Results tagged ‘ Robinson Cano ’

Sanchez top player & rookie for August

The awards just keep coming for Gary Sanchez. The Yankees’ catcher, who won American League Player of the Week honors in consecutive weeks last month, was named AL Player of the Month and Rookie of the Month for August after putting up a slash line of .389/.458/.832 with 20 runs, nine doubles, 11 home runs, 21 RBI and 11walks in 24 games and 95 at-bats.

Sanchez is the first Yankees catcher ever to win either award and the first catcher on any club to win each award in the same month. No Yankees player had ever won both awards in the same month, and Sanchez was the first AL player to do so since White Sox first baseman Jose Abreu in July 2014.

“It feels great to win the award, but the reality is that the focus is to keep winning games right now,” Sanchez told reporters through a translator. “We want to keep winning games, and we want to keep winning series. This is a new month now, so that’s what we want to focus on.”

The previous Yankees awards winners were Curtis Granderson as Player of the Month in August 2011 and Robinson Cano as Rookie of the Month in September 2005. Sanchez is the first AL catcher to win Player of the Month since the Twins’ Joe Mauer in May 2009, his AL Most Valuable Player Award-winning season.

Sanchez has reached base safely in each of his past 17 games, which marks the longest on-base streak by a Yankees hitter this season and the longest streak since Chase Headley reached safely in 22 consecutive games from July 23 through Aug. 15 last year. Sanchez entered play Saturday night at Baltimore with a slash line of .426/.521/.967 with 13 runs, six doubles, nine home runs, 15 RBI, 11 walks and one stolen base in his past 16 games and 61 at-bats.

The Yankees hope to follow recent history after having lost the series opener at Camden Yards Friday night. Each of the three previous times the Yankees dropped a series opener, they went on to win the series: Aug. 9-11 at Boston, Aug. 22-24 at Seattle and Aug. 29-31 at Kansas City.

Pitcher Chad Green, who came out of Friday night’s 8-0 loss in the second inning because of elbow soreness, was diagnosed with a sprained right ulnar collateral ligament and a strained flexor tendon. He is likely out for the rest of the season.

Yankees lose home run derby to Mariners

The day he was notified that he was the American League Player of the Week for the games that ended Sunday night Gary Sanchez went out and campaigned for winning the award again this week. The rookie catcher continued the impressive start to his major league career Monday night, although his performance was not sufficient to prevent the Yankees from dropping a 7-5 decision to the Mariners in a game in which all the runs were the result of home runs, an unusual sight in spacious Safeco Field.

Sanchez cranked two home runs, which made him the first player in club history to total eight dingers in his first 19 major-league games. He connected for a solo home run off Seattle starter Cody Martin with two out in the first inning. Then after Kyle Seager put the Mariners ahead, 3-2, with a three-run home run off Michael Pineda in the fourth inning, Sanchez regained the lead for the Yanks with a two-run bomb over the center field wall in the sixth.

Two batters after Sanchez’s two home runs were a couple of solo shots by Starlin Castro, which marked the first time two Yankees teammates homered twice in the same game since Oct. 3, 2012 by Robinson Cano and Curtis Granderson.

Cano now plays second base for the Mariners and had three hits Monday night. He nearly had a 4-for-4 game, but Jacoby Ellsbury robbed Cano of a potential extra-base hit with a dazzling, running catch in right-center in the eighth inning. The next batter, Nelson Cruz, homered to left off Kirby Yates for the seventh round-tripper of the night. On his 32nd home run of the season, Cruz broke his bat and the Yankees’ backs.

They threatened in the ninth against a shaky Edwin Diaz, who walked Brian McCann on four pitches to start the inning, gave up a one-out single to Chase Headley and then balked the potential tying runs into scoring position before recovering to retire pinch hitter Mark Teixeira on a fly ball and Brett Gardner on a grounder.

The key blow came in the bottom of the sixth when Yankees manager Joe Girardi made a quick hook of Pineda after he walked Seager with two out. Pineda had thrown only 82 pitches to that point, but Girardi called on lefthander Tommy Layne to face lefty-swinging Adam Lind, who popped up for the second out.

Girardi then brought in righthander Anthony Swarzak to face righty-swinging Mike Zunino. This did not turn out as well. The Mariners catcher drove a 3-2 slider into the right field seats that as it turned out put Seattle ahead for good.

The Yankees tried to get Sanchez an at-bat in the ninth, but the rally ended two batters before his next turn. He had another solid night back of the plate as well as Sanchez threw out another base runner to end the seventh inning.

Sanchez earns AL Player of the Week honors

Rookie catcher Gary Sanchez may have plenty of awards come his way during a promising career. The first one arrived Monday when he was named American League Player of the Week for Aug. 15-21.

Sanchez had a slash line of .524/.600/1.190 (11-for-21) with four runs, two doubles, four home runs, six RBI, four walks and a stolen bases in 25 plate appearances. During that span, he led the AL in batting, on-base percentage, slugging and on-base plus slugging (OPS) and ranked among the league leaders in total bases (tied for second with 25), hits (tied for third) and home runs (tied for third). Sanchez had multiple hits in four straight games (Aug. 15-19) and extra-base hits in four straight games (Aug. 16-20).

It marked the first time a Yankees player won the award this season. Their previous AL Player of the Week Award winner was Brett Gardner from June 22-28 last year. Sanchez is only the second catcher in Yankees history to win the award. Thurman Munson was a two-time winner for the weeks ending May 4, 1975 and July 25, 1976. Surprisingly, Jorge Posada never won the award. Sanchez is the first Yankees rookie to win since Robinson Cano for the week ending Sept. 19, 2005 and the first catcher since the Angels’ Chris Iannetta for the week ending Sept. 15, 2013.

In 10 games behind the plate this season, Sanchez has thrown out four of six attempted base stealers and picked off one runner.

Former Yankees’ impressions of Alex Rodriguez

Views of Alex Rodriguez from those who were around him with the Yankees:

Hall of Fame manager Joe Torre, now Major League Baseball’s chief baseball officer: “Alex was a hard worker, a genuine fan of the game and possessed great ability. In our time together, I always knew that the game mattered to him. Baseball teaches all of us at some point, and I think he should be proud of the way he carried himself these last two years. I wish Alex and his family all the best in the future.”

Derek Jeter: “I’ve spent 22 years playing against, playing with and watching Alex from afar, and there are two things that stand out to me the most: the conversations we had when we were young — hoping for the opportunity to play at the Major League level and then somehow finding a way to stick around — and the championship we won together in 2009. That was a season everyone on that team can cherish. What people don’t realize is how much time, effort and work that Alex put in on a daily basis. He lives and breathes baseball. I know it will be difficult for him to not be on the field, but I’m sure he will continue to give back to the game. Congrats, Alex.”

Andy Pettitte: “I had a chance to see Alex as a young player in the league, and I knew immediately he was going to be special. It was always fun competing against Alex, but I really enjoyed having the opportunity to play side-by-side with him in New York. He was a big reason we were able to win the 2009 World Series. I wish Alex and his family nothing but the best moving forward.”

Jorge Posada: “Alex was not only one of the best players in the world, he was also one of the smartest players on the field. It was such a great combination. Please go have fun and enjoy your family — you are an awesome dad. I’m very proud of you.”

Mariano Rivera: “It was a privilege to play with Alex. Through his preparation and work ethic, you saw how much he cared about this game and about helping this team win. I love him — as a friend and as a teammate. He was all you could ask for in both.”

Robinson Cano, now with the Mariners: “He’s one of the best players who ever played. He’s a guy who worked hard. I’ve never seen a guy who worked harder than him. There are three things that I can say. He loves baseball, he’s a guy who works hard and a guy who loved to win. He was a great teammate. For me, he was one of the best teammates I’ve had and a guy who helped me when I first came up and I appreciate all of the things he has done for me.”

Cano gets satisfaction over Stadium boo birds

Earlier this week, Robinson Cano was quoted in the Seattle Times as saying he likes it when he gets booed at Yankee Stadium. He must have loved the attention he received Friday night in the Mariners’ 7-1 victory. Cano figured in two of Seattle’s rallies and drew the usual boos he has heard at the Stadium since he left the Yankees after the 2013 season for 240 million reasons supplied by the star-starved Mariners.

Yankees fans’ attitude is somewhat curious considering Cano was a crowd favorite during his nine seasons in the Bronx. But once he rejected an offer from the Yankees of a reported $170 million to accept Seattle’s even more generous bid the Stadium faithful did a complete turnabout.

Cano’s big night came at an appropriate time. Friday was Jackie Robinson Day throughout baseball as all players wore uniform No. 42 that has been retired in perpetuity since 1997 in honor of the player who broke the color barrier 69 years ago. Cano was named after Robinson by his father, a former player in the Dominican Republic.

Cano singled to center field in the fourth inning to score Seth Smith, who had doubled with one out off Yanks starter Luis Severino. That wiped out the 1-0 lead the Yankees acquired on Brett Gardner’s first home run of the season, in the first inning off Seattle starter Nathan Karns. The Mariners went ahead in the fifth on a two-run home run by Chris Iannetta, the Seattle catcher who had an even bigger night than Cano with three hits and three RBI. 

In the sixth, Cano followed a leadoff walk by Smith with a single to right field and eventually scored on a single by Adam Lind, Severino’s last batter. The righthander had a tough night (four earned runs, eight hits in 5 2/3 innings) against an offense that entered Friday night’s game with a team batting average of .208. The Mariners had an absolute feast with 12 hits in the game.

It was the Yankees’ offensive unit that sputtered Friday night.  The Yanks stranded 12 base runners and were hitless in 12 at-bats with runners in scoring position, this coming after going 3-for-22 in similar situations in the three-game series at Toronto. Gardner’s home run turned out to be their lone bright spot. And it will not get any easier Saturday with Felix Hernandez starting for the Mariners against CC Sabathia.

Key contributions from keystone duo

It may be a very long time before the Yankees see a keystone combination with the combined offensive productivity of Derek Jeter and Robinson Cano of the not so long ago. Two games into the 2016 season, however, there has been much to enjoy about the combined efforts of this year’s shortstop-second base combo of Didi Gregorius and Starlin Castro.

The pair have done more damage at the bottom of the lineup than those at the top for the Yankees. Castro, who had a two-run double in Tuesday’s Opening Day loss, probably had the most important hit Wednesday night as the Yankees came off the canvas for a 16-6 romp of the Astros. After Michael Pineda nearly gave up all of a 6-1 lead as Houston closed to 6-5 in the top of the second, Castro crushed a three-run home run in the bottom of the inning to put the Yankees back in command.

It was a four-hit, five-RBI night for Castro, who was acquired from the Cubs in an offseason trade for pitcher Adam Warren. After watching Stephen Drew struggle to hit .200 last year, it has been a treat so far to see a Yankees second baseman handle the bat so well. In addition to his three-run bomb, Castro knocked in two more runs with singles in the six-run first inning and the three-run seventh. In only his second season at second base after being moved there from shortstop last year,  Castro has looked comfortable in the field as well.

Gregorius, who settled in nicely as Jeter’s successor in 2015 after a shaky start, has broken out of the gate much better this year. He hit an impressive home run Tuesday and followed that with three singles Wednesday night. From the 8-9 holes, Castro and Gregorius are batting a combined .563 with two doubles, two home runs and eight RBI in 16 at-bats. Contrast that with the 1-2-3 hitters for the Yankees, who have combined for one hit in 22 at-bats (.045). 

With Castro’s double and Gregorius’ home run Tuesday, it  marked the first time since at least 1913 that the Yankees’ starting middle infield pairing both had extra-base hits and RBIs on Opening Day. The YES Network reported that Castro and Gregorius, both 26, are the Yankees’ youngest regular starting middle infield pairing since 1977 with second baseman Willie Randolph, 22, and shortstop Bucky Dent, 25, who played together for three-plus seasons.

Gregorius became the third Yankees shortstop to homer on Opening Day. Jeter did it three times, all of which came on the road — April 2, 1996 at Cleveland, April 5, 1999 at Oakland and April 1, 2002 at Baltimore. Dent went deep April 9, 1981 at Yankee Stadium against Texas.

It would be too much to ask Castro and Gregorius to duplicate some of the seasons Jeter and Cano had together, but so far so good.

 

Stadium just how Cano remembered it

Think Robinson Cano misses Yankee Stadium? You bet he does. Oh, sure, he found 240 million reasons to leave the Yankees as a free agent after the 2013 season and sign a 10-year contract with Seattle where he has found Safeco Field to be no match for hitter friendliness as the right field porch at the Stadium.

Cano was back aiming at that porch Saturday and hit pay dirt twice with a couple of two-run home runs that accounted for all the Mariners’ runs in their 4-3 victory. Both blows were off Michael Pineda (9-6), who took the loss despite six serviceable innings.

For the second straight game, all of Seattle’s runs were the result of two home runs by one player. Friday night it was Kyle Seager in a 4-3 loss to the Yankees. Saturday, it was Cano, who has not been the same power hitter with the Mariners that he was with the Yankees.

In nine seasons with the Yankees, Cano averaged 23 home runs a year. In his second season with the Mariners, Cano has hit 22 home runs total in 949 at-bats, the equivalent of almost two full seasons. The change in venue has been part of it. Including his game Saturday, Cano is a .312 career hitter at Yankee Stadium with 81 home runs, 293 RBI and an OPS above .900 in 1,544 at-bats. At Safeco Field, he has batted for a decent average (.298) but has only 16 home runs and 75 RBI in 608 career at-bats.

Cano has dealt with some health problems this year, especially a chronic case of acid reflux that has sapped some of his strength and presented nutritional issues. But there have been signs lately that he is turning his season around, which has coincided with Edgar Martinez, the Mariners’ former two-time batting champion, joining the club as its hitting coach.

Cano is batting .333 (20-for-60) this month with 10 runs, four doubles, four home runs and 10 RBI in 14 games. In 25 games since June 17, he has hit .290 with 14 runs, seven doubles, six home runs and 15 RBI in 100 at-bats after batting .236 with 25 runs, 16 doubles, two home runs and 19 RBI in his first 63 games and 254 at-bats. Cano has six home runs over his past 21 games after hitting only two over his first 67 games of the year.

He definitely hurt the Yankees, who got a two-run home run from Brian McCann in the fourth inning off Hisashi Iwakuma (2-1) that tied the score. Two innings later, Cano victimized Pineda again.

The Yankees threatened in the ninth inning against righthander Carson Smith, who has replaced Fernando Rodney as Seattle’s closer, but came up a run short. Mark Teixeira, who led off the inning with a double to center, scored on an infield out by Garrett Jones. Chris Young, pinch running for Chase Headley who had reached first base on a third-strike wild pitch, was at second base with two out, but Didi Gregorius grounded out.

That left the Yankees 0-for-8 with runners in scoring position in the game. The Mariners were not any better (0-for-3). It is a rare game in which both sides fail in the clutch. This turned out to be a game of home runs, and for a change with his new club Robinson Cano had the higher total

Military Appreciation Day during homestand

The Yankees returned home Friday night following the All-Star break for the first of six games at Yankee Stadium. The stretch of games begins with a three-game series against the Mariners featuring former Yankees All-Star Robinson Cano Friday night, Saturday and Sunday afternoons followed by a three-game set against the American League East rival Orioles Tuesday and Wednesday nights and Thursday afternoon.

The Yankees will pay tribute to the Special Operations Warrior Foundation and the United States Armed Forces by hosting Military Appreciation Day Saturday. Ceremonies will begin approximately at noon, prior to the scheduled 1:05 p.m. game against Seattle. As part of the festivities, the Gold Team of the United States Army Golden Knights will parachute into the Stadium.

Following the jump, Maddeline and Mitchell Voas, the family of fallen Air Force Special Operations Pilot Major Randell Voas, will be recognized in a special ceremony. Also taking part in the day’s ceremonies will be United States Air Force Chief Master Sergeant Matt Caruso – who will throw out the ceremonial first pitch; country music recording artist and former Army Ranger, Keni Thomas – who will sing the national anthem; and current member of the United States Air Force Band in Washington, D.C., Technical Sergeant Aaron Paige – who will sing God Bless America.

2000 World Series Champions Fan Ring Day will take place Sunday. The first 18,000 people in attendance 14 and younger will receive a fan ring, courtesy of Betteridge Jewelers.

Ticket specials will run Saturday (Youth Game), Sunday (Youth Game), Tuesday night (Military Personnel Game), Wednesday night (Military Personnel and Student Game) and Thursday (MasterCard Half-Price, Military Personnel, Senior Citizen, and Youth Game).

For a complete list of ticket specials, including game dates, seating locations, and terms and conditions, fans should visit http://www.yankees.com/ticketspecials. Please note that all ticket specials are subject to availability.

The homestand will also feature the following promotional item and date:

Saturday, July 18 – Yankees vs. Mariners, 1:05 p.m.
* Collectible Truck Day, presented by W.B. Mason, to the first 18,000 in attendance, 14 and younger.

Tickets may be purchased online at http://www.yankees.com, http://www.yankeesbeisbol.com, at the Yankee Stadium Ticket Office, via Ticketmaster phone at (877) 469-9849, Ticketmaster TTY at (800) 943-4327 and at all Ticket Offices located within Yankees Clubhouse Shops. Tickets may also be purchased on Yankees Ticket Exchange at http://www.yankees.com/yte, the only official online resale marketplace for Yankees fans to purchase and resell tickets to Yankees games. Fans with questions may call (212) YANKEES [926-5337] or email tickets@yankees.com.

For information on parking and public transportation options to the Stadium, please visit http://www.yankees.com and click on the Yankee Stadium tab at the top of the page.

Drew at center of two huge late-inning rallies

Just a few days ago, it appeared that Stephen Drew was in the process of losing his job. He was benched for the last two games in Oakland only to resurface at second base Monday night in Seattle where he reached base twice with a walk and a single.

Yankees manager Joe Girardi has continued to be supportive of Drew, who has spent the past two years well below the Mendoza line with a sub-.200 batting average. Girardi’s patience paid off Tuesday night when Drew avoided another hitless game with a two-out double in the ninth inning off Fernando Rodney to tie the score.

Drew’s RBI hit followed a clutch, pinch-hit single by Brian McCann that sent Chase Headley, who led off the inning with a walk. Had a pinch runner been used for McCann the Yankees might have gotten a second run on Drew’s double, but McCann had to stay on the bases because he had batted for John Ryan Murphy and would have to stay in the game to catch, which he did.

How satisfying was it to watch the third blown save in 17 tries for Rodney, who is such a showoff on the mound whenever he gets a save? Very.

Even more satisfying was the Yankees pulling out a 5-3, 11-inning victory in dramatic fashion. A three-run home run by Garrett Jones broke a 2-2 score, but the Mariners rallied for a run in the bottom of the inning on a single by former Yankees second baseman Robinson Cano off Andrew Miller, who then faced major-league home run leader Nelson Cruz with two on and struck him out.

It Drew who re-started the Yanks’ 11th-inning rally following a double play with a single to right. After Brett Gardner doubled, Jones went deep on a 2-0 pitch from lefthander Joe Beimel into the right-center field bleachers.

Much was made entering this series about the offensive struggles of Cano, who nearly a third of the way through the season is hitting below .250 with only two home runs. The same could have been said about another Mariners player with ties to the Yankees, but Austin Jackson looked like anything but a struggling player by reaching base six times on two doubles, two singles, a walk and a hit by pitch.

Three of Jackson’s hits came off Yankees starter CC Sabathia, who was nearly tagged with the losing decision that would have sunk his record to 2-8. To avoid having Sabathia face Jackson a fourth time, manager Joe Girardi took out the lefthander with two out and two on in the sixth inning.

Jackson handled reliever David Carpenter the same way he had Sabathia and doubled to center to score what looked for a while as if it would be the deciding run.

Jackson reached base a fifth time when he walked to lead off the ninth against Dellin Betances and quickly stole second. Cano had a chance to be the hero for the Mariners, but Betances blew him away with 98-mph petrol and kept Jackson at second base as the game went into extras.

The ninth-inning Yankees rally took Sabathia off the hook. He dealt with base runners throughout his 5 2/3 innings (nine hits, two walks) but let in only two runs as the Mariners stranded seven over the first five innings. It also spoiled Mike Montgomery’s shot at a victory in his major-league debut. The Seattle lefthander allowed one run and four hits in six innings, and that run was somewhat tainted. It was scored by Gardner, who had walked on a disputed fourth ball that replays showed he had actually gone too far around on a checked swing. Manager Lloyd McClendon and catcher Mike Zunino were ejected later in the inning for arguing a similar call in Alex Rodriguez’s favor.

CC got annoyed with Kyle Seager for trying to bunt a runner home from third for the third out of the fifth, but frankly I thought it was a smart play on Seager’s part. Sabathia may not like it, but his poor mobility should be tested more often by opponents. CC is lucky most major leaguers do not know how to bunt.

2-for-2 for No. 2 in final All-Star Game

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MINNEAPOLIS — It did not take Derek Jeter very long to get involved in the 2014 All-Star Game. On the very first play of the game, Jeter made a diving stop of a hard grounder toward the middle by Pirates center fielder Andrew McCutchen, but the reigning National League Most Valuable Player beat the throw to first base for a single.

McCutchen never stopped running that inning. He moved up to second base on a wild pitch during the at-bat of Yasiel Puig, who struck out, and stole third base as Troy Tulowitzki struck out. Mac never made it home, however, as Paul Goldschmidt grounded out to third.

The Twins, who have done a magnificent job as host of the All-Star Game, came up with a nice touch by having a tape of the late Yankees public address voice Bob Sheppard announce Jeter as he stepped to the plate as the first American League hitter in the bottom of the first inning. The tape was apparently from the 2008 All-Star Game at Yankee Stadium.

The Target Field crowd was generous with its applause and gave Jeter a standing ovation. Starting pitcher Adam Wainwright left his glove and the ball on the rubber and stepped back off the mound in joining his NL teammates in applauding Jeter, who removed his helmet, waved to the crowd and pointed to both dugouts. He motioned to Wainwright to start pitching, but the Cardinals ace remained behind the mound for probably a full minute before taking position.

As play resumed, fans treated the Captain to a “Der-ek Jee-ter” chant familiar to the roll call the bleacher creatures at the Stadium salute him with every night, another cool touch. Jeet got things started for the AL with one of his patented line drives to right field that went into the corner as Jeter legged out a double. The crowd loved it.

And how about that to those who thought Jeter should not have been the AL’s leadoff hitter? One swing, and he was in scoring position. Not bad, eh?

Angels outfielder Mike Trout got Jeter home with the AL’s second extra-base hit of the inning, a triple off the right field wall that the Dodgers’ Yasieal Puig played poorly. After Mariners second baseman Robinson Cano struck out, Tigers first baseman Miguel Cabrera got the AL’s third extra-base hit of the inning, a home run to left field. The score was 3-0, and the Americans had not had a single yet. Perhaps Wainwright should have stayed off the mound.

The National League, which was shut out at Citi Field last year, closed to 3-2 in the second on RBI doubles by Phillies second baseman Chase Utley and Brewers catcher Jonathan Lucroy to end a 15-inning scoreless streak dating to 2012 at Kansas City.

Jeter was a leadoff hitter again in the third inning against Reds righthander Alfredo Simon and got the AL’s first single on another hit to right field. A wild pitch advanced Jeter into scoring position this time, but he was stranded.

Before the start of the fourth inning, AL manager John Farrell of the Red Sox sent White Sox shortstop Alexei Ramirez onto the field to replace Jeter, who was showered with another round of long applause while the PA system played Frank Sinatra’s version of “New York, New York” that is heard at the end of every Yankees home game.

Jeter again waved to the crowd, pointed to the NL dugout and then shook the hands of every one of his teammates in the AL dugout and urged on by the crowd came onto the field once more to acknowledge their cheers. He left All-Star competition with a .481 career average in 27 at-bats and seemed in place for maybe another game Most Valuable Player Award to match the one he received in 2000 at Atlanta’s Turner Field.

One stumbling block to that was the NL tying the score in the fourth on another RBI double by Lucroy, this time off White Sox lefthander Chris Sale. That opened the door for Trout, who with his second extra-base hit of the game, a double in the fifth, gave the AL the lead and put him in position to be the MVP.

But if the fans here had their choice, I’m sure they would vote for Jeter.