, plus Hall of Famers Nolan Ryan and Reggie Jackson, Burnett had another so-so outing for the Yankees, a stint shorted to four innings because of a 59-minute rain delay.
Both runs scored off Burnett were by players who walked and came after two were out. The righthander had six strikeouts, but he also gave up four hits and three walks and threw a wild pitch.
After the Rangers jumped to a 1-0 lead in the first on a two-out double by Vlad Guerrero, the Yankees struck for two runs in the second to put Burnett ahead. They caught a break when second baseman Ian Kinsler booted a ground ball by Ramiro Pena that might have been an inning-ending double play. The Rangers got only one out, giving an at-bat to Francisco Cervelli, who singled in the go-ahead run.
Burnett got the first two outs of the third, which looked like a shutdown at that point. Then he walked David Murphy and yielded a double to left center by Guerrero that tied the score again. Burnett recovered to strike out Nelson Cruz, who hit two home runs Friday night. In the fourth, Burnett’s ended a threat with his best pitch of the night, a 95-mph fastball on the outside corner to Elvis Andrus on a 3-2 count with runners on second and third.
Yankees manager Joe Girardi was forced by the rain to replace Burnett, who threw 84 pitches but not many with the authority of the one to Andrus. Burnett was hung with a no-decision but is 1-5 with a 6.70 ERA over his past eight starts and is 3-13 with a 6.15 ERA since May 4. The Yankees continue to wait for him to step forward.
Tuesday night’s game in Arlington, Texas, lived up to its billing as a showdown between division leaders and possible playoff foes. The Rangers showed why they are running away with the American League West with an extra-inning victory over the Yankees, whose lead in the AL East shrunk to half a game.
The Yankees’ scoreless string of 16 innings by their bullpen over the past week was ended surprisingly by Mariano Rivera, who thrives in the post-season atmosphere but gave up the winning run in the 10th. Texas loaded the bases on two singles and a one-out intentional walk. Rivera fell behind 3-0 in the count to David Murphy, who singled off a 3-2 cutter for the walk-off hit.
Rangers manager Ron Washington emptied his bullpen, using five relievers, all but one getting the job done. Alex Rodriguez nailed Frank Francisco for his 601st home run in the eighth to tie the score. The difference in the game may have been the way the teams ran the bases. The Yankees were somewhat tentative on one play. The Rangers’ aggressiveness on another play had dire consequences for the Yankees.
Rodriguez, who had a really nice game, pulled off the Yankees’ best move on the bases in the fourth when on the front end of a double-steal attempt threw his body into the left arm of Texas third baseman Michael Young and dislodged the ball from his glove. Young was charged with an error, and the Yankees had runners on second and third with one out, but they failed to capitalize as Lance Berkman struck out and Francisco Cervelli flied out. The Berkman at-bat was a killer because the Rangers were conceding a run by playing the infield back, but Berkman failed to make contact.
A.J. Burnett showed no ill effects of back spasms that pushed back his start and pitched seven serviceable innings. He gave up a run in the fourth on a two-out double by Nelson Cruz, but the Yankees came back with a two-out double of their own off C.J. Wilson in the fifth by Nick Swisher. Marcus Thames followed with a single to left, but Swisher was thrown out at the plate on a strong throw by Murphy, who was all over this game. Benjie Molina made a fine scoop of the short-hop throw and tagged out Swisher, who chose not to slam into the catcher but tried to vault over him, which didn’t work.
The Yankees regained the lead in the sixth but failed to pad it by stranding two runners. In the bottom half, Burnett made his only real mistake in the game, a first-pitch fastball to Murphy, who crushed it for a two-run home run. The Yankees’ failure to turn a double play on a ground ball by Vlad Guerrero gave Murphy the opportunity to bat with two outs. Credit Josh Hamilton with a hard, professional slide into second base that caused Derek Jeter to throw wildly past first base losing the DP.
Robinson Cano, who did not start because of a cold but stayed in the game after pinch hitting in the sixth, led off the ninth with a single. Jeter showed bunt on the first pitch from Neftali Feliz that caught the outside corner for a strike. He took another fastball for a ball. Then the Yankees took off the bunt. Swinging away, Jeter grounded into a double play.
After Rivera gave up singles to Young and Hamilton at the start of the 10th, Rodriguez made a dazzling play in snuffing a hard grounder by Guerrero and firing to first for the out. It appeared to be a game saver, but Mo could match the histrionics of his teammate.