Results tagged ‘ Rajai Davis ’
The Yankees are certainly going through some severe tests in the early part of the 2013 season. They opened the schedule without their regular shortstop, without their regular third baseman, without their regular first baseman and without their regular center fielder. One of their starting pitchers was also on the disabled list.
Now less than a full month into the season, they have lost their starting catcher and perhaps another starting pitcher. Yankees manager Joe Girardi never identified Francisco Cervelli as the Yankees’ regular catcher, preferring to say that he and Chris Stewart were sharing the position. Yet Cervelli played in twice as many games as Stewart, so you do the math.
Cervelli will be lost to the team for the next six weeks at least because of a fractured right hand that will require surgery, the result of being struck by a Rajai Davis foul ball in the first inning of Friday night’s 6-4 victory over the Blue Jays. That makes Stewart the regular with Triple A Scranton call-up Austin Romine serving as the backup.
“I know it is disappointing for all [Cervelli] has been through,” Girardi said of his catcher who spent most of 2012 in the minors before getting another big-league shot this year. “A lot of times when a catcher gets hit there you end up with a bad bruise. But it must have hit just perfect.”
Ivan Nova has struggled since the start of the season, and now we may know why. He came out of Friday night’s game in the third inning because of a right elbow that is barking. In four starts, Nova had yet to pitch one out into the sixth inning with his ERA an unbecoming 6.48. Opposing hitters are batting .354 in 56 at-bats against Nova, who has allowed 23 hits, eight walks and three hit batters in 16 2/3 innings.
Nova mentioned to Girardi after the second inning that the elbow had stiffened and that he would give it a try to get loose in the third. When it didn’t, Girardi did not hesitate to remove him. After the game, Girardi said that the Yankees would wait until the results of an MRI before deciding how to proceed with his rotation.
David Phelps is the likeliest candidate to take Nova’s place should he go on the disabled list. Phelps got the winning decision Friday with four strong innings that featured nine strikeouts. Mariano Rivera loaded the bases by yielding three singles, but he struck out Colby Rasmus to register his eighth save in eight tries.
The Yankees got a lot of help from Toronto pitchers in winning for the fourth time in five games against the Blue Jays this year. The Yankees had only six hits but took advantage of 10 walks, a hit batter, a wild pitch and a passed ball. Runs scored on the wild pitch and passed ball, which proved to be the margin of difference in the game.
Brett Gardner got a big home run in the eighth inning that created a two-run lead for Rivera to work with in the ninth.
“Guys keep stepping up, just like they did tonight,” Girardi said about the Yankees’ dealing with injuries. “They just keep finding ways. Injuries are part of the game. When you continue to win games, it is very satisfying.”
The worst of Yankees fears was realized Friday night. Francisco Cervelli indeed sustained a right hand fracture when struck by a foul ball off the bat of Rajai Davis in the first inning. The catcher will require surgery and is expected to be sidelined for at least six weeks.
No pun intended, but it was a bad break for Cervelli, who was off to a good start, batting .269 with three home runs and eight RBI in 16 games and 52 at-bats. The Yankees are expected to call up catcher Austin Romine from Triple A Scranton to replace Cervelli on the roster.
The Yankees also announced that pitcher Ivan Nova, who was forced out of the game as well in the third inning, experienced pain in his pitching elbow. The righthander was to undergo an MRI later Friday night.
Two innings after losing their starting catcher, Francisco Cervelli, to injury, the Yankees also lost their starting pitcher. Ivan Nova left the game after giving up a single to Rajai Davis, the Toronto designated hitter who was also responsible for Cervelli’s departure with a foul ball that struck the catcher in his right hand.
It was not immediately clear just what was wrong with Nova. He began the third inning by hitting Munenori Kawasaki with a pitch and then gave up a single up the middle to Davis. The ball was hit behind Nova and did not appear to touch him. It did hit the second base bag and went into center field, allowing Kawasaki to reach third base.
Nova was limping noticeably as he returned to the mound, prompting a visit from trainer Steve Donohue. Manager Joe Girardi wasted no time in bringing in another pitcher, David Phelps, who gave up a hit to his first batter, Colby Rasmus, that gave Toronto a 2-1 lead.
Edwin Encarnacion had led off the second inning with a home run in front of the second deck in left field, his sixth homer of the season and his fourth in four consecutive games. The Yankees tied the score in the bottom of the second but made the least of a bases-loaded, none-out situation by getting just one run as Eduardo Nunez grounded into a fielder’s choice before Lyle Overbay hit into a double play.
There was a fear on the Yankees’ part that Cervelli may have suffered a fracture. Austin Romine was rumored to have been removed from Triple A Scranton’s game after one at-bat. He could be summoned to take Cervelli’s place on the roster. Romine is batting .333 with one home run and four RBI in 42 at-bats for the International League affiliate.
The Yankees lost a starting player before an out was made Friday night. Catcher Francisco Cervelli took a foul ball off his right hand during Blue Jays leadoff hitter Rajai Davis’ first-inning at-bat and had to come out of the game.
Manager Joe Girardi and trainer Steve Donohue bolted out of the dugout to check with Cervelli, who was flexing his right hand. Donohue centered on the area above the knuckles on the back of Cervelli’s throwing hand. Cervelli didn’t even take any practice throws before Girardi signaled to the bullpen to have Chris Stewart come into the game.
The slick artificial surface at Rogers Centre played havoc with both the Yankees and the Blue Jays Saturday. Of course, without such a surface the clubs might not have been able to play at all. Snow and freezing temperatures hit Toronto Saturday morning, but with the flick of a switch at the domed facility the roof allowed the teams to get in a game without the sort of conditions the Mets faced on their recent trip to snow-bound Minneapolis and Denver.
The Yankees prevailed, 5-3, but not without a struggle. They had the dubious defense of the Blue Jays to thank for this one. A two-base throwing error by relief pitcher Aaron Loup let what proved the deciding runs to score in the 11th inning. Jays third baseman Brett Lawrie ranged too far off third base on a sacrifice bunt by Ichiro Suzuki, a daring move infielders often make on the fast surface there, and could not get back to the bag in time to make a play on Loup’s throw that went down the left field line and let the tiebreaking runs score.
Back in the fifth inning, Lawrie couldn’t handle a scorching line drive by Kevin Youkilis that went off his glove and into left field for a two-run single that had given the Yankees a 3-0 lead. Youkilis ended up having to come out of the game when his back stiffened up playing on the hard turf. Shoddy defense hurt the Blue Jays Friday night as well with the Yankees getting two gift runs due to a throwing error by center fielder Colby Rasmus that might have just as well been charged to catcher J.P. Arencibia, who was out of position to take the rally.
The Yankees will always take advantage of being given extra outs by the opposition. The turf played a part in the Jays’ tying the score with a three-run eighth that hung a tough no-decision on Hiroki Kuroda, who stretched his scoreless innings streak to 20 2/3 before that inning and lowered his season ERA to 2.35.
Lyle Overbay, who replaced Youkilis at first base, could not stop a rug-cutting grounder by Rasmus that went into right field for a one-out single. David Robertson came on and got a big strikeout of Maicer Izturis for the second out. But a walk to pinch hitter Adam Lind preceded a single by Rajai Davis on a hanging curve on a 0-2 count to score the run that ended Kuroda’s streak.
Davis then made a big play with a steal of second base. And the day after Overbay and Vernon Wells hurt their former Blue Jays team, Melky Cabrera did the same to the Yankees with a single to center that knotted the score.
Mariano Rivera withstood a leadoff double by Jose Bautista in the bottom of the 11th for his fifth save. The winning pitcher was Sean Kelley, who did a nice job of relief in the 10th after Toronto got a runner to second base with one out against Boone Logan. Kelley retired Davis on an infield pop and Cabrera on a grounder to the right side.
Kuroda was coming off a complete-game shutout last Sunday against the Orioles and was just as stingy over the first six innings by limiting the Jays to two hits. He finished with a three-hit effort with one walk and seven strikeouts. Wells had another big game at his old yard with 3-for-5, including his fifth home run.
Some questionable decisions by umpires Saturday went against the Yankees, but they really had no one but themselves to blame for a 3-2 loss at Toronto that cost them the opportunity to be in a position to clinch a postseason berth. Instead, the Yanks faced the possibility of falling back into a tie for first place in the American League East with the Orioles, who were scheduled Saturday night at home against the Red Sox.
If the Yankees had broken the game open when they had the chance in the early innings, then the calls that went against them later on would not have mattered. Their record in one-run games fell to 21-25, but this should never have been a one-run game for the Yankees.
They had the bases loaded with none out twice and came away with their only two runs, both on sacrifice flies in the first inning by Robinson Cano and Curtis Granderson. When they filled the bags with none out in the third, they failed to score at all. Eduardo Nunez in making the third out at least hit the ball hard, but Blue Jays second baseman Adeiny Hecchavarria made a diving grab.
The Yankees even caught a break when Jays starter Ricky Romero was forced out of the game with an aching left knee, but five Toronto relievers combined to shut them down on three hits and two walks over the last six innings. The Yankees had 2-for-11 (.182) with runners in scoring position and stranded 10 runners – eight over the first five innings and five in scoring position.
Andy Pettitte gave up his first run in his third start since returning from a fractured left fibula in the first inning on a home run by Rajai Davis, who is on fire in this series (7-for-8). Pettitte had problems working hitters inside and was not as sharp as his previous two starts but got his pitch count up to 94 and appeared perfectly healthy, both positive signs.
The bad calls? Toronto tied the score in the fifth on an infield hit by Davis that looked to be a foul ball. Both plate umpire Mike Everitt and third base ump Paul Schrieber signaled “fair” on the chopper down the third base line that Alex Rodriguez gloved while charging. It seemed to me that A-Rod caught the ball in foul ground, but obviously the umpires thought otherwise. It might have been better for Rodriguez to have let the ball go past him and into foul territory, but that is hindsight, which is always 20-20.
Pettitte came close to working out of a first-and-second, none-out situation by getting two fly balls to Granderson in center. Yanks manager Joe Girardi decided to lift Pettitte to have Joba Chamberlain face Hechavarria, who put the Blue Jays in front with a double off the right field wall. First baseman Nick Swisher made an alert play as the cutoff man and threw to A-Rod at third base to nail Yan Gomes, who had rounded the bag too far.
The second umpires’ decision that hurt the Yankees came in the ninth when Brett Gardner, pinch running, was caught attempting to steal second base. Video replays indicated that Gardner’s left hand hit the bag before shortstop Yunel Escobar tagged him, but second base umpire Tim Welke called him out.
Those are calls that are killers in one-run games, but this was a one-run game that the Yankees brought on themselves.
CC Sabathia’s absence has already been felt by the Yankees. With David Phelps needed to take Sabathia’s turn in the rotation Monday night when the Yankees open a four-game set against the Rangers at Yankee Stadium, the righthander could not be called on for long relief duty Sunday at Toronto.
Phil Hughes had his second straight horrid outing in giving up seven runs and nine hits in four innings. Ryota Igarashi, recalled from Triple A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre to help in the bullpen, threw gas on the fire with a three-run fifth inning as the Blue Jays widened their lead to 10-1. The Yankees cut it to 10-7 with three runs apiece in the sixth and seventh, but they could not get any closer in dropping the finale to finish the Great Lakes trip to Detroit and Toronto at 4-3.
That is not bad considering the Yankees lost the first two games of the trek in Motown. Frankly, however, Sunday’s loss was a bit embarrassing. Edwin Encarnacion, who clocked his 30th home run, was the only player in the Jays lineup who was in Toronto’s opening day batting order. The Jays were without Jose Bautista, Colby Rasmus, Kelly Johnson, Yunel Escobar, J.P. Arencibia, Brett Lawrie and Adam Lind yet still managed to scorch the Yankees for 14 hits in ending a six-game losing streak and halting the Bombers’ four-game winning streak.
Despite the winning record on the trip, the Yankees lost 1 ½ games in the American League East standings over the past week. Their lead in the division is down to five games over second-place Tampa Bay, which has won six games in a row, and 5 ½ over third-place Baltimore.
Encarnacion and Moises Sierra had three hits apiece, but the guy who broke the Yankees’ back was left fielder Rajai Davis, who drove in five runs with two doubles and stole a run with a sensational, over-the-wall catch of a potential home run by Casey McGehee in the seventh inning.
The Yankees had only one hit over the first four innings against Jays starter J.A. Happ and were nine runs behind before their bats started to make some noise. Doubles by Andruw Jones and McGehee got the Yankees on the board in the fifth. The next inning, Robinson Cano and Derek Jeter homered to account for three runs. Doubles by Jayson Nix and Jeter and a single by Nick Swisher netted the Yanks three more runs in the seventh.
Jeter’s home run was his ninth of the season and first in 73 at-bats since July 25. It was a strong trip for the Captain, who batted .382 with two doubles, one home run, four RBI and five runs in 34 at-bats and is now hitting .318, the highest his average has been since June 15 when it was at .321.
Unforruntately, Hughes put them in a big hole and Igarashi further buried them. It was a poor trip for Hughes, who also failed to go five innings in his previous start Aug. 7 at Detroit. In his two starts on the trip, both losses, Hughes allowed 11 earned runs and 17 hits in 8 1/3 innings as his ERA grew from 3.96 to 4.44.
The starters need to step it up over the next two weeks while Sabathia recovers from left elbow soreness. One outstanding quality the Yankees have shown this season has been to overcome injuries – outfielders Raul Ibanez and Jones for Brett Gardner, closer Rafael Soriano for Mariano Rivera, reliever Cody Eppley for Joba Chamberlain, starting pitcher Freddy Garcia for Andy Pettitte, and third basemen Eric Chavez, McGehee and Nix for Alex Rodriguez. The starters did a good job the previous time CC was disabled, and they need to do so again.
The Yankees got off to a pretty rocky start post-All-Star break Thursday night at Toronto. Talk about rocky starts, how about Bartolo Colon? The feel-good story for the Yankees in the first half, Colon failed to survive the first inning as the Blue Jays struck for eight runs. The only Toronto player who did not score that inning was Adam Lind, and he joined the pack when he scored in the second to make the score 9-0.
Colon’s lack of mobility on the mound was a factor in the inning. He did cover first base to get an out on Lind, but two dribblers to the left side later in the inning became RBI singles for Rajai Davis and Yunel Escobar. When Eric Thames doubled beyond the reach of Curtis Granderson in center field, Yankees manager Joe Girardi had seen enough and yanked Colon from the game.
Despite the onslaught of runs, Colon’s ERA didn’t take that much of a hit. It rose from 3.20 to 3.47. That was because only three of the eight runs off him were earned. A damaging error by Eduardo Nunez prolonged the inning.
The defensive problems that Nunez experienced at shortstop followed him to third base where he is spelling Alex Rodriguez, who is recovering from arthroscopic surgery on his right knee. With three runs in and runners on first and second with two out, Nunez failed to glove a bouncing ball near the bag by J.P. Arencibia. The error loaded the bases, and the next three batters combined to knock in four runs. The fifth unearned run scored on a balk by Luis Ayala in a very ugly inning.
All those unearned runs came back to haunt the Yankees when they made a game of it later on with huge contributions from Andruw Jones. He hit a home run to start a four-run third inning that also featured a two-run triple by Granderson, who then scored on an infield out. Jones got his second homer of the game with two on in the sixth that made the score 9-7. Jays starter Jo Jo Reyes barely pitched long enough (5 1/3 innings) to qualify for a winning decision and seemed to be doing everything in his power not to get one.
Jones started as the designated hitter against the left-handed Reyes, but with righthander Shawn Camp in the game in the eighth, Girardi sent Jorge Posada up as a pinch hitter (he grounded out). In doing so, history was made. It marked the 1,661st time that Posada and Derek Jeter were in the same game, breaking the franchise record for teammates previously held by Hall of Famers Lou Gehrig and Tony Lazzeri.
Despite losing slugger Jose Bautista in the fourth inning due to a twisted right ankle while sliding into third base, the Blue Jays kept putting runs on the board and finished with a 16-7 victory on 20 hits. The loss ended a string of victories by the Yankees in the first game back from the All-Star break dating to 2002. The nine-year streak tied a record the Yankees set from 1940-49 (there was no All-Star Game in 1945) and matched by the Montreal Expos from 1984-92.
Thursday night began a 22-game stretch in which the Yankees were scheduled to play 18 times against clubs with records at or below .500. Toronto moved to one game below .500.
Not to make any excuses for CC Sabathia, but he sort of got dinked to death in the fourth inning Wednesday night at Yankee Stadium when the Blue Jays first-and-thirded their way to a three-run rally that at the time appeared to put the big lefthander in a ditch out of which the Yankees would be sore-pressed to emerge.
The Yankees managed to make the game close with some late-inning fire but were 1-18 in games in which they trailed after eight innings. Their track record suggested that despite his impressive get-back-on-the-bike performance Sabathia was destined for a tough-luck loss. Make that stat 2-18, which tells you all you need to know about how big that 5-4 Yankees victory was Tuesday night.
That Sabathia was still in the game and eligible for the winning decision as the Yankees scored two runs in each of the eighth and ninth innings was a credit to his ability and stamina. After being blooped into a 4-1 deficit, CC kept moving down the Blue Jays and ended up with the first complete game for a Yankees pitcher this season.
Of course, it would have been a complete game for Sabathia even if the Yankees hadn’t rallied in the ninth against Blue Jays closer Frank Francisco and gave A.J. Burnett the chance to smash a pie in Mark Teixeira’s face after his game-winning hit. Pitchers love those W’s even more than complete games.
And how terrific was it that Jorge Posada, on the bench because the Blue Jays had started Ricky Romero, a lefthander, made a huge contribution as a pinch hitter from the left side with a double off the right-handed Francisco. Curtis Dickerson, pinch running for Posada, took third on Derek Jeter’s grounder to shortstop for the second out and scored the tying run on Curtis Granderson’s fourth hit, a single to right.
Granderson’s home run hitting (16) this year has obscured the fact that he is a speedster on the bases, which he reminded everyone with a steal of second base that put him in position to score the winner on Teixeira’s hard single off first baseman Juan Rivera’s glove. The euphoric spirit of the victory was not wasted on Sabathia, who was as important to the outcome as anyone.
Go back to that fourth inning. Rivera’s double that began the inning was a legitimate blow, a well-struck liner to right-center that might have been a triple for a faster runner. Then the dinking began.
J.P. Arencibia’s single to left-center that scored Rivera was of the flare variety. So were the one-out singles to right by Edwin Encarnacion and Rajai Davis, the latter driving in the second run of the inning. The third run scored on a squeeze bunt by John McDonald, who had pulled the same maneuver against the Yankees April 19 at Toronto to tie the score in the ninth of a game that the Blue Jays won in extra innings.
The Yankees lost an out at first base as well when Robinson Cano dropped Sabathia’s throw to first base for an error. It was the fifth error this year by Cano, two more than he committed all of last season.
Blue Jays manager John Farrell liked the result so much that he had Yunel Escobar do the same thing, but his bunt went right to Sabathia, who held Davis at third before throwing out Escobar at first. Escobar had batted cleanup Monday night when he bunted for a sacrifice in a key spot, but he was the leadoff hitter Tuesday night so a bunt from him wasn’t as surprising.
What was surprising was Sabathia walking Corey Patterson, which loaded the bases for major-league home run leader Jose Bautista, who is by no means a dinker. The game was on the line at that point, which was decidedly a turning point for Sabathia. He got Bautista on a ground ball to shortstop that ended the inning and was the first of 16 consecutive outs by Sabathia that kept the Yankees in the game provided their offense would wake up.
Russell Martin’s home run (No. 9) in the second inning accounted for the Yanks’ only run until the eighth after Romero had departed. The Yankees got nowhere with the lefthander but made it a one-run game with two runs off the Toronto bullpen. Cano, who had driven in Granderson three times Monday night, made it a fourth with a two-out double. Martin’s second RBI hit, this time a single, got the Yankees to 4-3.
Sabathia went out for the ninth and set down the Blue Jays 1-2-3 for the fifth straight inning. He then sat back and watched his teammates construct a victory that he richly deserved.
The groans in the Yankee Stadium crowd of 42,460 started from the moment Juan Rivera’s bat made contact with a 93-mph cutter from Rafael Soriano and the ball made its way toward the outer reaches of right field. With a runner on first base and the Yankees clinging to a one-run lead in the eighth inning, fans were fearful that the Blue Jays just might take control of the game.
Rivera’s fly ball didn’t have enough legs, however, as Nick Swisher gloved it on the warning track. Disaster averted. Soriano’s adjustment from closer with the Rays for whom he had a league-high 45 saves last year to setup man with the Yankees has been closely scrutinized, to the point that already it has been suggested in some media circles that maybe manager Joe Girardi should find somebody else for that job.
Yet it is hard to argue with the skipper’s logic that if Soriano is going to get comfortable making the adjustment from ninth-inning specialist to eighth-inning specialist he is going to have to keep pitching in the eighth inning.
Soriano’s scoreless eighth Saturday was one of the important elements of the Yanks’ 5-4 victory Saturday over Toronto. This was one of those games where the Yankees seemed to allow the opposition back into the game.
A.J. Burnett didn’t have much of a breaking ball and had to gut his way through six innings in which he allowed four earned runs and nine hits. He didn’t walk a batter, however, and while the Blue Jays again ran rampant (three more stolen bases, giving them 30 in 27 games), A.J. got one huge out with a pickoff of speedy Rajai Davis at first base.
This came in the fifth inning when it appeared Toronto was working itself back into the game. Rookie second baseman Mike McCoy hit his first major-league home run leading off the inning to trim the Yanks’ lead to 5-3. One of the best plays after a long home run is a bunt, which Davis pulled off nicely.
Burnett is among the easiest pitchers to run against and is not known to have much of a pickoff move, but he looked like a right-handed Andy Pettitte by catching Davis leaning and getting an important first out. The Blue Jays helped the Yankees again in the sixth, A.J.’s last inning, by running into trouble. Rivera got greedy trying to steal third and was gunned down by catcher Russell Martin to complete a strike-‘em-out’-throw-‘em-out double play.
Joba Chamberlain, Soriano and Mariano Rivera (ninth save) took over from there. The Yankees prevailed in that rare game when they did not hit the ball over the fence. This was only the fourth time they have not homered in a game, and they are 2-2 on those occasions. They took advantage of a wild Kyle Drabek (four walks in 2 1/3 innings) and showed some aggressiveness of their own on the bases.
A break-up slide at second base by Eric Chavez in the second inning avoided a double play as the Yankees grabbed the lead with three runs on singles by Martin and Curtis Granderson and a sacrifice fly by Derek Jeter. Robinson Cano, who led off the third with a single, stole second and scored on a single by Chavez.
“I love it when the guys play hard,” Girardi said. “I don’t care how we get runs so long as we get them.”