Results tagged ‘ Ryan Dempster ’
Ryan Dempster was one of those pitchers available around the July 31 trade deadline that the Yankees were reluctant to chase because of budget restraints and the sacrificing of prospects. Dempster is a fine pitcher, no doubt, but not an ace. His price was not worth it to the Yankees. It was to the Rangers, who lost the bidding war with the Angels for Zack Greinke.
The Yankees’ decision to go with pitchers within their own system or those not overly expensive looked pretty good Monday night. They got outstanding work from spot starter David Phelps and new import Derek Lowe while their hitters beat up on Dempster, who lasted two batters into the seventh inning and gave up eight earned runs and nine hits, four for extra-bases.
The Yankees have struggled much of the year when batting with the bases loaded, but they lead the major leagues in grand slams nonetheless. No. 9 came in the third inning when Nick Swisher unloaded off Dempster. The situation was set up on singles by Russell Martin and Raul Ibanez, a sacrifice by Ichiro Suzuki and a walk to Derek Jeter.
The home run was the 200th of Swisher’s career. It was his sixth career grand slam and his second of this season. He also went deep with the bags full April 21 at Boston off Vicente Padilla. That was the game at Fenway Park where the Yankee fell behind, 9-0, but came back to win, 15-9.
The Yankees reloaded the bases later in the inning and got another run on a sacrifice fly by Curtis Granderson. They are batting .236 in bases-full at-bats this season but with nine home runs and 93 RBI in 106 at-bats. The Yanks’ other home run Monday night was with the bases empty, by Eric Chavez leading off the sixth.
Swisher got his fifth RBI of the game in the seventh when the Yanks drove Dempster from the game on a triple by Suzuki and a double by Jeter. Swisher greeted reliever Michael Kirkman with a single to score Jeter.
All that offense took some pressure off Phelps, who made his fourth start for the Yanks but went the five innings required for a winning decision for the first time. The righthander gave up two runs and five hits with one walk and three strikeouts in five innings and helped himself with two pickoffs of base runners.
Lowe, who worked on his own in Florida after being designated for assignment by the Indians, was anxious to get into a game with his new team right away and gave the Yankees everything they could have hoped for with four shutout innings of two-hit, four-strikeout innings to earn a save in his first game in pinstripes.
“You always want to get into a game,” Lowe said. “You can work all you want on the sideline or in the bullpen, but it is not until you’re in a game that you know if the work mattered. I look forward to getting back into a regular routine.”
“His sinker and slider was very good,” Yankees manager Joe Girardi said. “That’s the Derek Lowe I remember.”
It was a big night for the Yankees, who now have the best record in the league, by a half-game over the Rangers. These two clubs are fighting for home-field advantage in the playoffs, which makes this four-game series interesting. For the Yankees to be able to get through CC Sabathia’s first missed start with just two pitchers and not have to use a David Robertson or a Boone Logan or a Rafael Soriano was a major positive.
And to think the price tag for that was so much lower than it would have been to trade for Ryan Dempster.
The sixth inning Saturday was filled with mistakes by the Yankees until Brett Gardner, who had committed one of them, erased the miscues with a splendid play. And did the Yankees ever need it in what turned out to be another close game at Wrigley Field with them prevailing this time, 4-3.
The game was getting out of their hands even after they regained the lead on a sacrifice fly by Curtis Granderson in the top of the sixth. Gardner made the third out of the inning when he was caught off first base and thrown out in a rundown.
The Yankee had failed to make Cubs starter Ryan Dempster pay for walking six batters, none of whom scored (which is really strange; the odds are usually pretty good that at least of couple of the runners would have made it all the way home) but had taken a 3-2 lead behind A.J. Burnett.
Then just as quickly, the Yankees nearly gave it away. Burnett had good stuff, an above-average fastball and an effective curve, but as usual he was all over the place. He struck out eight batters but also walked three, threw a wild pitch (increasing his league lead to 11) and hit a batter.
The plunked batter came with one down in the sixth. Shortstop Eduardo Nunez then booted a ground ball (his eighth error in 37 games) and Robinson Cano dropped a throw for a potential force play (his sixth error, twice as many as he had all of last season), which loaded the bases for the Cubs.
Between the errors, Burnett was replaced by Corey Wade, who was able to get out of the jam in large part because of Gardner. Geovanny Soto hit a fly ball to left field. Gardner timed his catch perfectly and had his momentum taking him toward the infield when he unleashed his throw to the plate. It was straight and reached catcher Russell Martin on one bounce in plenty of time to get Carlos Pena trying to score to complete a double play. Pena tried a Pete Rose/All-Star Game move on Martin by running into him, but the catcher took the hit and held on to the ball.
Wade was the first of four relievers for the Yankees, and it isn’t every day that the least effective of them is Mariano Rivera. That is how strong the ensemble work of the Yanks’ bullpen has been these days. Hector Noesi and David Robertson followed Wade with a scoreless inning apiece to raise the pen’s steak of shutout work to 22 1/3 innings dating to June 10.
Cano and Nunez made up for their boots with ninth-inning doubles for an insurance run that proved necessary when Mo gave up a leadoff homer to Reed Johnson in the bottom half. This Johnson has been a ninth-inning Yankees killer in the series. Friday, he made a sliding, tumbling catch down the left field line to rob Cano of a potential extra-base hit.
Alfonso Soriano followed Johnson’s bomb with a single off his old teammate. Soto then did the Yankees another favor. Inter-league play is supposed to show the difference in the how the game is played in each league, right?
Okay, so with a National League team at home in the bottom of the ninth, and the potential tying run on first base and no outs, where was the sacrifice? Heck, Soto didn’t even make an attempt to push the runner into scoring position. He swung away on the first pitch and hit a ground ball near second that Cano gloved to start a rally-killing double play. That was the biggest mistake of all, and the Yankees took advantage of it.