Tagged: Hiroki Kuroda

The Yankees followed Jeter’s heroic Yankee Stadium finale with a win at Fenway Park

Jeter jumping for joy after Thursday's walk-off.

Jeter jumping for joy after Thursday’s walk-off.

After Derek Jeter hit the game-winning walk-off hit to beat the Baltimore Orioles in his final home game on Thursday, the Yankees beat the Boston Red Sox 3-2 on Friday. Jeter’s walk-off was an inside out single to right that he has hit countless times in his career. David Robertson had the best blown save of his career in the top of the ninth to set up yet another clutch hit from Jeter.

After Brett Gardner sacrificed the fast Antoan Richardson to second, Jeter’s “Jeterian” single to right scored Richardson to win the game. Jeter leaped towards the sky after the run scored, walked back out to his position at shortstop to get one more view and then Bernie Williams, Andy Pettitte, Mariano Rivera and Jorge Posada fittingly came onto the field to greet their longtime teammate. It was a storybook ending to end Jeter’s career playing in front of the home fans in the Bronx.

Jeter even surprised himself with how the game ended. “I wouldn’t have believed it myself,” Jeter said. “I can honestly say I don’t think anyone played harder.” Jeter said that he is aware that other players have more talent, but his effort each and every day helped take him to the top. For the first time in his career, he asked to have Friday’s game off because he was so exhausted from Thursday and everything that happened after it.

I don’t know if I could play tonight if I wanted to play tonight,” he said. “Last night was as special as it gets.” He said that if he wasn’t going to play his last game at Yankee Stadium, the next best place is Fenway Park because of the rivalry. He will be the DH on Saturday and Sunday out of respect for the Red Sox.

“He had such a special night last night,” Chris Capuano said. “I think everyone can understand him just wanting to take a day.”

Jeter also hit a double to left in the first for his first RBI of the game. Hiroki Kuroda allowed only two runs in eight innings in what might have been his last start as a Yankee. He had a 3.71 ERA in 32 starts and didn’t fall apart like he did the last two seasons.

On Friday, Jeter received a “Derek Jeter” chant from the crowd even though he was only in the dugout. The Red Sox fans also proved that they recognize greatness since they booed when Jeter didn’t pinch hit in the ninth. The Yankees were able to get the win even though five rookies started the game. No one in the lineup had played more than 47 games for the Yankees this season.

Chris Capuano, who pitched in the beginning of the season in the bullpen for the Red Sox, did not allow an earned run in 6.2 innings pitched. He is a pitcher who the Yankees will likely consider for a spot in their bullpen next season. Allen Craig’s run in the second was unearned because Chris Young made an error on Craig’s single earlier in the inning. Capuano, who is 36, threw 91 pitches, struck out five and didn’t allow a walk.

Shawn Kelley, who allowed Rusney Castillo’s homer in the seventh, really faltered in the second half of the season. He has a 4.53 ERA, and his ERA in August was 7.59 and in September it was 4.70. Capuano might be a better option than Kelley next season. David Robertson, who was able to convert his 39th save of the season in the ninth, is in the last year of his contract and the Yankees could choose to let the cheaper Dellin Betances be the closer next season.

The Yankees had seven hits off of three Red Sox pitchers. Steven Wright, a relief pitcher who was making only his second start, allowed two unearned runs in five innings. Eury Perez struck out in the second but advanced to first as a result of a passed ball by Dan Butler. Francisco Cervelli’s single scored Perez and then Cervelli scored later in the inning on a throwing error by second baseman Mookie Betts, who is normally a center fielder.

In the seventh inning, Zelous Wheeler hit a sacrifice fly to score John Ryan Murphy to give the Yankees their third run. The Yankees need to win their last two games to match their 85 wins from last season.

Jeter during the game on 9/21.

Jeter during the game on 9/21.

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Derek Jeter’s homer helped the Yankees win their second consecutive game 3-2

Derek Jeter.

Derek Jeter.

The Yankees beat the Toronto Blue Jays on Thursday for their second consecutive 3-2 win. One game after Derek Jeter ended his 0-28 hitless streak, Jeter hit his first home run at Yankee Stadium of the season. The Yankees won because Chase Headley was the hero once again in the ninth.

The first Yankees run came in the fifth inning after Stephen Drew hit a deep double to right to drive in Headley and then Jeter slugged a homer to left off of an 82 MPH R.A. Dickey fastball. Jeter was able to take advantage of the fastball instead of having to figure out Dickey’s usual knuckleball.

I always look for a fastball,” Jeter said. “I have faced him (Dickey) quite a bit. He mixes them in every once in a while so I wasn’t surprised by it. It was a big hit for us at the time. I am happy we were able to hang on there. Obviously this year up until this point hasn’t turned out how I would like it to, but you got to keep fighting and battling. I am going to play hard until we are out of games.”

Shane Greene had yet another dominating performance for the Yankees. Greene didn’t allow a run and had six strikeouts in 6.2 innings. Greene retired the side in order in the second, fourth and fifth innings while only allowing three hits. He has an impressive 3.24 ERA in 13 starts this season, and Greene has proven that he deserves a spot in next year’s rotation.

Greene was not able to get the win because Shawn Kelley threw a high fastball that Jose Bautista easily hit out of the park for a two-run homer. Kelley has been much less reliable recently, but the Yankees were able to get magic in the ninth.

In the ninth inning, right fielder Chris Young hit a single to center, Antoan Richardson pinch ran and easily stole second and got to third on Brett Gardner’s bunt and then Headley hit a grounder that went through Adam Lind’s legs at first for an error to send Richardson home to win the game. It was Headley’s third walk-off with the Yankees.

Derek Jeter helped the Yankees win the first game of his final homestand at Yankee Stadium. Jeter and Greene both said that the Yankees are trying to win every one of their remaining 10 games since they are not mathematically eliminated from getting the second wild card (five games behind the Oakland Athletics). Hiroki Kuroda, who allowed one run in his last outing, will start Friday’s game for the Yankees.

Earlier this season, Jordan Brand released a tribute commercial for Jeter that had celebrities such as Spike Lee, Phil Jackson, Michael Jordan, Billy Crystal and Carmelo Anthony tip their cap to Jeter. Yesterday, Gatorade put out a commercial that had a much more local feel. Jeter asked to be let out of his car early and then greeted fans of all ages while walking to Yankee Stadium. He was serenaded by Frank Sinatra’s “My Way” while going into Stan’s Sports Bar for the first time and seeing the mural of himself outside that establishment.

Here is the outstanding Jeter Gatorade commercial that has over two million views in 24 hours:

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.   

Preview of the series between the Yankees and the Tampa Bay Rays at Yankee Stadium

Hiroki Kuroda will get the start on Tuesday.

Hiroki Kuroda will get the start on Tuesday.

The Yankees had their last off day of the season last night and the Seattle Mariners won their game, which means that the Yankees are now five games behind Seattle for the second wild card with 21 games left to play. The Cleveland Indians are half a game ahead of the Yankees and the Detroit Tigers are 4.5 games ahead.

The Yankees are trying to remain optimistic at this point even though they will likely have to go at least 15-6 to have a chance, which will mean that the offense will have to score more runs than they have been recently. 

Derek Jeter, who saw Michael Jordan, Dave Winfield and Cal Ripken Jr. come to Yankee Stadium as surprise guests for Derek Jeter Day, is one player who is not giving up on the season, as his career winds down. “We’re still in a position where if we win our games, then we’ll be all right,” Jeter said.

Chase Headley, who has never played in the playoffs before, is also remaining optimistic and knows that all the team can do is win as many games as possible. “Well, it’s obviously not the easiest path that we have built for ourselves, but we’re going to keep fighting,” Headley said. “We’ve got to take care of our own business. We’ve got to go out and win games and win series. That’s all we can really focus on.”  

The Yankees play the rest of their games against American League East division opponents. Eight of their games will be against the first-place Baltimore Orioles, who have won five of their past seven games, and they will end their current nine-game homestand, in which they are 3-3 so far, with a three-game series against the fourth-place Tampa Bay Rays. 

In their previous series against the Toronto Blue Jays, the Yankees offense didn’t score any runs in two out of the three games. Shane Greene and especially Michael Pineda both pitched very well in the two losses but couldn’t get the win because of the inept offense. The Yankees only had three hits in Friday’s loss, and in Sunday’s 2-0 defeat, the offense only had four hits. They can’t repeat that offensive performance if they are going to sweep the Rays. 

Tampa Bay, who has lost seven of their past 12 games, is 23rd in all of baseball in runs scored and 20th in all of baseball with their .248 batting average. When the Yankees played the Rays from August 15-17, at Tropicana Field, the Yankees won two out of the three games. David Robertson, who has been a bright spot for the Yankees this season with his 35 saves, saved both games that the Yankees won. 

Chris Archer, who will pitch against the Yankees during Tuesday’s game, has had a lot of success against the Bronx Bombers in his career. He has a 1.98 ERA in two starts against the Yankees this season and had a 1.23 ERA in three starts against the Yankees last season. However, Archer has allowed 13 runs combined in his last two starts and the Yankees will need to take advantage of his recent struggles by scoring a few runs off of him.

For the Yankees, Hiroki Kuroda has allowed two runs or fewer in all of his last four starts.

Here are the pitching matchups for the series against the Tampa Bay Rays at Yankee Stadium: 

Tuesday 7:05 p.m. on YES

Hiroki Kuroda (10-8, 3.78 ERA)

vs.

Chris Archer (8-8, 3.60 ERA)

Wednesday 7:05 p.m. on YES

Chris Capuano (2-3, 4.46 ERA)

vs. 

Jake Odorizzi (10-11, 3.84 ERA)

Thursday 7:05 p.m. on YES

Michael Pineda (3-4, 1:80 ERA in nine starts)

vs. 

Alex Cobb (9-7, 2.83 ERA)

Hiroki Kuroda and Brian McCann led the Yankees to a much-needed win over Boston

Brian McCann

Brian McCann

The Yankees beat the Boston Red Sox, 5-1, in the second game of the series on Wednesday night. With their win and the loss by the Detroit Tigers they are now four games behind them for the second wild card.

A key reason that they won the game was that Hiroki Kuroda was able to pitch seven innings and allow allow one run. He had eight strikeouts, which included striking out the side in the second, only allowed four hits and didn’t walk a batter. It was his 10th win of the season, third win in his last four starts and the first time he has won a game this season when pitching seven innings and allowing two runs or less. He had previously done so five times without a win.

This was the second straight start that the veteran had pitched seven innings and allowed two runs or less. 16 of his outs that he recorded didn’t reach the outfield as had had eight strikeouts and eight ground ball outs. The only extra-base hit that he allowed was in the sixth-inning, when Brock Holt slugged a double to left that scored Jemile Weeks, for Boston’s only run.

“The split and my sinker were OK, and the slider wasn’t as good, but I think I was able to pitch well today,” Kuroda said. “Looking at the Boston hitters last night, they were swinging really well, so I tried to make sure that I pounded the zone from early in the game. Every game we play from now on is going to be a must win game for us, so I just wanted to shift the momentum for our team.”

Offensively, the Yankees had not scored more than four runs since their last win on August 29 against the Toronto Blue Jays. They struggled with runners in scoring position during their three-game losing streak. In Wednesday’s win, they were an improved 4-7 with runners in scoring position and didn’t hit into any double plays. Brian McCann led the Yankees on offense as he was 4-4 with three RBIs and a homer. This comes after Tuesday’s game when he was 2-4 with a homer and two runs scored.

I just found the holes when I hit them,” McCann said. “I felt good tonight, have been feeling good for a while now and just want to build off this. As a team we just want to keep winning. It’s about getting the win, this last month it is about getting as many wins as we possibly can.”

Brett Gardner hit the first of his two hits in the first inning after being thrown out of Tuesday’s game, but was caught stealing on a base running mistake. McCann’s homer to right off of Anthony Renaudo that scored Mark Teixeira in the second gave the Yankees all the runs that they would need.

In the fifth inning, after Ichiro Suzuki singled to load the bases, Jacoby Ellsbury hit a sacrifice fly to score Chase Headley. Derek Jeter lined out to right to end the inning, and luckily not getting a hit with the bases loaded and one out did not end up costing the Yankees in this game. 

They scored their fourth and fifth runs in the seventh inning as Ellsbury hit a triple and then was sent home on a Gardner single, and then McCann’s single to right scored Jeter with the bases loaded. 

Dellin Betances recorded two swinging strikeouts in the eighth lowering his ERA to 1.44. He has only allowed one run in his last nine appearances and his 122 strikeouts are second on the team. McCann 17th homer put him in second place on the team to Teixeira’s 20.

Martin Prado, who suffered a mildly strained left hamstring during Tuesday’s game and didn’t play on Wednesday, hopes to be cleared to play on Thursday. He is a key part of the offense since in his last 16 game he has hit .381 with four homers and 11 RBIs

The rubber game of the series will be at 7:05 p.m. on Thursday. Chris Capuano will start his eighth game for the Yankees after previously pitching for the Red Sox, and Brandon Workman, who allowed seven runs in 3.1 innings on August 23, will get pitch for the Red Sox. 

Preview of the three-game series between the Yankees and the Boston Red Sox

Shane Greene being interviewed in the locker room.

Shane Greene being interviewed in the locker room.

After losing two out of three games to the Detroit Tigers and then two out of three to the Toronto Blue Jays, the Yankees will now play their last series at home against the Boston Red Sox. This will be Derek Jeter’s final series at home against the rival Red Sox before ending the season with three games in Boston. 

The Yankees will have to sweep the Red Sox to have a chance at having those three games to end the season be meaningful. They still have a slim chance at getting the second wild-card spot as they are currently four games behind the Detroit Tigers with 27 games to play. They are tied with the Cleveland Indians and are 2.5 games behind the Seattle Mariners.

Boston comes into this series having lost six of their last 10 games. They have a negative 74 run differential and a drastically different rotation than they had in the middle of July. Jon Lester, Jake Peavy and John Lackey were all traded before the trade deadline as the Red Sox tried to rebuild their roster for next season. This has left their rotation filled with rookies and inexperienced pitchers besides the experienced Clay Bucholz. Also, their offense has struggled much more than it did last season since they have scored the 25th fewest runs in all of baseball and their .243 average is in 25th place in the league.  

The Yankees, who also have a negative run differential despite their 70-65 record, are on pace to be the first team in major-league history to post back-to-back winning seasons while being outscored by at least 20 runs in each season. They currently have a negative 27 run differential, which means that their opposition has outscored them by 27 runs. A negative run differential would suggest that a team would be under .500, which proves that Joe Girardi has led the Yankees to actually overachieve as a result of all of their pitching injuries and offensive ineffectiveness.

Part of the reason that the Yankees have the record that the do the past two seasons despite their negative run differential is that they are 92-60 in games decided by two runs or less. That is the best record in Major League Baseball over the last two seasons. It helps that the bullpen has been a strength this season and last season.  

Jacoby Ellsbury, who played for the Red Sox the previous seven seasons and was an All-Star once, has been the best offensive player in the Yankees lineup since August 24. Since the game on the 24th, he has 13 hits in 24 at-bats (.542), six runs scored, four homers, nine RBIs and three steals. Ellsbury sprained his angle when he was sliding into home during Friday’s win against the Blue Jays. He missed Saturday’s game and then was only able to pinch-hit on Sunday. 

It’s still sore, but over the last couple of days, they’re real happy with the progress that I’ve made,” Ellsbury said. “We’ve got the off-day, but I’ll get the MRI tonight and have our doctors look at it. Hopefully it’s a good MRI.” The Yankees, who only scored two runs combined in the last two games against the Blue Jays, need Ellsbury back in the lineup.   

The Yankees should have the advantage in the series since they have better starting pitchers and if Ellsbury is back he should be able to help them beat his former team. The Red Sox offense has scored six runs combined in their last three games. Here are the pitching matchups for the series against the Red Sox.

Tonight at 7:05 p.m. on YES

RHP Shane Greene (4-1, 3.09 ERA) 

vs. 

RHP Joe Kelly (0-1, 3.86 ERA with Boston)

Wednesday at 7:05 p.m. on YES

RHP Hiroki Kuroda (9-8, 3.88 ERA) 

vs. 

Anthony Renaudo (3-0, 4.50 ERA)

Thursday at 7:05 p.m. on YES

LHP Chris Capuano (2-3, 4.24 ERA)

vs. 

Allen Webster (3-3, 6.69 ERA)

Webster will be making his 15th career start and Renaudo will be making his fourth start of his career. Kelly came to the Red Sox in the trade that sent Lackey to the St. Louis Cardinals, and he had made 36 starts since 2012 with the Cardinals before the trade. 

Pitching matchups for the series between the Yankees and Blue Jays

Chris Capuano throwing a pitch for the Yankees.

Chris Capuano throwing a pitch for the Yankees.

After losing two out of three games to the Tigers at Comerica Park, the Yankees will start a three-game series in Toronto against the Blue Jays on Friday. The Yankees are now three games behind both the Tigers and Seattle Mariners for the second wild-card spot. 

The Yankees had an opportunity to win the third game, as Hiroki Kuroda only allowed two runs in seven innings pitched, but the offense was only 1-4 with runners in scoring position. Brian McCann grounded into a double play in the second with with Mark Teixeira on first. Their first run came on a Jacoby Ellsbury single to center that scored Zelous Wheeler. 

They scored one run in the fourth but were in position to tack on a few more. After Carlos Beltran’s double, the Yankees had runners on second and third with one out, but McCann had an RBI ground out and then Chase Headley grounded out to third. The Yankees could have scored three or more runs if McCann had hit a double and then Headley hit a single. 

After Dellin Betances recorded two out of three outs in the eighth inning via the strikeout, Shawn Kelley pitched the ninth and allowed the Tigers to get a walk-off win. Kelley struck out two batters in a row with runners on first and second and the score tied at two, but Alex Avila had the game-winning single. The Yankees would have won the game with more offensive production. The anemic offense cost Hiroki Kuroda another win and prevented the team from gaining ground on the Mariners and Tigers.

The Yankees will look to rebound against the Blue Jays at the Rogers Centre. The Yankees, who have a 69-63 record, are currently 2.5 games ahead of the Blue Jays in the wild-card standings. Toronto comes into the series having lost six of their last nine games. Here are the pitching matchups for the series that the Yankees have to win in Toronto: 

Friday 8/29 7:07 p.m. on YES

LHP Chris Capuano (1-3, 4.37 ERA)

vs. 

LHP Mark Buehrle (11-8, 3.41 ERA)

Saturday 1:07 p.m. on YES

RHP Michael Pineda (3-2, 1.95 ERA)

vs. 

RHP Drew Hutchison (8-11, 4.68 ERA)

Sunday 1:07 p.m. on YES

RHP Brandon McCarthy (5-3, 2.47 ERA with Yankees)

vs. 

LHP J.A. Happ (8-8, 4.40 ERA