Tagged: David Huff

Ryan Hanigan’s block at the plate in the fifth led to the Rays beating the Yankees

Stephen Drew

Stephen Drew

The Yankees lost a frustrating game to the Tampa Bay Rays, 4-3, on Tuesday night at Yankee Stadium. The Yankees are now 3-4 during the first seven games of their nine-game homestand. That is not how Joe Girardi wanted to begin a crucial stretch of home games in September. 

Hiroki Kuroda allowed four earned runs and nine hits in only 3.1 innings against the Rays. He had previously allowed two runs or less in his last four starts. He struck out the side in the first inning, but James Loney led off the second with a homer to right, and then Kuroda’s four singles allowed in the third inning led to two more Tampa Bay runs. Evan Longoria and Loney hit RBI singles to center in consecutive at-bats. Kuroda allowed three consecutive singles in the fourth with one out before being taken out of the game with the Yankees losing 4-0.

Seven Yankee relief pitchers actually combined to pitch 5.2 innings and only allow two hits and zero runs. Girardi has so many relief pitchers at his disposal since the roster expanded on September 1. David Huff allowed two hits in his 1.2 innings and David Robertson pitched a scoreless ninth and hasn’t allowed a run in his last 5.1 innings.

However, instead of Kuroda, the loss can be blamed on a Yankees offense that scored three runs or less for the third time in their last four games (they didn’t score a run in two of those games). Out of the seven hits that the Yankees had, only Jacoby Ellsbury’s home run in the fourth inning was not a single. One controversial play with Stephen Drew stands out in the fifth inning.

In the fifth inning, the first three batters that came to the plate got on base, as Chase Headley was hit by a pitch and Ichiro Suzuki and Drew both singled. Chris Young then hit his first hit in his first start with the Yankees. His single scored Headley and Ichiro. Jacoby Ellsbury hit a single with Drew on second but Drew was ruled out at home. Drew should have scored according to the rules or been held at third.

Rays catcher Ryan Hanigan was clearly blocking the plate and the only way that Drew could have scored is if he ran Hanigan over. According to the new rules this season, if the catcher is blocking the plate the runner is supposed to be ruled safe. “You almost have to encourage the runner to run the catcher over,” Girardi said. “The only thing he could do is run him over, that is it.”

The Yankees could have had their fourth run right there, but third base coach Rob Thomson said that he should have held Drew at third to have runners at second and third with no outs. “Just a bad send,” Thomson said. “An error on my judgement. I take full responsibility for it.” To end the fifth inning, Derek Jeter hit into a double play where Young was doubled off of second.

Another play that hurt the Yankees chances was in the seventh inning when Ichiro had third stolen with one out, but Drew swung at the pitch and hit a line drive to right field causing a double play. If Drew would have been more aware and not have swung, he could have driven in Ichiro with a sacrifice fly.

The deflating loss to Chris Archer, who has dominated the Yankees in his career, makes the team’s hope of getting the second Wild Card far fetched at this point. They are now 5.5 games behind the Detroit Tigers and Kansas City Royals with only 20 games to play.   

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The Yankees beat the Indians as Greene won his first game and Betances got his first save

Shane Greene

Shane Greene

The Yankees beat the Cleveland Indians 5-3 at Progressive Field as Shane Greene, a righty from Florida, picked up his first win of his career in his first start. The Bronx Bombers have now won four of their past five games after winning three of four games in Minnesota against the Twins.

Greene did not allow a hit until there were two outs in the fifth inning. He retired 17 of the first 22 batters that he faced. He lost his no-hitter in the fifth as former Yankee Nick Swisher hit a solo homer. Greene was very impressive as he only allowed two runs, didn’t walk anyone, picked up two strikeouts and his sinker and slider worked well for him.

“His sinker worked really well,” Girardi said. “He did a lot of good things. We have said all along this kid has a lot of talent. I don’t think he tried to do too much, and that is impressive. He was really, really good.” Francisco Cervelli, who Greene credited with calling a great game, was impressed with how Greene was able to bounce back. “In the first inning I think he was a little anxious,” Cervelli said. “The next inning he came back like a veteran guy. Kid was really good.”

“I would rather give up a homer than a walk,” Greene said. “Having a lot of familiar faces helped, (the season) has been a bit of a roller-coaster, but it feels good to be here.” (Greene was called up as a result of the Nuno for McCarthy trade, and he hadn’t allowed a run in his last 13 innings at AAA-Scranton. He was likely helped by having a 5-0 lead after three innings.

Brett Gardner had three hits, which ended up being his third game of three or more hits this season. He increased his average to a solid .289. In the second inning, his single to left drove in Brian Roberts and sent Cervelli to third. Earlier in the inning, for the team’s first run of the game, Roberts hit a double to deep left to score Brian McCann. The Yankees scored their third run of the inning on a Derek Jeter walk with the bases loaded that sent Johnson home. Jeter needs only two more multi-hit games to reach 1,000 for his career.

The Yankees scored their third and fourth runs of the game in the third inning. Ichiro Suzuki’s infield single to first scored Mark Teixeira with one out. Later in the inning, McCann scored after Cervelli grounded into a fielder’s choice to the shortstop. Justin Masterson struggled mightily against the Yankees as he only pitched two innings, and since he gave up a walk and single to start the third before being taken out, all five runs were charged to him.

Cleveland scored a run on three hits in the sixth inning, but Greene was impressively able to get Carlos Santana to fly out to right with runners on first and second to end the inning. David Huff gave up a homer to Yan Gomes to leadoff the eighth after pitching a scoreless seventh, and Dellin Betances came in after Gomes’s homer to get the final six outs for his first career save. He was very efficient as he got those six outs on only 15 pitches. Betances was pitching in his first game since being selected to his first All-Star Game.

This is what Betances said about being an All-Star for his first time: “It’s been unbelievable. I have been blessed. I have learned a lot from the guys and am just enjoying everyday.” On being voted in by the players Betances said: “It is a humbling experience for me. I have had a lot of ups and downs. I think confidence (has helped) more than anything. Just having fun as well.”

The Bronx Bombers had a balanced offensive attack as four players had two or more hits. The Yankees are an impressive 26-16 in games decided by two runs or less.

Masahiro Tanaka will get the start in Game 2 of the series on Tuesday. He has a 1.87 ERA in his 10 starts outside of the American League East. The Baltimore Orioles won on Monday night, which means that the Yankees are still 3.5 games behind them for first place in the division.

The Yankees start a series against Tampa after losing their series against the Red Sox

Carlos Beltran hitting during spring training.

Carlos Beltran hitting during spring training.

The Yankees lost to the Boston Red Sox 8-5 on Sunday Night Baseball in the Bronx. After winning eight of 10 games from June 10 to June 20, the Yankees have now lost six of their past eight games. They lost two out of three game that the Yankees played against the Red Sox over the weekend.

Chase Whitley, who did not allow more than  three runs in any of his first seven starts, has now allowed eight and five runs in his last two starts. This could be a sign of him wearing down because he had primarily been a reliever in his minor-league career before being called up to the Yankees earlier this season.

“I just got away from myself a little bit, and made some mistakes there, and paid for it,” Whitely said. “I was most frustrated mostly with the pitch to Ortiz, obviously, and the walk to Bradley to set up the fifth was unacceptable.”

On Sunday, he allowed eight hits, five runs and two walks against Boston. He is starting to lose the accuracy he showed in his previous starts because he has allowed five walks in his last two starts, but he only walked three batters in his first seven starts in the big leagues.

In the second inning, Stephen Drew hit a single to right that scored Mike Napoli. In the third inning, David Ortiz hit his 450th home run of his career. He drove in Brock Holt and Dustin Pedroia to make the score 4-0 Red Sox. It makes sense that he set that milestone against the Yankees since he has hit so many homers against them during his career.

For the first run of the game for the Yankees Derek Jeter drove in Ichiro Suzuki in the third inning. Ichiro was on third and Jeter hit his single on a 3-2 count with two outs. Mark Teixeira and Carlos Beltran both hit solo homers in the fourth inning to reduce Boston’s lead to 4-3. Teixeira hit his team-leading 15th homer and drove in his team-leading 41st RBI. Beltran led the team with his three hits, but it was not enough as the pitching could not contain the Red Sox offense.

Beltran’s homer was his 366th of his  borderline Hall of Fame career. He is in his 17th season after previously playing for the St. Louis Cardinals, San Francisco Giants, New York Mets, Houston Astros and Kansas City Royals. He is now tied with Lance Berkman for fourth place in the all-time homers list among switch hitters.

In the fifth inning, with Shawn Kelley pitching after Whitley was taken out after allowing a walk to leadoff the inning, Pedroia hit a single to right that scored Jackie Bradley Jr. and Holt. Daniel Nava scored Boston’s seventh run as David Huff caught Pedroia stealing, which allowed Nava to score. The three Yankees pitchers that pitched in the fifth inning threw a combined 42 pitches.

In the fifth inning the Yankees scored their fourth and fifth runs of the game. After Ichiro’s triple to lead off the inning, Brett Gardner hit a double to deep right to score Ichiro. After Jeter’s sacrifice ground out advanced Gardner to third, Jacoby Ellsbury’s ground out drove in Gardner. The Red Sox added an insurance run in the sixth off of Dellin Betances, but the run was charged to Huff.

The Yankees will need to acquire a pitcher via trade in the next few weeks to replace Vidal Nuno or Chase Whitley in the rotation. CC Sabathia should be able to return around the All-Star Break. Sabathia allowed two runs on three hits in 2.1 innings for High-A Tampa on Saturday. His second rehab start is scheduled to take place on Thursday for Double-A Trenton.

The Yankees are now two games behind the first place Toronto Blue Jays even though Toronto has lost their past three games. They will start a three game series against the Tampa Bay Rays on Monday night at 7:05 p.m. David Phelps, who only six runs in his last start, will pitch for the Yankees and Chris Archer (4-5) will get the start for the Rays.

Whitley’s eight earned runs led to the third loss in a row for the Yankees

Chase Whitley pitching during spring training.

Chase Whitley pitching during spring training.

The Yankees lost to the Toronto Blue Jays 8-3 at the Rogers Centre on Monday. Chase Whitley‘s worst start of his career led to the third consecutive loss for the Yankees. Whitley, who had previously not allowed more than three runs in any of his seven starts, allowed eight earned runs in only 3.1 innings.

Whitley allowed 11 hits, three walks and one homer to the dangerous Blue Jays lineup. He had uncharacteristic control issues since he had only four walks in his previous seven starts. After an RBI single by Adam Lind in the first, the Blue Jays scored six more runs in the second inning. The most damage off of Whitley came off of a three-run homer by Lind in the second that scored Jose Reyes and Melky Cabrera. Before Lind, Cabrera hit an RBI single that scored Munenori Kawasaki. Whitley’s ERA rose from 2.56 to 4.07

It was expected that Whitley, who had only made 12 starts in his time in the minors before he was called up to fill in for CC Sabathia, would regress at some point, but it didn’t seem like he would allow eight runs in a start. He was not able to locate his pitches like in his previous starts.

It was frustrating because it took the team out of a chance to win,” Whitley said. “It was just a poor performance, you know move on from there, but I didn’t execute like I wanted to. I couldn’t command the ball at all, like I have in the past. I couldn’t execute the pitches that I wanted to throw, and they are a good hitting club. They showed it last time and they showed it this time. It is just something I’ve got to improve on.”

Whitley faced the Blue Jays in his last start and had a much better outcome. He only allowed two runs and five hits in five innings on June 18 at Yankee Stadium. This proves that the Blue Jays were able to adjust much better to him than he was to their offense.

Marcus Stroman, a rookie from Long Island, who pitched against the Yankees last week at Yankee Stadium, pitched much better and lasted much longer than he did in his start last week. Stroman only lasted 3.2 innings on June 17, but held the Yankees to only one run in eight innings on Monday. The only run that the Yankees scored off of Stroman was Mark Teixeira’s 411-foot homer to center.

The Yankees scored two runs off of Chad Jenkins in the ninth inning. Yangervis Solarte, who was hitless in his previous 27 at-bats after starting the year as one of the team’s best hitters, came in as a pinch hitter and hit a single that scored Francisco Cervelli.

Another positive is that the bullpen did not allow a run in 4.2 innings pitched. David Huff, in a role that he was successful in last season, threw 3.2 one-hit innings. Shawn Kelley came in to pitch the ninth and struck out three and had his second consecutive solid outing after he allowed two runs against the Blue Jays last week.

The offense, which has scored three runs or less in their previous three games (all losses), will look to bounce back against Tuesday’s starter, Mark Buehrle. He is off to an outstanding start to the season with a 2.32 ERA, but he has struggled in his career against the Yankees. He had a 4.78 ERA against the Bronx Bombers from the 2011 to the 2013 season. The Yankees, who are now 5-5 in their last 10 games, are 2.5 games behind the Toronto Blue Jays for first place.

David Phelps, who has won his last two games after allowing a combined two runs in those starts, will start his ninth game of the season. Tuesday’s middle game of the series will start at 7:07 p.m.

From the minors, first base/ right field / catcher prospect Peter O’Brien hit two homers in Monday’s game for the Trenton Thunder. Also, second base prospect Rob Refsnyder, who could get called up eventually to replace the struggling Brian Roberts, is hitting .311 in 45 at-bats since being promoted from Double-A Trenton.

The Yankees extended their winning steak to four games after Ichiro’s 4,000th hit and Soriano’s homer

Picture of the field after Ichiro's 4,000th hit

Picture of the field after Ichiro’s 4,000th hit

In the first inning of the 4-2 win over the Blue Jays, Ichiro Suzuki hit a single to left for his 4,000th combined hit between the Orix Blue Wave in Japan, the Seattle Mariners and the Yankees. He drilled the ball past Blue Jays third baseman Brett Lawrie, which was reminiscent of many hits that he has previously had in has Hall of Fame career.

Ichiro joins Ty Cobb and Pete “Charlie Hustle” Rose as the only players to have 4,000 professional hits. Cobb had 4,189 hits in his career with the Detroit Tigers and Philadelphia Athletics. Rose, who had the most hits in MLB history, had 4,256 hits in his career with the Cincinnati Reds, Philadelphia Phillies and Montreal Expos.

It was great to see all of the players come onto the field after Ichiro achieved the milestone. It makes sense that his 4,000th hit, and 2,722nd hit in Major League Baseball, was a single because his speed and bat control has helped him record so many singles throughout his career.

The Yankees scored their first run of the game after Austin Romine hit a sacrifice fly to deep left that scored Eduardo Nunez. Then, in the third inning, Curtis Granderson’s single to shallow right drove in Robinson Cano. Granderson now has a four-game hitting streak, however, he has one hit in each of those four games.

Overall, the Yankees struggled offensively in this game as they only had six hits against R.A. Dickey, who won the National League CY Young last season. The Yankees had only four hits up until the eighth inning as Dickey had more success early in the game than he had in recent games. He has a 4.49 ERA this season so he has not lived up to his excellent campaign from last season.

However, in the eighth inning Alfonso Soriano hit a two-run homer that drove in Robinson Cano. That turned out to be the game winning homer as Soriano helped the Yankees win yet another game over the past two weeks. He was previously 0-17, but Soriano ended his slide with a clutch homer to deep left that sent the crowd into a frenzy.

Yankees Stadium was truly electric after Ichiro hit his 4,000th hit and after Soriano hit his sixth homer in his past nine games. Soriano currently has 398 homers. After hits two more he will become only the 51st player with 400 or more homers. The trade to reacquire Soriano has been outstanding and he has given the Yankees exactly what they needed.

On the pitching side, the combination of Adam Warren and David Huff combined to allow two runs in eight innings as Huff threw very well in relief of Warren, who was making a spot start. I definitely noticed that the fans in the stadium raised the volume level as Mariano Rivera came in from the bullpen to Enter Sandman. This is his last season and he only has a limited amount of appearances left to perform in front of the home fans.

He allowed one hit and struck out two with his pinpoint control to notch his 37th save of the campaign. Rivera’s save means that the Yankees are now only four games behind the Oakland Athletics for the second Wild-Card. The Athletics have lost three of their last five games and the Baltimore Orioles, who are one game ahead of the Yankees, have lost two of their last three games. After each win the likelihood of the Yankees getting a Wild-Card is increasing.

The Yankees will look to sweep the last place Blue Jays behind Andy Pettitte at 1:05. In his last start, he pitched 6.2 shutout innings against Boston.

Here is video of Ichiro’s 4,000th hit and the reaction to it: