Results tagged ‘ Mike Trout ’
All season long Derek Jeter has marched past Hall of Famers on the all-time hits and runs lists. Saturday was one of those days. In the Yankees’ 5-2 victory over the Blue Jays, Jeter singled and doubled. The two hits raised his total for the season to 150, second highest in the major leagues only to former teammate Melky Cabrera, who has 154 for the Giants.
It marked the 17th consecutive season that Jeter has had at least 150 hits. So what is the big deal about that? Well, the Elias Sports Bureau, which keeps all the game’s numbers, reports that only one other player in history had 17 straight years of 150 or more hits, and that player was Henry Aaron, from 1955-71 for the Braves.
The record-tying hit was a two-out, run-scoring double to right-center in the sixth inning off former teammate Aaron Laffey that scored Casey McGehee, who had doubled with one out. It was McGehee’s first big day for the Yankees since his arrival from Pittsburgh 10 days ago in a trade for relief pitcher Chad Qualls. McGehee also got his first home run for the Yankees with a three-run blast to left in the fourth inning.
Like most new guys who come to the Yankees, McGehee has learned to appreciate Jeter even more as a player now that he is a teammate. “The approach he takes never wavers,” McGehee said of the Captain. “It’s a pleasure to play alongside him.”
Jeter, who is batting .315 overall, ranks third in the majors with 46 multi-hit games, one more than his total from all of last year. He is batting .379 with four home runs in 103 at-bats leading off games and .364 in 140 at-bats against left-handed pitching. His .345 batting average on the road in 249 at-bats is second in the American League only to Angels rookie Mike Trout (.348).
The most positive aspect of the Yankees’ fourth straight victory Saturday was the work of Ivan Nova, who pitched one out into the eighth inning and allowed two earned runs, five hits and one walk with 10 strikeouts. He was a bit erratic with two hit batters and a balk, but it was an outing that gave the Yankees some encouragement at a time when it is needed since CC Sabathia had to be placed on the 15-day disabled because of soreness in his left elbow.
Nova displayed effective curves and sliders consistently, which had been missing from his recent starts. His record went to 11-6 with the victory, his first after five winless outings and his second over his past 10 starts.
It was a strong game all around for the Yankees. Second baseman Robinson Cano made a splendid play to rob Moises Sierra of a potential run-scoring hit to end the sixth inning, and center fielder Curtis Granderson concluded the seventh with a back-to-the-infield, one-handed grab of a long drive by Adeiny Hecchavarria.
The Toronto bullpen held the Yankees hitless over the final 3 1/3 innings, but the Yanks’ pen was equally efficient. David Robertson got two outs with his only pitch in getting Omar Vizquel on a double play in the eighth. Rafael Soriano earned his 28th save with a 1-2-3 ninth.
So after losing the first two games in Detroit, the Yankees have a chance to close out this Great Lakes trip at 5-2 Sunday with Phil Hughes going against the Blue Jays’ J.A. Happ for some momentum heading into a challenging homestand upcoming against Texas and Boston.
Sabathia had been scheduled to start Monday night against the Rangers, but inflammation in his pitching elbow caused him to be shut down. It is the second stint on the DL for Sabathia, whose previous injury was to his left groin. CC felt stiffness after his start Wednesday night against the Tigers when he came out of the game in the seventh inning.
For the second time this homestand, Mark Teixeira’s hustle helped the Yankees build a run. The first baseman, not known for his foot speed, hit into the over-shift the Mariners were employing against him, but second baseman Kyle Seager was so deep in right field that Tex has a chance to beat the play at first, which he did for a single as Derek Jeter scored the tying run from third.
Against the Red Sox in the Yankees’ first game of the homestand, Teixeira busted down the line to avoid grounding into an inning-ending double play and kept the inning alive for Raul Ibanez, who followed with a two-run home run. In that case, Tex’s hustle resulted in three runs for the Yankees. No one ever tires of watching players go all-out on the field.
Dave Winfield was the best I ever saw in that regard. The big guy was always in full-throttle mode. He agreed with Joe DiMaggio’s philosophy that somebody in the stands might be seeing him for the first time and he didn’t want that person to think he loafed. Jeter, who grew up a big Winfield fan, is the same way. It was nice to hear Angels rookie center fielder Mike Trout make that point about Jeter last month.
It is a quality that should rub off on more players.
Curtis Granderson just had to get up in the ninth inning with a chance to win Sunday’s game at Yankee Stadium, didn’t he? I mean, that was just poetic justice.
That it actually happened was pretty surprising, considering that the Yankees needed a big rally to keep the line moving to Granderson, who was the eighth batter of the inning. The game had been quite a showcase for Granderson, who made two sparkling catches in center field and had a couple of hits, including his 24th home run which at the time – the sixth inning – got the Yankees within a run of the Angels.
By the time the Yanks came up for last licks, they were down by five runs, however. The Angels matched the Yankees in home runs with four, but an eighth-inning rally against reliever Chad Qualls contained none of them. Mark Trumbo’s homer off D.J. Mitchell in the top of the ninth seemed unnecessary until the Yankees kept putting runners on base in the bottom half.
Angels closer Ernesto Frieri, who had not allowed a run in 26 1/3 innings since joining the Angels from the Blue Jays May 5, walked two batters and gave up a two-run homer to Mark Teixeira that forced Los Angeles manager Mike Scioscia to make a move to lefthander Scott Downs, who lost Friday night’s game.
Raul Ibanez’s single that tore Downs’ glove off was a bad omen for Downs, but he came back to strike out pinch hitter Andruw Jones and retire Russell Martin on a fielder’s choice. A four-pitch walk to Derek Jeter brought the moment those remaining in the Stadium crowd of 46,679 longed for.
Granderson gave the fans plenty to cheer for with an eight-pitch at-bat that included a loud foul that had everyone gasping. Granderson worked a hard-earned walk that forced in a run that got the Yankees to 10-8.
“Downs has always been tough on me,” Granderson said. “I was hoping to get a ball up in the zone, but when I got one I fouled it off. The crowd got excited, but I knew it was foul when I hit it.”
Alex Rodriguez, who had started the Yankees’ scoring in the first inning with a two-run home run following a Granderson single, had several good cuts in his duel with righthander Kevin Jepsen but eventually ended the game by fouling out to first baseman Albert Pujols.
“It was an awesome situation,” Rodriguez said. “You want to be in that situation. I took some good swings but had a lousy result.”
The Yankees lead the majors with comeback victories at 29. Had this been No. 30, it would have been very satisfying. For the second straight day, they erased a 2-0, first-inning deficit. Starting pitcher Ivan Nova struggled through his six-plus innings without an effective breaking pitch and falling behind in counts with his fastball that made his changeup useless.
Nova could have had it worse if not for Granderson. His back-to-the-infield, one-handed grab of a drive by fellow center fielder Mike Trout in the third inning was right out of the Willie Mays handbook.
“I knew it was past me, and I wasn’t sure I could get underneath it,” Granderson said. “I looked and saw that I had more room than I thought between me and the wall. The wall out there is solid concrete, so even with the padding it is pretty hard.”
“It was an unbelievable catch,” Yankees manager Joe Girardi said. “Trout has taken so many hits away from us; it was nice to see one taken away from him.”
Granderson also made a fine, diving catch in right center to Alberto Callaspo of an extra-base hit that became a sacrifice fly in the sixth.
So it was fitting that he got the chance to make a terrific individual game complete by taking part in the ninth-inning rally. Granderson certainly did his part.
What a way to start the second half. The Yankees’ come-from-behind, 6-5 victory over the Angels Friday night was satisfying in so many ways, not the least of which was the effort of Russell Martin, who had a miserable first half at the plate but who got the second half off to an encouraging start with perhaps his best all-around game of the year.
Yes, I can hear the snickering out there. Martin didn’t have to do much to have his best game, but his manager, a former catcher himself, saw a lot he liked just a few days after the two had talked things out behind closed doors. Joe Girardi decided not to pinch-hit for Martin when it appeared called for in the bottom of the eighth inning and was rewarded for the call as Martin hit a broken-bat single to right field to drive in the deciding run.
“I feel a lot better than I did before the game,” said Martin, who took a .179 batting average into the game that rose slightly to .181 with the hit. “I was hoping he wouldn’t pinch-hit for me, but if he did I would have understood.”
Girardi had sent Alex Rodriguez up to bat for Martin in the ninth inning last Saturday night at Boston in a blowout loss to the Red Sox. A message? Perhaps. Girardi did not say. Friday night was different, however.
“I had no thoughts of pinch hitting for him,” Girardi said. “I liked what I saw of him tonight.”
That included Martin’s work behind the plate. He threw out three runners on the basepaths and guided Hiroki Kuroda through six innings of one-run, two-hit pitching before Mark Trumbo put the Yankees in a hole from which Martin and Mark Teixeira eventually helped the Yanks escape.
Teixeira, who also had some glum times early in the first half, had a monster night with two home runs and five RBI. Think of the damage the Yankees can do if these two guys get back on all cylinders.
I don’t know if anyone from Kansas City was watching Friday night’s Yankees-Angels game, but they would have seen why Trumbo was one of the sluggers Robinson Cano chose over the Royals’ Billy Butler for the American League team in the All-Star Home Run Derby.
Trumbo, who beat the Yankees with a ninth-inning home run May 28 at Anaheim, pounded a drive into the bleachers in left-center field at Yankee Stadium for a three-run home run that cost Kuroda the lead in the seventh inning. Trumbo’s 23rd home run of the season was as impressive a blow as any he hit at Kauffman Stadium Monday night in the event that stirred the passion of Royals fans who booed Cano for two days there because of their perceived slight of Butler.
Kuroda, who beat the Angels in the Yankees’ home opener in April and was trying to get the second half off to a similar start, entered the seventh working on a two-hitter with a 2-1 lead. Albert Pujols, who has righted himself since that terrible start back in April, began the inning with a single to left-center.
Kuroda asked for trouble by hitting Kendrys Morales with a two-strike pitch prior to having to face Trumbo, who has become one of the most feared hitters in the majors. The long home run off Kuroda made it five consecutive games against the Yankees for Trumbo.
The Yankees had taken away the 1-0 lead Eric Aybar provided with a home run in the third when Teixeira connected for his 16th home run in the bottom of the inning. Scoring ahead of Tex was Derek Jeter with career run No. 1,817 to push him past Hall of Famer Carl Yastrzemski into 16th place on the all-time list.
The Yanks wasted a prime scoring opportunity in the sixth when Curtis Granderson led off with a triple on a failed diving catch attempt by Angels center fielder Mike Trout but died at third as Teixeira, Rodriguez and Cano could not get the ball out of the infield.
The seventh was nearly the same, but again C.J. Wilson worked out of trouble. Nick Swisher led off with a double to left and crossed to third on Andruw Jones’ flyout to the warning track in right field. Angels third baseman Alberto Callaspo made a good recovery on a tricky grounder by Martin to get the second out and Jayson Nix struck out leaving Swish stranded at third.
All that changed in the eighth after the Angels had increased their advantage to 5-2 on doubles by Trout and Pujols. Trumbo made a strong bid for another homer, but Swisher caught the ball on a leap in front of the right field auxiliary scoreboard.
The Yankees struck quickly in the bottom of the eighth against lefthander Scott Downs, who had allowed only one earned run all season in 30 innings but ended up allowing four runs that cost his team the game. Jeter doubled, Granderson walked and Teixeira went boom again, a three-run bomb that tied the score.
Even after two were out, the Yankees were not done. Downs’ last batter was Swisher, who walked. DeWayne Wise ran for Swish and got a big stolen base. With first base open, Angels manager Mike Scioscia had Raul Ibanez walked intentionally after the count got to three balls.
I must admit that I expected Eric Chavez to hit for Martin in that spot. Chavez grabbed a bat and went back to the cage because he had told he would hit for Jayson Nix if Martin kept the rally going. Martin did more than that. The Yankees truly hope he can continue along that line.
We tend to think of Derek Jeter as a perennial kid. His enthusiasm for the game is infectious. But there is no changing the clock. The Captain is 38 years old, which is twice the age of one of the two baseball phenoms who have entered the major leagues this year, outfielders Mike Trout of the Angels and Bryce Harper of the Nationals.
Both were on display Tuesday night in Kansas City at the All-Star Game where few teenagers have had the opportunity to compete. Trout was at Yankee Stadium Friday night with the Angels for the start of a three-game, weekend series and invoked Jeter several times in talking about his “homecoming.” The New Jersey native visited the old Yankee Stadium as a youngster, but this marked his first time playing on the Bronx patch.
“I was a shortstop and always batted leadoff,” said Trout, who still bats leadoff but now plays center field. “I patterned myself after Jeter, the way he goes about his business and always hustling. I’m the same way. I think that’s the only way to play the game.”
Jeter has now reached the point where he was the role model for players coming into the game. It started six years ago with the arrival of Rockies shortstop Troy Tulowitzki, who proudly wears No. 2 in honor of Jeter.
Trout noted that he was befriended by Jeter at the All-Star Game. While taking batting practice, he turned to the side and saw Jeter and White Sox designated hitter Adam Dunn looking at him and making a gesture with their hands over their hearts.
“It was their way of wondering if I was nervous,” Trout said. “I was, but they helped calm me down.”
Trout has something else in common with Jeter. He is a winner. The Angels got off to a 6-14 start that cost hitting coach Mickey Hatcher his job. Since Trout was called up from Triple A and installed in the Los Angeles lineup, the Angels have gone 42-24 entering play Friday night.
It was hard not to get that here-we-go-ahead feeling in the first inning Wednesday night when Curtis Granderson doubled with one out and was stranded at second as Alex Rodriguez and Robinson Cano struck out. Two more fruitless at-bats with a runner in scoring position was a poor early sign for the Yankees.
The Angels struggled just as much in that circumstance in the bottom half. They loaded the bases against Ivan Nova on a hit batter, a single and a walk with none out and made the least of it with merely one run on a sacrifice fly by Mark Trumbo, who would do much more damage later on.
The Yankees finally got a hit with a runner in scoring position in the third on Granderson’s 16th home run, a three-run shot to right off Ervin Santana. After Santana struck A-Rod with a pitch, Cano slammed a two-run homer to right. It was the fifth career homer for each off Santana, who seemed headed for an early exit but eventually made it through five innings.
Ivan Nova could not have been in a better situation, but for the second time in this series a Yankees starter could not hold an early lead. Phil Hughes squandered a 3-0 lead Monday night, and Nova spit out the 5-1 advantage in the fourth. A leadoff walk spelled trouble, particularly since it came in front of Trumbo, who turned around a 95-mph fastball for a two-run home run to right.
The Yankees had had their fill of Trumbo, who won Monday night’s game with a ninth-inning home run, also homered Tuesday night and had the Yankees nervous when he had a chance to win Wednesday night’s game in the ninth again. For the series, Trumbo had 8-for-15 (.533) with one double, one triple, three home runs and six RBI.
The Angels kept it up against Nova. A well-placed bunt by catcher Bobby Wilson in front of Rodriguez playing deep at third base gave the Angels runners at first and second with two out. Both scored on a double to right-center by Mike Trout, which gave him four RBI in the series, to make it 5-5.
Wilson might not have been able to score except that right fielder Nick Swisher missed both cutoff men. Swish made up for the rock two innings later by regaining the lead for the Yankees on a sacrifice fly that scored Raul Ibanez, who tripled off reliever Hisanori Takahashi. It was poetic justice for Swisher, who was robbed of a home run and another extra- base hit by Angels outfielders Tuesday night.
Nova didn’t cough up the lead this time and ended up extending his unbeaten streak on the road to 13 starts during which he is 10-0 with a 3.61 ERA. He lasted two outs into the seventh and got huge backup support from Cory Wade after Boone Logan allowed a pair of two-out singles upon Nova’s departure.
Wade, who gave up the game-winner to Trumbo Monday night, struck out Howie Kendrick to end the seventh and pitched a perfect eighth with two more punchouts. Rafael Soriano had to sweat for his sixth save as the Angels had runners on first and second with two out and Trumbo at the plate. No heroics this time as he flied out to left.
Despite losing two of the three games in Anaheim, the Yankees pulled to 1 ½ games of the first-place Orioles and Rays in the American League East. The Yanks also stayed a half-game ahead of the hard-charging Blue Jays, who swept a three-game set from Baltimore.
Much has been made of the awful start Albert Pujols got off to in the American League this year. The Yankees would have loved if his troubles had continued while they are on the west coast, but the three-time National League Most Valuable Player started heating up a couple of weeks and has kept it up against the Yankees.
Pujols even victimized Andy Pettitte Tuesday night, which was a career first. They are familiar with each other from their time together in the NL when Pujols was with the Cardinals and Andy pitched for three seasons with the Astros. They have also opposed each other in inter-league and post-season situations.
All told, Pettitte had faced Pujols 32 times, including a first-inning at-bat Tuesday night at Angel Stadium of Anaheim, without hitting a home run. Pettitte had held Pujols to a .207 average with three walks. All that ended in the third inning when Pujols, facing Pettitte in a game for the first time in five years, drove a 1-0 cut fastball deep to left field for his eighth home run of the season.
That homer meant that Pettitte’s former teammate, Roger Clemens, remains the pitcher against whom Pujols has the most career at-bats (35) without taking him deep.
Pujols’ first homer off Pettitte was a two-run blow in a three-run inning that also included an RBI triple by Mike Trout, who is having a terrific series. Trout homered and scored two runs in the Halos’ 9-8 victory Monday night and continued pestering the Yankees both offensively and defensively in the middle game of the series, a 5-1 Angels victory, their eighth straight as they went over .500 (26-25) for the first time since they won the season opener.
Trout, all of 20, made a sensational, leaping catch in left field to rob Nick Swisher of a home run in the second inning. It was that kind of night for Swish, who was robbed of another extra-base hit leading off the seventh on a wall-crashing grab by center fielder Peter Bourjos. Swisher did drive in the Yankees’ run in the fourth when he singled home Raul Ibanez, who had doubled.
Pettitte pitched into the eighth inning for his third straight start. He came out of the game that inning after Pujols reached him for a leadoff single. Mark Trumbo, who won Monday night’s game with a walk-off home run, also homered off Pettitte in the sixth and was the batter after Pujols, so manager Joe Girardi made the move to the bullpen.
Pujols eventually scored on a one-out single by Howie Kendrick off Cody Eppley. As late as May 14, Pujols was still batting under .200 at .197, but in 60 at-bats since then Phat Albert has batted .333 with two doubles, seven home runs and 16 RBI to raise his average 41 points to .238.
It was a gritty outing by Pettitte, but he was bested by Dan Haren, who also pitched one batter into the eighth. His best moment came in the third when he struck out Robinson Cano looking with the bases loaded.
Cano got a second chance in the ninth when the Yankees again had the bags full with two out against hard-throwing Ernesto Frieri, who walked two batters and hit one. Cano struck out once more, this time swinging.
The Yankees problems in those situations are well documented. They are hitless in their past 15 at-bats with the bases loaded and have merely one hit in their past 34 plate appearances with the bags juiced.