Results tagged ‘ Progressive Field ’

Ironic that Indians should eliminate Yankees

Go back to early April in Cleveland and who would have thought the season would end the way it has for the two clubs on the field in two games at Progressive Field? The Yankees outscored the Indians, 25-7, in those games. Cleveland fans treated former Tribesman Travis Hafner to a standing ovation for his past service as the Yankees newest designated hitter was well on his way to a very productive first month of the season. Many folks in the media were wondering if Terry Francona did a smart thing in going back to the dugout with that franchise.

It just shows how much things can change in six months. The Yankees were eliminated from the race for a postseason berth Wednesday night while the Indians were still in line for a shot at their first postseason appearance in six years. Cleveland still has to fight off the challenges of Texas and Kansas City but no longer has the Yankees to worry about.

The Yanks’ tragic number for elimination was down to one entering play Wednesday night. One more loss or one more Indians victory would knock the Yankees out of the playoff picture. As it turned out, both results happened. The Indians beat the White Sox, 7-2, to eliminate the Yankees, who lost a few minutes later to the Rays, 8-3.

In head-to-head competition, the Yankees were clearly superior to Cleveland this year. They won six of the seven games between them and outscored the Tribe, 49-19. The Yankees batted .295 with 13 home runs and 46 RBI against the Indians and averaged seven runs per game. Yankees pitchers combined for a 2.71 ERA in limiting the Indians to a .205 batting average and 2.71 runs per game.

But over the course of the entire season against all levels of competition, the Yankees finished behind the Indians. For all their success against Cleveland, the Yankees were done in by failing to beat inferior teams when it counted. Losing two of three at San Diego followed by getting swept by the White Sox at Chicago last month was a bad sign. Losing all four games this year to the Mets certainly hurt. And earlier this month after giving fans encouragement by winning three of four games at Baltimore, the Yankees were swept by the American League East winning Red Sox at Boston and then, even worse, dropped two of three to the last-place Blue Jays at Toronto.

Matters did not improve when the Yankees came home. They held the Giants to three runs total in three games but did not sweep the series, which was a must. Tampa Bay beat the Yanks each of the past two nights. Do not expect a spring-training lineup from the Yankees in the final home game of the season Thursday night.

“We have a responsibility to baseball,” Yankees manager Joe Girardi said.

What he meant is that the Rays have not yet clinched a postseason berth, so for the sake of the Rangers and the Indians Girardi will field a representative lineup. Whether it will include Alex Rodriguez or not remains to be seen. He was lifted for a pinch hitter, Ichiro Suzuki, in the eighth inning and complained of sore legs.

Phil Hughes (4-14) lasted four batters into the third inning and was hung with another loss, his 10th in 11 decisions at Yankee Stadium this year. According to the Elias Sports Bureau, Hughes’ 1-10 mark in 16 home starts made him only the second pitcher in major league history to win fewer than two home games in a season in which he made at least 15 starts at his home yard. The other was the Blue Jays’ Phil Huffman, who was 1-9 in 16 starts at Exhibition Stadium in 1979.

Evan Longoria whacked two home runs and David DeJesus one in a 15-hit Tampa Bay attack that supported last year’s AL Cy Young Award winner, David Price (9-8). Say this for Yankees fans. They were on their feet and applauding during an eighth-inning rally despite their team trailing by five runs.

Thursday night will mark the final Stadium appearance by Mariano Rivera and Andy Pettitte. Mo will almost certainly get in the game regardless of the score. He is hoping for one more save situation. So are all of us.

Big day for the Yankees’ ‘Replacements’

“The Replacements” on the Yankees had a big day Monday. After being stymied, 1-0, in the first game of a makeup doubleheader at Cleveland’s Progressive Field, the Yankees stormed to a 7-0 victory in the second game with many major contributors being players who might not have been in the team’s picture for 2013 at all if not for all the injuries that have beset them.

Considering how hit the Indians have been lately (15-2 since April 28 after winning the opener), a split was a positive for the Yankees, particularly the way it played out considering that their best player, Robinson Cano, had only 1-for-9 with three strikeouts in the twin bill.

Rookie lefthander Vidal Nuno got the victory in his first major-league start with five innings of three-hit, three-walk, three-strikeout pitching to extend his scoreless streak since being called up from Scranton last week to eight innings. Nuno was originally signed by the Indians but was eventually released and pitched in an independent league before the Yankees gave him a second chance.

Another rookie, righthander Adam Warren, followed Nuno with three shutout innings to earn his first major-league save at the end of the trip during which he also picked up his first big-league victory.

Several of Nuno’s former Triple A teammates helped him get that ‘W.’ Infielder Corban Joseph, who was called up as the 26th-man as allowed for doubleheaders, played first base in the opener and second base in the nightcap. He got his first major-league hit, a leadoff double in the seventh that started a six-run rally.

Backup catcher Austin Romine picked up his first hit of the season, a double that scored Joseph. Jayson Nix, who has been pushed into a starter’s role in the infield with the injuries to Kevin Youkilis and Eduardo Nunez, drove in a run with one of his two hits in the game. Vernon Wells continued his hot trip with an RBI single, and Lyle Overbay plated two more runs with a double. Wells and Overbay were spring-training pickups to help offset the injuries to Curtis Granderson and Mark Teixeira. On the trip in which the Yankees won six of eight games, Wells hit .345 with four home runs and nine RBI in 30 at-bats and Overbay had two doubles, a homer and seven RBI in 28 at-bats.

Utility infielder Alberto Gonzalez, recently acquired from the Cubs, played all 18 innings at shortstop and had 2-for-6 at the plate. Between games, the Yankees optioned Brennan Boesch to Scranton. Boesch had one of the Yankees’ four hits in the first game. The move was made so the Yankees could bring up another pitcher, Brett Marshall, but it could also signal that Granderson is close to being activated.

Justin Masterson was masterful for the Indians in his four-hit shutout with three walks and nine strikeouts in the first game. The Yankees did little against the righthander’s hard sinking fastball that produced 11 groundouts and three other outs in the infield. Boesch’s hit was the only one for the Yankees that reached the outfield. Chris Nelson and Chris Stewart each had an infield single, and Brett Gardner bunted for a hit.

There were some positives for the Yankees in the opener. David Phelps, who has been in the rotation while Ivan Nova is on the disabled list, gave up a first-inning home run to Jason Kipnis and despite wildness (five walks) pitched into the seventh and gave up only three other hits and struck out seven batters. It was a tough loss, but Phelps did a good job in keeping the team in the game and giving manager Joe Girardi length on a day when the bullpen could have been taxed.

Mariano Rivera, who had four saves on the trip, did not have to do anything Monday except to receive a gift before the doubleheader. Even though the Indians had already honored Mo when the Yankees played in Cleveland in April, Tribe president Mark Shapiro presented Rivera with a gold record of Metallica’s “Enter Sandman” from the Rock ‘n Roll Hall of Fame.

Yanks, Tribe have come a long way since April

This is a much different Indians team the Yankees will face Monday in the makeup doubleheader at Cleveland’s Progressive Field. Then again, the Yanks will be different, too. After all, three of the players in their lineup April 9, the last time the Yanks faced the Tribe, are currently on the disabled list – Kevin Youkilis, Eduardo Nunez and Francisco Cervelli.

When the final two games of the scheduled four-game set with the Indians were rained out, the Yankees were 4-4 and the Indians 3-5. Well, look at them now, each atop its division. This is something out of 1998.

The Yankees, alone in first place in the American League East by one game over Baltimore, are 19-11 since leaving Cleveland, have won eight of their past 10 series and are riding a five-game winning streak, all on the road. The Indians are 17-10 since they last faced the Yankees. The Tribe’s record dropped to 8-13 by April 28 when Cleveland fell into last place in the AL Central, but the Indians have gone into resurgence by winning 12 of 14 games since then to move into a first-place tie in the division with the Tigers. The Indians have not lost their past seven series, with five victories and two splits. They last lost a series when the Red Sox swept a three-gamer April 16-18 at Progressive Field.

In compliance with Major League Baseball’s 26th-man rule for doubleheaders, the Yankees recalled infielder Corban Joseph from Triple A Scranton. He was in the starting lineup for the first game, playing first base and batting seventh. In the second game, Yankees rookie pitcher Vidal Nuno will make his first major-league start, the first lefthander to do so for the Yankees since Chase Wright April 17, 2007 in a 10-3 victory over the Indians at Yankee Stadium. Nuno will be the first lefthander other than CC Sabathia or Andy Pettitte to start a game for them since Kei Igawa May 9, 2008 in a 6-5 loss at Detroit.

Nuno will be opposed in the second game by Indians righthander Trevor Bauer (1-1, 2.70 ERA), who will make his first career start against the Yankees. They have lost three of four games year when the opposing pitcher had made his first career start against them. The losses were in games started by the Diamondbacks’ Patrick Corbin April 18, the Astros’ Lucas Harrell April 29 and the Athletics’ Dan Straily May 5. Their lone victory was in the April 17 game started by the D-backs’ Wade Miley.

Nunez latest Yankee to go on DL

As anticipated, the Yankees placed shortstop Eduardo Nunez on the 15-day disabled list, retroactive to May 6, because of a left oblique strain and purchased the contract of veteran infielder Alberto Gonzalez from Triple A Scranton. To create room on the 40-man roster for Gonzalez, the Yanks transferred first baseman Mark Teixeira to the 60-day DL.

With Nunez still hurting, the Yankees were in need of infield help because they have a makeup doubleheader against the Indians coming up Monday at Cleveland’s Progressive Field. Gonzalez, 30, was reacquired by the Yankees Thursday from the Cubs in a trade for a player to be named or cash.

Gonzalez batted .217 with one home run and two RBI in 23 at-bats for the Cubs. This is his second tour with the Yankees. Gonzalez, a utilityman whose primary position is shortstop, was with the Yankees for parts of the 2007 and ’08 seasons and hit .152 in 66 at-bats. A .241 career hitter over seven seasons, Gonzalez has also played for the Nationals, Rangers and Padres.

Monday’s scheduled twin bill will be a single-admission doubleheader. The first game will start at 12:05 p.m. with the second game to start approximately 20 minutes after the end of the opener. It will mark the Yankees’ first traditional doubleheader since May 3, 2007 when they swept the Rangers at Arlington, Texas, and their first against the Indians since taking both games Sept. 22, 1998 at Yankee Stadium. Since 2000, the Yankees have gone 14-1-16, getting swept only once – July 17, 2006 at the Stadium.

It had been speculated that Ivan Nova might come off the DL to start one of the games of Monday’s doubleheader, but the righthander injured his left side while recuperating from right triceps inflammation and will not be activated. David Phelps, who had already been tabbed to start the first game, will share the bill with lefthander Vidal Nuno.

Since 1914 when Mother’s Day was first recognized nationally, the Yankees have combined to go 57-47-2 on the holiday. They played on the road on Mother’s Day for the fifth time in the past seven years and against the Royals for the first time since 1997, a 3-2 victory at Yankee Stadium.

Sunday also marked Yogi Berra’s 88th birthday. The legendary catcher with 10 World Series rings and three American League Most Valuable Player Awards was born May 12, 1925 in St. Louis. He was elected to the National Baseball Hall of Fame in 1972 and inducted with Early Wynn and Sandy Koufax.

Yanks-Tribe twinbill May 13 to make up rainouts

The Yankees’ back-to-back rainouts this past week at Cleveland will be made up in a traditional doubleheader against the Indians at Progressive Field at 12:05 p.m. Monday, May 13. Fans who had tickets for the April 10 game are encouraged to save and utilize them for the makeup games.

Fans can see both games that day with a ticket dated April 10. The second game of the doubleheader will begin approximately 20 minutes after the conclusion of the first game. Fans holding an April 11 game ticket may exchange it for an available seat to both games May 13 or any other single game at Progressive Field during the 2013 season between now and May 13.

Exchange information may be found at http://www.indians.com/schedulechanges.

Hafner matches Frank Thomas with HR

Travis Hafner had a somewhat historic moment Monday with his first-inning home run in the Yankees’ 11-6 victory over the Indians. It marked only the second time in major league history that a player homered in his first at-bat of the first game played against a former club for which he had hit at least 200 career home runs.

Hafner hit exactly that number in his 10 seasons in Cleveland. His bomb at Progressive Field Monday gave the Yankees a 3-0 lead. The only other player to do what Hafner did was Frank Thomas May 22, 2006 for the Athletics against the White Sox at U.S. Cellular Field. Thomas had hit 448 home runs during his 16 seasons in Chicago.

Hafner’s homer was the 100th of his career at Progressive Field, the third highest total in that yard behind only Jim Thome (190) and Manny Ramirez (132).

Hafner had the opportunity for another three-run home run in the first inning Tuesday night when he came to bat with one out and runners on first and third, but he grounded into a double play.

First inning a killer for Kuroda

Let’s cut Hiroki Kuroda some slack. By the time he figured out a way to get his pitches down in the strike zone Saturday night at Cleveland, the Yankees were three runs behind. That is not an insurmountable deficit by any means, but it turned out that way for the Yankees this time so that even after Kuroda righted himself and pitched brilliantly over the next seven innings there would be no making up for that ugly start.

For the ninth time this season, the Yankees failed to score more than two runs in a Kuroda start. They loaded the bases three times against the Indians and scored merely one run. That came on a sacrifice fly by Mark Teixeira in the sixth. The Yanks had one hit in seven at-bats with runners in scoring position, and that hit – a single that preceded Tex’s sac fly – did not produce a run. They left nine runners on base against Justin Masterson, who had a good but not great game, and two relievers.

There is no question that Kuroda’s first inning was a mess. He was up in the zone, really all over the place as he struggled to command his fastball and discover his slider. Kuroda hit the first guy he faced, walked another and gave up a crushing home run to Michael Brantley. The score was 3-0 before most people in the crowd of 34,374 at Progressive Field got to their seats. And that would be all the offense the Tribe would get all night.

Kuroda gave up only three hits, another walk and another hit batter the rest of the way. He set down the side in order in four of the last seven innings and pitched to the minimum number of batters in another inning as Russell Martin caught Lou Marson, who doubled leading off the fifth inning, wandering too far off the bag.

Except for the first inning, it was vintage Kuroda, what we have come to expect from him on a regular basis. The righthander is 12-9 with a 2.98 ERA following the complete-game effort, but with a little more offense from his teammates over the year Kuroda might have a record more like 15-6.

The Yankees wasted an opportunity to gain some further ground in the American League East standings on the Rays, who lost again earlier Saturday for the second straight game and are still 3 ½ games out of first place.

Cano’s ‘Derby’ win a family affair

PHOENIX — The Yankees-Red Sox rivalry extended to the All-Star Home Run Derby Monday night at Chase Field. Yankees second baseman Robinson Cano beat Red Sox first baseman Adrian Gonzalez in the annual power-hitting event, 32 home runs to 31.

It got pretty dramatic. In the first round, Gonzalez hit nine home runs and Cano eight. Cano hit 12 in the second round to Gonzalez’s 11, so each had 20 going into the final round. Gonzalez, whose pitcher was Indians manager Manny Acta, banged out 11 in the third round, which placed quite a challenge to Cano.

Cheered on by Yankees teammates Curtis Granderson, Russell Martin and David Robertson and with his father, Jose Cano, pitching to him, Robinson more than met the challenge by slamming 12 home runs, the most in any final round, to come out on top. It was quite a display by someone who has only the third highest home run total on his team.

“It means a lot to me,” Robinson said. “To be in the big leagues, I get to face him back home in the offseason. He is the kind of guy who is always there for me, not only as a dad but also a friend. Who better deserves than him to be there for me to throw BP?”

The American League dominated the competition, which made AL captain David Ortiz of the Red Sox look like a genius since he picked Gonzalez and Cano for the competition. The AL outslugged the National League, 76-19. It was a bit weird in an NL park that the captain of that league’s quartet, Brewers first baseman Prince Fielder, was booed throughout the contest because Diamondbacks fans were upset that he did not choose local favorite Justin Upton to take part.

The senior Cano, 49, who also pitched batting practice to Ortiz, was signed by the Yankees in 1980 but eventually released. He wound up pitching in the major leagues in 1989, for the Astros appearing in six games, including three starts, and had 1-1 record with a 5.09 ERA.

Robinson Cano’s performance just might make AL manager Ron Washington of the Rangers re-think his batting order. Cano is scheduled to bat eighth for the AL. Granderson will bat leadoff.

Cano is the third Yankees player to win the competition, joining Jason Giambi in 2002 at Miller Park in Milwaukee and Tino Martinez in 1997 at Jacobs (now Progressive) Field in Cleveland.

Joe Torre, the former Yankees manager who was the AL manager at the All-Star Games in which Tino and the Giambino won the Home Run Derbies, presented the award to Cano in his new role as vice president for baseball operations.

2 ex-Yanks beat former mates

A couple of former Yankees combined to beat their old team Monday night at Cleveland in a 6-3 Indians victory that was a scoreless pitching duel for six innings between A.J. Burnett and the Tribe’s Josh Tomlin.

The key hits in Cleveland’s four-run seventh inning were an RBI single by Shelley Duncan and a three-run home run by Austin Kearns.

Duncan, son of Cardinals pitching coach Dave Duncan, played in 68 games over the 2007, ’08 and ’09 seasons with the Yankees and batted .219 with 8 home runs and 24 RBI in 146 at-bats. Kearns was a mid-season acquisition by the Yankees last year and hit .235 with 2 home runs and 7 RBI in 36 games and 102 at-bats. The second of those homers came Aug. 22, and was the last one he hit before Monday night.

An irony is that neither Duncan nor Kearns might have batted that inning had Alex Rodriguez or Brett Gardner been able to catch a foul ball near the left field line by Lonnie Chisenhill. There were two outs and a runner on second base with Burnett holding a 2-0 lead when Chisenhill hit the foul ball.

A-Rod, running with his back to the infield, seemed to have a beat on the ball, so Gardner sort of backed off, but the ball fell free. Chisenhill eventually walked, Burnett’s second base on balls of the inning. That brought up Duncan, who won a seven-pitch at-bat with a flare single to right that made the score 2-1. Burnett lost the lead when he grooved a 1-0 fastball to Kearns, who crushed the pitch and drove it through the wind blowing in from right field at Progressive Field.

It marked the second straight game when a fielding miscue factored in a Yankees loss. An error by shortstop Ramiro Pena proved costly in the Yankees’ 3-2, 10-inning loss to the Mets Sunday at Citi Field.

Curtis Granderson made it a one-run game in the eighth with his 23rd home run, but Corey Wade gave up his first runs as a Yankee in eight games in the bottom half when he gave up a single to Travis Hafner and a home run to Carlos Santana.

It was a whole different game over the first six innings. Tomlin, who improved his record to 10-4, had a no-hitter through six that was broken up by Mark Teixeira’s leadoff single in the seventh. Nick Swisher followed a one-out, infield single by Robinson Cano with a double to left-center for two runs. The Yankees failed to get Swisher home as Jorge Posada and Russell Martin both grounded out.

Burnett entered the seventh working on a two-hit shutout with both hits by All Star Game-bound shortstop Asdrubal Cabrera. A.J. seemed more upset after the game about the two walks in the seventh rather than the two hits. He was right, too. Those hits became productive for the Indians because of the walks.

It was a disappointing return for Derek Jeter, who was hitless in four at-bats and remains at 2,994 for his career.

Building blocks instead of stumbling blocks

Is there any way the Yankees could bottle the fifth inning from Sunday’s game and bring it out whenever things are going bad for them? The five-run rally was a classic example of sustained offense, an element that has been in relatively short supply for them this season.

Of course, the Yankees might have to bottle Indians pitcher Josh Tomlin along with it. The righthander, who won his major-league debut against the Yankees with seven strong innings July 27 last year at Progressive Field, was pretty hittable Sunday at Yankee Stadium as he allowed 12 knocks in five innings, half of them in the fifth.

The Yankees have relied heavily on the long ball this season with a major-league leading 95 home runs in 63 games that have accounted for 47 percent of their 2011 run total

They had 18 hits Sunday, appropriately on Bat Day, but no hit went over the fence. A rally such as the one the Yankees manufactured in the fifth to beat the skidding Indians turned what had been a one-run game toward a 9-1 blowout.

Brett Gardner started things off with his second double, showing his usual good hustle out of the box and taking advantage of a somewhat circulatory route taken to the ball by right fielder Shin-Soo Choo.

Derek Jeter, who hit the ball hard his first two times up with nothing to show for it, fouled off a bunt attempt with third baseman Jack Hannahan playing even with the bag. Good idea by DJ, who started thinking right side in the rest of the at-bat to get Gardner to third and did even better by lofting and lofted a single to right field for career hit No. 2,992 that scored Gardner.

The Yanks didn’t stop there. Curtis Granderson, who had four hits but did not add to his home run total of 20, singled to center. After Mark Teixeira was out on an infield fly, Alex Rodriguez doubled over Austin Kearns in left field for a two-run double. A-Rod came home on a single to right by Robinson Cano.

Nick Swisher sent Cano to third with a single past first baseman Matt LaPorta. Jorge Posada, who had two hits and is now batting .226, drove in the fifth run with a fly ball to left field. In the inning, the Yankees had 3-for-4 with runners in scoring position while keeping the line moving.

“That’s how you would draw it up every day, if you could,” manager Joe Girardi said. “We kept putting together good at-bat after good at-bat.”

The Yanks also had 3-for-4 with runners in scoring position in a three-run eighth, again started by Gardner, this time with a triple to left-center. Jeter’s 2,993rd career hit, a single past a tight Cleveland infield and into center field, scored Gardner.

Eduardo Nunez, who ran for Jeter, advanced to second on a wild pitch by Chad Durbin and scored on Granderson’s fourth hit, a single to center. One out later, A-Rod got his third RBI of the game with a single. It would be nice to bottle that inning, too.

Here is one of the great things about Jeter. He is aware how close he is to 3,000 hits and how everyone from his parents on down would love to see him to that milestone at Yankee Stadium. Yet as he showed in each at-bat, Jeter remained a situational hitter. With Gardner in scoring position in the fifth and eight, DJ concentrated on making contact and putting the ball in play.

“My job there is to move the guy over,” Jeter said. “We’re still trying to win games here. The two balls I hit the hardest were caught. All I can do is have a good at-bat and hit the ball hard.”

He has four more games left on this homestand with seven hits to go for 3,000, and with Texas coming to town Tuesday the quality of pitching will definitely improve.

Speaking of quality pitching, how about Freddy Garcia? One start removed from his worst outing of the year (4 earned runs and 4 hits in 1 2/3 innings last Tuesday against the Red Sox, Garcia left Indians on base constantly through his 6 2/3 innings. Cleveland stranded 12 runners in the game, including at least one in each inning, and was hitless in 12 at-bats with runners in scoring position, all but one at-bat against Garcia.

That is one area where the veteran righthander has been outstanding. Opponents are batting .198 in 106 at-bats with runners on base and .134 in 67 at-bats with runners in scoring position against Garcia this year.

“In those situations, you have to be able to make a good pitch,” Garcia said. “I had a much better fastball [Sunday], which makes all my other pitches better.”

“He allowed us to build our lead,” Girardi said.

Build was the apt verb.

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.