Tagged: Nelson Cruz

Sweepless in Seattle…

Credit:  Joe Nicholson/USA TODAY Sports

Mariners 6, Yankees 5…

So much for a potential sweep in Seattle as the Mariners prevailed over the Yankees in extra innings on Saturday night.  Ex-Yankees Ben Gamel and Robinson Cano made themselves heard in this game.  The Yankees can still take three of four with a victory today so they can still end this road trip on a high note.

Masahiro Tanaka didn’t have his best stuff (in a statement that we have made far too often this season).  The Yankees scored first in the second inning when Gary Sanchez doubled to right, a one-hopper off the wall. After Sanchez was nearly picked off at second, Didi Gregorius hit a single to right which moved Sanchez to third.  Todd Frazier hit into a 6-4-3 double play, but Sanchez scored on the play.  After allowing a meaningless single in each of the two first innings, Tanaka lost the lead in the third.  Mike Zunino opened with a blast to left center and the game was tied.  Following a strikeout of Jean Segura, former Yankee Ben Gamel homered on the first pitch to right center.  It was the 26th home run allowed by Tanaka this season, tying him for the  dubious AL lead with Ricky Nolasco. Robinson Cano went down swinging for the second out.  Nelson Cruz singled on an infield grounder to third (Tood Frazier’s long throw was up the line which took Garrett Cooper off first) and Kyle Seager was hit by a pitch on the back toe to put runners at first and second.  Following a coaching visit to the mound by pitching coach Larry Rothschild (it didn’t work), Danny Valencia ripped a single to left to score Cruz and Mitch Haniger singled through the hole to left to score Seager.  It was 4-1 Mariners.  Jarrod Dyson grounded out to end the inning.

Credit:  Ted S Warren/AP

Garrett Cooper tripled to center in the fifth with a near home run which sent center fielder Jarrod Dyson into the wall.  Dyson stayed but you could tell that he was still affected by the collision.  He would depart the game after the inning was over.  Ronald Torreyes lofted a fly ball to Dyson in center as Cooper tagged and scored.  In the sixth, Clint Frazier started the inning with a 10-pitch at-bat against M’s starter Ariel Miranda but chased an upstairs fastball to strike out. The Mariners pulled Miranda and replaced him with Steve Cishek.  Aaron Judge greeted Cishek with a high fly to right center for his 32nd home run of the season.  The Yankees had closed the gap to 4-3.

Credit:  Ted S Warren/AP

The Yankees tied the game in the 8th inning.  With one out, Brett Gardner beat out a grounder to short for a single.  Clint Frazier doubled to center off the top of the wall (if only it had been just a few more inches), Gardner moved to third.  The Mariners intentionally walked Aaron Judge to face Matt Holliday.  Holliday hit a deep sacrifice fly to right, easily scoring Gardner.  The game was tied at 4.  Gary Sanchez lined out to right so the Yankees were unable to push any more runs across the plate.  In retrospect, this was a very big missed opportunity.

In the bottom of the 8th, the Mariners recaptured the lead when Robinson Cano led off with a home run to left off David Robertson. Bummer, but you couldn’t blame D-Rob as it was an excellent pitch. He was able to retire the next three batters to get out of the inning without any further damage. 

The Yankees had life again in the top of the 9th with Mariners closer Edwin Diaz on the mound.  Didi Gregorius walked to start the inning.  Diaz was able to retire the next two batters, Todd Frazier and Chase Headley who pinch-hit for Garrett Cooper.  With Ronald Torreyes at the plate, Jacoby Ellsbury was brought in to pinch run for Gregorius and promptly stole second.  Torreyes singled to left on a line drive, bringing Ellsbury around to score and the game was tied again.  After Tommy Kahnle finished the M’s in the bottom of the 9th, it was off to extra innings.

Credit:  Joe Nicholson/USA TODAY Sports

M’s reliever Tony Zych replaced Diaz in the 10th and easily retired the Yankees, including strikeouts of both Clint Frazier and Aaron Judge.  In the bottom of the 10th, Adam Warren was on the mound.  Warren gave up a lead-off double by Ben Gamel (rapidly becoming a Yankee killer).  Robinson Cano was intentionally walked to open the possibility for a double play, but unfortunately, Nelson Cruz hit a line drive to left and Clint Frazier’s throw to the plate was off the mark as Gamel scored the winning run.  The Mariners win, 6-5.  

Credit:  Ted S Warren/AP

The Yankees (50-46) didn’t lose any ground in the AL East despite the loss.  The Boston Red Sox fell to the Los Angeles Angels, 7-3, while the Texas Rangers rallied to beat the Tampa Bay Rays, 4-3.  It would have been a great opportunity to pick up ground in the division but it was not meant to be.  The Yankees and Rays remain 3 1/2 games behind Boston.  

Somehow, the Yankees need to get Todd Frazier going.  His 0-for-4 night dropped his season batting average to .201.  Anything from him last night could have been a difference-maker.  Among the starting position players, he was the only one without a hit for the second game in a row.

Odds & Ends…

Second baseman Starlin Castro has been placed on the 10-Day DL after re-aggravating his hamstring.  Tyler Wade, who was seen in the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre locker room before the RailRiders’ game yesterday, was recalled and didn’t get to Seattle until late last night.  Presumably, he’ll share time at second with Ronald Torreyes.  Wade had a tremendous game on Thursday when the RailRiders defeated the Charlotte Knights, 13-2.  He tripled and homered, driving in 4 RBI’s.  

Caleb Smith (0-1, 6.00 ERA) will start today’s getaway game against the Mariners in place of Luis Cessa.  I am very glad to see this move.  I’d rather see what Smith is capable of doing with his first Major League start versus another uneven performance by Luis Cessa.  I am sure that Cessa will be the first call to the pen if Smith gets into trouble early but hopefully he is able to show the great success he has enjoyed in Triple A this year.  Yovanni Gallardo (4-7, 5.59 ERA) will oppose Smith.  

Jacoby Ellsbury, at least temporarily, has lost his starting gig.  With over $68 million still owed Ellsbury after this year, there’s probably not much chance he’ll be exiting anytime soon.  Manager Joe Girardi has said that he wants to go with the hot hand which means keeping Clint Frazier in the lineup.  The threat of Frazier being demoted to Triple A when Aaron Hicks returns still looms as the Yankees are not going to cut Ellsbury.  This goes against the premise of putting your best players on the field but obviously there are more factors at play.  

The Yankees get a much needed day off on Monday following their cross-country flight home.  Meanwhile, the Boston Red Sox, flying up from Orange County, will replace the Yankees at Safeco Field for a three-game series against the Mariners.

Have a great Sunday!  Let’s make this a fun day with a much-needed win!  Go Yankees!

13 Hits, 12 Runs, and 1 Error…

 

Perfect no more…

 

The Yankees errorless streak was halted at a major league record 18 games. I had expected Derek Jeter or Robinson Cano to boot a routine grounder to end the streak, but it was a throwing error by catcher Jorge Posada that sailed into center field on a stolen base attempt. Truth be told, I am glad to see the streak come to an end so that it removes the “pressure” of trying to maintain the streak.

 

John Dunn/MCT

 

During the streak, Yankee players fielded 660 chances without an error.

But the end of the streak was the only negative to an otherwise joyous evening…well, for everyone except Mark Teixeira, who was hit by two Vicente Padilla pitches.

 

AP

 

The Yankees won the game, 12-3, over the Texas Rangers, and maintained their one game lead on the Boston Red Sox, who also won, in the AL East Standings. Early on, it looked like the game could go either way. The Yanks had taken an early 2-0 lead in the 2nd inning, thanks to a run-scoring single by Brett Gardner and a bases loaded balk by Padilla. After Mark Teixeira was hit by a Vicente Padilla pitch for the first time, Alex Rodriguez grounded out with the bags full to prevent further scoring. The next inning, the lead was quickly erased when Texas right fielder Nelson Cruz hit a three-run shot to left.

 

exas Rangers' Nelson Cruz, right, is greeted at the plate by Hank Blalock (9) and Michael Young (10) after hitting a third-inning, three-run home run off New York Yankees pitcher A.J. Burnett

AP

In the bottom of the 4th inning, both Melky Cabrera and Derek Jeter walked. Johnny Damon hit a single which scored Cabrera with the tying run. Teixeira, the next batter, was hit by a pitch from Padilla for the second time. With Jeter at third and the bases loaded, Alex Rodriguez hit into a fielder’s choice. Teixeira was out at 2nd but his slide upended shortstop Elvis Andrus and prevented a double play. However, Jeter scored with his 1,500th career run and the Yankees had forged ahead, 4-3. Robinson Cano singled to right, to bring home Damon and Padilla’s night was finished. Texas reliever Derek Holland entered the game, and promptly surrendered a run scoring single to Jorge Posada. The next batter, Hideki Matsui, cleared the bases with a three-run homer to right center field, his 8th of the season. Cabrera, batting for the second time in the inning, hit a grounder to second for the third out. However, the Yankees had scored 7 runs in the inning, and the 3-2 deficit had become a 9-3 lead.

 

New York Yankees' Hideki Matsui watches his fourth-inning, three-run home run in a baseball game against the Texas Rangers

AP

Jorge Posada closed out the scoring in the 6th with a three run homer to right.

A.J. Burnett (4-2) picked up his first Yankee Stadium win of the year. He went 7 innings, giving up 8 hits and 1 walk. He allowed three runs on the Cruz homer, and struck out 8 batters.

 

A.J. Burnett (34), pitches to the Texas Rangers in the first inning.

John Dunn

 

The unsightly duo of Brett Tomko and Jose Veras pitched the final two innings of scoreless relief. When Veras entered the game, I have to admit that I began to feel somewhat uncomfortable…even with a 9 run lead.

Derek Jeter extended his hitting streak to 16 games. However, Mark Teixeira did not get a hit so his streak ended at 14 games.

The hostility between Teixera and Padilla dates back to June 5, 2005 when Teixeira’s Rangers played Padilla’s Philadelphia Phillies. Tex homered in his first two at-bat’s against Padilla, and when he came to the plate for the third time, Padilla plunked him with a pitch. The two were Texas teammates in 2006-07, however, the ill feelings between the two were never resolved. “That’s not the right way to play the game and, unfortunately, that guy’s been doing that his whole career,” Teixeira said after the game. Padilla, by the way, has hit a major league high 97 batters since 2002.

 

 

It was nice to see Tex play with emotion and without losing control.

 

It was also nice to see my friend Julia stay in second place…  🙂

–Scott