Results tagged ‘ Drew Stubbs ’

CC Goes Route To Lead Yanks To Sweep Of Indians

GAME 59

YANKEES 6, INDIANS 4

During a long major-league season bullpens get taxed and sometimes it is up to the team’s ace pitcher to go the distance for the good of the club. That is exactly what CC Sabathia did for the Yankees on Wednesday.

Sabathia pitched his first complete game of the season and New York benefitted from a pair of early home runs to claim a three-game sweep of Cleveland in front of a paid crowd of 42,477 at Yankee Stadium.

Sabathia (6-4), bolstered by an early 6-0 lead, shut down the Indians to pitch 4 2/3 innings of perfect baseball before he surrendered a bloop single to left by Mike Aviles.

The Yankees, meanwhile, got off to quick start against right-hander Corey Kluber (3-4) when Robinson Cano reached on a two-base fielding error by center-fielder Michael Bourn with one out in the first inning. One out later, Travis Hafner blasted a tape-measure home run deep into the second deck in right-field for his 10th home run of the season and his second in as many at-bats.

Hafner hit his ninth home run on Monday in the seventh inning off Justin Masterson of the Indians, Hafner’s former team.

The Yankees added to their lead in the second inning when Lyle Overbay reached on an infield single and, one out later, Jayson Nix advanced him to third on an opposite-field double to right.

Chris Stewart scored Overbay on a lined single to left and Brett Gardner followed with his sixth home run of the season.

But Kluber settled down and allowed the Yankees only two singles until he left after seven innings having given up six runs (four earned) on seven hits and one walk while he struck out eight.

But Sabathia was the better pitcher on this day.

The Indians did score a pair of runs in the sixth inning on back-to-back one-out singles by Drew Stubbs and Bourn and an RBI single off the bat of Jason Kipnis and an RBI groundout by Nick Swisher.

They added another two runs in the seventh inning on a two-out single by Michael Brantley and a two-run home run from Yan Gomes that brought the Indians back into the contest.

The Yankees entered the game with relievers Joba Chamberlain, David Robertson and Mariano Rivera all having pitched the previous two games and they preferred not to have to use them for a third straight day.

However, Sabathia only allowed a two-out walk to Swisher in the eighth and he retired the the Indians in order in the ninth to preserve the victory for the Yankees.

The veteran left-hander gave up four runs on seven hits and one walk while he fanned nine batters for his second consecutive victory in as many starts after not winning any of his previous five outings.

The series sweep gives the Yankees a 6-1 record in their season series with the Indians and they also salvaged a 4-4 homestand.

The victory also improves the Yankees’ season record to 34-25. Combined with losses by both the Baltimore Orioles and the Boston Red Sox, the Yankees broke their second-place tie with the O’s and are only 1 1/2 games behind the first-place Bosox in the American League East. The Indians dropped to 30-29.

PINSTRIPE POSITIVE

  • Sabathia pitched a whole lot better than the four runs he ended up yielding might indicate. He struck out five of the first 12 batters he faced and he did not allow a ball out of the infield until Swisher flew out to center to end the fourth inning. The hardest hit ball of the game was Gomes’ homer in the seventh. Sabathia is now 117-5 in his career with 6 or more runs of support.
  • Hafner had only four hits against the Indians in the five games he played against his former team, however, three of them were home runs. His round-tripper in the first inning took such high flight they could served a meal before it landed. Hafner’s two home runs in the series followed a homer drought of 10 games. His eighth home run came on May 20 against the Orioles at Camden Yards.
  • Gardner’s home run in the second inning was his sixth of the season, which is one away from his career high of seven in 2011, even though the Yankees are just a little over having played just one-third of the season. The home run also had nothing to do with the short porch in right. Gardner really tagged it and it would have been a home run anywhere.

NAGGING NEGATIVES

  • Manager Joe Girardi is going to have to make a decision on what to do about the slumping Vernon Wells. The 34-year-old outfielder was 0-for-4 in the game and was 0-for-8 in the series. In the past 10 games, Wells is 3-for-34 (.088) and he is hurting the offense. Why Girardi did not elect to start Ichiro Suzuki in left against the right-handed Kluber is just beyond me.
  • Cano is also in the midst of a slump. He was 0-for-3 in the game and 1-for-12 in the series. He also is 2-for-20 (.100) since May 31. Cano’s batting average has dipped to a season low of .279 and it looks like some pitchers the Yankees will be facing in the coming few weeks may be paying a big price for it.

BOMBER BANTER

Suzuki entered the game as a defensive replacement for Overbay in the seventh inning and he singled to lead off the eighth inning. That single gave him 2,655 career hits and allowed him to pass Ted Williams for 72nd place on the all-time hits list. Suzuki also has 1.278 hits from his career in Japan, which means he is just 67 hits away from a combined total of 4,000 hits.

ON DECK

The Yankees will embark on their longest road trip of the year beginning with a four-game weekend series in Seattle against the Mariners.

Right-hander Phil Hughes (2-4, 5.37 ERA) will start for the Yankees. Hughes is coming off an outing in which he gave up five earned runs on seven hits and two walks in just 4 1/3 innings against the Red Sox on Sunday. He is 4-3 with a 4.29 ERA in his career against the Mariners.

The Mariners will counter with veteran right-hander Aaron Harang (2-5, 5.82 ERA). Harang has allowed only one run in his past 15 innings covering two starts. Harang has never faced the Yankees in his career.

Game-time will be 10:10 p.m. EDT and the game will be telecast by the YES Network.

 

Tex Guns Down Tribe With Another Big Home Run

GAME 58

YANKEES 4, INDIANS 3

Yankee fans were very worried that when Mark Teixeira returned to the lineup on May 31 that he would get off to the same slow starts he always did in April. Well, after hitting a grand slam home run on Monday, Teixeira added a three-run shot on Tuesday.

So much for that slow-start theory.

Teixeira connected on a 3-1 change-up off left-hander Scott Kazmir with one out in the third inning to give the Yankees a 4-0 lead and David Phelps pitched six innings of one-hit shutout baseball to lead New York to another victory over Cleveland in front of a paid crowd crowd of 36,208 at Yankee Stadium.

Teixeira’s second home run in as many nights followed a leadoff double by Lyle Overbay, an RBI single by Ichiro Suzuki and a single by Jayson Nix off Kazmir (3-3). Teixeira laced a line-drive just inside the foul pole in left to give him two home runs and seven RBIs against the Indians in the first two games of the series.

Meanwhile, Phelps (4-3) redeemed himself for his previous start against the New York Mets on May 30 in which he was tagged for five runs (four earned) on four hits and two walks in only one-third of an inning in what was easily the worst effort of his major-league career.

Phelps only allowed a hustle infield single to Drew Stubbs with one out in the third inning. Phelps walked four and struck out seven in an 102-pitch outing before giving way to right-hander Joba Chamberlain in the seventh.

The Indians were able to rally against Chamberlain, who issued a leadoff walk to Carlos Santana before he retired the next two batters. Mike Aviles then stroked a single to center and Stubbs clubbed a home run to right that just cleared the wall into the bleachers.

Left-hander Boone Logan then came on to strike out Michael Bourn swinging to end the inning.

The Indians did manage to put the first two batters on in the eighth against right-hander David Robertson. Jason Kipnis drew a leadoff walk and Michael Brantley dumped an opposite-field single to left.

But Robertson induced former Yankee Nick Swisher to line into a double play and Santana grounded out weakly to end the Indians’ threat.

Mariano Rivera pitched a perfect ninth, striking out the first two batters, to record his 21st save in 22 opportunities this season.

With the victory, the Yankees improved their season record to 33-25 and they remain tied with the Baltimore Orioles for second place in the American League East, 2 1/2 games behind the first-place Boston Red Sox. The Indians fell to 30-28.

PINSTRIPE POSITIVES

  • After going 1-for-9 in his first three games back from the disabled list, Teixeira is 3-for-6 with a walk and two home runs and seven RBIs in his two games against the Indians. The Yankees were hoping that Teixeira’s return would add a legitimate power threat to the middle of the order and he has done just that. Teixeira also has hit homers on both sides of the plate. His grand slam on Monday came while he was batting left-handed. His three-run shot on Tuesday came batting right-handed.
  • Phelps may have walked too many batters and he got mired in some deep counts that forced him to leave after six innings. But he was absolutely determined not to give an inch to the Indians’ batters. Phelps was a hard-luck 1-0 loser to right-hander Justin Masterson and the Indians on May 13. If you discount his awful outing against the Mets on May 30, Phelps is 4-2 with a 2.77 ERA in his other six starts this season.
  • Suzuki, who batted leadoff and started in center-field in place of Brett Gardner, extended his hitting streak in the past games in which he has started to 10 with a 1-for-3 night. Suzuki has had at least one hit in each of 10 starts since May 25 and is 13-for-35 (.371) in that span. That has raised his season average from .238 on May 25 to .262.

NAGGING NEGATIVES

  • Though the return of Teixeira and Kevin Youkilis on May 31 should be helping Robinson Cano. It pretty much has had the opposite effect. Cano was 0-for-4 with two strikeouts and he hit into an inning-ending double play in the eighth inning with the bases loaded. In the past five games with Teixeira and Youkilis available to play, Cano is 2-for-17 (.118) without either an extra-base hit or an RBI.
  • Vernon Wells has been pretty much useless to the Yankees dating all the way back to May 15. He was 0-for-4 on Tuesday with a strikeout and he is 7-for-61 (.115) with no home runs, 1 RBI and 12 strikeouts since May 15. Wells, 34, is not getting the high fastballs he was smashing earlier in the season and he is being fooled by breaking pitches out of the strike zone.
  • Chamberlain was roughed up for the first time since he came off the disabled list on May 28. It was a bit curious why manager Joe Girardi had rookie Preston Claiborne warming in the sixth but elected to use Chamberlain for a second consecutive night instead to start the seventh inning. Claiborne deserves to be used in the seventh and it would allow Chamberlain to get some rest between outings.

BOMBER BANTER

Many of the Indians were angry over the balls and strikes calls of home-plate umpire Tony Randazzo throughout the game and it culminated with the ejection of Aviles after he made the final out against Rivera. Aviles was angered by a strike-one call that he thought was low. After he flew out he followed Randazzo toward the third-base dugout and was ejected. Indians manager Terry Francona also had some harsh words for Randazzo but was not ejected.  . . .  Chris Stewart returned to the starting lineup after missing two games with dizziness. Stewart was 1-for-1 with a walk and he also threw out Brantley at second base as part of a “strike-’em-out, throw-’em-out” double play in the fourth inning. Stewart has nailed seven of 14 potential base-stealers this season. Of course, Stewart did pull a base-running blunder in the third inning when he rounded second base too far and got thrown out in a rundown.  . . .  Suzuki’s RBI single in the third inning was the 2,654th hit of his major-league career, which ties with him Ted Williams for 72nd place on the all-time hits list.  . . .  Eduardo Nunez sustained another setback in his bid to return from a left oblique strain, which landed him of the 15-day disabled list on May 12. Nunez was unable to swing a bat without experiencing pain and his return will be delayed further.

ON DECK

The Yankees will go for a sweep of their three-game home series against Cleveland on Wednesday.

Left-hander CC Sabathia (5-4, 3.71 ERA) will start for the Yankees. Sabathia is coming off what was his best start of the season on Friday, a one-run, 10-strikeout performance over 7 1/3 innings against the Red Sox. Sabathia is 3-1 with a 2.70 ERA against his former team.

Sabathia will be opposed by right-hander Corey Kluber (3-3, 4.36 ERA). Kluber struck out three and walked one but had his outing against the Tampa Bay Rays cut to just two innings because of rain. He has no record and 1.80 ERA against the Yankees.

Game-time will be 1:05 p.m. EDT and the game will be telecast nationally by the MLB Network and locally by the YES Network.

 

Teixeira, Gardner Lead Yankee Uprising Over Tribe

GAME 57

YANKEES 7, INDIANS 4

Though Andy Pettitte’s return from the disabled list on Monday was not exactly what he would have had in mind the New York Yankees got just what they were looking for from Mark Teixeira in his recent return to the lineup.

Teixeira cranked out a grand slam home run off Justin Masterson in the third inning and Brett Gardner added a two-out, two-run single in the sixth inning that broke a 4-4 tie as New York finally got its offense out of neutral to defeat Cleveland in front of a paid crowd of 40,007 at Yankee Stadium.

Teixeira’s home run, his first of the season, came after the Yankees loaded the bases on back-to-back singles by Reid Brignac and Austin Romine and a four-pitch walk of Gardner. After Robinson Cano hit into a force out of Brignac at home, Teixeira slapped a lined shot into the first row of the right-field bleachers to give the Yankees a 4-1 lead.

However, Pettitte found it difficult to hold the lead in the fifth inning. The 40-year-old left-hander, who had not started in 18 days due to a strain in his left trapezius muscle, gave up a lined double to Drew Stubbs and an infield single to Michael Bourn.

Mike Aviles scored Stubbs on a sacrifice fly to shallow center that Cano caught off balance and was unable to get a sliding Stubbs on his throw to home plate. Pettitte then gave up consecutive four-pitch walks to Nick Swisher and Mark Reynolds before Carlos Santana drove in two runs to tie it at 4-4 on hard-hit ball that ricocheted off the glove of third baseman David Adams and bounded into the stands for a ground-rule double.

That ended Pettitte’s night. He yielded four runs on seven hits and three walks while he fanned three batters over 83 pitches in 4 1/3 innings.

But the Yankees bailed out Pettitte by rallying the sixth inning off Masterson (8-4), who had defeated the Yankees on a 1-0 complete-game shutout on May 13.

Ichiro Suzuki led off the frame with a walk and he took second on a groundout off the bat of Adams. After Brignac struck out, Romine bounced a hard-hit grounder off Masterson’s right bicep for an infield single.

After Romine stole second, Gardner delivered a lined single up the middle to score Suzuki easily but Masterson probably cost himself a run by cutting off the throw to the plate by Bourn that likely would have beat Romine.

The Yankees finally chased Masterson in the seventh inning when Travis Hafner, who is mired a horrible batting slump like most of the Yankees, cranked out a one-out solo home run into the bleachers deep in right-center for his ninth home run of the season.

Masterson was charged with seven runs on nine hits and three walks while he struck out five in 6 1/3 innings.

Meanwhile, the Yankees relied on their bullpen to close out the game.

Shawn Kelley (3-0) pitched 1 1/3 innings of scoreless relief to earn the victory.

Mariano Rivera, the last of the Yankees’ four relievers they employed in the game, pitched a scoreless ninth to earn his 20th save in 21 chances this season.

The victory for the Yankees halted a spell in which the Yankees had lost seven of their previous eight games. The Yankees are 32-25 on the season and they, along with the Baltimore Orioles, gained a half-game on the idle first-place Boston Red Sox in the American League East. Both teams are 2 1/2 games back in second place. The Indians are 30-27.

PINSTRIPE POSITIVES

  • Teixeira’s home run was a welcome site for manager Joe Girardi and the fans, who have seen this team struggle to score runs over the past two weeks. It was only the second hit of the season for the 33-year-old first baseman but it was a big one. Teixeira, who rarely shows much emotion on the field, actually pumped his right fist when he realized the ball had reached the seats.
  • The bullpen of Kelley, Joba Chamberlain, David Robertson and Rivera shut down the Indians over the final 4 1/3 innings on one hit and two walks while they struck out five. Despite the fact the bullpen blew two 1-0 leads late to the New York Mets at Citi Field a week ago, the bullpen remains the strength of this team.
  • Give Romine credit. Pressed into service because Chris Stewart is recovering from dizzy spells due to severe dehydration, Romine was 2-for-3 plus a sacrifice bunt and he scored two runs. He was .100 entering Sunday but in his past two starts he is 3-for-4 to raise his season average to .154.

NAGGING NEGATIVES

  • Pettitte looked rusty after 18 days of inactivity and it caught up to him with two outs in the fifth inning. The Yankees did not send Pettitte out for a rehab start and they limited his side sessions in the belief that it was too much work for the veteran left-hander. Pettitte was sharp early in the game so perhaps he just needs to regain some stamina to pitch longer into games.
  • The Yankees opted to keep Adams on the roster and he failed to reward them in this game for their decision. He was 0-for-4 with a strikeout and he misplayed two balls in the game that could have been caught but were not scored as errors. Adams was hitting .324 on May 24 but is 5-for-31 (.161) since then and his average has dropped to .242.

BOMBER BANTER

When the Yankees activated Pettitte on Monday they opted to send outfielder Brennan Boesch back to Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre and they started veteran first baseman Lyle Overbay in right-field. It was Overbay’s first major-league start in the outfield. He was 1-for-3 with a single and a walk at the plate and he fielded his position flawlessly before leaving the game in the eighth inning when Suzuki was shifted from left to right and Vernon Wells was inserted in left.  . . .  Stewart was available to play after missing two games due to dizziness. But after having tests at NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital that were negative, Stewart said he is ready to play and is suffering no ill effects.

ON DECK

The Yankees will continue their three-game home set with the Indians on Tuesday.

Right-hander David Phelps (3-3, 4.65 ERA) will start for the Yankees. Phelps, 26, is coming off the worst outing of his career. He was tagged for five runs in just one-third of an inning against the Mets last Wednesday. Phelps was the loser in the 1-0 game Masterson won on May 13 in his only appearance against the Tribe.

Veteran left-hander Scott Kazmir (3-2, 5.13 ERA) will start for Cleveland. Kazmir is 1-0 with a 2.25 ERA in his past two starts. In 16 starts (17 games) against the Yankees, Kazmir is 7-6 with a 3.34 ERA.

Game-time will be 7:05 p.m. EDT and the game will be telecast nationally by the MLB Network and locally by the YES Network.

 

Pettitte Blanks Reds As Yankees’ Hitters Snooze

GAME 39

YANKEES 4, REDS 0

It took 39-year-old Andy Pettitte to figure out what a starting pitcher with the New York Yankees has to do win a game when his team’s hitters are incapable of hitting with the runners in scoring position and are spending most of the month in the baseball equivalent of the Heimlech Maneuver: You pitch your freaking butt off and throw a shutout.

In his second major-league start since coming out of retirement, that is pretty much what it took as Pettitte twirled eight innings of scoreless and surgical baseball, giving up four singles, walking one and striking nine to win his first game since a July 8, 2010 victory over the Seattle Mariners.

Pettitte (1-1) flashed vintage form on Friday to navigate his way though a Reds lineup that has been struggling just as much as the Yankees have lately as New York blanked Cincinnati in an interleague game at Yankee Stadium.

Pettitte’s lone run of early support came in the fourth inning when Curtis Granderson led off the frame with a lined single to center. Robinson Cano followed with a hard bouncing single to right that momentarily bounced of the glove of Jay Bruce. Granderson reached third base easily, however, in a scene all to familiar to Yankee fans, Cano was cut down trying to stretch the hit  on a throw from Bruce to shortstop Zack Cozart.

Alex Rodriguez was able to score Granderson with a slow roller to Cozart at short.

At the precise moment Granderson touched home plate, I thought it appropriate for the game to be halted so the Yankees could actually savor a moment where they actually No. 1 scored a run and No. 2 actually held a lead in a major-league game. At the very least, the mayor should have presented the team with a trophy or something.

But, the Yankees’ problem with scoring reared its ugly head again in the sixth inning and they actually made right-hander Bronson Arroyo (2-2) look a whole lot better than he actually is.

Derek Jeter led off the inning with a lined single to center. Granderson followed with a ground single up the middle and Arroyo walked Cano to load the bases with nobody out. The majority of the 42,015 in attendance who were Yankee fans knew it was not a time to celebrate yet. The Yankees showed them just why.

Rodriguez hit a ball that smashed off the glove of third baseman Todd Frazier but Frazier was able to recover in time to cut down Jeter with a throw to catcher Ryan Hanigam at the plate for the first out. Raul Ibanez followed with a bouncer to first baseman Joey Votto, who fired home to easily force Granderson before he could reach the plate. Nick Swisher then hit a lazy pop fly to Cozart in shallow center to end the threat.

The Yankees did manage to tack on three runs off Arroyo with two out in the bottom of the ninth.

Cano launched a long blast into the right-field bleachers for his fourth home run of the season. Rodriguez followed with a single to left and Ibanez closed out the scoring with lined home run into the short porch in right for his eighth home run of the season.

So even though the Yankees did score four runs after losing their previous three games scoring a total of four runs, they were still 0-for-7 with runners in scoring position.

Boone Logan pitched a perfect ninth to close out the victory for Pettitte.

With the victory, the Yankees ended a three-game skid and improved their season record to 21-18. The Reds are 19-19.

PINSTRIPE POSITIVES

  • Pettitte was absolutely brilliant and manager Joe Girardi – with Mariano Rivera out for the season and David Robertson on the disabled list – rolled the dice and allowed his veteran left-hander pitch eight innings. Pettitte threw 115 pitches and 78 were strikes (68 percent). His toughest challenge was the first inning when Cozart reached second on a passed ball on a strikeout and a throwing error by catcher Chris Stewart. He advanced to third on a sacrifice bunt by Drew Stubbs. However, Pettitte struck out Votto and Brandon Phillips swinging to strand Cozart. No other runner reached second base on him the rest of night.
  • Cano had a walk and two hits, including his big solo home run in the eighth. That raised his batting average to .310 on the season. He and Jeter are the only two regulars who are hitting above .300 on the season. Despite the fact the Yankees are struggling as a team to score runs, Cano is hitting a sizzling .459 in his last 10 games.
  • Ibanez continues to provide the team with some dramatic big hits. His two-run shot in the eighth bounced Arroyo out of the game and provided the Yankees with a four-run cushion heading into the ninth. Ibanez has 26 hits and 24 RBIs on the season. The 39-year-old outfielder/designated hitter is hitting .273 with runners in scoring position, one of the few Yankees who is actually doing well in that category.

NAGGING NEGATIVES

  • In their last six games the team is 6-for-48 (.125) with runners in scoring position, including their 0-for-7 on Friday. On the season this is what six of the main regulars are doing with runners in scoring position: Granderson, .226; Swisher, .209; Teixeira, 205; Cano, .176; Rodriguez, .167; and Russell Martin, .167. Jeter is hitting an even .300 with RISP. You want to know why the offense is misfiring and it is these six guys who are the reason.
  • Swisher was 1-for-4, struck out twice and hit that weak popup that ended the sixth inning and left the bases loaded. Swisher ended April hitting .284 with six home runs and 23 RBIs. But he is hitting .196 with a home run and three RBIs in May, which has dragged his season average down 32 points to .252.
  • Girradi chose to rest Teixeira and Martin and Brett Gardner is still on the disabled list. As a result, the No. 7, No. 8 and No. 9 hitters were DH Chavez, LF Dewayne Wise and C Stewart. Against Arroyo they were a combined 0-for-9 with two strikeouts, three weak groundouts, a weak popup and three routine flyouts. This is another reason the team is slumping at the plate.

BOMBER BANTER

Teixeira was rested on Friday because he still has a hacking cough related to an illness Teixeira picked up during the team’s first homestand. Girardi elected to play Swisher at first base and shift Ibanez into right-field on Friday. Teixeira has seen a specialist about the persistent cough and seemed encouraged with he heard. But, though the cough is not getting worse, it has persisted for more than a month. The veteran first baseman is hitting an anemic .228 with five home runs and 20 RBIs this season.

ON DECK

The Yankees will continue their first interleague series of the season on Saturday against the Reds.

Despite suffering a right foot contusion and a slightly sprained right ankle in his last start against the Baltimore Orioles last Monday, right-hander Ivan Nova (4-1, 5.44 ERA) is scheduled to start for the Yankees. Nova gave up five runs on seven hits in 7 1/3 innings of a no-decision in a game the Yankees eventually won. Nove is 1-0 with a 1.13 ERA in his career against the Reds.

The Reds will counter with right-hander Homer Bailey (1-3, 4.35 ERA). Bailey held the Braves to six hits and one run in 6 2/3 innings in a no-decision on Monday. Bailey has not pitched against the Yankees in his career, which usually spells trouble for the Yankees.

Game-time will be 1:-5 p.m. EDT and the game will be telecast nationally by the MLB Network and locally by the YES Network.

 

Yankees’ Dazzling Nova Leaves Cincy Red-Faced

GAME 71

YANKEES 5, REDS 3

Ivan Nova realizes that the Yankees will get starters Phil Hughes and Bartolo Colon back soon and that could mean he could lose his spot in the rotation. On Monday, he seemed to be making a bold statement that he is not coming out of the rotation without a fight.

Nova (7-4) pitched a career-best eight innings, gave up only one run on four hits, walked none and struck out seven as New York swept into Great American Ballpark and downed Cincinnati to win its ninth out of their last 11 games.

Nova threw 70 strikes out of 105 pitches thrown (67% strikes) to tie Michael Pineda of the Seattle Mariners with the most victories by a rookie pitcher in the major leagues.

Nova got all the run support he really needed in the first inning as the Yankees tagged substitute starter Travis Wood (5-5) for four runs on five hits. Wood was moved up a day because right-hander Johnny Cueto had to be scratched from his start because of a stiff neck.

It looked as if Wood would end up with a stiff neck of his own as he kept turning to watch Yankee hits flying past him. Nick Swisher led off the game with a single and Mark Teixeira followed with a single one out later. Alex Rodriguez then opened the seal on the scoring with a single to left to plate Swisher. Robinson Cano followed with an opposite-field double to score Teixeira. Russell Martin’s groundout brought in Rodriguez and Andruw Jones followed with an RBI single to cap the four-run explosion before some of the sellout crowd of 41,173 had sampled their nachos.

The Reds looked as if they were going to answer back quickly when Drew Stubbs singled and stole second and Brandon Phillips singled Stubbs to third. However, Nova used his sinker to induce Joey Votto into a double-play in which Stubbs scored. But Nova stopped the Reds cold after that.

Stubbs reached on a swinging third strike wild pitch from Nova with two out in the third, Paul Janish stroked a two-out single in the fifth and pinch-hitter Fred Lewis singled with two out in the eighth. Nova retired the rest of the batters he faced on 17 groundouts, seven strikeouts and only three fly balls.

Wood, however, did settle down after the first inning and he retired 15 of the next 20 batters he faced. But Nova would not give in to the Reds.

The Yankees scored a run in the seventh inning due to the very giving nature of the Reds. Reliever Jose Arredondo walked Curtis Gramderson. Granderson stole second but was able to take third when Janish dropped a throw from catcher Ryan Hanigan and the ball rolled past him into shallow center-field. Granderson then scored on an Arredondo wild pitch.

The Reds did take advantage of Nova’s departure in the ninth when Phillips singled off Luis Ayala to begin the inning. Boone Logan was summoned to face the lefty Votto but Logan plunked Votto with his first and only delivery. Manager Joe Girardi then decided to go to Mariano Rivera with the tying run on deck.

Rivera retired Jay Bruce on a grounder that moved Phillips to third and Votto to second. Scott Rolen scored Phillips on an infield single and Chris Heisey then scored Votto by beating out what could have been a 1-6-3 double play. But Heisey was ruled safe. But Rivera ended the Reds faint comeback hopes by fanning pinch-hitter Edgar Renteria to notch his 18th save of the season in 21 chances.

With the victory, the Yankees improved their record to 42-29 and they remain 1 1/2 games in back of the first-place Boston Red Sox in the American League East. The Reds are 38-36 on the season.

PINSTRIPE POSITIVES

  • Nova was never any better this season than he was on Monday night. He had only three three-ball counts and he did not walk any of them. Nova also lowered his ERA to 4.13. It is obvious that when Colon and Hughes do return they will be starters. The question is what will happen to Nova when they come back? On the basis of this effort, it would appear inconceivable they would put him in the bullpen.
  • Rodriguez continues to hit with a 2-for-4 night with a run scored and an RBI. Though Rodriguez admits he is nursing a sore shoulder it is not interfering with his play at all. He also made a nice diving stab to rob Heisey of a hit in the second inning. Rodriguez is hitting .292 with 13 home runs and 44 RBIs.
  • Cano is beginning to get his average back over .300. He also was 2-for-4 with a run scored and an RBI. Cano now has a nine-game hitting streak in which he is 15-for-38 (.395) with two home runs and six RBIs. He is now hitting .295 on the season with 14 home runs and 47 RBIs.
  • Swisher is doing his job in the leadoff spot against left-handers. He was 1-for-3 with a walk and a run scored against Wood. He is 4-for-13 (.308) from the leadoff spot since Derek Jeter was injured.
NAGGING NEGATIVES
  • With David Robertson unavailable to pitch, Girardi decided to close the ninth with Luis Ayala and Boone Logan. However, Ayala gave up a leadoff single to Phillips and Logan hit Votto with a pitch to put the Reds in position for their major league-leading 23rd comeback victory. Fortunately, Rivera restored order. But it does show the Yankee bullpen does have a soft underbelly than can be exploited. The Yankees would love to have a healthy Pedro Feliciano and Rafael Soriano back soon to shore up the bullpen.
  • Andruw Jones had a severe brain cramp in the third inning and it short-circuited a potential big inning. With one out, Cano and Martin hit back-to-back singles. Jones then sent a slow bouncer to Rolen at third. Rolen forced Martin at second but Martin was able to upend Philips. However, Jones did not run the grounder out because he thought there were already two outs. Phillips got back up and threw Jones out by 50 feet. Jones is already on thin ice with the Yankees with his lack of production. Now it looks as if he is going to be a bit lighter in the wallet.
  • Eduardo Nunez got caught leaning after he singled to lead off the fourth inning and Wood picked him off first. These silly mistakes allowed Wood to survive that shaky first inning and pitch seven innings.

ON DECK

The Yankees will play the second of their three road contests against the Reds on Tuesday.

The Yankees will start veteran minor-league right-hander Brian Gordon (0-0, 3.38 ERA) in his second major-league start for the Yankees. In his first start, Gordon, 32, gave up two runs in 5 1/3 innings against the Rangers on Thursday. He did not get a decision but the Yankees did win the game. The former outfielder will get to test his hitting skills against the Reds.

The Reds are starting right-hander Johnny Cueto (4-2, 1.68 ERA), who could not pitch on Monday due to a stiff neck. He has been the Reds best pitcher since being activated from the disabled list in May. He is 0-1 with a 1.80 ERA against the Yankees in his career.

Game-time will be 7:10 p.m. EDT and the game will be telecast nationally by the MLB Network and locally by MY9.

Yankees’ Dazzling Nova Leaves Cincy Red-Faced

GAME 71

YANKEES 5, REDS 3

Ivan Nova realizes that the Yankees will get starters Phil Hughes and Bartolo Colon back soon and that could mean he could lose his spot in the rotation. On Monday, he seemed to be making a bold statement that he is not coming out of the rotation without a fight.

Nova (7-4) pitched a career-best eight innings, gave up only one run on four hits, walked none and struck out seven as New York swept into Great American Ballpark and downed Cincinnati to win its ninth out of their last 11 games.

Nova threw 70 strikes out of 105 pitches thrown (67% strikes) to tie Michael Pineda of the Seattle Mariners with the most victories by a rookie pitcher in the major leagues.

Nova got all the run support he really needed in the first inning as the Yankees tagged substitute starter Travis Wood (5-5) for four runs on five hits. Wood was moved up a day because right-hander Johnny Cueto had to be scratched from his start because of a stiff neck.

It looked as if Wood would end up with a stiff neck of his own as he kept turning to watch Yankee hits flying past him. Nick Swisher led off the game with a single and Mark Teixeira followed with a single of his own one out later. Alex Rodriguez then opened the scoring with a single to left to score Swisher. Robinson Cano followed with an opposite-field double to score Teixeira. Russell Martin’s groundout scored Rodriguez and Andruw Jones followed with an RBI single to cap the four-run explosion before some of the sellout crowd of 41,173 had sampled their nachos.

The Reds looked as if they were going to answer back quickly when Drew Stubbs singled and stole second and Brandon Phillips singled Stubbs to third. However, Nova used his sinker to induce Joey Votto into a double-play in which Stubbs scored. But Nova stopped the Reds cold after that.

Stubbs reached on a swinging third strike wild pitch from Nova with two out in the third, Paul Janish stroked a two-out single in the fifth and pinch-hitter Fred Lewis singled with two out in the eighth. Nova retired the rest of th ebatters he faced on 17 groundouts, seven strikeouts and only three flyouts.

Wood, however, did settle down and he retired 15 of the next 20 batters he faced after the first inning. But Nova would not give in to the Reds.

The Yankees scored a run in the seventh inning due to the giving nature of the Reds. Reliever Jose Arredondo walked Curtis Gramderson. Granderson stole second but was able to take third when Janish dropped a throw from catcher Ryan Hanigan and the ball rolled past him into shallow center-field. Granderson then scored on an Arredondo wild pitch.

The Reds then took advantage of Nova’s departure in the ninth when Phillips singled off Luis Ayala to begin the inning. Boone Logan was summoned to face Votto but the erratic lefty plunked Votto with his first and last delivery. Manager Joe Girardi then decided to go to Mariano Rivera with the tying run on deck.

Rivera retired Jay Bruce on a grounder that moved Phillips to third and Votto to second. Scott Rolen scored Phillips on an infield single and Chris Heisey then scored Votto by beating out what could have been a 1-6-3 double play. But Heisey was ruled safe. But Rivera ended the Reds comeback hopes by fanning pinch-hitter Edgar Renteria to notch his 19th save of the season.

With the victory, the Yankees improved their record to 42-29 and they remain 1 1/2 games in back of the second-place Boston Red Sox in the American League East. The Reds are 38-36 on the season.

PINSTRIPE POSITIVES

  • Nova was never any better this season than he was on Monday night. He had only three three-ball counts and he did not walk any of them. Nova also lowered his ERA to 4.13. It os obvious that when Colon and Hughes do return they will be starters. The question is what will happen to Nova when they come back? On the basis of this effort, it would be inconceivable they would put him in the bullpen.
  • Rodriguez continues to hit with a 2-for-4 night with a run scored and an RBI. Though Rodriguez is nursing a sore shoulder it is not interfering with his play at all. He also made a nice diving stab to rob Heisey of a hit. Rodriguez is hitting .292 with 13 home runs and 44 RBIs.
  • Cano is beginning to get his average back over .300. He also was 2-for-4 with a run scored and an RBI. Cano now has a nine-game hitting streak in which he is 15-for-38 (.395) with two home runs and six RBIs. He is now hitting .295 on the season with 14 home runs and 47 RBIs.
  • Swisher is doing his job in the leadoff spot against left-handers. He was 1-for-3 with a walk and a run scored against Wood. He is 4-for-13 (.308) from the leadoff spot since Derek Jeter was injured.
NAGGING NEGATIVES
  • With David Robertson unavailable to pitch, Girardi decided to close the ninth with Luis Ayala and Boone Logan. However, Ayala gave up a leadoff single to Phillips and Logan hit Votto with a pitch to put the Reds in position for their major league-leading 23rd comeback. Fortunately, Rivera restored order. But it does show the Yankee bullpen does have a soft underbelly than can be exploited. The Yankees would love to have a healthy Pedro Feliciano and Rafael Soriano back soon to shore up the bullpen.
  • Andruw Jones had a severe brain cramp in the third inning and it short-circuited a potential big inning. With one out, Cano and Martin hit back-to-back singles. Jones then sent a slow bouncer to Rolen at third. Rolen forced Martin at third but Martin was able to upend Philips at second. However, Jones did not run the grounder out because he thought there were already two outs. Phillips got back up and threw Jones out by 50 feet. Jones is already on thin ice with the Yankees with his lack of production. Now it looks as if he is going to be a bit lighter in the wallet.
  • Eduardo Nunez got caught leaning after he singled to lead off the fourth inning and Wood picked him off first. These mistakes allowed Wood to survive that shaky first inning and pitch seven innings.
ON DECK
The Yankees will play the second of their three road contests against the Reds on Tuesday.
The Yankees will start veteran minor-league right-hander Brian Gordon (0-0, 3.38 ERA) in his second major-league start for the Yankees. In his first start, Gordon, 32, gave up two runs in 5 1/3 innings against the Rangers on Thursday. He did not get a decision but the Yankees did win the game. The former outfielder will get to test his hitting skills against the Reds.
The Reds are starting right-hander Johnny Cueto (4-2, 1.68 ERA), who could not pitch on Monday due to a stiff neck. He has been the Reds best pitcher since being activated from the disabled list in May. He is 0-1 with a 1.80 ERA against the Yankees in his career.
Game-time will be 7:10 p.m. EDT and the game will be telecast nationally by the MLB Network and locally by MY9.

 

 

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