Results tagged ‘ Ubaldo Jimenez ’

Yanks end bumpy trip on high note

Every game is important. Managers say that all the time. But it is also true that some games are more important than others. Managers convey that by how they handle their personnel. Sunday was a very important game for the Yankees, and it showed as Joe Girardi pulled out all stops to get them a victory to end a potentially disastrous trip on a high note.

A 2-4 trip does not sound good, but it is acceptable when the team starts out 0-3 as the Yankees did in getting swept at Chicago. Cleveland was a different story, but taking two of three from the Indians wasn’t all that easy for the Yankees, who scored only eight runs in the series with each games decided by two runs.

For the second straight start, Freddy Garcia pitched four solid innings only to come apart in the fifth. It was not as grim as his previous start against the White Sox when after getting the first out of the fifth Garcia gave up single, home run, single, walk and walk to the next five batters, all of whom scored.

Pitching with a 3-0 lead entering the fifth, Garcia got the first two batters out without incident. It was a fluke hit that sort of unglued Freddy as Jason Kipnis, who had three hits and stole three bases, got a double on a ground ball that struck the bag at first base and bounded down the right field line.

Garcia never got that third out to complete the inning and be in position for a winning decision. He hit Asdrubal Cabrera with a pitch and then walked Shin-Soo Choo to load the bases. Carlos Santana sealed Freddy’s fate with a two-run single, and Girard did not hesitate to make a move. Thanks to Hiroki Kuroda’s compete game Saturday night and seven-plus inning starts from CC Sabathia and Phil Hughes before that, the Yankees’ bullpen was thoroughly rested.

Boone Logan was summoned to get the third out Garcia could not and earned his fifth victory in seven decisions with 1 2/3 innings of shutout relief. David Robertson kept the ball rolling with 1 1/3 scoreless innings, but Girardi called on Rafael Soriano to get a four-out save, his third of the season among his 33 total, another indication of how much the skipper wanted to nail this game down.

Soriano took a blow on the right hand from a line drive by Kipnis but remained in the game to do what Girardi expected of him. After pitching to a 6.75 ERA in 6 2/3 innings at Chicago, the pen pitched to a 0.00 ERA in six innings at Cleveland.

With Tampa Bay off because the Republican convention is in town and Baltimore postponed by rain, the Yankees picked up a half-game in the American League East standings and now lead the Rays by 4 games and the Orioles by 4 ½. Despite their losing record on the trip, the Yankees lost only one game in the standings over a week’s time.

After a night when their offense fizzled in failing to support Kuroda, the Yankees put together a sustained rally for three runs in the second inning against righthander Ubaldo Jimenez. A single by Eric Chavez and a walk to Raul Ibanez preceded a run-scoring single by Ichiro Suzuki, who had a quiet trip. Chris Stewart’s sacrifice help set up the next two runs on an infield out by Derek Jeter, who took a rare 0-for-5, and a two-out, RBI single by Nick Swisher, who kept up his hot hitting on the trip with a .429 batting average in 21 at-bats with two doubles, one home run, four RBI, four runs and five walks.

With three left-handed batters due up in the sixth for the Yanks, Indians manager Manny Acta brought in lefthander Tony Sipp, a move that backfired when Curtis Granderson led off with his 33rd home run of the season and 200th of his career. He became the eighth player on the Yankees’ roster with 200 or more homers, a major league record. Granderson joined Ibanez, Jeter, Chavez, Swisher, Alex Rodriguez, Andruw Jones and Mark Teixeira.

Burnett’s 4 K’s in 1 inning a 1st for Yankees pitchers

A.J. Burnett made Yankees history Friday night when he struck out four Colorado batters in the sixth inning. Believe it or not, he became the first Yankees pitcher ever to do that. Granted, it is a rarity, but it is hard to believe it had never happened before for a franchise that is more than one hundred years old.

For a pitcher to have the chance to strike out four batters in an inning means that one of them had to reach base on a third-strike wild pitch or passed ball. Since A.J. has had a special relationship with wild pitches over the years, he was an ideal candidate to be the first Yankees pitcher to pull off the oddity. Burnett’s 111 career wild pitches rank second among active pitchers behind only Red Sox knuckleballer Tim Wakefield, who has 124.

In fact, it marked the second time in his career that Burnett had four K’s in an inning. He also did for the Marlins against the Mets July 5, 2002, which was the first of two seasons in which he led his league in wild pitches with 14. The other was in 2009 with the Yankees when he had 17. A.J. was second in the American League in wild pitches with 16 and is leading this year with 12.

No. 12 came after Burnett got called third strikes past Chris Iannetta and Carlos Gonzalez. Chris Nelson reached first after Burnett’s third strike to him went all the way to the backstop. It gave Burnett a shot at a franchise first, which he accomplished by striking out Todd Helton swinging.

Unfortunately, that was the highlight of the night for Burnett, who gave up solo home runs to Jason Giambi and Troy Tulowitzki and two more runs on infield outs 6 1/3 innings in a 4-2 loss. It might have been worse except that the Rockies stranded 11 runners.

Alex Rodriguez drove in both Yankees runs with Curtis Granderson scoring each time, but the Yanks had only two hits after the second inning. Rockies righthander Ubaldo Jimenez, who was the National League’s starting pitcher in last year’s All-Star Game, struggled early this year but picked up his second straight victory. Jimenez, who had an 11-game winless stretch in April and May, scattered four hits and four walks over seven innings.

Yankees manager Joe Girardi correctly assessed before the game that Colorado could benefit more than any other NL club in inter-league competition because of the presence of Giambi as its designated hitter. In addition to his home run, Giambi also singled twice and walked.

Cy Young holiday for Halladay

No American League club was happier to see Roy Halladay cross over into the National League this year than the Yankees. The one bad thing for the Yanks about Halladay going from the Blue Jays to the Phillies was that it triggered Philadelphia trading Cliff Lee back to the AL with the Mariners.

But it was good riddance for Halladay, who regularly thumped the Yankees to the tune of 18-7 with a 2.98 ERA, seven complete games (including three shutouts) and 195 strikeouts in 38 appearances (36 starts) covering 253 1/3 innings. Halladay did not find the new Yankee Stadium to his liking. He was 1-1 with a 6.16 ERA there in 2009 after having gone 7-4 with a 2.97 ERA in the old Stadium.

Halladay had a remarkable first season in the NL this year and was rewarded Tuesday by winning the Cy Young Award. He became the fifth pitcher to win the award in both leagues, having won in the AL with Toronto in 2003, and the 16th multiple winner.

The righthander was in Mexico on vacation when he received word of his election. I had the opportunity to tell him how popular he is in press boxes throughout North America because it is an extremely pleasurable experience to watch him pitch. He is a pro’s pro with no wasted motion and a focus that is sadly lacking among starting pitchers of this period.

“That’s very satisfying to hear,” the man called “Doc” said. “I hope the fans feel the same way.”

Halladay was the 13th unanimous choice in NL voting as he received all 32 first-place votes from two writers in each league city to score a perfect 224 points, based on a tabulation system that rewards seven points for first place, four for second, three for third, two for fourth and one for fifth. The Baseball Writers’ Association of America expanded the Cy Young Award ballot from three to five pitchers this year.

Halladay, 33, posted a 21-10 record with a 2.44 ERA in 33 starts and led the league in victories, innings (250 2/3), complete games (9) and shutouts (4) and was second in strikeouts (219). He pitched a perfect game May 29 at Miami in a 1-0 victory over the Marlins. Balloting takes place prior to the start of post-season play, so his no-hitter over the Reds in Game 1 of the NL Division Series was not a factor in the voting.

Cardinals righthander Adam Wainwright (20-11, 2.42 ERA), who finished third in 2009, was the runner-up with 122 points based on 28 votes for second, three for third and one for fifth. Rockies righthander Ubaldo Jimenez (19-8, 2.88 ERA) was third with 90 points. Halladay, Wainwright and Jimenez were the only pitchers named on all the ballots. Righthanders Tim Hudson (17-9, 2.83 ERA) of the Braves and Josh Johnson (11-6, 2.30 ERA) of the Marlins rounded out the top five. In all, 11 pitchers received votes.

Halladay joined the company of Roger Clemens, Randy Johnson, Pedro Martinez and Gaylord Perry as Cy Young Award winners in both leagues. Clemens won six in the AL (1986, ’87 and ’91 with the Red Sox; 1997 and ’98 with the Blue Jays; 2001 with the Yankees) and one in the NL (2004 with the Astros). Johnson won four in the NL (1999 through 2002 with the Diamondbacks) and one in the AL (1995 with the Mariners). Martinez won two in the AL (1999 and 2000 with the Red Sox) and one in the NL (1997 with the Expos). Perry won one in the AL (1972 with the Indians) and one in the NL (1978 with the Padres).

Unanimous winners in the NL were Sandy Koufax all three times he won and Greg Maddux twice among his four victories, along with Johnson, Bob Gibson, Steve Carlton, Rick Sutcliffe, Dwight Gooden, Orel Hershiser and Jake Peavy. There has been a unanimous winner in the AL eight times: Clemens, Martinez and Johan Santana twice each, Denny McLain and Ron Guidry.

It marked the seventh time a Phillies pitcher won the award, including Carlton four times. The other winners from Philadelphia were John Denny and Steve Bedrosian. In addition to Koufax, Maddux, Carlton, Clemens, Martinez, Johnson, Perry, Gibson, McLain and Santana, other pitchers to have won the award more than once were Tom Seaver and Jim Palmer three times each, Bret Saberhagen, Tom Glavine and Tim Lincecum twice apiece.

Halladay is in pretty heady company and deserves to be.

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