Results tagged ‘ Mickey Mantle ’
Vernon Wells lost a stolen base when an official scorer’s ruling was changed from Wednesday night’s game at Coors Field. Rockies shortstop Jonathan Herrera has instead been charged with an error for dropping the throw from catcher Wilin Rosario that allowed Wells to be safe at second base. Wells eventually scored on an infield hit by Brennan Boesch. Due to the error that run is now unearned on the record of Colorado reliever Rafael Betancourt. This was the correct call. Wells was running on a hit-and-run play and would have been out at second if Herrera had hung on to Rosario’s accurate throw.
ESPN has grabbed the Yankees-Red Sox game of June 2 for Sunday Night Baseball. That makes it an 8:05 p.m. start. The game is scheduled to air on ESPN2. It will move to ESPN if the NBA Western Conference finals playoff series goes less than seven games.
According to the Elias Sports Bureau, Robinson Cano reached the 1,500-hit mark Thursday at Denver eight years and six days after his major league debut (May 3, 2005), the shortest span from a player’s first big-league game to 1,500 hits for the Yankees. Derek Jeter had the previous mark of eight years and 79 days. The only active players who made it to the milestone quicker than Cano in terms of days after their major-league debut are Ichiro Suzuki, Albert Pujols and Juan Pierre. Elias also noted that Cano (30 years, 199 days old) became the fifth Yankees player to reach 1,500 hits before his 31st birthday, joining Mickey Mantle (28 years, 305 days) in 1960, Jeter (29 years, 51 days) in 2003, Lou Gehrig (29 years, 52 days) in 1932 and Don Mattingly (30 years, 94 days) in 1991. . .Cano’s 186th career home run Thursday put him in 17th place on the Yankees’ all-time list, one ahead of Paul O’Neill. Next up in 16th place is Tino Martinez at 192.
Through five innings Saturday, Phil Hughes had thrown 86 pitches. I thought here’s another situation in which the righthander cannot moderate his pitch count and that Yankees manager Joe Girardi would have to get his bullpen in gear early.
But lo and behold, Hughes got more efficient with his pitches and came up with three straight 1-2-3 innings to be in good position to get his first winning decision of the season. Phil certainly earned it with eight shutout innings in which he allowed four hits and two walks with a season-high nine strikeouts.
Things got a bit hairy in the ninth when Shawn Kelley gave up a leadoff single, and Girardi did not hesitate to call on Mariano Rivera in a non-save situation. Mo gave up a walk and a hit with a couple of runs scoring, but the 4-2 Yankees final gave Hughes that long-awaited first victory of the season.
“I knew my pitch count was pretty high the first five innings,” Hughes said. “It all starts with the fastball. I got more aggressive with it on both sides of the plate and then I could mix in off-speed stuff.”
Hughes’ 117-pitch effort included an unusually high number of strikes – 82 – and marked his fourth consecutive outing of six or more innings in which he allowed two or fewer runs. He has held opponents to a .223 batting average in that stretch. Over those starts, Hughes had brought his ERA down from 10.29 to 3.60. “I feel like I’m clicking now,” he said.
For the second straight outing at Yankee Stadium, Hughes kept the ball in the yard, something he had not done before his previous start since last August. The long ball will always be a nemesis for Hughes, a fly-ball pitcher (10 of his 24 outs Saturday were in the air), but it is worth noting that all five homers he has allowed this year have come with the bases empty.
Ichiro Suzuki saved Hughes from yielding a home run to the first batter of the game, catcher John Jaso, with a fence-climbing catch in right field. A couple of other drives reached the warning track but stayed out of the stands.
“The consistency of his pitches every inning” was Girardi’s explanation for the turnaround in Hughes since his first two poor starts to open the season. “He mixed in all his stuff the second and third time through the order.”
Hughes’ offensive support came mainly from the bottom of the order – home runs from 9-hole hitter Chris Stewart in the third and 7-hole hitter Lyle Overbay in the fifth off Athletics starter Bartolo Colon and a triple by 8-hole hitter Eduardo Nunez, who scored on a two-out single by Brett Gardner in the seventh. The other run came from cleanup hitter Travis Hafner with a single in the sixth that scored Robinson Cano, who had doubled to lead off the inning against Colon.
That double was career No. 344 for Cano, who broke a tie with Hall of Famers Bill Dickey and Mickey Mantle to take over eighth place on the franchise’s all-time list.
Colon, who was 8-10 for the Yankees in 2011, lost for the first time in four decisions this year despite another good outing (three runs, six hits, no walks, three strikeouts in 5 1/3 innings). A control freak of a power pitcher, Colon has tossed 37 1/3 innings in 2013 and walked one batter.
The Yankees are 28-9 in games immediately following shutout losses since the start of the 2008 season (all under Girardi) with victories in both cases this year and 11 of the past 13. . .Hughes, with a 1.93 ERA and 30 strikeouts over his past four starts covering 28 innings, became the first right-handed starter for the Yankees to pitch at least eight shutout innings and strike out at least nine batters in a game since Mike Mussina Sept. 14, 2004 at Kansas City and the first to do so at the Stadium since Roger Clemens June 18, 2003 against the Rays. . .Hafner has at least one RBI in nine of the Yankees’ 10 series this season. . .Stewart entered 2013 with four homers in 351 career at-bats. He has two in 40 at-bats this season. . .Rivera’s 1,064th career appearance tied him with Dan Plesac for sixth place on the all-time games list. . .The Yankees are 17-2 when holding opponents to four or fewer runs and 16-3 when scoring four or more runs.
I just learned about the passing of Pat Summerall, 82, while recovering from hip surgery at a hospital in his hometown of Dallas. This is sad news. It was my privilege to have known Summerall, even though I never covered pro football all that much. But that was part of the beauty of Summerall in that his broadcasting career was not limited to football. He was as much a voice of golf and tennis as he was of the sport in which he had exceled as a player.
I got to know him a little bit when I was covering tennis in the late 1970s and early ‘80s for the Bergen Record in New Jersey. Pat was a fixture at the U.S. Open in those days. He also did play-by-play for the Westchester Classic, the annual PGA tour stop in New York that I also covered on occasion.
So why all this about Summerall on a blog devoted to the Yankees? Well, he had a connection to them. After all, he spent many a Sunday afternoon at Yankee Stadium when he was an end and place kicker for the football Giants back when they played home games in the Bronx. In the early 1990s, Summerall underwent alcoholism treatment at the Betty Ford Clinic in Rancho Mirage, Calif., and was influential during his recovery in getting fellow Dallas resident and long-time pal Mickey Mantle to go there as well. Pat and Mickey played an awful lot of rounds of golf together over the years.
A moment of silence was observed before Tuesday night’s game at the Stadium in honor of Summerall, who had taken part in the Giants’ landmark, sudden-death loss to the Baltimore Colts in the 1958 NFL championship game at the original Stadium.
My fondest memory of Pat Summerall was an episode of my career that was nearly a blown assignment. When the Giants were preparing for their first Super Bowl appearance after the 1986 NFL season, The Record planned a special section on the event. I was a baseball writer by then covering the Mets, who had won the World Series that year, and was assigned to do a couple of features for the section, including a piece on Summerall, who was to do play-by-play for CBS’ telecast.
On the afternoon that a conference phone hookup with Summerall was scheduled with local media writers, a story broke on my Mets beat, that Darryl Strawberry was arrested and charged with spousal abuse. I ran down the story and even got Darryl on the phone. I was so excited about getting the scoop that I was taken aback when after handing in the Strawberry story an editor said to me, “So, how did the interview with Summerall go?”
Oh, man. I forgot all about it. I phoned a friend of mine in CBS’ publicity department and asked him if he could provide me a tape of the conference call. He said he would get back to me within the hour. When he phoned me back, he said, “Where are you going to be for the next 20 minutes?” I told him I would stay in the office until I heard back from him.
About 10 minutes later, an editor called out, “O’Connell, pick up extension 23.”
I grabbed the phone and heard a voice on the other line say, “Hi, Jack, this is Pat Summerall. How can I help you?”
Talk about class. I apologized profusely about having missed the conference call. He said he understood that I was working on another story and asked me all about Strawberry. He gave me a solid hour’s interview on his own time. I have never forgotten that kindness. Summerall was known throughout our industry as being a true professional. How lucky I was to find that out first-hand.
The Orioles continued to be in a giving mood Saturday, the day after a three-run error by Adam Jones and a triple play by the Yankees helped secure a Bombers victory.
Baltimore ran itself out of a rally in the second inning when Nate McLouth, running from first base on a single off the right field wall by Manny Machado, ran through a stop sign by third base coach Bobby Dickerson and was a dead duck at the plate. Machado’s hit banged hard off the fence back to right fielder Ichiro Suzuki, who fed Robinson Cano, the best second baseman in the majors at the cutoff play, whose relay gunned down McLouth with plenty to spare.
The Yankees tied the score in the bottom of the second, due in part to another Orioles gaffe. A throwing error by Baltimore shortstop J.J. Hardy put Francisco Cervelli on second base with two out. Lyle Overbay brought Cervelli home with a soft single to center to make the score 2-2. The Yankees’ first run that inning came on Travis Hafner’s third home run of the season.
Jayson Nix was at shortstop again for Eduardo Nunez, who is sidelined with a bruised right wrist the result of being hit by a pitch Friday night. X-rays were negative. The Yankees also have yet to decide when Andy Pettitte’s next start will be. The lefthander continued treatments Saturday for back spasms.
Friday night’s triple killing in which Nix was the middle man was the Yanks’ first triple play in a home game in nearly 45 years. The previous time occurred May 3, 1968 against the Twins and catcher Johnny Roseboro and was turned by pitcher Dooley Womack to third baseman Bobby Cox to first baseman Mickey Mantle. Yes, that was the same Bobby Cox who managed the Braves to all those division titles in the 1990s and 2000s.
Mariano Rivera’s first appearance of the 2013 season Thursday night set a club record for years with the Yankees. This marks Mo’s 19th season in pinstripes, which breaks the tie he had shared with Yogi Berra (1946-63), Mickey Mantle (1951-68) and Derek Jeter (1995-2012). Once Jeet comes off the disabled list, of course, he will go back into a tie with Rivera.
Next in line with 17 seasons with the Yankees are Lou Gehrig (1923-39), Bill Dickey (1928-43, ’46), Frankie Crosetti (1932-48) and Jorge Posada (1995-2011). With 16 seasons apiece are Whitey Ford (1950, ’53-67) and Bernie Williams (1991-2006).
Rivera’s save to preserve the 4-2 victory over the Red Sox for Andy Pettitte also made it 18 years in a row (1996-2013) in which Mo has saved at least one game, tying the major-league record with John Franco.
In the major-league opener Sunday night between the Astros and the Rangers, Houston center fielder Justin Maxwell hit two triples to become one of only six players in history to triple twice in a season opener. One of them was the Yankees’ Tommy Henrich in 1950, his final season. “Old Reliable,” as Henrich was known, had more triples (8) than doubles (6) or home runs (6) that year. Henrich hit 73 triples over his 11-season career (he lost three full seasons to military service during World War II) and led the league twice, with 14 in 1948 and 13 in 1947.
The remaining schedule favors the Yankees, who moved a huge step in front of the Orioles Monday night by taking control of first place in the American League East with two games to play. Fortunately for the Yankees, their two games are against the last-place Red Sox. Unfortunately for the Orioles, their two games are against the Rays, who have a stake in the postseason sweepstakes.
The Yankees did what they needed to do by overwhelming a Boston squad that seemed more suited for Pawtucket, the Triple-A affiliate. A nine-run second inning fortified by four home runs started the Yankees toward a 10-2 victory behind CC Sabathia, who looked every bit an ace with an eight-inning performance in which he scattered four hits and a walk with seven strikeouts.
Meanwhile at St. Petersburg, Fla., Tampa Bay torpedoed Baltimore, 5-3. The Orioles had the potential tying runs on base in the ninth inning hoping to at least get even and then do their usual magic act in extra innings. Fernando Rodney prevented that, so the Yankees are back alone atop the division by a full game.
Yankees manager Joe Girardi might take some criticism for using Sabathia for so long in a game that appeared decided early. Look, there are no guarantees, and no lead is insurmountable. If Joe had pulled CC after, say, five or six innings, and the Pawtucket Sox somehow managed to rally against the bullpen, fans would have been furious. At this juncture of the season with a division title on the line, it is vital to win games.
With David Phelps starting Tuesday night, Girardi wanted a rested bullpen. I think he was right. Some might say that Sabathia could be called upon to pitch on short rest at some point in the postseason. Perhaps, but a manager cannot worry about that when he has a game to win now.
The Yankees flexed their muscles in a 13-hit attack. As he did recently on the Yanks’ final trip of the season, Robinson Cano led the way. He started the scoring with his 31st home run and added two doubles and two more runs batted in. During his seven-game hitting streak, Cano is batting .621 with seven doubles, one home run and eight RBI in 29 at-bats. He has raised his batting average over that stretch from .293 to .308, a 15-point hike that is almost unheard of this late into a season. The home run was career No. 175 for Cano, who tied Bobby Murcer for 20th place on the franchise list.
Nick Swisher also had three hits to keep his hot streak going. Over his past 14 games, Swish is batting .385 with four home runs and 14 RBI. Mark Teixeira celebrated a return to the lineup with his 24th home run in the four-homer, nine-run second inning that also featured round-trip blows by Curtis Granderson and Russell Martin. Tex’s 20 RBI in 10 games against the Red Sox this season are the most for a Yankees player against Boston in one season since Mickey Mantle had 22 in 1958.
There was also a feel-good moment in the eighth inning when Melky Mesa in his first major-league at-bat singled through the middle for his first major-league hit and RBI at the same time. The rookie was sent to the plate as a pinch hitter for Alex Rodriguez. Who knows where Mesa’s career will take him, but he surely won’t have any trouble remembering all those firsts on a night when the Yankees took over first.
Just as he did five days earlier, Andy Pettitte pitched with a lot of runners on base Monday night at Minneapolis. And just as he did five days earlier, Pettitte made sure none of them scored.
It was another shutout effort for the lefthander after missing 11 weeks because of a fractured left fibula. Pettitte has put up a zero for each of those weeks – 11 scoreless innings in his two starts back. Buoyed by a 3-0, first-inning lead, Pettitte worked out of the jams he got himself into and notched another victory against the Twins, which is pretty common for him.
Things looked shaky in the first inning when Minnesota loaded the bases with one out, but Andy stunned Justin Morneau with a fastball on the outside corner for a called third strike and retired Ryan Doumit on a fielder’s choice. The Yankees supported Pettitte with two double plays to get out of innings, and his catcher, Russell Martin, made a sensational tag for an out at the plate after taking a strong throw from center fielder Curtis Granderson to end another inning.
Over six innings, Pettitte scattered seven hits and a walk and struck out three in improving his season record to 5-3 and earning his 245th career victory to tie Dennis Martinez for 49th place on the all-time list. He is undefeated over his last 12 starts against Minnesota (regular season and postseason combined) dating to May 2001 with a 10-0 record and a 2.53 ERS in 80 2/3 innings. Over his past 17 regular season and postseason starts against the Twins since 1999, Pettitte is 13-1 with a 2.38 ERA in 117 innings and has held them to three runs or fewer in 14 outings.
Now what is all this about Target Field being a tough place to hit home runs? Not for the Yanks. They pounded four of them, including three absolute moon shots, against Twins righthander Liam Hendricks and have clubbed 14 home runs in eight games at the Minneapolis yard that opened in 2010.
Nick Swisher got the home run derby going in the first inning with a two-run shot to right that measured 428 feet. Granderson went nearly 10 feet farther with his solo shot in the fourth that was his 40th home run of the season, one shy of his 2011 total. Granderson joined Babe Ruth, Lou Gehrig, Mickey Mantle and Jason Giambi as the only Yankees players to homer 40 times in consecutive seasons. It should be mentioned that the Babe did it eight times while the others did it once apiece.
Raul Ibanez continued his smoking hot streak with a drive into the second deck in right field leading off the seventh inning for his 18th home run. Eric Chavez homered to left (No. 14) two batters later. Ibanez has 7-for-12 (.583) with two doubles, three home runs and five RBI since breaking out of a 0-for-18 slump.
Ichiro Suzuki, last week’s American League Player of the Week, doubled his first time up, and Derek Jeter with a single in his final at-bat in the ninth inning extended his hitting streak to 18 games.
The Yankees also gained ground in the AL East standings over the Orioles, who divided a doubleheader against the Blue Jays at home. The Yankees’ lead is 1 ½ games (two in the loss column) as the magic number for clinching a postseason berth is down to four.
Much of what makes the 2012 Yankees tick is the home run. They lead the majors in that category and added a lot to the total Friday night in a 6-4 victory over the Red Sox. Five of the Yankees’ runs came on balls that left the yard, and yet it was a two-out single by Jayson Nix in the sixth inning that scored the run that proved to be the winner.
The five home runs, all solo shots, raised the Yankees’ season total to 186. That puts them on a pace to smack 253 home runs, which would shatter the franchise record of 244 in 2009 and come close to challenging the major-league mark of 264 by the Mariners in 1997. The Yankees have homered in 33 of their past 37 games and 99 of their 119 games this season. In the 20 games in which the Yanks have not homered, their record is 3-17, so going deep has been essential to their winning games.
Nick Swisher led the way with two home runs, one from each side of the plate. That marks a dozen times Swish has done that in his career. Only Mark Teixeira with 13 has accomplished the feat more often. This is pretty heady stuff. Even Mickey Mantle, the Yankees’ greatest switch hitter, had only 10 such games. It’s strange for me to write “only” there because the Mick held the record for many years until Eddie Murray and Chili Davis came along. And now Tex and Swish have left them all in the dust.
Curtis Granderson and Russell Martin had back-to-back homers in the second inning. Granderson’s 31st home run of the season was his 10th off a left-handed pitcher, in this case Franklin Morales. Martin’s homer brought his batting average to .200 for the first time in six weeks, but he went 0-for-3 after that to fall to .198.
The other home run was from Derek Jeter, career No. 250, which tied the score in the fifth. It was a crucial blow because there was rain in the forecast all night, and both sides feared falling behind if the game was stopped and perhaps halted for good. It rained pretty hard for two innings with thunder and lightning all around. Then it went away. Try to figure out weather.
Swisher’s two-homer night is part of a hot stretch dating to Aug. 8 when he was moved into the 2-hole of the batting order as Granderson was slumping. Swish has responded by batting .310 with two doubles, four home runs and 14 RBI in 42 at-bats. He has bashed Red Sox pitching all year at a .448 clip.
Four of Swisher’s past six home runs and five of his past nine have given the Yankees the lead (his first-inning homer Friday night did). He has hit four home runs in the past five games and has had at least one run and one run batted in six straight games, matching a streak by Alex Rodriguez in 2008 from Aug. 30 to Sept. 4. The only Yankees player with a longer streak since 1957 was by Don Mattingly, now the Dodgers manager, who had such a streak of nine games in 1987 from July 7-18.
All the long balls backed a fine start from Phil Hughes, who gave up four runs in seven innings but none was earned. That was due to an errant throw by Hughes that extended the third inning and allowed Dustin Pedroia to give the Red Sox the momentary lead with a three-run home run.
Yankees manager Joe Girardi was pleased to see Hughes make use of his changeup, a pitch he had all but abandoned in recent starts. “I wanted to give hitters a different look,” he said.
With his game-tying solo home run Thursday at Detroit, Mark Teixeira has five homers this year that tied the game or put the Yankees ahead in the seventh inning or later. It marks his most such homers in a single season in his career. Only one Yankees player has had more homers in those circumstances in a season over the past 12 years – Alex Rodriguez with six each in 2009 and ’10.
According to ESPN Stats & Info, the back-to-back homers by Teixeira and Eric Chavez Thursday were the first by the Yankees in the eighth inning or later on the road – with the first one tying the game and the second one giving them the lead – since Aug. 25, 1955 when Yogi Berra and Mickey Mantle went back-to-back in the ninth inning of a 3-2 victory also in Detroit at old Briggs Stadium.
Chavez, who was given Friday night off the turf at Toronto’s Rogers Centre, is batting .467 with nine runs, two doubles, four home runs and nine RBI over his past nine games and 30 at-bats. He has hit nine home runs over his past 35 games after hitting just three in his first 42 games. In the four-game series at Comerica Park, Chavez had 9-for-16 (.563) with two doubles, two home runs and five RBI with multiple hits in each game.
The Yankees’ 4-3 victory Thursday was their first in a game decided by one run since July 13, 6-5, over the Angels. They had lost their previous eight one-run games. The Elias Sports Bureau reported that it was the longest such skid for the Yankees since 1944. The victory was also the Yankees’ eighth of the season when trailing after the end of seven innings. Last year, they had only four. The Yankees are tied with the Orioles and the Nationals for the most such victories in the major leagues this season.
The Yankees have agreed to terms with pitcher Ty Hensley, their first-round selection and 30th pick overall in the 2012 First-Year Player Draft.
Hensley, 18, who recently graduated from Santa Fe High School in Edmond, Okla., had a 10-0 record with a 1.52 ERA and 111 strikeouts in 55 1/3 innings over 11 games as a senior in 2012. He was named the 2012 Gatorade Oklahoma “Baseball Player of the Year.”
The 6-foot-4, 220-pound righthander was ranked by Baseball America as the 11th-best pitcher and 23rd overall player in this year’s draft. He entered as the publication’s second-best player from Oklahoma and became just the seventh Oklahoma pitcher to be selected in the first round out of high school.
The Yankees have had their share of success signing Oklahomans, most notably such pre-draft stars as Mickey Mantle and Bobby Murcer.
“I’m excited to join such a prestigious organization with so much history and tradition,” Hensley said. “I’m lucky to have this opportunity. I’m looking forward to getting my professional career going and getting to the big leagues as quickly as possible.”
Mike Hensley, Ty’s father, was a right-handed pitcher who was drafted out of the University of Oklahoma by the Cardinals in the second round of the 1988 First-Year Player Draft.