Results tagged ‘ Jayson Nix ’
With the temperatures cooling down and the combatants representing the oldest rivalry in the American League, there was a postseason atmosphere Thursday night at Yankee Stadium as the Yankees and the Red Sox opened a four-game series. Boston held a 5 ½-game lead over the Rays in the AL East with the Yankees in third place eight games back.
A month ago, the Yankees were left for dead, and while a division title remains a tall order they have moved into serious contention for one of the wild-card berths as they trail Tampa Bay for the second entry by only 2 ½ games. The Rays were at Anaheim Thursday night.
The Yanks are 5-7 this season against Boston and have already surpassed their loss total to the Red Sox of last year. The Yankees have won 10 of the past 17 regular-season games between the club and 21 of the past 34. In 2012, the Yankees were 13-5 against Boston. It marked their first winning season against the Red Sox since 2007 (10-8).
At the Stadium, the Yankees have won six of their past 10 games and 10 of their past 18 between the teams and are 31-29 against the Red Sox at home since 2007. In 2012, the Yankees were 6-3 against Boston, their first winning home season series since 2009 (7-2).
Derek Jeter leads all active major leaguers with 264 games and 321hits against Boston and ranks second in runs (168) and RBI (124). The Elias Sports Bureau reports that Jeter’s 142 winning games in the regular season against the Red Sox are the most for any player who entered the majors since 1960.
Yankees batters were hit by four pitches in their Aug. 18 victory at Fenway Park. The victims were Alex Rodriguez, Brett Gardner, Jayson Nix and Robinson Cano. It was their most hit batters in a single game since April 15, 2000 at the Stadium against the Royals (Tino Martinez, Bernie Williams, Clay Bellinger twice). The Yankees were hit six times over the three-game Boston series, which matched the Yankees’ most hit by pitchers of any length against any team over the past 100 seasons. It also occurred June 7-9, 2011 at the Stadium against the Red Sox in three games; Sept. 4-8, 1945 at the Stadium against the Tigers in seven games and May 12-15, 1923 at Detroit in four games.
The Yankees have been hit with five or more pitches in 22 series all time, with seven of them coming at the hands of the Red Sox since 2000. According to Elias, the only time the Yankees have been hit with more pitches in a series was a five-game set June 20-24, 1913 at Washington in which a single-game team-record six Yankees got hit in the series opener by Senators pitchers.
There were some new faces in the Yankees clubhouse Sunday plus some familiar faces that had been in the minors recently. On the day active rosters are allowed to expand from 25 to up to 40 players, the Yankees recalled pitchers Dellin Betances and Brett Marshall and infielder David Adams from Triple A Scranton.
Also brought up were pitcher Cesar Cabral, whose contract was purchased from Scranton, and catcher J.R. Murphy, who signed a major league contract and was selected off the Scranton roster. To create roster space for Cabral and Murphy, the Yankees transferred infielder Jayson Nix (fractured left hand) to the 60-day disabled list and released outfielder Melky Mesa. Pitcher Preston Claiborne is expected to join the team Monday when the Yankees open a three-game series against the White Sox.
About the added personnel, Yankees manager Joe Girardi said, “Just contribute any way they can is the bottom line. It can be one hitter, it can be one at-bat; could play one inning. Any way you could help us out is all we’re asking you to do.”
That said, Girardi reiterated his dislike of the expanded-roster period and belief that each game managers should have to designate which 25 players are eligible to play that day. It is an idea worth pursuing by Major League Baseball which to this point it has not.
The Yankees got good news on the medical front for a change. X-rays on Robinson Cano’s left hand that was struck by a pitch from J.A. Happ in the first inning Tuesday night were negative.
Cano has a nasty bruise and will likely miss several games, but fortunately he did not suffer the fate of teammates Curtis Granderson and Jayson Nix, both of whom sustained fractures when hit by pitches that kept them on the 15-day disabled list for extended periods.
The Yankees are a bit skinny in the middle infield these days. Eduardo Nunez took over for Cano and did a nice job at a position with which he is not all that familiar. He took part in a couple of double plays and looked like he had been playing second base all his life.
Two pitches, two home runs. How’s that for efficiency?
That is what Alfonso Soriano did in his first two at-bats Tuesday night at Rogers Centre. Sori’s first bomb was just that, a Jose Canseco-like towering drive right down the line. It scored Derek Jeter, who had singled in a run, and Robinson Cano, who was hit by a pitch, to give the Yankees and Andy Pettitte a 4-0 lead right off the bat.
At the end of the inning, Cano came out of the game and was replaced at second base by Eduardo Nunez. Here is where the Yankees miss someone like Jayson Nix, who is on the disabled list because of a fractured left hand that was also the result of being hit by a pitch. Blue Jays lefthander J.A. Happ was the same pitcher who broke Curtis Granderson’s left wrist with a wayward pitch in the first exhibition game of spring training.
Cano had been one of the constants for the Yankees this year. He had played much of the season without his regular infield partners – first baseman Mark Teixeira, third baseman Alex Rodriguez and shortstop Derek Jeter as well as A-Rod’s replacement at third, Kevin Youkilis, and Jeter’s replacement at shortstop, Nunez. Second base was the only position unaffected by injuries this year. In addition to the other infield spots, the Yankees also lost to the DL pitchers Phil Hughes, Ivan Nova, Michael Pineda, Joba Chamberlain and David Phelps; catcher Francisco Cervelli and outfielders Granderson and Zoilo Almonte.
So the Yankees are keeping their fingers crossed about Cano and hope he can cross the fingers on that left hand.
Soriano paid Happ back in the third inning by driving a first-pitch slider off the back side of the left field fence for his second home run of the game and the 400th homer of his career. Soriano became the 51st player to enter the 400 Home Run Club. Ahead of him on the all-time list in 50th place is Duke Snider with 407.
The Yankees’ comeback Tuesday night came too late for Phil Hughes to get a winning decision, but at least he was not saddled with another loss. Hughes remained winless in eight starts since July 2, but thanks to Jayson Nix the Yankees pulled out a victory, which they have done quite regularly against the Blue Jays this year.
The 3-2 victory Tuesday night completed a split-admission, doubleheader sweep by the Yanks, who are now 10-1 against Toronto this season. Nix, who had a terrific doubleheader against his old team, was responsible for both the tying and winning runs in the night game. His home run with two out in the eighth off lefthander Aaron Loup made the score 2-2 and his single in the ninth marked the first walk-off hit of Nix’s career.
Ichiro Suzuki played a major role in manufacturing the Yankees’ winning run. After going 2-for-5 in the afternoon game, Ichiro was on the bench for the night game. He was called on to pinch run for Mark Reynolds, who drew a leadoff walk from lefthander Darren Oliver. Eduardo Nunez bunted Ichiro to second base and from there he took charge by stealing third base. Suzuki took advantage of a new catcher in the game, Josh Thole, for the surprise element, although Thole did make a good throw to third that was not handled by Brett Lawrie. Nix followed with a line drive into left field to send everybody home.
Nix played for the Blue Jays in 2011 before signing with the Yankees the next year. In the past two seasons, the utility infielder has batted .333 with seven runs, five doubles, one home run, seven RBI and four stolen bases in 66 at-bats against the Jays. He had 2-for-4 in the day game with a stolen base and two runs scored and also played an exceptional game at shortstop. In the night game, Nix played third base as Alex Rodriguez was the designated hitter.
Hughes pitched one batter into the seventh inning and allowed two runs, seven hits and two walks with six strikeouts. He hurt himself with a wild pitch in the first inning that accounted for the Blue Jays’ first run. Munenori Kawasaki whacked a triple off a soft slider from Hughes in the fifth and scored on a sacrifice fly that gave Toronto a 2-1 lead and threatened to drop Hughes’ season record to 4-13.
But that was before Nix and Suzuki came to his rescue. The winning decision went to Mariano Rivera (4-2), who withstood two singles to pitch a scoreless ninth inning.
So what is the best thing to do after a hitting streak ends? Start another one, of course.
Robinson Cano had an 11-game hitting streak stopped Saturday night at Boston. He came right back the next night at Fenway Park and went 3-for-5. Tuesday at Yankee Stadium in the first game of a split-admission doubleheader against the Blue Jays, Cano had 4-for-4 in helping to spark the Yankees to an 8-4 victory, their ninth in 10 games against Toronto this season.
Cano singled to right with two out in the first inning. His second hit proved more significant. Batting in the third inning with one out and two on and the Yankees trailing, 4-0, Cano jumped on a 1-0 fastball from righthander Esmil Rogers and drove it into the netting above Monument Park for a three-run home run that made it a one-run game.
The homer was the 200th of Cano’s career as he became the 16th Yankees player to reach that plateau. He needs two more home runs to tie Hall of Fame catcher Bill Dickey for 15th place on the franchise’s all-time list.
Cano also singled in the fifth and doubled home a run in the seventh. He has hit safely in 13 of his past 14 games, batting .453 with eight runs, five doubles, two home runs and 10 RBI in 53 at-bats.
“He got us back in the game with that home run,” Yankees manager Joe Girardi said.
There was a time and not that long ago that a 4-0 deficit would have seemed insurmountable to the Yankees when their offense was struggling. Not anymore. It has certainly helped Cano to have Alfonso Soriano, Alex Rodriguez and Curtis Granderson supporting him in the lineup.
“It’s a lot different,” Girardi said. “We’re hitting the ball out of the park more and getting hits in bunches.”
Cano’s homer was one of two big ones for the Yankees Tuesday. The other was by catcher Chris Stewart, a three-run shot in the sixth inning that put the Yankees ahead. It ended a drought of 173 at-bats without a home run for Stewart, who had previously homered May 15 against the Mariners at the Stadium.
The Yankees also got a strong game from Jayson Nix, who played shortstop in place of Eduardo Nunez out with an ankle injury. Nix handled six plays flawlessly in the field and also reached base three times with a hit and two walks and stole a base.
Miguel Cabrera may not win a second consecutive Triple Crown, but a second straight American League Most Valuable Player Award is not out of the question. In a remarkable at-bat in the top of the ninth inning in which he twisted his left knee and fouled a ball off his left shin, Cabrera stayed upright enough to power a 2-2 cutter from Mariano Rivera into the netting over Yankee Stadium’s Monument Park in center field for a game-tying home run.
It was the 34th homer of the season for Cabrera, who hobbled around the batter’s box throughout the at-bat. He leads the AL in batting (.360) and RBI (108) but is a distant second in home runs (by seven) to Orioles first baseman Chris Davis. The home run also scored Austin Jackson, who doubled with one out for his fourth hit and third two-bagger in the game.
That was the second straight blown save for Rivera, who also gave it up Wednesday night at Chicago, but only his fourth in 39 opportunities this year. In such situations, looking back at missed scoring chances haunted the Yankees, who had one hit (a double by Robinson Cano in the third inning) in 12 at-bats with runners in scoring position. Major culprits were the 4-5-6 hitters – Alfonso Soriano, Alex Rodriguez and Curtis Granderson, who were a combined 0-for-12 with seven strikeouts in regulation.
Ironically, it was that part of the order that helped construct the winning rally in the 10th when Cabrera’s lack of mobility played a part in the Yankees’ 4-3 victory that ended Detroit’s 12-game winning streak.
Jayson Nix, who replaced Rodriguez defensively at third base in the ninth, led off the 10th with a walk. He began the at-bat with a bunt down the third base line based on testing Cabrera’s wobbly left leg that went foul. Granderson followed with a single to right. A key play was a wild pitch by Al Alburquerque, the Tigers’ seventh pitcher, on a third strike to Lyle Overbay that served the same purpose as a sacrifice.
That forced the Tigers to walk Eduardo Nunez to load the bases to create a situation where there was a force at every base. Alburquerque got a big strikeout of Chris Stewart before Brett Gardner punched a single to the left of Cabrera, who dived for the ball but could not stop it. It was the third hit of the game for Gardner, who also scored twice and stole a base.
It was an important victory for the Yankees coming off four straight losses to substandard clubs (Padres, White Sox) and guaranteed that their record cannot fall below .500 in this series against one of the league’s powerhouses.
Considering the recent struggles of CC Sabathia, the year-long inconsistency of Phil Hughes, the periodic problems suffered by Andy Pettitte and the arm injuries to David Phelps, how important has Ivan Nova been to the Yankees’ rotation? The answer is pretty simple – huge.
Nova pitched another gem Saturday night as the Yankees bounced back from Sabathia’s latest shaky outing for a 3-0 victory over the Padres. This was a pitchers’ duel for the first six innings of a game that started in the late afternoon Pacific time that made life difficult for the hitters.
Padres righthander Tyson Ross retired the first 13 batters he faced – six by strikeout – before Lyle Overbay singled with one down in the fifth to become the Yanks’ first base runner. Ross took a one-hit shutout into the seventh when the proverbial bloop and a blast seemed to unglue the pitcher.
After Alfonso Soriano led off with a flare single to center, Curtis Granderson turned around a 1-0 fastball for a home run to right field, his first hit since coming back from his second stint on the disabled list Friday night. Ross, who had not walked a batter to that point, promptly walked the next two hitters and then walked to the dugout as Padres manager Buddy Black made a move to the bullpen.
Nova, meanwhile, kept right on throwing up zeroes through the seventh inning. He had some early tight spots but worked out of them each time. He gave up a pair of one-out singles in the first inning and a leadoff double in the second but did not allow a run either time. Same thing in the seventh when Nova yielded another leadoff double; for the game the Padres were hitless in eight at-bats with runners in scoring position against Nova.
Once again, the righthander had a very effective curve and a well-spotted fastball, which have sustained him over the past 10 weeks of solid pitching. Since coming off the disabled list in late May after recovering from an inflamed right triceps, Nova is 4-3 with a 2.08 ERA in 56 1/3 innings. He has allowed 45 hits and 15 walks with 56 strikeouts over that stretch. Opponents have hit only .216 off Nova since then. In his past five starts, Nova has pitched to a 1.66 ERA. He has looked every bit like the pitcher the Yankees thought he would turn into after a 16-4 rookie season in 2011.
The Yankees picked up a gift insurance run in the ninth for Mariano Rivera, who earned his 35th save. Why was the run a gift? Well, for a change the Yankees benefit from a bad umpiring call rather than being victimized, which they were at least twice Friday night and have been quite often over the course of the season.
The break came when Granderson, who led off the ninth with a single, hustled to get back to first base on a fly ball to center field by Overbay on a hit-and-run play. Granderson hit the brakes as the ball was caught by center fielder Alexi Amarista, who launched a tremendous throw to first baseman Yonder Alonso that appeared to have doubled-up Granderson. First base umpire Alonso Marquez thought otherwise and called Grandy safe. Video replays indicated the call was wrong.
The Yankees sure didn’t have to apologize. Granderson ended up stealing second base with two out and scored on a single through the right side by Jayson Nix. It was good to see Granderson get back into the mix after going 0-for-4 Friday night without getting the ball out of the infield.
The Yankees celebrated Autumn Blinn and her dedication to those in need through her “Pillows of Love” initiative Tuesday on the second day of HOPE Week 2013 (Helping Others Persevere & Excel).
Yankees manager Joe Girardi and players Robinson Cano, David Robertson, Vernon Wells and Jayson Nix surprised Autumn and assisted her in handing out homemade pillows to sick children at the Ronald McDonald House on Manhattan’s Upper East Side. The Yankees and Delta Air Lines flew Autumn and her family from Central New York.
The players, Autumn, and her family spent time with the children, playing games in the playroom of the facility on East 73rd Street between First and York Avenues and having a pizza party. Autumn and her family were invited to Yankee Stadium for the 7:05 p.m. game against the Royals where they watched batting practice from the field and took in pre-game ceremonies.
Coping with a hospital stay of any length can be a scary proposition. Autumn Blinn, 10, from Rome, N.Y., realized this from spending time with her grandfather, John Santiago, who undergoes kidney dialysis three times a week at their local hospital, Faxton St. Luke’s in nearby Utica.
Last year, when Autumn’s grandmother, Shari, taught her to sew, they decided to make a pillow for their first project. When her grandfather saw it, he asked if she could make him a pillow on which to rest his arm during dialysis. After John, a Bronx native, proudly showed off his pillow to other patients, Autumn realized that other dialysis patients could be uplifted by the gift of a pillow.
Without prompting, she dove into making “Pillows of Love” for as many people as possible. Over the last year, she has made approximately 175 pillows for sick children and adults.
Autumn has donated pillows to dialysis patients and pediatric patients at Faxton St. Luke’s, residents of the Rome Memorial Hospital facility in her hometown, and for children at both the Ronald McDonald House in Syracuse and Jacobi Hospital in the Bronx. Autumn continues to sew pillows during her free time between school, sports and spending time with her brothers, Justin, 8, and Thomas, 7, and her sister, Isabella, 4. Media should note that Autumn’s parents, Ray and Kara Snell, are both deaf, and the family uses American Sign Language to communicate in their home.
Ready for more injuries, Yankees fans? Like it or not, there are a couple more.
Hiroki Kuroda, the Yankees’ most reliable starting pitcher this season, will be skipped his next turn in the rotation because of a sore left hip flexor. Kuroda returned to New York to have an MRI examination that did not reveal any structural damage.
Although there is a possibility that the righthander could wind up on the 15-day disabled list if the condition does not improve, the only time he will miss at this point will be his next scheduled start, which was to be Friday night against the Orioles at Yankee Stadium. That assignment will go instead to Ivan Nova.
One player who did end up on the DL Wednesday was infielder Jayson Nix because of a right hamstring strain. Nix, who has been alternating between shortstop and third base because of the injuries to Derek Jeter, Alex Rodriguez, Kevin Youkilis and Eduardo Nunez, was unable to play Tuesday night. The Yankees were hopeful it would be a day-to-day situation but decided not to push it. That makes 14 players totaling 17 stints on the DL for the Yankees this year.
Nix, who is batting .236 with eight doubles, one triple, two home runs and 20 RBI in 73 games and 237 at-bats, was supposed to be a utility infielder for the Yankees this year but was pressed into starting 65 of their first 82 games.
Taking Nix’s place on the 25-man roster was infielder Luis Cruz, whom the Yankees signed as a free agent. Cruz, 29, appeared in 45 games this year with the Dodgers before being designated for assignment June 28. He batted .127 with two doubles, one home run and six RBI in 118 at-bats. Cruz made 30 starts (20 at third base and 10 at shortstop) and committed just three errors in 136 total chances in all games.
A native of Mexico, Cruz, who bats and throws right-handed, is a career .240 (133-for-555) hitter with 26 doubles, one triple, seven home runs and 52 RBI in 179 games and 555 at-bats over parts of five seasons with the Pirates, (2008-09), Brewers (2010) and Dodgers (2012-13). Last year, he set career highs in batting average (.297), runs (26), at-bats (283), hits (84), doubles (20), home runs (six), RBI (40), on-base percentage (.322) and slugging (.431).
Cruz has appeared at five different positions in the majors – 81 games (68 starts) at shortstop, 79 (68) at third base, nine (eight) at second base and one game apiece as a defensive replacement in left field and at first base. He has made only 10 errors in 600 chances in 1,318 2/3 career innings in the field. Cruz was voted Most Valuable Player of the Mexican Winter League in 2011 when he hit .340 with 17 home runs and 47 RBI in 62 games with Tomateros de Culiacan. He was also on Team Mexico in the World Baseball Classic in 2013 and 2006.
Originally signed by the Red Sox as a non-drafted free agent Aug. 23, 2000, Cruz was acquired by the Padres Dec. 16, 2002 in a trade for infielder Cesar Crespo. Cruz played five seasons in San Diego’s minor-league system from 2003-07.
The Twins also added a player to their DL. Josh Willingham, who did not play Monday or Tuesday night, had arthroscopic surgery on his left knee Wednesday to repair a medial meniscus tear and bone bruise in his left knee.
Pitcher Chris Bootcheck and outfielder Thomas Neal of the Yankees’ Triple A Scranton affiliate were named to the International League’s All-Star team earlier Wednesday. Scranton manager Dave Miley will pilot the IL squad for the record-tying third time when they play the Pacific Coast League All-Stars July 17 at Reno, Nev.