Results tagged ‘ Dayan Viciedo ’
The Yankees did their best Friday night to put Adam Warren, who made his major-league debut, in a comfort zone. They jumped out to a 4-0 lead in the first inning off White Sox lefthander Jose Quintana, who entered the game with a 16-inning scoreless streak and a 1.25 ERA.
Derek Jeter started the ball rolling with a double into the left field corner for his 3,185th career hit that pushed him past Hall of Famer Cal Ripken Jr. for sole possession of 13th place on the all-time list.
“Congratulations to Derek on passing me on the all-time hits list,” Ripken said. “Derek has been such a special player for such a long time, and I am happy to see him continue to play at a high level. He represents the game and the Yankees wonderfully, and I hope that he continues to give all of us baseball fans great memories.”
Curtis Granderson ended Quintana’s zeroes streak with a drive to right-center field for his 22nd home run off a 1-0 fastball. Another streak by Quintana came one out later when he walked Alex Rodriguez, the pitcher’s first base on balls in a stretch covering 100 batters.
After Robinson Cano flied out, Nick Swisher kept the rally alive with a flare single behind first base that was positioned so well that A-Rod got to third. Andruw Jones got both runners home with a booming double off the wall in left-center.
The comfort zone didn’t last long for Warren, who gave all of the lead back the very next inning on A.J. Pierzynski’s 13th home run, singles by Dayan Viciedo and Alexei Ramirez, a two-run double by Gordon Beckham and a run-scoring infield out by Kevin Youkilis. The rookie learned that in the big leagues nothing can be taken for granted as Paul Konerko led off the third with his 14th home run to put the Chisox ahead.
Chicago added another run before Warren came out of the game after 2 1/3 innings with his ERA an unsightly 23.14. The Yankee Stadium crowd recognized the circumstances and disappointing as fans may have been to see a 4-0 lead vanish gave the rookie righthander polite applause. To have done otherwise would have been unkind.
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.
When a team loses two of its top pitchers to injury as the Yankees have with CC Sabathia (strained left groin) and Andy Pettitte (fractured left fibula), there is a danger that the other pitchers might put too much pressure on themselves in an attempt to fill the void. There is one thing to stepping up and another thing to going overboard and falling out of your own rhythm.
Some pitchers fall victim to muscling up and overthrowing. The point has been well made by Yankees manager Joe Girardi that the team’s other starters need not try to play the hero role to offset the losses of Sabathia and Pettitte. Just be yourself, Girardi cautioned. Take care of your day to start, he said, and he will figure out what to do on the days CC and Andy were supposed to go.
It looked as if Ivan Nova followed that advice to the letter Thursday night. A strong start was needed by the Yankees after the dark news of Wednesday. Nova provided it. He pitched his game and no one else’s. The result should have been what it normally is when Nova takes the mound – a victory.
Instead, a rare bullpen breakdown resulted in a 4-3 loss to the White Sox. Eighth-inning relief work by Boone Logan and Cody Eppley was followed by dismal efforts from Clay Rapada and David Robertson.
Alex Rodriguez, who has drawn some concern about how few doubles he has this season, lined two of them, which was as many as he had combined over his previous 31 games. The second one was a big, two-out hit in the fifth inning that scored Curtis Granderson, who had singled, and negated the home run in the top half by Alejandro De Aza, who gave Nova a hard time of it all game with four hits.
Robinson Cano followed A-Rod’s double with a two-bagger of his own that gave the Yankees a 2-1 lead. As well as Nova was pitching, he was in a close game because the Yankees were being tamed to a degree by White Sox starter Dylan Alexrod, their fifth starter. The Yankees wasted a leadoff double by Rodriguez in the fourth and were hitless in five at-bats with runners in scoring position before Cano’s double in the fifth.
Nova departed the game in the eighth to a standing ovation from the Yankee Stadium crowd of 44,041 after he caught Kevin Youkilis looking at a called third strike with De Aza on second. Youkilis, who was recently traded to Chicago from Boston, heard the usual onslaught of boos that used to ring his ears during his Red Sox days.
Logan came in to face left-handed swinging Adam Dunn and retired him on a fly to deep center that allowed De Aza to cross to third with two out. Girardi called on Eppley to face right-handed slugger Paul Konerko, who was frozen on a 1-2 slider. Mark Teixeira’s home run off lefthander Hector Santiago supplied an insurance run, but it guaranteed no dividend.
After Alex Rios led off the ninth with a single, Girardi went to the left-handed Rapada to pitch to left-handed batting A.J. Pierzynski. The White Sox catcher hit a dribbler right back to Rapada. It might have been a double play except Rapada threw wide to the left of second base and behind shortstop Derek Jeter covering. Instead of two outs and a runner on third base, the White Sox had none out and runners on first and third.
Not for long, though. Dayan Viciedo greeted Robertson with a three-run home run to left off a 1-0 fastball, which sunned the crowd not to mention the Yankees’ dugout.
Jeter singled in the seventh to catch another Hall of Famer on the all-time hits list. This time it was one of his idols, Cal Ripken Jr., for a 13th place tie at 3,184. Jeter’s next at-bat was in the ninth with two out and the potential tying run at first base. Passing Ripken was not on his mind as much as getting that runner home or at least keeping the rally going. Jeter’s inside-out swing produced a line drive that teasingly had the crowd on its feet only to watch Rios catch the ball in front of the wall.