Results tagged ‘ Manny Acta ’
Every game is important. Managers say that all the time. But it is also true that some games are more important than others. Managers convey that by how they handle their personnel. Sunday was a very important game for the Yankees, and it showed as Joe Girardi pulled out all stops to get them a victory to end a potentially disastrous trip on a high note.
A 2-4 trip does not sound good, but it is acceptable when the team starts out 0-3 as the Yankees did in getting swept at Chicago. Cleveland was a different story, but taking two of three from the Indians wasn’t all that easy for the Yankees, who scored only eight runs in the series with each games decided by two runs.
For the second straight start, Freddy Garcia pitched four solid innings only to come apart in the fifth. It was not as grim as his previous start against the White Sox when after getting the first out of the fifth Garcia gave up single, home run, single, walk and walk to the next five batters, all of whom scored.
Pitching with a 3-0 lead entering the fifth, Garcia got the first two batters out without incident. It was a fluke hit that sort of unglued Freddy as Jason Kipnis, who had three hits and stole three bases, got a double on a ground ball that struck the bag at first base and bounded down the right field line.
Garcia never got that third out to complete the inning and be in position for a winning decision. He hit Asdrubal Cabrera with a pitch and then walked Shin-Soo Choo to load the bases. Carlos Santana sealed Freddy’s fate with a two-run single, and Girard did not hesitate to make a move. Thanks to Hiroki Kuroda’s compete game Saturday night and seven-plus inning starts from CC Sabathia and Phil Hughes before that, the Yankees’ bullpen was thoroughly rested.
Boone Logan was summoned to get the third out Garcia could not and earned his fifth victory in seven decisions with 1 2/3 innings of shutout relief. David Robertson kept the ball rolling with 1 1/3 scoreless innings, but Girardi called on Rafael Soriano to get a four-out save, his third of the season among his 33 total, another indication of how much the skipper wanted to nail this game down.
Soriano took a blow on the right hand from a line drive by Kipnis but remained in the game to do what Girardi expected of him. After pitching to a 6.75 ERA in 6 2/3 innings at Chicago, the pen pitched to a 0.00 ERA in six innings at Cleveland.
With Tampa Bay off because the Republican convention is in town and Baltimore postponed by rain, the Yankees picked up a half-game in the American League East standings and now lead the Rays by 4 games and the Orioles by 4 ½. Despite their losing record on the trip, the Yankees lost only one game in the standings over a week’s time.
After a night when their offense fizzled in failing to support Kuroda, the Yankees put together a sustained rally for three runs in the second inning against righthander Ubaldo Jimenez. A single by Eric Chavez and a walk to Raul Ibanez preceded a run-scoring single by Ichiro Suzuki, who had a quiet trip. Chris Stewart’s sacrifice help set up the next two runs on an infield out by Derek Jeter, who took a rare 0-for-5, and a two-out, RBI single by Nick Swisher, who kept up his hot hitting on the trip with a .429 batting average in 21 at-bats with two doubles, one home run, four RBI, four runs and five walks.
With three left-handed batters due up in the sixth for the Yanks, Indians manager Manny Acta brought in lefthander Tony Sipp, a move that backfired when Curtis Granderson led off with his 33rd home run of the season and 200th of his career. He became the eighth player on the Yankees’ roster with 200 or more homers, a major league record. Granderson joined Ibanez, Jeter, Chavez, Swisher, Alex Rodriguez, Andruw Jones and Mark Teixeira.
PHOENIX — The Yankees-Red Sox rivalry extended to the All-Star Home Run Derby Monday night at Chase Field. Yankees second baseman Robinson Cano beat Red Sox first baseman Adrian Gonzalez in the annual power-hitting event, 32 home runs to 31.
It got pretty dramatic. In the first round, Gonzalez hit nine home runs and Cano eight. Cano hit 12 in the second round to Gonzalez’s 11, so each had 20 going into the final round. Gonzalez, whose pitcher was Indians manager Manny Acta, banged out 11 in the third round, which placed quite a challenge to Cano.
Cheered on by Yankees teammates Curtis Granderson, Russell Martin and David Robertson and with his father, Jose Cano, pitching to him, Robinson more than met the challenge by slamming 12 home runs, the most in any final round, to come out on top. It was quite a display by someone who has only the third highest home run total on his team.
“It means a lot to me,” Robinson said. “To be in the big leagues, I get to face him back home in the offseason. He is the kind of guy who is always there for me, not only as a dad but also a friend. Who better deserves than him to be there for me to throw BP?”
The American League dominated the competition, which made AL captain David Ortiz of the Red Sox look like a genius since he picked Gonzalez and Cano for the competition. The AL outslugged the National League, 76-19. It was a bit weird in an NL park that the captain of that league’s quartet, Brewers first baseman Prince Fielder, was booed throughout the contest because Diamondbacks fans were upset that he did not choose local favorite Justin Upton to take part.
The senior Cano, 49, who also pitched batting practice to Ortiz, was signed by the Yankees in 1980 but eventually released. He wound up pitching in the major leagues in 1989, for the Astros appearing in six games, including three starts, and had 1-1 record with a 5.09 ERA.
Robinson Cano’s performance just might make AL manager Ron Washington of the Rangers re-think his batting order. Cano is scheduled to bat eighth for the AL. Granderson will bat leadoff.
Cano is the third Yankees player to win the competition, joining Jason Giambi in 2002 at Miller Park in Milwaukee and Tino Martinez in 1997 at Jacobs (now Progressive) Field in Cleveland.
Joe Torre, the former Yankees manager who was the AL manager at the All-Star Games in which Tino and the Giambino won the Home Run Derbies, presented the award to Cano in his new role as vice president for baseball operations.
Fresh off an 18-hit attack Sunday, the Yankees came out swinging in the first inning Monday night with the first two hitters, Derek Jeter and Curtis Granderson, getting singles. Jeter’s hit was career No. 2,994. A walk to Mark Teixeira loaded the bases with none out, and it appeared that the Yankees were headed for a big inning.
Then something strange happened. Alex Rodriguez hit a high fly to medium center field where Michael Brantley positioned himself to make a throw to the plate after catching the ball. Jeter got in position to tag up after the catch, but after taking a couple of steps toward the plate he stopped and apparently was unaware that Brantley doubled-clutched and never did throw the ball as Jeter returned to third base.
Why Brantley held on to the ball is anyone’s guess, but it seemed as if he just decided not to throw because Jeter did not run for the plate. The Yankees still had a chance to do some damage, but Robinson Cano struck out and Nick Swisher grounded out to shortstop. So with a bases-full, no-outs situation the Yankees came up empty.
Indians manager Manny Acta shook up his lineup in an attempt to turn fortunes around for the Indians, who were on a four-game losing streak and had been beaten 14 times in the past 18 games – five by shutout scores. Acta dropped Brantley from leadoff to third with designated hitter Grady Sizemore going in the other direction and also flip-flopped catcher Carlos Santana and shortstop Asdrubal Cabrera from second to cleanup.
Cabrera, who is running a close second to Jeter in American League All-Star balloting, batted fourth for the first time this season and knocked in the Tribe’s first run off A.J. Burnett with a single through the hole between third and short in the fourth inning to score Brantley, who had led off with a triple off Swisher’s glove in right-center.
Burnett was pitching to Francisco Cervelli subbing for Russell Martin, who was a late scratch from the starting lineup due to a reoccurrence of back stiffness, which had kept him on the bench for four games before Sunday. That proved a brutal game for Martin, who made six out by going 0-for-4 with two double plays and watched the Indians steal five bases.
The fireworks so many people were expecting from the Yankees during the Red Sox series when batters were dodging pitches every night came to pass in the second inning Friday night against the Indians. As usual, there were more exchanges of words than fists, but the crowd at Yankee Stadium got a kick out of it.
At issue was a fastball from Cleveland’s Fausto Carmona that struck Mark Teixeira in the right shoulder blade. That the pitch came right after Curtis Granderson had homered into the second deck in right field made Tex believe it was more than a coincidence. The first baseman, who was knocked out of a game in the Red Sox series by a pitch that struck him in his right kneecap, responded with some choice words to Carmona while walking to first base. Carmona moved toward Teixeia and mouthed back to him, which resulted in both benches and bullpens emptying.
Tempers were about all that flared. The hottest exchange was between managers. The Yankees’ Joe Girardi and the Indians’ Manny Acta got right into each other’s faces. Lip-readers must have had a field day determining which skipper was more x-rated in their tirades.
If the fans expected any payback from Ivan Nova, they might have been disappointed but should not have been. Granderson’s home run, his 19th, made the score 4-0. The Yankees were wise not to wake up the Indians, who are clinging by a thread to their small lead in the American League Central after having lost 11 of their past 15 games.
Carmona hurt himself more than Teixeira in the first inning by hot throwing strikes. He walked three of the first four batters. All three eventually scored. Brett Gardner doubled in a run in the third, and Alex Rodriguez powered his 625th career home run in the left field bleachers right next to Monument Park in the fourth.
Carmona did not come out for the fifth and remained winless in seven starts since May 3. That was the Yankees’ payback to him.
Okay, Andy Pettitte, take your time getting healthy. There’s no use rushing things and risk re-injuring that left groin by coming back too soon. It could be that the Yankees will be all right with Dustin Moseley as a spot starter.
Manager Joe Girardi’s decision to go with Moseley over Sergio Mitre Thursday night at Cleveland paid dividends immediately. In his first major-league start since April 17, 2009 for the Angels, Moseley withstood an adventurous first inning and settled down nicely to tame the Indians on one run and four hits with two walks, a hit batter and four strikeouts in six innings to lower his ERA from 4.22 to 3.24.
He departed with the Yankees clinging to a 2-1 lead before Tribe pitchers began walking the yard and paid for it as the Bombers laughed their way to an 11-4 victory. If that sounds lopsided, imagine how many more runs the Yanks would have put up had they not stranded eight base runners through the fifth inning by going hitless in their first 10 at-bats with runners in scoring position?
How can anyone not love this story? In that start for the Angels last year against the Twins, Moseley came out of the game after three innings due to a right forearm injury and did not pitch again that season. Four months later, Moseley had surgery to repair a torn labrum in his hip, the same operation that Alex Rodriguez underwent the same year.
The Yankees gave the righthander a chance at Triple A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre where he pitched well enough to earn a call-up July 2. Moseley’s 4 2/3 innings of scoreless, one-hit relief against the Royals July 24 at Yankee Stadium convinced Girardi to give him an opportunity to start the next time around the rotation.
The move looked questionable in the first inning when the Indians loaded the bases with one out against Moseley, who recovered nicely by limiting the damage to one run on a sacrifice fly by Austin Kearns. After that, Moseley allowed a walk and two singles with no Cleveland runner advancing past first base.
Meanwhile, the Yankees seemingly took forever to take advantage of getting into the Cleveland bullpen early after starter Mitch Talbot had to bail in the third because of a back strain. Rodriguez tied the score that inning with a sac fly, but the Yankees kept leaving runners aboard until the sixth when Derek Jeter broke through with a two-out, RBI single that made it possible for Moseley to be in position for a winning decision.
The weird thing about the Jeter hit is that it came in an at-bat in which he probably should have been intentionally walked. A lefthander, Tony Sipp, was pitching for the Indians with two outs and a runner on third. Jeter is hitting .341 against left-handed pitching while the next hitter, Curtis Granderson, is batting .216 against lefties. Jeter had a rough series (3-for-16) while Granderson did well (5-for-12, 5 RBI), but Indians manager Manny Acta would like to have that decision back.
A seven-run seventh inning featured seven consecutive Yankees reaching base after the first two batters were retired in order. Robinson Cano hit his 20th home run, but four walks and a hit batter kept the line moving for the Yankees. Cleveland pitchers walked 12 batters, hit one and threw 233 pitches. The Indians’ most effective pitcher turned out to be infielder Adam Marte, who pitched a 1-2-3 ninth, including a strikeout of an embarrassed Nick Swisher.
There were other embarrassing moments for the Yankees in the ninth – the bottom half. Chan Ho Park gave up three runs by allowing three walks and two hits. One of the runs was unearned due to a throwing error by Marcus Thames, who played third base that inning for the first time – and probably the last.
As for A-Rod, the quest for 600 career home runs continues. He had a two-run single to go along with the sacrifice fly, which came on one of three bases-loaded situations Rodriguez had in the game. He grounded out and struck out in the other two at-bats.
The victory was important because it meant the Yankees maintained a two-game lead in the American League East over the Rays heading into Friday night’s opener of a three-game series at Tropicana Field, which will be standing room only.
A seriously injured player lying on the ground for an inordinate amount of time is a scene that has been repeated in the long history of American League games between the Yankees and Indians, a figure that reached 1,911 Saturday.
The latest episode silenced a Yankee Stadium crowd of 46,599 as Cleveland pitcher David Huff, 25, a lefthander in his second major-league season making his first start of the year and ninth of his career, fell to the mound and lay there still after being struck below the left ear by a line drive off that bat of Alex Rodriguez in the third inning.
Teammates and coaches along with Tribe manager Manny Acta encircled the mound to see after the prone pitcher. Just behind the mound was Rodriguez kneeling on one knee, his head bowed. The eerie quiet as trainers from both teams attended to Huff was interrupted several times only by a hush sound from the crowd as they viewed replays of the incident from the multitude of screens around the Stadium.
The ball was hit so hard that Hall couldn’t get his glove up in time to soften the blow. He was hit flush in the head. The force was such that the ball ricocheted into right field for a double. Hall was removed from the field by a cart. As he was being placed on a stretcher, the crowd began to cheer, and he acknowledged their response by giving the thumb’s-up sign with his right fist. As the cart motored toward an opening in the fence in left center field where an ambulance awaited, Hall raised his left palm to the bleacher creatures giving him a standing ovation.
Word came later from Columbia Presbyterian Medical Center that a CT scan was negative, that Huff never lost consciousness or memory, indications that there was no brain damage. The preliminary diagnosis was much more positive than that of two other chapters in Yankees-Indians lore which are among the most infamous in baseball history.
Huff’s injury most closely resembled that of Herb Score, another young lefthander who on May 7, 1957, a month before his 24th birthday, was hit in the right eye with a line drive by Yankees shortstop Gil McDougald at the old Municipal Stadium. The blow broke several bones in Score’s face and put him out of action until late in the 1958 season. Score was the AL Rookie of the Year in 1955 and on his way to a terrific career, but he was not the same pitcher after that.
Score was 38-20 with a 2.63 ERA and led the AL in strikeouts twice before the accident and 17-26 with a 4.43 ERA afterwards. Score never blamed the accident but rather a torn tendon he suffered a year later. McDougald was never quite the same player after that, either. He retired after the 1960 World Series at the age of 31 rather than risk being taken in the ’61 expansion draft. Score enjoyed a second career as a broadcaster with the Indians for 34 seasons. He retired in 1998 and died 10 years later at the age of 75.
Perhaps baseball’s darkest moment occurred in a Yankees-Indians game Aug. 16, 1920 at the Polo Grounds when Tribe shortstop Ray Chapman was struck in the head by a submarine pitch from righthander Carl Mays. Chapman never regained consciousness and died the next day. In those days, pitchers routinely scuffed and applied dirt to balls which turned them brown. Chapman’s death resulted directly in a rule ordering umpires to remove balls that were discolored. The ruling came far too late for Chapman.