Results tagged ‘ Jhonny Peralta ’

Tigers deal early KO to CC

CC Sabathia had been every inch of his 6-foot-7 frame the Yankees’ ace down the stretch of the regular season and in the American League Division Series. What better guy to have on the hill to avert an early exit in the AL Championship Series than the big lefthander whose career record in postseason play for the Yanks entering Game 4 Thursday at Detroit was 7-1 with a 3.09 ERA?

Yet after coming within one out of pitching two complete-game victories over the Orioles in the ALDS, Sabathia’s lone outing in the ALCS was nowhere near up to par. He was hit often and hit hard, and his fourth-inning exit trailing 6-0 was a disappointing sight to Yankees fans.

They had been able to rely on him most of the year, especially in that complete-game gem CC tossed six days ago at Yankee Stadium to finally shake the Orioles off the Yanks’ tail. He even had an extra day’s rest because of Wednesday night’s rainout, although that may not have been to his advantage, since it meant Sabathia could not come back and start Game 7 if the Yankees were fortunate enough to push the series that far.

One of the six runs Sabathia allowed in his 3 2/3 innings was unearned due to an error by first baseman Mark Teixeira, but CC was not at the top of his game. The Yankees had not had the lead in this series and trailed right at the beginning of this game as well when Sabathia gave up a run on two-out singles by Prince Fielder and Delmon Young.

The unearned run came in the third, but Sabathia recovered by getting out of a bases-loaded jam. The next inning, however, CC was lit up on two-run home runs by Miguel Cabrera and Jhonny Peralta before yielding a double to Andy Dirks that ended his day. As bad as 6-0 looked, it could have been a lot worse, considering the Tigers stranded eight runners over the first four innings.

Yanks must continue on without the Captain

The one sight no Yankees fan ever wants to see was the one remaining from Saturday night’s ALCS Game 1 loss to the Tigers. Derek Jeter was assisted off the field by manager Joe Girardi and trainer Steve Donohue. It was not difficult to determine which loss was greater.

The Yanks’ extra-inning magic this postseason hit a snag as Detroit atoned for blowing a 4-0, ninth ninth-inning lead by winning, 6-4, in the 12th. That was also the inning when Jeter fell to the ground in pain while fielding a ground ball that became an infield single for Jhonny Peralta.

X-rays revealed a fractured left ankle, which knocks the game’s greatest postseason player from the postseason. It is a crushing blow for the Yankees, who had stirring moments Saturday night, all in the ninth inning when two-run home runs by Ichiro Suzuki and Raul Ibanez (yes, that man again) off Tigers closer Jose Valverde evaporated a 4-0 deficit.

Jeter’s left foot has presented problems for several weeks. He has been playing with a bone bruise since mid-September, fouled a ball off another portion of the foot during the ALDS. Now this. There was no talk of surgery yet, but the prognosis with or without an operation is a three-month recovering period.

“Jeet has always been as tough a player as I’ve ever seen,” Girardi said. “And you know what he showed was toughness. I mean, even when we went to the field, and I was going to carry him in, he said, “No, do not carry me.’ He is going to play through injuries and everything. And you can see the disappointment in his face.”

Girardi had a flashback to when Mariano Rivera collapsed on the warning track in Kansas City back in May while shagging a fly ball that resulted in a blown-out anterior cruciate ligament that ended his season.

“It brought me back there,” Girardi said. “Oh, boy, if he is not getting up, something’s wrong. We have seen what he played through in the last month and a half and the pain he has been in and how he found a way to get it done. Just like Mo said, we have to move on. Some people left us for dead when Mo went down, and here we are in the ALCS. I’m said for him because I know how much he loves to play and play in these type of situations, but he would tell us, “Let’s go!”

How the Yankees will go remains to be seen. They will activate Eduardo Nunez to take Jeter’s ALCS roster spot, but Girardi did not say whether Nunez or Jayson Nix will play shortstop. It is likely that Suzuki would inherit the leadoff spot, but that is only speculation. Not to belittle the ability of Nunez or Nix, neither is anywhere near comparable to Jeter. Even when Mo got hurt, the Yankees could turn to someone like Rafael Soriano, who led the league in saves one year.

The truth is, there is simply no way to replace Derek Jeter. The Yankees will just have to figure out a way to overcome this loss the rest of the way.

Umps go 1-for-2 in early calls

The Yankees loaded the bases in each of the first two innings of ALCS Game 1 but failed to score with each frame ending with a close play for the third out. One call by an umpire was correct. One was not.

Tigers starter Doug Fister walked Derek Jeter to begin the home first and issued two more free passes after two were out. Alex Rodriguez hit a hard grounder that shortstop Jhonny Peralta gloved with a back-hand stab. Peralta threw to second for a force on Raul Ibanez. The play was close, but second base umpire Sam Holbrook got it right.

The second inning was another story. Two-out singles by Russell Martin, Jeter and Ichiro Suzuki had the bases jammed again. Ichiro’s hit was in the infield, which is why Martin could not score. Robinson Cano then hit a one-hopper to the mound that caromed off Fister’s body to Peralta, who threw to first base to get the final out.

Or did he? First base umpire Rob Drake called Cano out, but video replays clearly indicated that Cano’s foot was on the base before the ball was in first baseman Prince Fielder’s glove. A crucial call went against the Yankees.

Yanks’ late rally falls short

Phil Hughes was working on a terrific streak of retiring batters hitting with runners in scoring position before Miguel Cabrera’s two-run double in the fifth inning knocked him out of Tuesday night’s game.

Opponents were hitless in 23 consecutive at-bats with runners in scoring position against Hughes over his past five starts. The Tigers’ two runs off Hughes in the fourth inning were on a home run by Cabrera and a double by Jhonny Peralta that scored Brennan Boesch from first base. The 22nd straight out Hughes got with a runner in scoring position was Alex Avila on a grounder to first that stranded Peralta.

All that ended in the fifth as Hughes struggled with a lofty pitch count. Singles by Andy Dirks and Austin Jackson gave the Tigers runners on first and third. Hughes made it 23 straight batters retired with runners in scoring position when Omar Infante lined out to shortstop Derek Jeter. But Cabrera followed with a liner into the left-field corner for a two-run double and a 4-2 Detroit lead.

That was all for Hughes, who toiled for 102 pitches in 4 1/3 innings. It was the briefest outing for Phil since he also went 4 1/3 innings June 20 at Yankee Stadium in a 10-5 loss to the Braves. He had previous success at Comerica Park (3-1 with a 1.93 ERA in four career starts), but not this time. Hughes did not walk a batter and struck out three but gave up eight hits.

Cabrera has been a thorn in the Yankees’ side over the years. In 38 career games against the Yanks, Cabrera is batting .370 with 10 doubles, one triple, 15 home runs and 37 RBI in 138 at-bats. This year, the Detroit third baseman is batting .355 with four doubles, five home runs and 11 RBI in 31 at-bats against the Yankees.

The Yankees came close to taking Hughes off the hook with a ninth-inning rally that eventually fell short as the Tigers held on for a 6-5 victory, their sixth in a row. The Yankees’ second loss in two nights at Detroit was their 12th in the past 18 games and eighth straight loss in one-run games.

It would have been a very satisfying finish if the Yankees had completed the comeback. There is no more annoying situation to watch in baseball than Jose Valverde closing out a game. He is the anti-Mariano Rivera, taking forever to deliver the ball and going through all sorts of gyrations. Why it is that umpires let him get away with all that stuff is beyond me to comprehend.

So to see him have to sweat through what should have been a cookie of a save was a pleasure. The key at-bat was a nine-pitch duel won by Raul Ibanez, who walked with two out to push Eric Chavez, who had singled with one out, into scoring position and bringing the potential tying run to the plate.

Ichiro Suzuki, whose run-scoring double in the seventh was his first hit with a runner in scoring position since joining the Yankees, got another clutch hit with a single to center to score Chavez. Russell Martin ripped a double to the wall in left to score Ibanez and make it a one-run game.

Third base coach Rob Thompson did the smart thing to stop Ichiro at third because left fielder Quintin Berry got to the ball quickly and returned it to the infield swiftly. Five years ago, a coach might have sent Ichiro but not now. Curtis Granderson had a chance to put the Yankees ahead but popped out and is now 0-for-10 in the series against his former team.

An eight-inning run the Tigers scored off Joba Chamberlain proved vital. It came on a two-out single by Dirks, Detroit’s 9-hole hitter who had three hits and two RBI.

The Yankees had 11 hits, but only one in 12 at-bats from the first third of the order – Granderson, Jeter (who got the hit) and Robinson Cano. Nick Swisher had two doubles and a single. Chavez, moved up to the 5-hole after a three-hit game Monday night, had two more hits, including his 11th home run. Suzuki had his first multi-hit game for the Yankees.

One bad inning was all it took

It is easy to become spoiled by a player’s performance. Freddy Garcia may have done that to the point that Yankees fans might be disappointed by what he did Wednesday night. Think of this, though. When the Yankees signed Garcia, wouldn’t you have been pleased if you could count on his pitching into the eighth inning of a game?

I sure would, which is why Garcia deserves another passing grade even though he was on the losing side of a 4-0 score to the Tigers, a team he has handled over the years (18-8, 4.12 ERA). Garcia basically had one bad inning, but that was all it took for Detroit to take control behind the four-hit, nine-strikeout pitching for eight innings by Max Scherzer, who improved his impressive record to 5-0 with a 3.15 ERA.

Garcia seemed in big trouble in the second inning when Victor Martinez, Magglio Ordonez and Jhonny Peralta singled in succession to produce one run, but Freddy avoided further damage by getting the next three batters out.

The Tigers came right back in the third with three more runs on an RBI double by Miguel Cabrera and a two-run home run by Ordonez. It was the first time Ordonez went deep this year, in his 85th plate appearance, on a first-pitch fastball that Garcia later admitted he should not have thrown.

Ordonez has struggled this season coming off right ankle surgery, but he is a dangerous hitter, and Garcia had a base open. Coming inside with heat on the first pitch was a poor move, and he knew it. Garcia would have been better off pitching around Ordonez or trying to get him chase out of the zone, but it was too late.

The way Scherzer was pitching, the four-run lead might as well have been 10. The Yankees got only two runners in scoring position against the hard-throwing righthander, who walked two and struck out nine, and could not come to Garcia’s rescue after he held the Tigers in check for four-plus innings after the third.

The Yankees have fallen into a collective slump. Unless Eduardo Nunez starts at shortstop in the series finale at Comerica Park Thursday, the Yankees will field a batting order without a .300 hitter in it. Robinson Cano fell below .300 after going 0-for-4 to join his scuffling teammates.

The idea that Nunez could be in Thursday’s starting lineup surfaced when Derek Jeter was forced out of the game due to a sore right hip. As usual, he made light of the ailment and refused to consider it an injury, but manager Joe Girardi said Jeter was “day to day,” which could mean that Nunez will be in there Thursday to give the captain time to recover.

That the offense failed to generate anything against Scherzer does not take anything away from the effort by Garcia, who continued the Yankees’ recent stretch of solid starting pitching. In the past 16 games, starters have averaged 6 2/3 innings per game and have a combined 2.89 ERA. It is enough to make a fan spoiled.

A-Rod has role in winning rally

Sometimes it’s a scratch hit or a flare that can snap a player out of a slump and get him going on a hot streak. Maybe that’s what the chopper of an infield single in the ninth inning Monday night at Detroit was for Alex Rodriguez.

It has been tough sledding for A-Rod the past couple of weeks since he was sidelined briefly due to a strained left oblique. Rodriguez had five hits in 38 at-bats (.132) since the injury and had his batting average fall from .366 to .260 before his rally-extending single in the ninth that helped set up the tie-breaking hit by Nick Swisher.

It was just the kind of contribution A-Rod needed to feel a part of a Yankees victory, 5-3, that sent the Tigers to their seventh straight loss. Never one to take his at-bats into the field, Alex has been his usual superb self at third base. He has also been out for early hitting every day trying to find ways to work out of this recent slide.

Rodriguez said during the past homestand that he had become conscious of the oblique as he hit and in avoiding tweaking it again developed bad habits at the plate. His hit was on a high chopper that Detroit third baseman Brandon Inge failed to glove on a short hop and pushed Mark Teixeira, who had walked, to second base.

The single gave the Yankees renewed life in an inning that came close to ending before it began. Curtis Granderson, in his return to his former stomping grounds, led off the ninth against Tigers closer Jose Valverde with a walk in a 12-pitch at-bat in which the Yankees center fielder fouled off seven pitches.

Granderson further frustrated Valverde by stealing second base – almost. Grandy had it swiped, but he slid past the bag and was tagged out by shortstop Jhonny Peralta. Teixeira’s four-pitch walk re-started the inning for the Yankees, and A-Rod’s hit kept the line moving.

Nick Swisher, batting in the 5-hole for injured Robinson Cano, unlocked a 3-3 score with a single to center. Texeira beat the throw to the plate from Tigers center fielder Austin Jackson as Rodriguez raced to third. A-Rod scored an insurance run on a passed ball by Alex Avila, who otherwise had a good night with a pair of opposite-field home runs off Bartolo Colon.

Colon continued the Yankees’ stretch of quality starting pitching despite squandering a 3-0 lead. He lasted seven innings, one more than opposing starter Justin Verlander, with an economic 97 pitches. Avila’s two homers were among seven hits off Colon, who did not walk a batter and struck out seven.

It was the third consecutive impressive start for the 2005 American League Cy Young Award winner who is on the comeback trail after missing all of the 2010 season. As a starter, Colon has a 2.49 ERA with 19 hits allowed, three walks and 20 strikeouts in 21 2/3 innings. He has become a major part of a rotation that over the past 14 games has pitched to a 2.54 ERA and a 7-2 record while the Yankees have gone 10-4.

A.J. gets an ‘A’ in 1st outing

Perhaps the best thing that happed for A.J. Burnett Saturday came while he was sitting on the bench after an impressive first inning in which he retired the Tigers in order with two strikeouts. The Yankees struck for three runs against Brad Penny, Burnett’s former teammate with the Marlins, right off the bat and then hung another three spot the next inning on Mark Texeira’s second three-run home run in two games.

A 6-0 cushion in the second inning was just what someone like Burnett, who is atttempting to come back from a horrendous 2010 season (10-15, 5.26 ERA), needed to help his relax in his first start of the year while still battling a nasty cold.

A.J. faced a threat in the second when Miguel Cabrera led off with a double to right-center. Last year, that might have set Burnett off, but he gathered himself and struck out Victor Martinez and Brennan Boesch on impressive fastballs that were all the more effective because of the twilight. A wild pitch allowed Cabrera to reach third base, but that was as far as he went as Jhonny Peralta flied out to center.

Austin Jackson got the Tigers on the board with a home run in the third, and they put a rally together in the fifth after Boesch, Peralta and Alex Avila all singled with none out for a quick run. Brandon Inge was credited with a sacrifice despite clearly bunting for a hit, and a walk to Jackson loaded the bases.

Burnett kept the damage to a minimum as Will Rhymes grounded to Teixeira at first base for a run to cut the Yanks’ lead to 6-3. Burnett held it there by striking out Magglio Ordonez.

It was a sound effort for Burnett, whose chances for a victory improved even more when his new catcher, Russell Martin, homered with two on in the sixth to boost the Yanks’ lead to 9-3.

White-capped Andy catches Whitey

Andy Pettitte did something Monday at Yankee Stadium that he had not done since his breakout season of 1996 – win a game at home against the Indians. It was one of the oddities in what has become a remarkable career that this one club would give the lefthander so much trouble at the Stadium over the years.

Not that it was all that lengthy a losing streak. The period covers only six starts, including one in post-season play (Game 2 of the American League Division Series in 1997), and Andy was 0-4 with a 6.50 ERA. There was a time not that long ago, of course, when Cleveland had a much more potent offensive attack than the 2010 edition.

With the final score 11-2 Yankees, it can be easy to forget that Monday’s game was a one-run affair through six innings. Pettitte’s only blemish was Jhonny Peralta’s leadoff home run in the second inning, an opposite-field shot that was the Tribe third baseman’s 100th career homer. It tied the score, but the Yankees regained the lead in the fourth, and Pettitte just kept getting stronger. He retired the last 14 batters he faced with only two balls leaving the infield.

Not surprisingly in the four-game series, the game was reshaped in the seventh inning when the Yankees struck for six runs, four on Alex Rodriguez’s 20th career grand slam, and one on Robinson Cano’s team-best 11th home run. Of the 57 runs scored in the series, 25 (44 percent) came in the seventh inning.

Pettitte did not walk a batter for the second consecutive start in improving his record to 7-1, the best record he has produced through the first 10 starts of a season in his career. Yankees manager Joe Girardi wisely used the six-run seventh as an opportunity to get Pettitte out of the game early after throwing only 90 pitches.

This will help a pitcher who turns 38 in two weeks down the road. The same treatment came to Pettitte’s aid last year when he was 6-3 with a 3.31 ERA in the second half and 4-0 with a 3.52 ERA in the post-season.

It was a memorable game on Memorial Day for Pettitte because it was his 236th career victory, which tied him with one of his mentors, Hall of Famer Whitey Ford, for 60th place on the all-time list. Whitey is still way ahead of Andy on the Yankees’ career list because 37 of Pettitte’s victories came during his three seasons with the Houston Astros.

“Whitey has been a very important person in my career,” Pettitte said. “It’s an honor for me to be in his company.”

As part of the Memorial Day celebrations, players wore white caps with re-white-and-blue sewn within team logos, so everyone was a “whitey” Monday. White caps are all but gone from baseball except for these occasions. There was a time when many more teams wore white caps regularly. The Oakland Athletics are the only team that wears white caps on occasion. They also wear green and gold caps. Their predecessors, the Philadelphia Athletics, wore white caps, as did for a brief period in the early 1960s the Kansas City A’s.

In the National League, the Cincinnati Reds wore white, pin-striped caps through the 1960s. Other clubs who wore white caps over the years included the New York Giants, Chicago White Sox and St. Louis Browns.