Results tagged ‘ Mark Reynolds ’
That the Yankees drew first blood in ALDS Game 5 was something of a surprise considering how the game started. They went down 1-2-3 in each of the first four innings at which point they were 1-for-31 over a 10-inning stretch back to Game 4.
The Yanks not only broke up Jason Hammel’s bid for a perfect game in the fifth but also scored to take a 1-0 lead. It was almost a gift run. Mark Teixeira led off the inning with a clean single to right.
Orioles manager Buck Showalter then did a strange thing. He had first baseman Mark Reynolds play off the bag and behind Teixeira. Now Tex missed quite a bit of time in the final month of the season with a left calf strain, but he wasn’t on crutches. Allowed the opportunity for a large secondary lead, Tex decided to go for a steal of second base – and he made it, too. OK, not with a lot to spare, mind you, but a steal is a steal.
Raul Ibanez, in the starting lineup as the designated hitter, continued his heroics in this series with a ground single to center to score Teixeira.
The Yankees may have caught a break in the sixth on Nate McLouth’s long foul to right off CC Sabathia. The umpires reviewed the play at Showalter’s request, and their decision stood. Still, the replay seemed to indicate that the ball may have grazed the foul pole on the way down. It was not what I would call conclusive, however, and neither did the umps.
You did not need a high-definition television to see that the Yankees got jobbed Saturday night at Baltimore in a game that could have repercussions down the line. The call by first base umpire Jerry Meals that completed a game-ending double play that hung the Yankees with a 5-4 defeat was so blatantly wrong that it would turn a baseball purist into an avid campaigner for instant replay.
Trailing by two runs entering the ninth inning, the Yankees staged a rally against Orioles closer Jim Johnson, who has had a lights-out season. Ichiro Suzuki and Eric Chavez both singled to left field, and Derek Jeter dumped a beauty of a bunt toward a hesitating Manny Machado, the Birds’ rookie third baseman, that filled the bases with none out.
Nick Swisher, mired in a 0-for-24 slump, grounded into a fielder’s choice but averted a double play as Ichiro scored to make it a one-run game and pinch runner Chris Dickerson moved up to third base.
That brought up Mark Teixeira, who returned to duty after missing 10 games because of a left calf strain (the Yankees were 4-6 in those games). He doubled in his first at-bat and ran at less than full strength throughout the game. A double play was certainly feared if he hit the ball on the ground, which he did to the second baseman, Robert Andino.
But Tex ran full throttle down the line and dived head-first into first base, a maneuver usually frowned on but in this case understandable considering the circumstances and the health of the runner. With the naked eye, Teixeira appeared safe, but Meals rung him up. DP. Game over.
Replays clearly showed that Teixeira’s left hand was on the bag before first baseman Mark Reynolds caught the relay from shortstop J.J. Hardy. Teixeira, already hot from the previous inning on a called third strike by plate umpire Cory Blaser, was furious with Meals’ call, as was first base coach Mick Kelleher, not a regular griper.
Michael Kay on YES overstated the situation by saying the call “cost the Yankees a game.” Well, no. Had Teixeira been ruled safe, which he should have been, Dickerson would have scored, but that would have only tied the game. The Yankees would have had two outs and a runner on first with Alex Rodriguez at the plate, a good situation but no guarantee that they were going to take the lead.
Nevertheless, it was a lousy way for a game to end.
The Yankees were counting on an ace-like performance from CC Sabathia to create distance between them and the Orioles in the American League East standings. The lefthander had the same problem other Yankees pitchers have had against Baltimore, however, in failing to defuse its power.
The Orioles slugged three home runs off Sabathia, who has now yielded 21 dingers, the most he has allowed in any one season. For the third straight start, Sabathia was unable to hold a lead. He was given a 1-0 lead before he took the mound on a Rodriguez sacrifice fly in the top of the first and was up, 2-0, courtesy of an RBI double by Ichiro in the second.
Just as quickly, the edge was gone as Sabathia allowed back-to-back home runs by Reynolds and Lew Ford in the bottom of the second. It was Reynolds’ seventh home run in his past six games against the Yankees. The Orioles took the lead for good on a double by Hardy in the third. Hardy also took CC deep in the sixth, and Ford struck again with an RBI single.
Camden Yards was something of a comfort zone in his career. Entering this season, CC was 10-1 with a 2.73 ERA in 85 2/3 innings there. This season has been a different story. In three starts at the Yards this year, he is 0-2 with a 6.38 ERA. Sabathia did not have his best fastball and hung some sliders in his uneven outing.
One fastball was definitely powerful, the one that struck Nick Markakis in the fifth inning and broke his left hand, which will finish him for the regular season, a major blow for the Orioles.
A-Rod’s 646th career home run, a two-out solo shot off Pedro Strop in the eighth, kept the Yanks close enough to make a late-game run at it, which the blatantly blown call stifled.
“Sometimes I think the umpires just want to go home,” Teixeira said afterward, a comment that could warrant his being fined.
He probably won’t play in today’s series finale as he surely aggravated his physical condition. Manager Joe Girardi was not as fierce in his postgame comments, which was smart. He is well aware that the same umpire who blew it at first base will be working the plate Sunday.
Orange was the predominant color at Camden Yards for an Orioles-Yankees game Thursday night for what might have been the first time in 15 years. Ever since 1998, the first of 14 straight losing seasons for the Orioles, games against the Yankees in Baltimore provided local fans the opportunity to scalp tickets to willing New Yorkers who traveled to the Chesapeake Bay to see their heroes.
The main attraction was Cal Ripken Jr., who had a statue unveiled in his honor 16 years to the night he broke Lou Gehrig’s streak of consecutive games with No. 2,131 that would eventually grow to 2,632 and earn the “Iron Man” a place alongside the “Iron Horse” in the Hall of Fame. The rest of the night, however, belonged to the upstart 2012 Orioles, who received a standing ovation from Cal and the others in the sellout crowd of 46,298 after a rousing victory over the Yankees that left the teams tied for first place in the American League East.
The Yankees nearly spoiled it all for all those orange shirts when they erased a 6-1 deficit in the eighth inning with a five-spot on the sort of rally they have lacked much of the year. The offense came alive in a game in which the Yankees fell behind, 4-0, in the first inning. Erratic relief work by Pedro Strop, who faced four batters and gave up two walks and two hits to spit up Baltimore’s lead, was welcomed by the Yankees, who got clutch hits from Alex Rodriguez (RBI double), Curtis Granderson (RBI single) and Ichiro Suzuki (a two-run single) and a four-pitch walk to pinch hitter Chris Dickerson to force in a run.
Then it was the Yankees pen’s turn to falter. The Orioles treated David Robertson like a tomato can of a boxer with a 1-2 punch, a solo home run by Adam Jones and a two-run shot by Mark Reynolds. Robertson’s bell was still ringing in the dugout when his replacement, Boone Logan, was slugged for another homer, by Chris Davis.
The 10-6 Baltimore victory was definitely a knockout as the Orioles went yard six times. Reynolds had his third two-homer game against the Yankees in a week’s time. Over his past seven games, Reynolds has batted .423 with eight home runs, 16 RBI and eight runs in 26 at-bats. Six of those jacks have come against Yankees pitchers. This is a guy who was benched at mid-season when he was batting less than .200 and striking out twice a game.
The first of Reynolds’ home runs Thursday night was a solo in the sixth off Joba Chamberlain. The other Orioles’ homers were a big, three-run job by Matt Wieters in the first inning and a solo by Robert Andino in the third, both off David Phelps, who put the Yanks in 4-0 and 6-1 divots. Yet he was taken off the hook by the Yankees’ eighth-inning comeback.
Robertson, whose record fell to 1-6, is 0-2 with a 15.43 ERA in his past three appearances. Both home runs he yielded Thursday night were on two-strike pitches as he failed to put away Jones or Reynolds.
All the runs the Yankees scored in the eighth came after two were out, an encouraging sign, but more and more the fact that they have lived and died by the home run this year is starting to haunt them. The team that leads the majors in home runs is suddenly getting outslugged. Ten games into a 22-game stretch against AL East competition, the Yankees are 3-7 and have been out homered, 22-9. Thursday night was the 25th game in which the Yankees failed to hit a home run, and they are 4-21 in those games.
Camden Yards has always been a place where the Yankees have enjoyed playing with an overall record of 104-57 (.646), but they have to realize that the way the Orioles are playing now it will no longer seem like a home away from home.
It is admittedly hard to stay optimistic about the Yankees after this past homestand in which they lost four of six games and had their lead in the American League East dwindle to two games over the Orioles, who were 8-3 winners Sunday and have beaten the Yankees six times in nine games this year at Yankee Stadium.
Baltimore certainly did not look like a team that will fade this month. Granted, the Orioles did hand the Yankees Saturday’s game, but they came back from deficits of 2-0 and 3-1 Sunday on the strength of two home runs by Mark Reynolds for four of the five runs that Phil Hughes gave up over five-plus innings.
The long ball has plagued Hughes all season, although Sunday was the first time in seven starts that he gave up more than one. Hughes has been taken deep 32 times this season.
Yankees manager Joe Girardi wore out a path from the dugout to the mound as he used eight pitchers in the game, including five in the eighth inning alone when the Orioles pulled away. Get used to this. With rosters expanded in September, managers have many more pitching options.
At issue for the Yankees has been a somewhat stagnant offense. They scored 22 runs during the homestand, which was an average of less than four runs (3.7) per game. After Mark Teixeira was sidelined because of a left calf strain, the Yankees’ cleanup hitters were Steve Pearce, Andruw Jones, Curtis Granderson and Eric Chavez. Granderson also got hurt (right hamstring tendinitis) and did not play Sunday.
In Granderson’s place was the lone bright spot for the Yankees Sunday. September callup Chris Dickerson hit a two-run home run, walked, scored two runs and made a sensational catch to rob Adam Jones of a potential home run in the seventh inning.
The Yankees are 2-4 after the first portion of a 22-game stretch against divisional foes, and they embark on their longest trip of the year, a 10-game, 11-day trek to St. Petersburg, Fla., Baltimore and Boston that starts with a Labor Day matinee game at Tropicana Field where the Yanks have lost five of six games this season.
Teixeira and Granderson may be kept off the Trop’s artificial surface, but Girardi said he was planning on getting Alex Rodriguez back into the lineup, although the manager did not specify third base or designated hitter. The main position for A-Rod with Girardi is hitter. The Yankees could use a lineup boost.
In the 36 games Rodriguez spent on the disabled list, his replacements at third base (Chavez, Jayson Nix and Casey McGehee) combined to bat .303 with six doubles, seven home runs, 16 RBI and a .508 slugging percentage in 132 at-bats. Not bad. However, over the past 16 games, Yankees third basemen hit .193 with one extra-base hit, a double, and one RBI in 57 at-bats. Not good.
The Yankees played .500 ball (18-18) in Rodriguez’s absence. They are going to have to do better to fight off the challenge of the Orioles and the Rays, who are 3 ½ games out.
Ready to panic yet? Yankees manager Joe Girardi says no. Yankees player say no. Yankees fans? Now that is a different story.
You could tell by the moaning sounds coming from the Yankee Stadium crowd of 42,352 Friday night that Yankees Universe may be falling into a panic mode. The Orioles’ 6-1 victory reduced the Yankees’ lead in the American League East to two games over Baltimore. If the Yanks don’t get their game together, they might lose all of that 10-game lead they had back on July 18.
Girardi has made a rotation change to try and stem the tide. Freddy Garcia was supposed to start Saturday but has been pushed back to Monday night at St. Petersburg, Fla. David Phelps will go instead Saturday and Phil Hughes Sunday against an Orioles squad that has been the surprise of baseball this year.
Baltimore’s record is 15 games above .500 for the first time in 15 years. Not since the last week of the 1997 season have the Orioles been this high above par. It has been an amazing season for the Orioles, considering they have been outscored by 39 runs. My old pal, Gary Thorne, the O’s television play-by-play announcer, explained that the reason for that is because the Orioles are winning a ton of one-run (24-6) and two-run (22-12) games.
Friday night was no one- or two-run game for the Orioles. They struck for three runs in the second inning off Hiroki Kuroda on a sacrifice fly by Chris Davis and a two-run home run by Mark Reynolds and made all that stand up. Kuroda, who lasted one out into the ninth, gave up a solo home run to J.J. Hardy in the sixth. Baltimore added two tag-on runs in the ninth off Derek Lowe, one on Reynolds’ second homer of the game. Curtis Granderson’s 34th home run with one out in the ninth off reliever Brian Matusz prevented the Yankees from being shut out.
It was the next worse thing to that, though. The Yankees once again failed to give Kuroda ample run support. In this case, no run support at all. Kuroda has the fourth lowest run support total of any starting pitcher in the AL. The Yanks managed four hits, all singles, off O’s starter Miguel Gonzalez (6-3), who had a sneaky fastball that resulted in one walk and nine strikeouts in seven innings.
“His fastball was quicker than we expected,” Girardi said, “and he got his breaking balls over behind in the count.”
A dangerous combination, to be sure. The Yankees struck out 11 times in the game, including Nick Swisher taking the golden sombrero with four Ks.
The Yankees threatened to get back into the game in the sixth. Trailing, 4-0, they got the first two batters on base, but Derek Jeter, Swisher and Robinson Cano could not get the ball out of the infield. The next inning, they had two on and two out but Ichiro Suzuki grounded out. So their offense turned out to be nothing more than Granderson’s dinger.
Girardi called what the Yankees are going through “a little rut.” Perhaps, so, but it has also led to a little gap between them and the Orioles.
At about 2:30 Wednesday morning, some 15 minutes after a game that started at 11:08 Tuesday night ended, Yankees manager Joe Girardi joked that perhaps his team and the Orioles should have just stayed on the field at Yankee Stadium and played another game. That might not have been a bad idea the way Wednesday turned out for the Yankees.
The game had the look very much of the second games of regular doubleheaders when managers have to rest some regulars. The lineup Girardi trotted on to the field Wednesday contained only two regulars, third baseman Alex Rodriguez and right fielder Nick Swisher, leaving the skipper with a bench of players who had combined for 10,294 career hits (including 1,387 home runs) and 24 All-Star Game selections.
Robinson Cano, Curtis Granderson, Mark Teixeira and Brett Gardner eventually entered the game as pinch hitters or runners and remained in the field, but they were not enough to prevent a 5-4, 11-inning loss to the Orioles that ended the Yankees’ six-game winning streak and ran their record in extra-inning games to a disturbing 4-8, including 1-3 against Baltimore. Those are the three of only four games the Orioles have taken from the Yankees in 17 meetings this year. They have one more game remaining, a rainout makeup (what else?) Thursday at Camden Yards. The weather forecast in Baltimore also calls for rain, as if these teams haven’t seen enough of that in the past fortnight.
The water-logged conditions at the Stadium resulted in some pretty sloppy play. The Yankees committed four of the six errors in the game, including two by shortstop Eduardo Nunez, who has 18 in 97 games. An error by September callup Brandon Laird in the second inning allowed a run to score.
A mix-up in communication between Rodriguez and Nunez in the third let a player reach base and turned into a run when Nolan Reimold homered later that inning. Nunez’s second boot ignited the Orioles’ rally in the 11th when they went ahead on a single by Mark Reynolds, an unlikely hero (1-for-6, 4 strikeouts). That was Baltimore’s only hit in 14 at-bats with runners in scoring position as they stranded 13 base runners.
It was another mixed-bag of an outing from A.J. Burnett, who gave up four runs and seven hits and threw three wild pitches in six-plus innings. Burnett’s wild pitch total for the season is up to 23, which ties the club record set by Tim Leary in 1990. Burnett is winless in his past four starts and has only one victory in 12 starts since July 4, a period in which his ERA has gone from 4.05 to 5.27.
On the plus side, A-Rod drove in more than one run for the first time in 18 games since June 25 with his first-inning double that plated two. Jesus Montero continued his impressive start with a two-run single off the right field auxiliary scoreboard in the fourth for the Yankees’ other runs. The rookie is batting .353 with two homers and five RBI in 17 at-bats over his five games.
The Yankee Stadium grounds crew certainly earned its pay Tuesday night into Wednesday morning. The weather conditions were abysmal during a game that was delayed for four hours before the first pitch and continued through several heavy downpours.
Although technically it was not a delay, it took almost 15 minutes in the middle of the fifth inning for the crew to repair the drenched infield. They were at it again an inning later with more bags of sand and lime to spread on and rake into the soggy field. The grounds crew was so busy that the guys didn’t have time to do the YMCA routine at the start of the seventh. It’s hard to dance and rake at the same time.
On such nights, the outfield become beyond repair. The conditions helped the Yankees to a run in the fifth. Orioles first baseman Mark Reynolds made his 27th error of the season trying to scoop a muddy ground ball near the bag. Jorge Posada reached base after colliding with late-breaking pitcher Tommy Hunter on first base.
Francisco Cervelli followed with a fly ball to the warning track in left field where Matt Angle with his cleats covered by water dropped it to allow Posada to score. It was Jorgie’s second run of the game. He had homered in the third inning. Posada was the designated hitter despite the fact that rookie Jesus Montero had homered twice in Monday’s game. With a lefthander, Zach Britton, to start for Baltimore Wednesday, Yankees manager Joe Girardi will probably have Montero in the lineup as the DH, so this was a chance to get Posada some at-bats.
Phil Hughes pitched reasonably well considering the elements but was a bit wild (one hit batter, two wild pitches) and gave up a two-run home run to Matt Wieters on a 0-2 pitch in the sixth that tied the score.
“Phil had the best curveball he has had all year,” Girardi said. “I was pleased with his outing.”
More so that Hughes, it seemed. “I could have been better,” he said. “That was a dumb pitch to Wieters.”
It was a 3-3 game in the seventh when the Yankees caught a huge break on a play that surely had Orioles fans thinking of Game 1 of the 1996 American League Championship Series when a New Jersey schoolboy named Jeffrey Meier helped Derek Jeter get a home run that made the difference in the game.
Cervelli hit a drive to left field where two fans appeared to have extended their hands over the wall to try to catch the ball that was behind Angle. Third base umpire Paul Emmel signaled a home run, which had Orioles manager Buck Showalter springing out of the dugout to charge interference. The umpires retreated to the video room to review the play and, to the Yankees’ delight, upheld the call.
“If they hadn’t,” Girardi said, “then I would have come out of the dugout.”
The Yanks’ luck continued when the next batter, Brett Gardner, smoked a drive to right that struck the foul pole for another home run. That was the 200th home run for the Yankees this year and created the 5-3 final that Mariano Rivera preserved with his 39th save. It is the 11th time in the past 12 seasons that the Yankees have swatted 200 or more home runs (the exception was in 2008). It was the sixth straight victory for the Yankees. All they lost was sleep. Wednesday’s game is scheduled to start at 1:05 p.m.
That was a tough no-decision Sunday at Camden Yards for Freddy Garcia, who supplied the Yankees another terrific start and has turned into a valuable part of their rotation. The failure of the Yankees’ bullpen to hold on to the 3-0 lead that Garcia turned over in the seventh inning cost him a deserved winning decision.
Garcia, who earned a starting berth during spring training, pretty much duplicated his first start of April 16 against the Rangers at Yankee Stadium. He again pitched six shutout innings, again allowed only two hits and again both were singles. Garcia was even stronger this time with seven strikeouts, six more than he had eight days earlier.
What a find the Venezuelan, 34, has been for the Yankees, who signed him in hopes that he could continue his transformation from a power pitcher to a finesse stylist. He was 12-6 in 2010 for the White Sox and has given every indication that he is nowhere near over the hill. Young pitchers can learn plenty about how to approach hitters by paying attention to Garcia.
He retired the side in order in four of the six innings and really had only one dicey frame. The Orioles had the bases loaded with two out in the second, but Garcia turned them away with a big strikeout of Cesar Izturis on a split-fingered fastball, which was an effective pitch for him against the Orioles.
The eerie similarity between the two Garcia starts continued when he left the game with a 3-0 lead, only to watch it become a one-run game as the opposition scored two runs against Joba Chamberlain. Mark Reynolds homered with a runner aboard in the seventh off Chamberlain, who in the April 16 game gave up two runs that made the score 3-2.
The difference that day, however, was that Robinson Cano regained the three-run margin for the Yankees with a two-run homer, and Mariano Rivera protected it for his sixth save. The Yankees couldn’t pad their lead against the Orioles, who tied the score in the ninth as Rivera suffered his second consecutive blown save.
Mo’s appearance with two out in the eighth got off to a shaky start. It took a sensational, running catch in left field by Brett Gardner to rob Luke Scott of a potential extra base hit that would have tied the score at that point. A leadoff walk to Adam Jones indicated Rivera was not quite himself again.
It took another superior defensive play by the Yankees to avoid losing the game in the ninth. The Orioles tied the score on a double into the right field corner by Brian Roberts, but a strong relay from Nick Swisher to Cano to catcher Russell Martin, who made a great tag, gunned down pinch runner Robert Andino at the plate.
It was good to see Swisher make an important contribution. He has been slumping at the plate and showed his superstitious nature by trying to change his luck in wearing his uniform pants pulled up above his calves in the style that was prevalent in the pre-World War II flannel days. After striking out his first two times up, Swish pulled the pants down to his ankles the way he usually wears them.
For players, superstitions only count if they produce positive results.