Tagged: Tropicana Field

Sanchez hit his 17th homer in 42 games in the Yankees win over the Tampa Bay Rays

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Gary Sanchez – ESPN

The Yankees beat the Tampa Bay Rays at Tropicana Field on Tuesday night, 5-3, to keep their hopes of getting the second wild card spot alive. They have a very small chance as they are 3.5 games out with 12 games left in the season. They have two more games left in the series against the last place Rays and then end the season playing the Blue Jays, Red Sox and Orioles.

Michael Pineda proved his potential once again and showed that he has the ability to have an ERA a good bit lower than the 4.89 ERA that he has. He threw 5.1 innings, allowed only two earned runs on five hits and a walk, and added 11 more strikeouts to his season total. This means that 11 of the 16 outs that he recorded were via the strikeout.

“The last couple of games I have used my change up more,” Pineda said. “I have a good feel for it so I have used it.” He also used his slider very well against the Rays.

Pineda came into the game 7th in the American League in strikeouts with 184, but the 195 that he currently has puts him in 6th place in the league. His ERA should be lower based on the quality of pitches that he throws and that all of the pitchers with more strikeouts than he has have ERAs of 4.05 or lower. The only runs that the Rays scored off of him came off of a two-run triple by Brad Miller.

Pineda already had 98 pitches after 5.1 innings, so it was time for Joe Girardi to take him out of the game. He has been one of the worst pitchers in the first inning this season but has been a little better pitching in the beginning of the game recently. He was not able to get the win because the Yankees were losing 2-1 when he left the game.

Mark Teixeira hit a 407-foot homer to left in the fourth inning to give the Yankees their first run of the game. That was his 13th homer of the season and only his 38th RBI of his final campaign.

The more important homer of the game came in the 7th inning after Brett Gardner’s RBI single scored Ronald Torreyes. Gary Sanchez hit a hanging slider to left center for a 3-run homer off of Brad Boxberger to make the score 5-2. That homer gave the Yankees the runs they needed to win the game and end their five-game losing streak.

Teixeira, who has seen a lot as he has been in the majors since 2003, was very impressed with Sanchez after the game.

“Amazing, incredible, impressive,” Teixeira said. “He’s carried us. We’re not even close to talking about a playoff berth if Gary doesn’t come up and do what he does.”

Sanchez’s homer was significant in a few other ways.

That was Sanchez’s 17th homer of the season and his 17 homers tie the Boston Braves’ Wally Berger in 1930 for most homers hit in the first 44 games of a career. Sanchez has also homered in three consecutive games, which is the second time he has done that since being called up in the beginning of August. His next homer will match Alfonso Soriano’s 18 homers (2001) for most as a Yankees rookie. Soriano hit his 18 homers in 574 at-bats and Sanchez has hit his 17 homers in only 162 at-bats.

“He’s meant a lot,” manager Joe Girardi said. “Offensively and defensively. It’s kind of fitting that he got the big hit.” Sanchez has thrown out nine runners attempting to steal and has allowed 16 stolen bases, which equals a solid 36 percent caught stealing percentage.

Sanchez is currently on a five-game hitting streak and has at least one hit in six of his last seven games. He deserves to be the AL Rookie of the Year based on the impact that he has had on the Yankees since the beginning of August. The other player who might deserve to win Rookie of the Year is the Tigers’ Michael Fulmer, but he has struggled in his last few starts.

Sanchez is leading all rookies in an advanced metric stat called fWAR that evaluates the overall statistics. Sanchez is 2.9, Chris Devenski is 2.7, Fulmer is 2.5 and Tyler Naquin is 2.1.

Tyler Clippard allowed his second earned run in his last two games in the eighth inning to make the score 5-3, but he was able to pick up his 10th hold since rejoining the Yankees on August 1. He has a 1.29 ERA in 21 innings, which is better than anyone could have expected.

The Yankees will look to sweep the remaining two games against the Rays to not lose any ground. The remaining games will be valuable for the young players on the team since they will continue to play in meaningful games with a playoff like atmosphere.


Greg Bird’s two RBIs helped the Yankees get a 3-1 win over the Rays

Luis Severino.

Luis Severino.

The Yankees beat the Tampa Bay Rays on Wednesday night, 3-1, in the final game of their series at Tropicana Field. It was a big win for the Yankees because they were able to stay three games behind Toronto in the AL East since the Blue Jays routed the last place Atlanta Braves 9-1. After last night’s win, the Yankees are now only seven wins away from 10,000 in franchise history.

Luis Severino only allowed one run in 5.2 innings pitched while striking out seven in what was his most important start as a Yankee. The Yankees still have a chance in the AL East partly because they have won four of the last five games that he has started. The team could not have asked for anything more from their highly regarded rookie as he has a 3.12 ERA and 45 strikeouts in his eight starts and has allowed two runs or less in six of those starts.

“It’s great to help the team win,” Severino said after the game.

He has only allowed more than two runs twice, and both of those starts came against the Blue Jays. He allowed three runs in six innings in his first start against Toronto, which means that nine of the 15 runs that he has allowed have come against Toronto. That is not surprising because the Blue Jays have scored 102 runs more than the the Yankees, who have scored the second most runs in baseball.

In his previous start, on September 11 against the Blue Jays, Severino gave up six runs on six hits and three walks in only 2.1 innings, which means that he was able to rebound very well after that sub-par performance. Severino had not allowed a run until the sixth inning when Steven Souza Jr. doubled to center with one out to score James Loney. He struck out Nick Franklin swinging with two outs and then Justin Wilson came on in relief as Severino had thrown 94 pitches.

“He bounced back extremely well, which is good to see,” Yankees manager Joe Girardi said. Some rookies will struggle after performing like Severino did against Toronto, but he was impressively able to pitch like he previously had.

Chase Headley had what ended up being the game-winning RBI in the top of the sixth inning with his single to shallow left that sent Brian McCann home to make the score 2-0. That was Headley’s only hit of the game and that hit snapped his 10 at-bat hitless streak.

Greg Bird, who was 2-4, drove in the first and third runs that the Yankees scored. He was once again a critical part in a Yankees win. In the second inning, to give the Yankees a 1-0 lead, Bird hit a double to right center to score Carlos Beltran. In the ninth inning, to give the team an insurance run, Bird hit his seventh homer in his 29 game played of the season. Seven homers and 21 RBIs are very productive power numbers for a rookie who has not even played in 30 games.

The bullpen pitched 3.1 combined innings and only allowed one hit. Wilson only need 12 pitches to strike out two in his inning, Dellin Betances threw 1.1 innings and had to get out of trouble as he walked the bases loaded in the seventh and Souza Jr. hit a single off of him in the eighth, but he was able to get a key double play and strike out. Andrew Miller (1.80 ERA) struck out all three batters he faced in the ninth to record his impressive 34th save of the season in his first year as a closer.

Chris Archer, who pitched well against the Yankees once again, allowed the first two runs that the Yankees scored. He pitched six innings and allowed four hits and four walks. He broke the Rays’ single season strikeout record with his third inning strikeout of Brett Gardner. That was his 240th strikeouts, which broke Scott Kazmir’s record.

The other positive offensively was that Jacoby Ellsbury, who had not had a hit in his previous 22 at-bats, went 2-5 in what was his first multi-hit game since September 6. The Yankees need this to be a sign of him hitting with more consistency.

The Yankees have their last off day of the season today before playing 17 games in 17 days to end the season. The Yankees play three games against the Mets at Citi Field starting on Friday and after that series will play an important three-game series at the Rogers Centre against the Blue Jays. Those six games will go a long way towards deciding if the Yankees win the division or get one of two wild card spots.

CC Sabathia won his first game in over a year as the Yankees hit five homers

CC Sabathia

CC Sabathia

The Yankees (21-12) beat the Tampa Bay Rays, 11-5, on Monday night, and they were helped by the offense hitting five homers at Tropicana Field. After not hitting many homers last season, the Yankees are currently in second place in the American League with 43 home runs. Their 152 RBIs are also second most in the American League to Toronto’s 167.

The Yankees have 12 wins in away games this season, which is tied with the Houston Astros for the most in all of baseball. Their improved defense, starting pitching and power on offense has helped the team get off to a better start than anyone expected. This could be sustainable because they have played the toughest schedule in baseball and Nathan Eovaldi and CC Sabathia can get better the rest of the season and Masahiro Tanaka will be returning soon.

Alex Rodriguez, Chase Headley, Carlos Beltran, Brett Gardner and Mark Teixeira’s homers helped CC Sabathia record his first win since April 24 of 2014. The Yankees had only scored nine runs for Sabathia during his previous six starts before Monday’s, but in last night’s start the Yankees scored nine runs. Sabathia had a 5.45 ERA coming into the game but deserved to have two or three wins.

“The team wanted to get runs for CC,” Joe Girardi said. He thought it was great that Sabathia got his first win of the season after pitching well enough in two of his previous games.

In the first inning, after Logan Forsythe doubled to deep left center, Didi Gregorius made a perfect relay throw to home to get Steven Souza Jr. out and only allow one run to score on the play. Sabathia had a rocky first inning, but he was able to really rebound after that as he retired the side in order in the second, third and fourth innings.

He was able to get Tim Beckham to ground into an inning ending double play in the fifth that was started by Gregorius. In the sixth inning, Sabathia struck out Evan Longoria, who has hit very well against the Yankees the past few years, on an inside fastball to end the inning.

He allowed three earned runs in the seventh inning, but his stuff was much better than it was in his last start and it is an encouraging sign for him that he pitched well against a team that he has struggled against in the past (5.45 ERA between 2012 and 2014).

“During the middle of (the game) I just let it go,” Sabathia said. “I came in to righties. I felt good tonight. It’s good to get a win in a game that I started.” Sabathia allowed three earned runs, six hits, two walks and a season-high nine strikeouts. Teixeira, who hit a two-run homer in the ninth inning, thought that it was great to see Sabathia go deep into the game and record a lot of strikeouts.

Headley, whose three-run homer in the fourth was his fourth of the season, was also impressed with how Sabathia pitched. “I thought CC did a great job,” Headley said. “I think he was mad at himself for giving up three runs in the seventh.”

The Yankees were able to hit all of their homers with two outs, which proves that they are not getting worse with two outs like some teams do.

Beltran’s solo homer to right center in the fifth was his second homer in as many games and after his 2-5 performance is now hitting .333 in his last 10 games. His average has increased from .181 on May 1 to .219 on May 12.

He is now in sole possession of fourth place on the all-time RBI list among switch hitters. It is key that Beltran has turned around his season offensively because he adds another power hitting switch hitter in the middle of the lineup. He is likely somewhere in between the .333 average that he has in his last 10 games and his .219 season average.

Chris Archer, who is one of the best starters in the American League, will get the start for the Rays on Tuesday. Nathan Eovaldi will look to win his fourth game of the season for the Yankees.


Below is an interview that Jorge Posada did with Dan Patrick on Monday. Posada is an all-time great Yankee catcher who played on the team for 17 years, was an a All-Star five times, won the World Series four times and won five Silver Slugger Awards. He was promoting his new book and shared stories about Derek Jeter, Alex Rodriguez, Joe Torre and life as a Yankee.

Tanaka allowed only two hits in seven innings as the Yankees pounded the Rays 9-0

Masahiro Tanaka pitching last season against the Blue Jays.

Masahiro Tanaka pitching last season against the Blue Jays.

The Yankees beat the Tampa Bay Rays, 9-0, on Saturday night at Tropicana Field in what was their best all around game of the season. Masahiro Tanaka pitched seven shutout innings in what was by far his best start of the season.

In Tanaka’s seven shutout innings he struck out eight batters and didn’t have any walks in only 85 pitches. He threw 58 of his pitches for strikes and only allowed two hits. In the bottom of the sixth inning, Tanaka allowed a leadoff double to Brandon Guyer but he was able to rebound to strikeout Rene Rivera and David DeJesus and then Steven Souza Jr grounded out to third.

After Tanaka allowed a single to leadoff the game he then retired 15 consecutive Rays, which included getting the dangerous Evan Longoria out two times. He has improved in each of his three starts this season as he allowed four earned runs in his first start, three in his second and then zero in this one. He looked like he did during his dominating rookie season.

“I think I was able to adjust well and get results,” Tanaka said. “The way that I was pitching the mechanics worked well. I am happy with the results. I liked my fastball in particular.” Joe Girardi thought that all of Tanaka’s pitches were working well and isn’t concerned about last year’s injury anymore.

The Bronx Bombers scored their most runs since they beat the Boston Red Sox 14-4 during Tanaka’s last start. It was a pitchers duel between Tanaka and Jake Odorizzi until the sixth inning when Brian McCann’s triple to deep right scored Brett Gardner and Alex Rodriguez. McCann’s drive came about a foot from being a homer and he had a triple since it hit an aluminum part of the wall and went nearly back to the infield.

Then, in the seventh inning, Gregorio Petit hit a sac fly to score Chase Headley, Brett Gardner singled to left to score Stephen Drew, Mark Teixeira hit a sac fly to right to score Jacoby Ellsbury and then Chris Young hit his third career grand slam to deep left to send Gardner, Rodriguez and McCann home.

Young’s homer essentially sealed the win for the Yankees at Tropicana Field. After getting three hits in four at-bats, Young is now hitting a solid .276 with an impressive three homers and eight RBIs. He deserves to play more in right field instead of Carlos Beltran since the soon to be 38-year-old is only hitting .184 with zero homers. Young has much more power in his bat, is more consistent right now and is just as reliable as Beltran in the outfield.

You’re just trying to have a good at-bat,” Young said afterwards. “A grand slam is great, but it’s not what’s in your mind..I was just trying to grind, battle, trying to work a walk or base hit. And he happened to leave one up for me.”

The win ensured their first series win of the season and gives them a chance for their first sweep when Michael Pineda pitches against the Rays on Saturday afternoon. Pineda, how had a sub-par performance in his last start as he allowed five earned runs to the Baltimore Orioles, has the potential to form the best No. 1 and No. 2 combo with Tanaka in the AL East.

They are likely already the best number one and two starters in the division based on what they did last season. Pineda has greatly improved his change to go with his very good slider and fastball and in his first start he only allowed two earned runs in six innings to the Toronto Blue Jays. In his seven away games last season he had a 2.21 ERA and in his start at Tropicana Field he allowed a run in 5.1 innings.

A-Rod’s four RBIs led the Yankees to a win over the Tampa Bay Rays

Alex Rodriguez hitting during this year's spring training.

Alex Rodriguez hitting during this year’s spring training.

The Yankees (4-6) beat the Tampa Bay Rays, 5-4, at Tropicana Field on Friday night to end their two-game losing streak. They will now have to win one of their next two games against the Rays to win their first series of the season.

Alex Rodriguez, who has been the team’s best offensive player so far this season, was the reason that the team won this game. He drove in as many runs as the Rays scored as a team. A-Rod is now .344 with four homers, six runs scored, two doubles and 11 RBIs.

To leadoff the top of the second inning, Rodriguez hit a 471-foot solo homer to deep left center field. This homer was the longest round tripper in baseball this season. His second home run, in the sixth inning, was a line drive 400-foot blast that drove in Brian McCann. That homer in the sixth inning gives him 658 and puts him two behind tying Willie Mays for fourth on the all-time homer list. For his fourth RBI of the game, A-Rod’s single on a line drive to center scored Brett Gardner after he stole second as a pinch runner. His last multi-homer game came on May 23 of 2012.

He has performed better than anyone could have expected so far after missing all of last season due to his suspension. It was realistic to think that he could hit 15 homers this season based on his stats during spring training, but the start that he has gotten off to has proved that could surpass that total. His bat speed is back to the way it was a few years ago, he knows what pitches he can do damage with and his mechanics set him up to hit the ball with power.

After the game, Rodriguez was grateful to be playing baseball once again, said that he is enjoying playing this season and said that he didn’t know what to expect from himself.

More than anything, I’m just feeling very grateful to be back playing baseball,” he said. “I’m very grateful to (owners) Hank and Hal [Steinbrenner] for giving me the opportunity to put the uniform on again. It’s something I don’t take for granted and it’s much appreciated. It just feels good to be playing baseball. I’m having fun out there. I don’t think anyone knew what to expect. Including myself.

Adam Warren was not as effective as he was during first start as he threw pitches in the fourth inning that he wanted back. He pitched well in the first three innings, as he allowed three singles in the first three frames, but in the fourth inning he allowed a single, a walk, a three-run homer Allan Dykstra and then a solo blast to Logan Forsythe.

However, the bullpen was able to rebound from a shaky performance on Wednesday to pitch five innings while allowing only two hits. Esmil Rogers pitched two innings in relief of Warren while recording two strikeouts and no hits, Dellin Betances got his second win of the season after recording a strikeout and a hit in his inning pitched and Andrew Miller, the closer for now, got his third save of the season and kept his ERA at 0.00 as he collected three strikeouts (and one hit) in his 1.1 innings pitched.

The fifth run that the Yankees scored was driven in by Stephen Drew in the fourth inning, He hit a solo homer on a line drive to right center field. That homer was his 100th of his career and he joins his brother J.D. Drew on the list of brothers with 100 or more homers. Drew needs to hit more consistently, but on the positive side his last three hits have been homers.

Masahiro Tanaka will get his third start of the season on Saturday night against the Rays. In his start on April 12 against the Red Sox he allowed three runs in five innings while adding five strikeouts. He will look to improve on the results from his second start just like he did from his first start.

Derek Jeter helped the Yankees beat the Tampa Bay Rays by ending his long hitless streak

Brandon McCarthy pitching for the Yankees.

Brandon McCarthy pitching for the Yankees.

The Yankees beat the Tampa Bay Rays 3-2 on Wednesday night during the last game of their three-game series at Tropicana Field. The Yankees got back in the win column after losing their last three games and five of their previous six. The three runs that the Yankees scored were as many as they had scored in their previous three games combined.

Derek Jeter was 0-28 coming into the game but his hit in the sixth inning snapped his second longest hitless streak of his career. He scored what ended up being the game-winning run on Brett Gardner’s sacrifice fly to right.

The Yankees scored their first two runs off of Rays starter Alex Cobb in the fifth inning. After being hit during Tuesday’s game, Chase Headley hit a double to deep center that scored Chris Young. Then, Brendan Ryan who usually doesn’t hit for much power, hit a ground rule double that landed near the foul pole in right to score Headley.

Brandon McCarthy had yet another dominating start for the Yankees. He pitched seven impressive innings, only allowed two runs and picked up four strikeouts. Evan Longoria was the only Ray that did damage off of McCarthy. He hit a solo homer in the first and had a RBI ground out in the sixth.

In the seventh inning, McCarthy wrapped up his start with an “immaculate inning” that included recording three strikeouts on only nine pitches. This feat is very rarely seen in baseball and was a great way to conclude his dominating performance. He has proven that the Yankees should make every effort to bring him back next season. Joe Girardi has been impressed with how McCarthy has been pitching.

I think his sinker has been really good and I think his curve ball has been really effective,” Girardi said. “I think that he gets some strikes with it, he puts some guys away with it and it has been really effective. But I think the command of his sinker has been the most important thing.”

McCarthy, who had struggled before being traded to the Yankees but had excelled in 2011 and 2012, has now allowed two runs or less in seven of his last nine starts. He needed only 91 pitches to get through seven innings and had 12 ground ball outs and eight fly ball outs.

The other pitching highlight from this game was that Dellin Betances, the flame throwing set-up man who was born in Washington Heights, recorded his 131st strikeout of his season. In his first full major league season, he set the record for most strikeouts in a season by a Yankee reliever. Future Hall of Famer Mariano Rivera previously set the record with his 130 strikeouts in 1996. His knee buckling slurve and 99 MPH fastball has led him to a dominating 1.33 ERA.

I got a bunch of text messages (about the record),” Betances said. “I am happy we came out on the winning side. It is pretty incredible to think about the whole year and how everything has gone. I definitely feel honored, especially to be a part of this group and part of this organization. Just to be mentioned around his name (Mariano Rivera), you are talking about the best closer & reliever in the game, just to be around the same breath as him, I take thrill in that.”

“You think about the people that he (Betances) has passed in the last few weeks, Goose Gossage and Mariano Rivera, one Hall of Famer and one who has just got to wait his turn basically, it is pretty impressive what he has done,” Girardi said. “What he went through, some of the struggles that he went through, those struggles help you. When you struggle and are able to get back up and fight through it, it helps you down the road because it is not always going to be easy in this game.”

The Yankees won Derek Jeter’s final game at Tropicana Field after David Robertson got Nick Franklin to strike out swinging to end the game. Robertson picked up his 37th save of the season, which is the third best save total in the American League.

Young, who scored the Yankees first run, should be brought back as a fourth outfielder if he is willing to take a discount. His average on the season is .219, but since his first game with the Yankees on September 2, he has hit .324 in 34 at-bats with three homers and eight RBIs.

The Yankees and Blue Jays will begin a four-game series at Yankee Stadium on Thursday night at 7:05 p.m. Rookie Shane Greene (5-3, 3.56 ERA) will get the start for the Yankees and the veteran knuckleballer R.A. Dickey will get the start for Toronto.

The Rays beat the Yankees 6-1 on Wednesday at Tropicana Field

Derek Jeter warming up at Tropicana Field

Derek Jeter warming up at Tropicana Field

The Yankees lost to the Rays on 6-1 on Tuesday for their fifth loss in their last six games. The Yankees have now only scored seven runs in their previous six games, which has been a major reason for all of the losses.

Tuesday’s game stands out because it was the fifth time that a Yankee had been hit in the last four games by the Rays. Joe Girardi was so frustrated that after Derek Jeter was hit on the wrist in the eighth he was thrown out of the game. “Five times in four games we have been hit,” Girardi said. “Twice in the elbow, once in the chin, a ball at Gardy’s head last night, another ball at Chase’s ribs last night. I am all for pitching inside, but you got to know how to pitch inside, because it is extremely dangerous. Chase Headley is lucky that he is OK. I don’t know what they expect.”

Jeter and Headley have both been hit twice since Sept. 9 and Brian McCann has been hit once. “No one likes to get hit,” Jeter said. Obviously when it happens it’s unfortunate; when it happens a lot, then yeah, people get frustrated.”

After Jeter was hit in the eighth both benches were warned, which led to umpire Rob Drake ejecting Girardi, Tony Pena and David Phelps from the game. Phelps was ejected when he sent a fastball near Kevin Kiermaier’s chin to the backstop in the eighth. Drake ruled this intentional even though Phelps was only making his second appearance since August 3. This also caused Pena to be ejected since he was the acting manager with Girardi out of the game.

The game was close through the sixth inning as the Rays only had a 2-1 lead at that point. Michael Pineda rebounded well from his last start since he only allowed one run in 5.1 innings. He was not able to give the team much length since he had 100 pitches when he was taken out. Pineda has now allowed two earned runs or less in nine of his 10 starts this season giving him an impressive 2.15 ERA.

The only run that the Yankees scored in the game came off of a single by Ichrio Suzuki that scored Chris Young in the second inning off of Jake Odorizzi. The Yankees had seven hits and two walks but were only 1-10 with runners in scoring position. Brett Gardner and Brian McCann, the three and four hitters counted on to drive in runs, were both 0-4 and McCann grounded into a double play with Jeter on first in the eighth. In the seventh inning, after Antoan Richardson stole second, Brendan Ryan and Jacoby Ellsbury both lined out to the outfield in consecutive at-bats.

The Yankees relief pitchers fell apart in the seventh inning as three pitchers combined to allow four runs on four hits. Three of those runs were charged to Esmil Rogers and the fourth was charged to Rich Hill. The Rays scored their first run of the seventh when the dangerous Evan Longoria hit a single that sent Ben Zobrist home and David DeJesus to second. DeJesus’s single to right advanced Zobrist to second. Hill gave up two consecutive singles to James Loney and Nick Franklin, which led to DeJesus scoring the second run of the inning.

A play that is barely ever seen happened with Wil Myers hitting and Phelps pitching. Myers hit a sac fly to center and Longoria scored from third and Loney scored from second. Part of the reason they both scored was that Ellsbury had to dive to make the catch. Girardi likely protested the game after this play.

In an almost fitting ending to the drama-filled game, Brendan Ryan struck out swinging with runners on first and second.

The only memorable part of the game besides Pineda’s performance was that Jeter was honored before the game with a ceremony. Jeter does not have a hit in his last 26 at-bats, but will likely remember and enjoy the kayak in Yankee colors with the No. 2 on it and a framed Rays jersey of Tampa Bay senior advisor Don Zimmer, who died last year. Jeter developed a clos relationship with Zimmer while he was the bench coach with the Yankees and would touch him for good luck.

In Jeter’s final game at Tropicana Field, on Wednesday, Alex Cobb will start for the Rays and Brandon McCarthy will pitch for the Yankees. McCarthy has allowed two runs or less in six of his last eight starts, and he allowed zero runs in three of those eight starts.