Results tagged ‘ Nick Swisher ’

Another milestone for Jeter

With his sixth-inning single Thursday night at Cleveland, his second hit of the game, Derek Jeter achieved his 1,000th multi-hit game of his career. He became only the sixth player in history to accomplish the feat. The other five are among the greatest hitters of all time — Ty Cobb (1,293), Pete Rose (1,225), Stan Musial (1,059), Tris Speaker (1,059) and Henry Aaron (1,046).

Jeter’s first hit of the game was an infield single in the first inning only moments after former teammates Nick Swisher and Jason Giambi along with Indians manager Terry Francona took part in a pregame ceremony in which the shortstop was honored in his last trip to Cleveland.

The Captain received an artwork made up of Legos depicting his first career home run at Progressive Field, then known as Jacobs Field, and a pinstriped guitar with his No. 2 on the front. After all, Cleveland is the home of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

Just the night before, Jeet drew his 1,070th career base on balls in the 10th inning of the Yanks’ 5-4, 14-inning victory, which moved him past former teammate Bernie Williams for sole sole possession of fourth place on the Yankees’ all-time walks list. The week began for DJ Sunday at Minneapolis with his collecting his 3,400th career hit.

Yankees win marathon at end of gloomy day

It took 14 innings and 4 hours, 51 minutes, but the Yankees finally found something to smile about Wednesday after hearing the depressing news earlier in the day that Masahiro Tanaka won’t be around for the rest of this trip.

The Yankees went seven innings without scoring before Jacoby Ellsbury homered off Indians righthander Vinnie Pestano with two out in the 14th to take a 5-4 lead. They then had to sweat through the bottom half as the Tribe got a runner to second base with one out. David Robertson struck out Asdrubal Cabrera and notched his 22nd save when Zoilo Almonte ran down Michael Brantley’s drive to left field.

The game came close to ending in Cleveland’s favor in the 10th when David Huff, one of eight Yankees pitcher, walked the bases loaded with one out. Shawn Kelley came to the rescue with a big strikeout of Nick Swisher and withstood a long foul down the right field line by David Murphy before retiring him on a ground ball to shortstop.

Brandon McCarthy was the 10th different pitcher to start for the Yankees this season. There could be an 11th Sunday night in place of Tanaka, who went on the 15-day disabled list because of right elbow inflammation, unless Chase Whitley returns to the rotation. Whitley pitched two innings of one-hit, three-strikeout relief to get the winning decision Wednesday night.

McCarthy found out right away what it can be like for a Yankees starter when two regulars were out of the lineup. Left fielder Brett Gardner was nursing an abdominal strain. Designated hitter Carlos Beltran was supposed to return to the lineup after missing two games because of a swollen right knee. But during batting practice, a ball Beltran hit ricocheted off the cage and struck him in the face.

Derek Jeter, who was originally slated for a night off, had to take over at DH. Brian Roberts, who was to have batted in DJ’s usual second spot in the order, was dropped to Beltran’s 5-hole. Almonte, just called up from Triple A Scranton, was in left field, and another recent call-up, Zelous Wheeler, was at third base. I can’t remember the last time the Yankees had two guys whose names begin with ‘Z’ in the lineup at the same time.

McCarthy, a 6-foot-7 righthander who was only 3-10 for Arizona this year, got off to a quirky start as the Indians scored three runs off him in the first inning, although none was earned because of a throwing error by Mark Teixeira. Throwing to second base trying for a double play after fielding a grounder by Carlos Santana, Tex hit Brantley, the runner, which loaded the bases with one out.

An infield out, which should have been the third of the inning, brought in one run, and Swisher delivered two more with a single to right-center. Swish continued his punishment of his old club in this series. He homered in each of the prior two games.

Teixeira made up for his wayward throw by getting those three runs back for McCarthy with a pair of home runs off Indians starter Josh Tomlin. Brian McCann also drove in a run with a sacrifice fly in the Yankees’ three-run fifth as they took the lead.

McCarthy couldn’t maintain it, however. Cabrera doubled with one out in the bottom of the fifth and scored on a two-out single by Santana. Still, it was a favorable first outing for the pitcher recently obtained in a trade for lefthander Vidal Nuno. McCarthy gave them what Nuno did not always provide, distance. McCarthy lasted for 6 2/3 innings and displayed a decent sinker. Of his 20 outs, 12 were on ground balls and two others were in the infield to go with three strikeouts.

Swisher hurts old club with homer off Tanaka

The Yankees’ rotation got a pleasant jolt Monday night when Triple A Scranton call-up Shane Greene pitched six strong innings for his first major-league victory and earned another start, which he will make Saturday at Baltimore with Chase Whitley moving to a spot in the bullpen.

The rotation got a different sort of jolt Tuesday night as Masahiro Tanaka got beat up. Oh, he wasn’t completely battered, but the Japanese righthander has been so impressive in the first portion of the 2014 season that it was stunning to watch him blow a two-run lead in the middle innings and finish after 6 2/3 innings with five earned runs and 10 hits allowed, both season highs, or lows as the case may be.

Just as they had for Greene the night before, the Yankees broke out to an early lead against the Indians, who helped matters along with some shabby defense. The Tribe made three errors in the first five innings, including a wild throw to second base by catcher Yon Gomes on a double steal that allowed Jacoby Ellsbury to score the second run of the first inning. Mark Teixeira, who drove in the first run with a single, got his first stolen base of the season on the back end of the twin swipe.

The teams exchanged runs over the next inning before Tanaka seemed to settle in. His splitter got him five strikeouts into the fourth inning, but he seemed to abandon it in favor of his slider. A hanger to Nick Swisher proved especially costly as the former Yankees outfielder crushed it for a two-run home run, his second homer in two nights, that put the Indians ahead in the sixth.

Tanaka had even more problems with Michael Brantley, who doubled in a run in the first inning, doubled in another with two out in the fifth and bashed his 14th homer in the seventh. The two will be American League teammates in next week’s All-Star Game. I wonder if Tanaka will shake Brantley’s hand.

It marked the second straight game that Tanaka gave up four or more runs, although he won that previous start. What made this game interesting is that usually Tanaka dominates the first time he faces a club. This was Cleveland’s first look at Tanaka, and the Tribe obviously took the correct approach.

It did not help Tanaka one bit that the Yankees could not pad on their 2-0 and 3-1 leads. They did not get a hit after the third inning as Indians starter Trevor Bauer pitched four scoreless innings and relievers Bryan Shaw and Corey Allen added one apiece. The last 13 Yankees batters in the game were retired, five on strikeouts.

Ellsbury made a rare base-running blunder in the fifth when he was thrown out trying to steal third base with a left-handed batter, Brian McCann, at the plate with two out. Making the third out on such an attempt is a cardinal sin but was overlooked at the time because the Yankees had a two-run lead. But not for long.

Newcomer Brandon McCarthy will make his first start for the Yankees Wednesday night at Progressive Field. Ready for another jolt?

Rookies get major league firsts at start & finish

The Yankees helped relieve some of the pressure on Shane Greene making his first major league start Monday night at Cleveland by knocking out Indians starter Justin Masterson two batters into the third inning en route to building a 5-0 lead.

Masterson usually has his way with the Yankees at Progressive Field. He took a 3-0 record and 0.38 ERA in three career starts against the Yanks in the Tribe’s home yard into the game. He was nowhere close to that effective Monday night as the Yankees chased him with five runs, six hits, three walks and a hit batter in two-plus innings.

Brian McCann, who originally was supposed to catch Greene, was the designated hitter instead as Carlos Beltran was removed from the lineup because of a swollen right knee. Greene did just fine with backup Francisco Cervelli behind the plate. McCann did just fine with the bat, too, banging out a double and two singles and scoring two runs, a good sign to see.

Brett Gardner and Ichiro Suzuki joined McCann in the hit parade with three apiece as well. It was the second straight three-hit game for Ichiro, who raised his season batting average to .304.

The Yankees could not have asked for a better first outing from Greene, who was with them earlier in the year and pitched a third of an inning in relief. This time, he went a full six innings and did not allow a hit until two out in the fifth when Nick Swisher broke up the no-hit bid and the shutout at the same time with his sixth home run. Greene was touched for another run in the sixth

Greene was not overpowering. He had only two strikeouts, both coming in the fifth inning, but did not walk anyone, either. He hit one batter, Asdrubal Cabrera, who was eventually caught trying to steal second base. Greene got 11 of his 18 outs in the infield, nine on ground balls.

David Huff worked a 1-2-3 seventh but gave up a home run to Yan Gomes leading off the eighth. Dellin Betances celebrated his being named to the American League All-Star squad by getting the final six outs to record his first major-league save to preserve Greene’s first major-league victory.

Betances got a major assist from shortstop Derek Jeter to get out of the eighth inning without damage. Jason Kipnis, on first base because of an error by second baseman Brian Roberts, fell victim to Jeter’s pretending to take a throw at second on a hit-and-run play, and was embarrassingly doubled up on Cabrera’s foul pop behind third base.

The Yankees are 26-15 in games started by rookies. With the state of the rotation uncertain for much of the period before the All-Star break, the young people stepping up has been huge.

Yanks prevail despite spotty Pettitte start

Triumphant was not the word for Andy Pettitte’s return from the disabled list Monday night, but the Yankees triumphed anyway. The lefthander did not survive the fifth inning, retired the side in order only once and squandered a three-run lead in his second consecutive unsuccessful attempt for career victory No. 250.

Pettitte pitched from the stretch a good portion of his 83-pitch outing, his 500th career start, in which he allowed four earned runs, seven hits and three walks with three strikeouts and two wild pitches in 4 2/3 innings. It was by no means classic Pettitte, who was in trouble in nearly every inning. Perhaps it was a matter of rust, but at a time when the Yankees are in search of anything to get through this rough patch Pettitte was simply not his usual self.

It showed mostly in the fifth when he coughed up the 4-1 lead given him two innings earlier by Mark Teixeira’s eighth career grand slam on a liner into the front row of the right field stands off Indians ace Justin Masterson. That was a big blow for Tex, whose name was being smeared all day by talk-radio smart alecks who dumped on him for his slow start (1-for-9, seven strikeouts) after missing seven weeks with a severe right wrist injury.

“We got more hits and walks in one inning off Masterson than we did the whole game the last time we faced him,” Yankees manager Joe Girardi said, noting that the Cleveland righthander pitched a four-hit, no-walk shutout against them May 13 at Progressive Field.

Pettitte posted a shutdown inning in the fourth, which was good to see, but got into immediate trouble in the fifth when Drew Stubbs led off with a double to right-center. An infield hit by Michael Bourn put runners on the corners. Mike Aviles knocked in a run with a rarely-seen sacrifice fly to second base. Actually, the ball was in shallow center field where Robinson Cano made the catch with his back to the infield and could not get the throw home in time to prevent Stubbs from scoring.

Pettitte got a big second out when Asdrubal Cabrera grounded out and pulled up lame running to first base and had to come out of the game because of a right quad strain. Pettitte lost the plate as he walked Nick Swisher and Mark Reynolds to load the bases. Carlos Santana supplied the fatal blow with a smoking, one-hopper past off the glove of third baseman David Adams that bounced into the stands for a two-run double that tied the score and ended Pettitte’s night.

That cost Andy any chance for a winning decision, but his teammates got him off the hook for a possible losing decision when they rallied with two out in the sixth to regain the lead, 6-4, on a two-run single by Brett Gardner. Masterson made a questionable decision to cut off Bourn’s peg home from center between the mound and the plate because the second runner, Austin Romine, a catcher, was quite a ways up the line when the pitcher gloved the ball, a break for the Yankees.

Travis Hafner put the finishing touches on the Yankees’ 7-4 victory with a home run off his old teammates in the seventh. Shawn Kelley (3-0), Joba Chamberlain, David Robertson and Mariano Rivera (20th save) picked up Pettitte with 4 1/3 scoreless innings of one-hit relief.

Overbay stays, gets a shot in the outfield

The Yankees found a way to keep Lyle Overbay in uniform. Unfortunately for Brennan Boesch, it came at his expense. To create space on the 25-man roster for Andy Pettitte, who was activated from the disabled list to start Monday night’s game at Yankee Stadium against the Indians, the Yankees optioned Boesch to Triple A Scranton.

The move ended much speculation over the past week around the Yankees about who would go when Pettitte was ready to get back on the mound. There was some talk about optioning infielder David Adams and even perhaps a trade of Overbay, whose playing time was reduced with the return of Mark Teixeira and Kevin Youkilis off the DL.

But there was Overbay back in the lineup Monday night and playing right field, a position he had not played since early in his pro career in the minor leagues. Overbay has been a first baseman – and a good one – and occasional designated hitter as a major-leaguer and was a major fix-it at first base for the Yankees over the first seven weeks of the season as Teixeira was recovering from a wrist injury.

“We have been forced to be creative because of all the injuries,” manager Joe Girardi said. “Lyle is willing to do anything. We don’t expect him to be a Gold Glove right fielder. The area here at the Stadium is small.”

The Yankees decided to keep Adams, who started at third base Monday night, because he can support Youkilis at that spot and also give Robinson Cano a day at DH on occasion. Adams was primarily a second baseman in the minors but filled a more urgent need at third base since his call-up May 15.

Speculation had fallen on Adams, who has two options left, instead of Overbay, who would have had to be designated for assignment. It is doubtful that he would have passed through waivers considering his productivity (eight home runs and 29 RBI in 178 at-bats), and the Yankees would have lost a player without getting anything in return. Overbay borrowed a glove from relief pitcher Boone Logan to man the new position.

Like Adams, Boesch also had options remaining, so he was the odd man out for the second time this season. It was a bit of an unkind cut for Boesch, who had 5-for-8 (.625) with one double, one home run and three RBI in three games since his May 25 recall that raised his season average to .275 with three home runs and eight RBI in 51 at-bats. Boesch had also been the Yankees’ best pinch hitter at 3-for-9 (.333) with one home run and four RBI.

Overbay found himself in the defensive position that had been manned primarily the previous four seasons by Nick Swisher, who made his return to the Stadium as the Tribe’s first baseman. Swish was treated to a standing ovation from the Stadium crowd in his first at-bat in which he was called out on strikes for the last out of the first inning. The bleacher creatures also accorded a roll-call chant in the bottom of the inning for Swisher, who was always one of their favorites.

Grace Cashman, daughter of Yanks general manager Brian Cashman, did a nice job singing the National Anthem before the game.

Yankees add pitcher, drop Francisco

The cleaver finally came down on Ben Francisco, the least productive of Yankees hitters this season. Francisco, who was used at designated hitter and in the outfield, was designated for assignment Sunday as the Yankees needed to create roster space for pitcher David Huff, whom they claimed off waivers from the Indians. Francisco batted .114 with one home run and one RBI in 44 at-bats and never seemed to get untracked.

Huff gives the Yankees another lefthander to work out of the bullpen with Boone Logan and as a long reliever, which may be important these days with starters Hiroki Kuroda (bruised right calf) and David Phelps (bruised right forearm) on the mend. Huff has an unsightly 15.00 ERA in three appearances this season. Yankees fans may recall that Huff was beaned by a line drive to the box by Alex Rodriguez in a 2010 game at Yankee Stadium.

He told reporters before Sunday’s game at St. Petersburg, Fla., “The last time I talked to you guys was the day I almost had my head taken off. I’m just super excited to be here, and I’ve got to embrace it.”

The Yankees’ 4-3, 11-inning victory Saturday night in which they trailed, 3-1, with two outs in the ninth inning was the first time they won a game in which they had two outs and the potential tying run not yet at bat since a 9-8 walk-off victory June 5, 2008 over the Blue Jays at Yankee Stadium, won on a pinch-hit home run by Jason Giambi. It was also the Yankees’ second victory this season when trailing after eight innings. They had just one such triumph last year (1-58) in the next-to-last game of the season Oct. 2 against the Red Sox at the Stadium.

The return of Brennan Boesch from Triple A Scranton gives the Yankees their best pinch hitter back. They are hitting only .167 with two home runs and five RBI in 24 at-bats in the pinch. Boesch as a pinch hitter is 3-for-9 (.333) with one of the homers and four of the RBI. His most recent pinch hit was an RBI double as part of Saturday’s ninth-inning rally.

Of the Yankees’ 60 home runs, 20 have tied the game or given them a lead with six of those coming in the seventh inning or later. Lyle Overbay’s 11th-inning, go-ahead homer was the first extra-inning jack by a Yankees hitter to give them the lead in a road game since April 11, 2012 by Nick Swisher at Baltimore. Overbay became the second Yankee to do so at Tropicana Field, joining Jorge Posada Sept. 14, 2010, a 10th-inning solo shot off Dan Wheeler in an 8-7 victory.

Yankees hope to spoil Moore’s record

The Yankees opposed Rays lefthander Matt Moore Saturday, which was the fifth time in the past 40 seasons that they have faced a pitcher with a season record of 8-0 or better. They won each of the past two such games: June 3, 2007 at Fenway Park, 6-5, over the Red Sox and Josh Beckett, who entered the game 8-0 and got a no-decision, and July 14, 2006 at Yankee Stadium, 6-5, over the White Sox and Jose Contreras, who came into the game at 9-0 and absorbed his first loss.

The other two times were June 1, 1994 at the Stadium, 5-4, to the White Sox and Wilson Alvarez, who entered 8-0 and got a no-decision, and June 16, 1986 at the Stadium, 10-1, to the Red Sox and Roger Clemens, the winning pitcher whose record went to 12-0.

The Yankees recalled outfielder Brennan Boesch from Triple A Scranton Saturday to replace Curtis Granderson, who was placed on the 15-day disabled list because of a fractured left pinky as the result of being hit by a pitch in Friday night’s 9-4 victory over the Rays. Boesch hit .179 with a double and two RBI in seven games and 28 at-bats after being optioned there May 13.

In Friday night’s victory, each of the Yankees last four batters in the lineup (David Adams, Lyle Overbay, Jayson Nix and Chris Stewart) had two hits and scored at least one run. According to the Elias Sports Bureau, it was the first time the starting 6-7-8-9 hitters for the Yankees each had multiple hits and at least one run in the same game since Aug. 6, 2009, a 13-6 victory over the Red Sox at Yankee Stadium. The 6-through-9 hitters in that game were Jorge Posada, Robinson Cano, Nick Swisher and Melky Cabrera.

Robertson Yanks spokesman for Wounded Warriors

David Robertson has assumed the role of Yankees spokesperson for the Wounded Warrior Project (WWP). He will represent the Yankees in Wounded Warrior Project outreach efforts and participate in Wounded Warrior visits to Yankee Stadium throughout the season. The role was filled the previous two seasons by outfielder Nick Swisher, now with the Indians.

The Yankees welcomed to Friday night’s game approximately 25 Wounded Warriors, all of whom were injured while serving their country in the armed forces. Their activities included a private tour of Monument Park and the Yankees Museum presented by Bank of America, along with spending time with Robertson in a quiet setting at the Stadium.

During a pre-game, on-field ceremony Sunday, the New York Yankees Foundation will make a $100,000 donation to the Wounded Warrior Project. Additionally, in a separate ceremony on Sunday, two Wounded Warriors, U.S. Army Staff Sgt. Rodjean Thorman and U.S. Army Staff Sgt. Jay Lawrence, will be recognized for their service. The pair will represent a group of approximately 25 Wounded Warriors who are attending the game with members of their families through the generosity of Manfredi Jewels of Greenwich, Conn., which is providing tickets for their visit.

“The Wounded Warrior Project has been close to our hearts for many years,” Yankees senior vice president of marketing Debbie Tymon said. “By continuing our relationship, we hope that the public further recognizes the magnitude of the sacrifices made by so many members of the armed forces. We owe it to these courageous men and women to extend our hands, hearts and resources to help them readjust to civilian life as quickly and thoroughly as possible.”

The mission of the non-profit and non-partisan Wounded Warrior Project – http://www.woundedwarriorproject.org – is to honor and empower wounded servicemen and servicewomen. WWP’s goals include raising awareness and enlisting the public in aiding the needs of injured service members. WWP also provides unique and direct programs and services for injured veterans.

“Wounded Warrior Project would like to thank David Robertson and the New York Yankees for their continued commitment to supporting our mission,” WWP deputy executive director Al Giordano said. “Taking the time to give back to our nation’s injured servicemen and women not only speaks volumes about David’s character but also of the Yankees organization as a whole. This ongoing support promises to provide memorable experiences for our alumni throughout the season.”

Hafner’s return to Cleveland ruins Tribe’s home opener

I thought it was nice to see Tigers fans cheer for Brennan Boesch during home-opening day ceremonies last Friday in Detroit even though he was now playing for the Yankees. But that was nothing compared to the response from Cleveland fans before the Indians’ home opener Monday toward Travis Hafner. You would have thought the Yankees’ designated hitter was still a member of the Tribe the way the local fans treated him.

It was obvious that Indians fans had fond feelings for Hafner, who slugged 200 home runs in 10 seasons in Cleveland. Hafner’s “thank you” response was a bit harsh, however. Wearing the No. 33 uniform that Nick Swisher, now playing first base for the Indians, had worn in his four seasons with the Yankees, Hafner quieted down the home crowd in the first inning with a three-run home run off righthander Ubaldo Jimenez.

Hiroki Kuroda gave back all of that lead in the bottom of the first, an indication that he might still have been bothered by the right middle finger he injured in his previous start. Hafner put the Yankees back in front with a run-scoring single in the third. Kuroda found himself and pitched into the sixth while the Yankees’ bats stayed as productive as they were Sunday at Detroit to ruin the home opener for the Indians to the tune of 11-6.

It turned out to be a big day for Hafner, who along with fellow newcomers Kevin Youkilis and Vernon Wells is off to a terrific start with the new club. Hafner walked and scored in each of his next two at-bats. He is batting .391 with two home runs and six RBI. Hafner has also scored six runs, the most on the team.

Hafner had the better day between him and Swisher, who reached base three times with a single and a pair of walks and scored a run. Swish made a remark before the game that he was “hurt” that the Yankees did not make him a contract offer, which was not true. They were willing to tender him for $13 million in 2013, but he chose to look elsewhere for a long-term deal and got it from the Indians at $56 million for four years, far too steep for the Yankees to consider for a 32-year-old switch hitter who batted .162 in 130 postseason at-bats for them the past four seasons.

Youkilis had another hit to extend his hitting streak to all seven of the Yankees’ games and is batting .370 with a .433 on-base percentage, one home run and four RBI. Wells had a double and two singles, stole a base and scored a run. He is batting .381 with two home runs and four RBI. All three of Wells’ hits were to right field, which is as many as he had all last year in 243 at-bats with the Angels.

The newcomers in the lineup have out-shown the holdovers in the Yankees’ lineup thus far, but Robinson Cano let himself be heard finally. Entering the game with a .130 batting average, no extra-base hits or RBI, Cano broke out big-time with two home runs, a double, a walk, two RBI and four runs scored.

A spotlight has been Cano since the season opener. He is eligible to become a free agent after the season and has already been engaged in negotiations toward a contract extension with the Yanks, who traditionally have not held contract talks with players during seasons but have indicated a willingness to do so in his case.

With regulars Derek Jeter, Alex Rodriguez, Curtis Granderson and Mark Teixeira all on the disabled list, Cano has been somewhat naked in the lineup. Nevertheless, Youkilis and Hafner and Wells have done their part to give Robinson protection, so it was encouraging to see him have such a big day Monday.

The Yankees’ offense that had been so criticized during spring training continues to click. They have raised their team batting average 39 points over the past two 13-hit games. And manager Joe Girardi can stop saying that the Yankees won’t hit a lot of home runs. The have out-homered opponents, 10-4, and are at a pace for a 230-homer season, which is not shabby.

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