Results tagged ‘ Fenway Park ’
Kevin Youkilis prepared to enjoy Monday’s open date for the Yankees. Instead, it became a busy day of making dozens of telephone calls to make sure friends and relatives of his in the Boston area were safe following the horrific events along the finish line of the Boston Marathon along Boylston Street.
“Sick to my stomach,” was Youkilis’ reaction to the two bombings that killed at least three people and injured hundreds of others. “It ate me up a lot.”
Youkilis played in Boston over nine seasons with the Red Sox and is married to a local girl, the former Julie Brady, sister of Patriots quarterback Tom Brady. Youkilis is quite familiar with the special feeling Massachusetts residents have for Patriots Day, a civic holiday that is unlike any other.
“I was on that finish line one year,” Youkilis said. “I would have been across the street and in plain view of where the first bomb went off. My father-in-law’s office is in that area. Luckily, he was not in his office.”
Few people are that day. Schools, post offices and most businesses are closed as the city fills up with people to cheer on the runners in the nation’s oldest marathon. The Red Sox were home for their 11 a.m. game against the Rays, which traditionally gets the day off to a festive start.
“It’s an amazing day,” Youkilis said. “Actually, players have a hard time getting to the park because they close off so many streets. It’s the most exciting day of the year in Boston. There is such a positive attitude. You see all those people cheering the people running whom they don’t even know. So many runners are out there for charity. My wife and her sister have run in the Marathon before. I texted everyone I knew up there just to make sure they were safe.”
The Yankees released a prepared statement, which read, “Our thoughts and prayers go out to the victims and the families who were affected by the bombings and our respect and admiration go out to the police, medical personnel and first responders who acted so heroically. We stand united with the participants, volunteers, staff and spectators of the Boston Marathon and the people of Boston. While we do not comment on safety and security measures at Yankee Stadium, this has always been our top priority and the public can be assured we are working with all levels of law enforcement and our own security personnel to ensure a safe environment.”
To honor the Boston community, the Yankees will stage a moment of silence prior to Tuesday night’s game against the Diamondbacks at the Stadium. The Fenway Park favorite, “Sweet Caroline,” will be played between the third and fourth innings. The song has a New York connection since it was written and performed by Brooklyn-bred Neil Diamond, but it has a special connotation in Boston as an eighth-inning anthem at Fenway. Diamond wrote the song in tribute to Caroline Kennedy, daughter of the late President John F. Kennedy, a Boston native.
“It is important that we recognize that we are behind the people of Boston,” Yankees manager Joe Girardi said.
The “Sweet Caroline” tribute will be similar to the “New York, New York” salute that Fenway Park fans stood for and sang when the Yankees first played there following the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001. I remember how Joe Torre, then the manager, fought back tears when trying to describe his emotions of that night.
“Who would have ever thought you would hear people in Boston heartily singing that song in the Red Sox ballpark?” Joe told me later. “It shows that we really are a unified nation.”
Was anyone really surprised to see Derek Jeter in the Yankees’ lineup Thursday night? When last the Captain was seen Wednesday night he was hobbling off the Fenway Park diamond after aggravating a left ankle bone bruise trying to beat out a double play grounder. He practically had to be dragged into the dugout by manager Joe Girardi and trainer Steve Donohue, so it was by no means at all stunning to see his name atop the batting order for the series finale.
Jeter had told reporters after Wednesday night’s game that he expected to play Thursday night. “Great,” he told Girardi when asked how the ankle felt before the game. Girardi may not have fully believed Jeter, but he sure wanted to. The manager played it safe and kept him off the field as Jeter got half a day off, sort of, as the designated hitter.
Good thing, too, because the Yankees needed the run-scoring hit he gave them in the seventh inning of a 2-0 victory that certainly fit into the must-win category of games. The Orioles had already won a 14-inning marathon against the Rays earlier in the day, so until the last out of the game at Fenway the Yankees were actually a half-game out of first place.
Jeter miss a must-win game? Not on your life. Fact is, Jeet thinks all games are must-win games.
The Yankees played .500 ball on the trip through Tampa Bay, Baltimore and Boston with a 5-5 record, which is only mediocre but since they lost three of the first four games on the trek they consider .500 acceptable. Another positive was that the Rays’ loss at Baltimore coupled with the Yankees’ victory dropped Tampa Bay four games out of first, which means the Yanks cannot fall behind the Rays in the standings in the three-game series at Yankee Stadium that begins Friday night with the marquee matchup of lefthanders CC Sabathia vs. David Price.
Phil Hughes pitched 7 1/3 terrific innings for his second victory on the trip and 15th of the season. With new daddy Dustin Pedroia unavailable, the Boston lineup was even weaker than normal, and Hughes made sure an upset was out of the question.
However, with the Yankees again struggling with runners in scoring position (1-for-9), Hughes did not have much margin for error. The Yankees got only one run out of a bases-loaded, none-out situation in the fourth against lefthander Felix Doubront on a sacrifice fly by Andruw Jones. Jeter’s RBI single three innings later was welcomed by Hughes, who walked one batter and struck out seven.
It was a brutal series for the Yankees in the clutch. They somehow won two of the three games despite getting only two hits in 34 at-bats (.059) with runners in scoring position in the series. Jeter had both hits. He also doubled in two runs Tuesday night. Thursday night’s hit was career No. 3,283, which tied DJ with Willie Mays for 10th place all-time. Think of it; with one more hit Jeter will knock the Say Hey Kid out of the top 10.
If the Yankees weren’t going to hit in the clutch – and once again they did not – they might as well hit the ball over the fence – and once again they did. The Yankees failed to get a hit with runners in scoring position Wednesday night but used three long balls to get a one-run victory over the Red Sox that was needed to keep their share of first place in the American League East.
When Boston kept biting off portions of the 5-1 lead the Yankees had by the seventh inning, a look back into the game showed the importance of David Phelps’ start. Yankees manager Joe Girardi used six relievers to navigate through the final 3 1/3 innings, but Phelps’ work was a major factor in a must-win situation for the Yankees.
Let’s face it; the rookie righthander had a pretty short leash at Fenway Park. With an 11-man bullpen, Girardi had plenty of arms at his disposal if Phelps faltered, except he didn’t. The key inning was the fifth. The Yankees were up, 3-1, when Jarrod Saltalmacchia, whom the Yankees could not get out, led off with a triple into the Fenway right-center triangle. He also homered, doubled and walked on a perfect night.
Phelps stiffened and got through the fifth without suffering any damage. He struck out Daniel Nava, retired Scott Podsednik on an infield pop and got Jose Iglesias looking at a third strike. In a game that eventually came down to one run, that inning loomed large. Girardi made the first move to pen with two out in the sixth, but Phelps had done his job by yielding one run, five hits and one walk with five strikeouts in 5 2/3 innings in evening his record at 4-4.
Curtis Granderson showed more signs that he is coming out of a prolonged slump over a period of almost 50 at-bats. He got the Yankees started with a solo home run in the fourth and pushed the Yankees’ lead to 5-1 with a two-run homer in the seventh. Granderson has five hits in his past 11 at-bats (.455) with a double, three homers and eight RBI. He also raised his team-leading totals in home runs to 37 and RBI to 89.
With Mark Teixeira (left calf strain) out of the lineup, the Yankees need some firepower. They also got it from Robinson Cano with a two-run homer in the fourth. That was Cano’s 30th home run of the season, a career high.
That would be the Yankees’ offense as they went 0-for-13 with runners in scoring position. They are 1-for-25 in those situations in the series so are fortunate to have split the first two games.
Nick Swisher, who had also been slumping on the trip before arriving at Fenway, is getting back on track as well. Swish had two doubles and a single and is 6-for-11 (.545) since going hitless in 28 at-bats. Coming to Boston was just what Swisher needed. He is batting .452 with six doubles, three home runs and 12 RBI in 31 at-bats this year at Fenway.
A scare went up in the eighth when Derek Jeter came up lame trying to beat out a double-play grounder and was removed from the game. The Captain has played for a week with a bone bruise in his left ankle. He had two more hits – his 59th multi-hit game – which boosted his big-league leading total to 194 and career figure to 3,282, one behind 10th-place Willie Mays. DJ went past another Giants legend, Mel Ott, into 12th place on the all-time runs list with his 1,860th.
Jeet downplayed his sore ankle and vowed he would be back in the lineup Thursday night. That will be Girardi’s call, of course, but no Yankees fan wants to imagine how the team would fare without Jeter.
So maybe a little dose of Fenway Park was all Nick Swisher needed to get his bat going again. Buried in slumps covering 28 at-bats (no hits) and 43 at-bats (two hits), Swish came to Boston where he had hit .429 with three doubles, three home runs and 12 RBI in 21 at-bats this year. On top of that, he was the Yankees’ leading hitter against the Red Sox overall this season with a .444 average, three doubles, five home runs and 14 RBI in 36 at-bats.
Following a leadoff walk to Derek Jeter, Swisher lined a first-pitch fastball from Jon Lester off the Green Monster for a double. It was Swisher’s first hit since Sept. 2. He had been hitless for the road trip before that at-bat.
It appeared at that point that the Yankees would be off and running against a downtrodden Red Sox team that is playing out the string of a disappointing season. But the Yankees got only one run out of the situation on an infield out by Robinson Cano. Lester loaded the bases with a pair of walks after two were out but got Curtis Granderson on a foul pop to first base.
The Yankees continued their pattern of scant run support for Hiroki Kuroda in the early going. They wasted a one-out double by Jayson Nix in the second inning. Lester walked the first two batters in the third, then after a visit and tongue lashing from manager Bobby Valentine came back to get two strikeouts and an infield out.
Swisher’s bid for a second double, in the fourth, was snuffed out by third baseman Pedro Ciriaco, who has tormented the Yankees all season, mostly with his bat. The rookie made a diving, back-handed grab of Swisher’s hard grounder down the line, and first baseman James Loney made a nice scoop to complete a beauty of a play that Nick could have done without. The Yankees were hitless in eight at-bats with runners in scoring position and left seven on base over the first four innings.
Ciriaco’s 16th hit in 33 at-bats (.485) against the Yankees was a leadoff double in the third inning to start a two-run rally that thrust the Red Sox into the lead. He crossed to third on an infield out to the right side and scored on a single against a drawn-in infield by Jacoby Ellsbury. A steal of second base by Ellsbury with two out put him in position to score on a single to right by Dustin Pedroia.
One of the strengths of the 2012 Yankees is how they have overcome injuries. Much has been made in this weekend series at Fenway Park about the makeshift lineups that manager Bobby Valentine is throwing out there because of injuries to key Red Sox players, but the Yankees have not been exactly running on all cylinders, either.
And yet the Yanks have the best record in the major leagues just past the midway point of the season, due in large part to the contributions of players filling in for those on the disabled list. What better example could there have been than the matinee of Saturday’s split-admission twin bill with Freddy Garcia and Andruw Jones reaching back into their past glory to put their stamps on a 6-1 victory.
Garcia, who was banished from the rotation three months ago, has been given a second chance as a starter with CC Sabathia and Andy Pettitte on the DL, and he has responded with two straight quality starts. The righthander pitched into the seventh inning for the first time this season in his longest start (6 2/3 innings) over a calendar year and held the Red Sox to five singles, a double and two walks with five strikeouts to post his first victory as a starter this year.
Granted, Boston’s lineup won’t make anyone think of its 2004 or ’07 World Series champions, but Garcia had the kind of stuff that might have handled those squads as well. Freddy’s fastball was in the upper 80’s, which made his breaking stuff more effective. Considering that Pettitte will be out probably until around Labor Day, Garcia could become a fixture in the rotation for a while.
Jones, who along with Raul Ibanez has made up for the nearly season-long loss of left fielder Brett Gardner, supported Garcia with two solo home runs and a splendid play at the base of the Green Monster in the sixth inning that became a stylish double play at the expense of Adrian Gonzalez.
One day after winning a game without hitting a home run, the Yankees left the yard four times Saturday afternoon. Jones was part of two back-to-back homer innings for the Yankees. He followed Nick Swisher’s three-run bomb in the first with a home run and went yard again in the fourth in front of Jayson Nix, who played shortstop to give Derek Jeter a half-day off as the designated hitter. Swisher’s homer ended a hitless stretch that had reached 17 at-bats.
The Yankees’ four-run first gave Garcia a comfort zone. Unlike teammate Hiroki Kuroda, who blew a 5-0, first-inning lead Friday night in a game the Yanks eventually won, 10-8, Garcia protected the early bulge. The only run he allowed came in the fourth on successive singles by David Ortiz, Gonzalez and Mauro Gomez.
Jones added another solo homer in the nightcap, a sloppy, 9-5 Yankees loss in which they committed four errors. Three more first-inning runs, on Mark Teixeira’s 15th home run, makes it 14 first-inning runs for the Yankees in five games this season against Boston. Phil Hughes failed to hold the lead, and one-day call-up Cory Wade continued to have problems as the Red Sox batted around in both the sixth and seventh innings to produce seven runs.
Garcia and Jones are just two examples of players who have plugged holes for the Yankees. Cody Eppley (2.74 ERA), who pitched 1 1/3 innings of scoreless relief, has been an effective situational right-handed reliever in the absence of Joba Chamberlain and while David Robertson was on the DL. And the panic the Yanks felt at first following the knee injury to Mariano Rivera back in May has subsided with Rafael Soriano stepping in for 20 saves in 21 opportunities.
Think also of the recent career week of reserve outfielder DeWayne Wise and the season-long steadiness of veteran corner infielder Eric Chavez and you have the ingredients that have kept the Yankees from tumbling down the standings despite the injuries they have sustained.
When both starting pitchers give up five runs in the first inning, you know this will be a bullpen game. That was okay for the Yankees Friday night because there is little they have liked more this year than getting into the Red Sox pen.
The Yankees blew leads of 5-0 and 6-5 but fought back from a 7-6 deficit with four runs in the eighth inning off the ragged Boston relief corps for a 10-8 victory at Fenway Park. They are 3-0 against Boston this season due primarily to the way they have clobbered Red Sox relievers. The Yanks have 17 runs and 20 hits in 10 innings against the Boston bullpen, which has pitched to a combined 15.30 ERA against the Bombers.
Red Sox manager Bobby Valentine made five pitching changes, and four of those relievers put the first runner on base. It happened to all three Boston relievers in the eighth. Andrew Miller started the inning and walked Curtis Granderson. After Alex Rodriguez singled, Vicente Padilla replaced Miller and gave up a two-run triple to Mark Teixeira that thrust the Yankees ahead. It was an extremely satisfying hit for Teixeira because Padilla has targeted him in the past literally by hitting him with pitches three times.
One out later, Padilla was spanked for a double by Raul Ibanez for another run. Scott Atchison, the third reliever of the inning, gave up an RBI single to his first batter, Eric Chavez.
The Yankees’ bullpen, meanwhile, allowed only one run, on Cody Ross’ home run of winning pitcher Boone Logan (4-0), over the final four innings in relief of Hiroki Kuroda. Rafael Soriano finished it off with a four-out save, his first of that kind in five years, to run his season saves total to 20. Cody Eppley and David Robertson also got big outs along the way.
It was that rarity for the Yankees in that they won a game without hitting a home run. It was only the second time in 16 homerless games that the Yankees have triumphed. They may not have hit home runs, but they got plenty of hits – 14 in all. The first five hitters in the order – Derek Jeter, Granderson, Rodriguez, Robinson Cano and Teixeira – combined to go 10-for-21 (.476) with a double, two triples, three stolen bases, nine runs and six runs batted in.
Darnell McDonald, who was claimed off waivers from the Red Sox by the Yankees, was a defensive replacement in left field in the ninth inning in his first game with his new team. His brother, Donzell, appeared in five games for the Yankees as an outfielder in 2001 and had 1-for-3. Darnell and Donzell became the eighth set of brothers to play for the Yankees, joining Homer (1912) and Tommy (1912) Thompson, Bobby (1957-60) and Billy (1960) Shantz, Felipe (1971-73) and Matty (1973) Alou, Phil (1984-85) and Joe (1985-87) Niekro, Al (1987-89, 2005) and Mark (1990) Leiter, Pascual (1990-91) and Melido (1992-95) Perez and Marcus (1989) and Matt (2005) Lawton.
The Yankees and Red Sox will play a separate-admission doubleheader Saturday. The Yanks played in five doubleheaders last year, sweeping two and splitting three, their most twin bills since 2006 (also five). They have gone 13-1-15 in doubleheaders since 2000. The one time they were swept was Sept. 17, 2006 against the Red Sox at Yankee Stadium.
This is the third straight season that the Yankees will play at least one doubleheader vs. Boston. They have split each of the past three doubleheaders against the Red Sox, winning the first game and losing the second each time (Sept. 28, 2008 and Oct. 10, 2010 at Fenway and Sept. 25, 2011 at the Stadium). The Yanks last swept the Red Sox in a doubleheader Aug. 18, 2006 at Fenway Park, the first two games of a five-game series sweep.
The Yankees-Red Sox weekend at Fenway Park got off to a wild and woolly start Friday night as both clubs batted around in the first inning and put up five spots. If that set a tone for the series, it could be a very long weekend.
The Yanks struck against Josh Beckett, who has had his way with the Yankees over the years (14-7 record) despite an unsightly ERA (5.36). Beckett has had problems with his thumb this year and by the time he got his first out of the game the Yankees had scored four runs.
Derek Jeter and Curtis Granderson started the rally with singles before Beckett got unglued and hit Alex Rodriguez with a pitch and walked Robinson Cano to force in a run. That made it nine straight games with at least one RBI for Cano, the most since Jeter had a nine-game streak May 23 to June 2, 2004.
Mark Teixeira smoked a single to center field for two runs. A fly ball to right by Nick Swisher was the first out Beckett got, but it was a sacrifice fly that made the score 4-0. After Raul Ibanez singled Teixeira to third, the Yankees got another sac fly, from Eric Chavez.
Hiroki Kuroda could not have asked for a better way to start a game at Fenway, but he let the Red Sox come all the way back and tie the score. A throwing error by Chavez at third base prolonged the inning, but the big blow was a three-run home run by Jarrod Saltalamacchia. The five runs Kuroda allowed in that one inning matched the total he yielded in his three previous starts combined over 21 innings.
It marked the first time in the history of the Yankees-Red Sox rivalry that both teams scored at least five runs in the first inning of a game.
The teams duplicated themselves again with one-run second innings. Granderson tripled and scored on an infield out by Rodriguez. Cano doubled but was stranded at second as Beckett caught Teixeira staring at a called third strike. Again, Kuroda failed to come up with a shutdown inning. He hit Daniel Nava to start the inning and gave up singles to Ryan Kalish and David Ortiz, the latter driving in the tying run.
As some of the names suggest, this was not your typical Boston lineup. Ortiz, Saltalamacchia and first baseman Adrian Gonzalez were surrounded by back-ups as Dustin Pedroia, Jacoby Ellsbury, Carl Crawford and Ryan Sweeney are all on the disabled list and Kevin Youkilis was traded to the White Sox.
Another of those subs, third baseman Mauro Gomez, drove in a run in the fifth as the Red Sox got the lead for the first time in the game. A wild pitch by Kuroda put Gonzalez, who led off the inning with a single, in scoring position. One out later, Gomez singled him home.
Kuroda failed to pitch through the sixth inning for the first time in eight starts. He departed with two outs in the sixth after giving up seven runs (six earned) and 10 hits with a walk, a hit batter, two wild pitches and three strikeouts and having blown two leads.
Andy Pettitte is at least another week away from rejoining the Yankees. The lefthander had told reporters in Clearwater, Fla., after his 96-pitch outing that he felt ready for the majors, but the Yankees want him to make one more minor-league start over the weekend before considering bringing him back to the Bronx.
Pettitte is likely to make his next start Saturday or Sunday. Barring complications, he would be recalled by the Yankees during the next homestand when the Yankees face the Rays and the Mariners.
Brett Gardner is eligible to come off the disabled list Thursday and was expected to be activated that night when the Yankees open a four-game series at Kansas City. Now plans call for him to go on injury-rehabilitation assignment and play several minor-league games before rejoining the Yankees. Man, the Yanks must really like Eduardo Nunez in left field.
Pitcher Michael Pineda has surgery to repair a torn labrum in his right shoulder at the Hospital for Special Surgery in Manhattan, which according to surgeons David Altcheck, the Mets’ team physician, and Chris Ahmad, the Yanks’ team physician, went well. The recovery period for Pineda will be at least 12 months.
David Robertson, who struck out the side in the eighth inning Monday night, extended his stretch of scoreless innings this season to 11 and has not allowed a run in regular-season play for 24 1/3 innings since Sept. 1, 2011. That is the longest streak for a Yankees pitcher since 25 innings by Phil Hughes June 10 through July 30, 2009. Robertson has a career strikeouts ratio of 12.17 Ks per nine innings, the best among active pitchers with at least 200 innings pitched.
Derek Jeter closed out play April 30 with 37 hits, the most in the major leagues. The Elias Sports Bureau reports that it is the fourth time the Captain has led or tied for the major-league lead in hits at the end of a calendar month and the first since last August when his 41 hits matched that of the Tigers’ Miguel Cabrera.
The Yankees-Red Sox game from April 22 at Fenway Park that was postponed due to inclement weather will be made up as the first game of a split-admission doubleheader at 12:35 p.m. Saturday, July 7. The second game will start at 7:15 p.m., as originally scheduled. Fans holding ticket for the April 22 rainout, which was Game No. 9 at Fenway, may use those tickets for the 12:35 p.m. game July 7.
On a day the Yankees learned that Michael Pineda will not be joining them soon, Freddy Garcia suffered another poor start that might have loosened his grip on a spot in the rotation. Manager Joe Girardi continues to support Garcia, but that may be only because Pineda and comeback kid Andy Pettitte are not yet ready to join the club.
Fox-TV talkers Joe Buck and Tim McCarver tried to get Girardi to consider moving David Phelps out of the bullpen and into the rotation, but the skipper wouldn’t bite. I don’t blame him. Phelps got smacked around a bit also Saturday, although not nearly as much as Garcia was, and has found a nice niche in long relief for the Yankees.
That does not change the fact that Garcia has to get his act together. He couldn’t get through the second inning at Fenway Park and put the Yankees into a 5-0 hole that grew to 9-0 through five innings before Red Sox manager Bobby Valentine did the Yankees a huge favor and took Felix Doubront out of a game that went from blowout to nail biter.
Garcia’s ERA after three starts is 9.75 as he has allowed more earned runs (13) than innings pitched (12) and 20 hits. Fortunately for him, Saturday’s game was at Fenway Park where no lead is ever safe, which the Yankees proved with a late-game comeback that actually took Garcia off the hook as the Yankees miraculously took the lead in the eighth inning.
Before continuing their weekend series in Boston, the Yankees received troubling news about pitcher Michael Pineda, their major trade acquisition in the off-season. The righthander was shut down after throwing 15 pitches in an extended spring game Saturday in Tampa when he reported pain in the area behind his pitching shoulder.
Pineda, whom the Yankees obtained from Seattle Jan. 23 with pitching prospect Jose Campos in exchange for catcher Jesus Montero and pitcher Hector Noesi, opened the season on the 15-day disabled list because of right shoulder tendinitis. After resting the shoulder for nearly a month, Pineda was to make his first injury-rehabilitation assignment Saturday but experienced a setback. He is scheduled to undergo tests Monday.
Pineda’s condition means the Yankees need to get improved performances from their current starters, who aside from Ivan Nova have had lackluster results. Andy Pettitte, who is trying to come back to the majors after a year’s inactivity, could very well be needed by the Yankees next month when he presumably will be ready to rejoin them.
Friday marked the centennial of the first game at Fenway Park with the Yankees gaining revenge for having lost the first game 100 years ago by winning this time. On the day after that Fenway opener, the Highlanders (as the Yankees were then known) returned to New York to play an exhibition game against the Giants at the Polo Grounds in a benefit for survivors of RMS Titanic, which sank in the North Atlantic six days earlier. The Giants won the game, 11-2, which raised $9,425.25.