Results tagged ‘ John McDonald ’

Burnett Could Be On His Way To Trade To Pirates

If the reports and rumors are true the New York Yankees soon might finally be rid of starter A.J. Burnett.

Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports is reporting that the Pittsburgh Pirates have inquired about the 35-year-old right-hander and a deal could be in the works.

If the reporta are true, Burnett would be a perfect fit for the Bucs. Burnett would join a Pirate rotation that includes former Yankee Jeff Karstens, Kevin Correia, Charlie Morton, John McDonald and Erik Bedard.

Bunrett was 11-11 with a 5.15 ERA and it was his second consecutive season with the Yankees in which he posted an ERA above 5.00. He is 34-35 in his 98 starts overs three seasons with the Yankees.

The Yankees recently added 23-year-old right-hander Michael Pineda and 37-year-old right-hander Hiroki Kuroda to a rotation that includes ace left-hander CC Sabathia and right-hander Ivan Nova, who was 16-4 in his rookie season. The Yankees said that Burnett will have to battle 25-year-old right-hander Phil Hughes and 35-year-old right-hander Freddy Garcia for the fifth spot in the rotation.

Burnett is currently owed $33 million on the two years left on his contract and the Yankees reportedly have offered to pay about $8 million of it. However, the Pirates may be looking to the Yankees to pay more toward that contract in order to accept a deal.

The Yankees would like to clear salary room in order to sign a left-handed-hitting designated hitter from among a group of free agents that includes former Yankees Johnny Damon and Hideki Matsui and former Phillie outfielder Raul Ibanez. The Yankees would also like to re-sign veteran backup infielder Eric Chavez.

The Yankees are not likely looking for a player currently likely to make the Pirates 25-man roster in return. They probably are looking at obtaining some minor-league prospects in general manager Brian Cashman’s effort to stock the Yankees’ minor-league system.

So Yankee fans who are thinking the Pirates will trade former Yankee outfielder Jose Tabata or star center-fielder Andrew McCutcheon for Burnett are dreaming. The Pirates will be looking to keep their young stars on the roster but might part with a prospect or two that could help the Yankees down the road.

STAY TUNED

 

Sabathia Cures Yankees’ Ills With 14th Victory

GAME 91

YANKEES 4, BLUE JAYS 1

When your team is ailing after giving up 23 runs in two games to the red-hot Blue Jays and needs a real shot in the arm what does the doctor usually prescribe? About 8 CCs of Sabathia.

Sabathia (14-4) calmy climbed the hill at Rogers Centre on Saturday and pitched eight solid innings of one-run baseball to earn his major-league best 14th victory and his seventh in a row as New York finally downed the Blue Jays.

Sabathia, who also has won six in a row against the Blue Jays, gave up only three hits and three walks and struck out eight batters to run his record to 11-1 since May 19. His ERA during that span is a microscopic 1.68.

However, the first inning saw the Yankees and Sabathia fall behind after Rajai Davis walked, stole second and scored one out later on a Yunel Escobar single. The run broke Sabathia’s 24-inning scoreless-inning string.

But Sabathia settled in after that and gave up only an Adam Lind single in the fourth and a John McDonald double in the eighth.

The Yankees, meanwhile, were able to reclaim the lead for good in the second inning off Jays left-hander Ricky Romero (7-9). Andruw Jones followed Nick Swisher’s one-out, ground-rule double with an RBI single to tie the game 1-1. It was Jones’ fifth RBI of the series. After a Brett Gardner double advanced Jones to third, Eduardo Nunez scored Jones on an infield groundout and the Yankees never trailed again.

The Yankees added a run in the third on a play that began with Curtis Granderson at third and Robinson Cano at first and one out. Romero threw a pitch low to Nick Swisher and it bounded to the right of catcher J.P. Arencibia. Cano broke for second and was caught in a rundown. However, second baseman Aaron Hill’s throw back to Arencibia to nail Granderson at home went awry for an error and Granderson was safe.

In the fourth inning, Gardner opened the frame with a hustle bloop double to center. Nunez bunted him to third. One out later, Derek Jeter scored Gardner with an infield single to Escobar at shortstop. Jeter had two hits in the game and with it tied Al Kaline for 26th place on the all-time hits list. He needs just four hits to pass Wade Boggs.

Mariano Rivera was tagged for two bloop one-out singles in the ninth but he struck out Hill and got Travis Snider on a groundout to record his 23rd save in 27 chances this season.

With the victory the Yankees improved their season mark to 54-37 and they remain 1 1/2 games behind the Boston Red Sox in the American League East. The Blue Jays fell to 47-48 and they fell 10 1/2 games back in the division in fourth place.

PINSTRIPE POSITIVES

  • Sabathia was not at his best or sharpest. But he was still good enough to shut down the Blue Jays, who had raked the Yankees for 31 hits in the last two games. Sabathia used his slider to keep the Jays off balance all afternoon. Sabathia is now ahead of his victory pace last season with 14 wins in 21 starts. He also lowered his season ERA to 2.64.
  • Gardner is the hottest Yankee with the bat coming out of the break. In the last three games, Gardner is 7-for-11 (.636) with three doubles. On Saturday, Gardner was 3-for-4 with two doubles, a run scored and a stolen base. He has raised his season batting average from .265 to .279.
  • Jones was hitting .205 with only four home runs and 12 RBIs after 81 games. In the two games in this series he has played, he is 3-for-7 with two home runs and five RBIs. Jones perhaps was hearing rumors the Yankees might make a change on the bench after Marcus Thames, who had the role last season with the Yankees, was released by the Dodgers.

NAGGING NEGATIVES

  • Nunez committed yet another error. McDonald led off the fifth inning with a ground ball to Nunez and Nunez’s throw to first got past Mark Teixeira at first. Nunez has now committed a team-leading 12 errors in limited play as shortstop and third base. The error did not cost the Yankees because Jeter was able to turn a double play on the Davis to erase McDonald but the errors are becoming a major concern for manager Joe Girardi.
  • Despite reaching on a single in the seventh inning, Teixeira looks absolutely lost at the plate after the All-Star break. He is 2-for-14 (.143) with five strikeouts and three weak infield popups. His 1-for 5 game on Saturday kept his average at an even .240.
  • Swisher was 1-for-4 with a run scored, but he had a tough afternoon with home-plate umpire Todd Tichenor and Romero. Romero caught Swisher looking on a slow curve with two on and one out in the third inning. Romero also fanned Swisher looking with one on and one out in the fifth on a 3-2 pitch that appeared to be low in the strike zone. Swisher had words with Tichenor, walked to the dugout and Tichenor then turned to the Yankee dugout and shouted. Girardi came out of the dugout and had some words with Tichenor but there were no ejections.

BOMBER BANTER

Injured setup man Rafael Soriano successfully completed a 25-pitch batting practice session on Saturday in Tampa, FL. The next step will be some rehab stints. Soriano has been on the 60-day disabled list since May 13 because of inflammation his right elbow.

ON DECK

The Yankees can tie the four-game series with Toronto with a victory on Sunday.

The Yankees will start 25-year-old right-hander Phil Hughes (0-2, 10.57 ERA), who will be making only his second start since coming off the disabled list. Hughes allowed two runs in five innings his first start against the Indians. He is 2-3 with a 4.84 ERA in his career against the Blue Jays.

The Blue Jays will counter with converted reliever Carlos Villanueva (5-1, 2.99 ERA). Villanueva has allowed three earned runs or fewer in his last five starts. He is 1-0 with a 1.29 ERA against the Yankees in his career.

Game-time will be at 1:07 p.m. EDT and the game will be telecast by the YES Network.

Thames’ Two-Run Blast Leads Yanks To 8th Straight Win

GAME 136
YANKEES 7, BLUE JAYS 5

Isn’t about time for New York Yankee fans to come up with a nickname for Marcus Thames?
Mar-T? The Marcsman? How about River Dog?
After Saturday’s dramatic tie-breaking two-run home run in the seventh inning that propelled the Yankees to a 7-5 victory over the Toronto Blue Jays, you can call him anything you like.
Thames is taking vitamin approach to hitting home runs these days: One a day. And in his last 10 starts he has six of them, which has got Yankee fans thinking “Alex who?” Pressed into a more prominent role in the starting lineup because of the absence of a hobbling A-Rod, Thames is delivering in a A-Rod-like fashion and the Yankees now have won a season-high eight games in a row because of it.
The bullpen, which earlier this season was a mess, took care of the rest. For the second straight day they combined to pitch 4 1/3 scoreless innings in relief of a struggling starter to hand a victory to the guys in pinstripes.
The struggling starter du jour was Javier Vazquez, whose shaky command of his slider led to a solo home run to Lyle Overbay with one out in the second inning. With two down in the same frame, Vazquez served up another home run to weak-hitting John McDonald, a two-run shot that hit the left-field foul pole and made it 3-0 Jays.
Vazquez has the dubious distinction of being tied with James Shields of the Rays for serving up the most home runs this season at 29. Vazquez has now become the Baskin-Robbins of soft-serve homers. Give him a paper hat and all he would need to do ask the hitters if they would like whipped cream and nuts with it.
The Yankees did manage to come back to tie it up in the third inning off Jays starter Marc Rzepczynski. 
With one out, Francisco Cervelli doubled, Brett Gardner walked (his ninth straight game with at least one walk) and Derek Jeter doubled in Cervelli. After Mark Teixeira walked to load the bases, Robinson Cano singled to center to score Gardner and Jeter to make 3-all.
The Yankees then took the lead in the fourth inning. With one out and Eduardo Nunez at first, Cervelli doubled again. Gardner followed with a soft infield liner that dropped just over Rzepczynski’s glove and McDonald was forced to retire Gardner at first as Nunez scored.
After a walk to Jeter, Rzepczynski uncorked a wild pitch that allowed Cervelli to score from third. 
But Vazquez did not protect the 5-3 lead well enough to suit manager Joe Girardi. With two out in the fifth inning, Vazquez walked Jose Bautista and Vernon Wells followed with a line-drive single to left.
Girardi decided to end Vazquez’s day much to the displeasure of the 34-year-old right-hander, who was one out away from a potential victory. 
It did not lighten Vazquez’s mood much when Dustin Moseley came out of the bullpen and gave up a two-run double to Overbay that tied the game again at 5. Vazquez’s line now read five runs on four hits and four walks in 4 2/3 innings. 
Fortunately for the Yankees, Boone Logan, Joba Chamberlain, Kerry Wood and Mariano Rivera combined to pitch four scoreless innings beginning in the sixth. They gave up only two hits and no walks as the the bullpen has now racked up 8 2/3 innings of shutout baseball against the Blue Jays in two days.
Of course, the victory would not have been possible without Thames, whose first two outs of the day travelled about 750 feet before he stepped to the plate in the seventh inning.
With two out in the frame, Cano banged out his second single of day, this one off reliever Jason Frasor (3-4). Thames, who previously drove Rzepczynski sliders to deep center in the second and deep left in the third, caught up to the first pitch Frasor threw: A slider.
“They threw me sliders all day so I was looking for it,” Thames told reporters after the game.
He deposited his 11th home run of the season into the Blue Jays’ bullpen in left-center and the Yankees were handed a lead they would not give up again.
Wood (2-4), who has only allowed one earned run in the 16 innings he has pitched for the Yankees, was credited with the victory after pitching a perfect eighth inning.
Rivera gave up a scratch single but still pitched a scoreless ninth to record his 29th save in 31 tries.
The better news for the Yankees came many hours later when the Baltimore Orioles battered the Tampa Bay Rays 8-2. By virtue of running their season record to a season-high 36 games over .500, the Yankees have opened up a 2 1/2 game lead on the upstart second-place Rays in the American League East.
The Boston Red Sox, who lost a pair of 3-1 games to the Chicago White Sox in a day-night doubleheader, are a full 10 games back in third place. They are 7 1/2 games out of the wild-card standings.
It may not be quite time to stick a fork in the Red Sox for 2010 but it is certainly time to get the utensil out the the drawer.
PINSTRIPE POSITIVES

  • Thames was signed as a free agent just before the beginning of spring training and made the team as the team’s 25th man. But injuries to DHs Nick Johnson and Lance Berkman and the loss of Rodriguez for three weeks has given Thames more playing time. Known as a power hitter who murders lefties, Thames has hit seven of 11 home runs against right-handers. Before his home run on Saturday, however, Thames was one for his last 14 at-bats.
  • Cano is still swinging at pitches out of the strike zone but still came through with two key hits. His single with bases loaded put the Yankees in front 5-3 in the fourth. His two-out single in the seventh brought Thames up to the plate and he scored on Thames’ game-winning homer.
  • Since Wood has taken over as Girardi’s new 8th-inning man on Sept. 1, he has pitched 3 1/3 dominant innings and surrendered just one hit and a walk while striking out three. His ERA when he was acquired was 6.30. With the Yankees it is 0.56.
NAGGING NEGATIVES

  • The rotation other than CC Sabathia may be in tatters but the Yankees keep winning. They have outscored their opponents 57-29 during their winning streak. However, to advance in the postseason the Yankees will need Javier Vazquez, A.J. Burnett and Phil Hughes to pitch better soon. Vazquez was just too tentative and he kept falling behind hitters all afternoon.
  • Moseley allowing two inherited runners to score was inexcusable. He fell behind Overbay at 1-0 and then gift-wrapped a cutter that sat in the middle of the plate with “hit me” written all over it. Overbay did hit it for a double and it allowed the Jays to tie the game.
  • Despite the fact that Jeter drove in a run with a clutch double in the third inning, he is still struggling at the plate. In his last two at-bats of the day he struck out swinging. His season average is at .266, which is 48 points below his career average.
BOMBER BANTER

Vazquez was visibly upset at being taken out of the game in the clubhouse afterward. Asked if he thought Girardi had lost confidence in him, Vazquez replied “You will have to ask him.” But Girardi said he took Vazquez out because he sensed he was struggling with his mechanics and Girardi said Moseley was summoned because “I wanted a fresh arm.” He also said he expects Vazquez to make his next scheduled start at Texas on Friday.  . . .  Andy Pettitte took part in the three-inning simulated game on Saturday prior to the regular game and he threw exactly 50 pitches. Tossing to Rodriguez, Greg Golson and Ramiro Pena with Reggie Jackson acting as the umpire, Pettitte looked sharp in throwing 31 strikes. Pettitte is scheduled to throw another bullpen session on Monday and, after that, the Yankees will have to decide if they want him to do a rehab stint during the minor-league playoffs. Pettitte is hoping for a return to the Yankees within the next 10 days.  . . .  Rodriguez had no setbacks in taking his swings and running during the simulated game. In six at-bats against Pettitte, Rodriguez got two hits, struck out once, grounded out twice and popped up. Rodriguez admits that he is not running at 100 percent but he said it unlikely he will run too hard at first when he returns to action with the Yankees.  . . .  Nick Swisher, who has been nursing a bruised left knee for a few days, was a late scratch from the lineup on Saturday. Swisher wanted to play but he was unable to run without pain. Girardi, who had already decided to give Austin Kearns a day off, penciled in Thames in right-field and moved Lance Berkman into the DH spot. 
ON DECK

The Yankees have already won the three-game series with the Blue Jays and they will aim for a series sweep and an extension of their winning streak to nine games on Sunday.
Phil Hughes (16-6, 4.10 ERA) will pitch for the Yankees. Despite not having his best stuff, Hughes was able to battle through against the Athletics and he limited the A’s to two runs on four hits and five walks over five innings. He is 2-2 with a 4.35 ERA lifetime against the Blue Jays.
The Jays are counting on left-hander Brett Cecil (11-7, 3.74 ERA), who picked up a loss despite pitching well over 7 2/3, innings against the Rays. Cecil gave up five runs but only two were earned. He gave up only five hits and a walk and struck out four. He is 2-1 with a 4.30 ERA against the Yankees.
Game-time will be 1:05 p.m. EDT and the game will broadcast by the YES Network.

Yankees’ 11-Run Outburst Boosts Pettitte To 10th Victory

GAME 80
YANKEES 11, BLUE JAYS 3

How long does it take a drought to turn into a flood?
In the case of the New York Yankees on Saturday, it happens in 39 minutes. That is how long it took the Yankees to send 15 batters to the plate and score 11 runs on seven hits, four walks and a hit batsman.
By the time the third inning was over the Yankees had turned a 2-0 deficit into an 11-2 lead that allowed Andy Pettitte to coast to his 10th victory as the Yankees waxed the Toronto Blue Jays 11-3 at Yankee Stadium.
Brett Gardner the assault by leading off the third inning with a single and scoring the first run. He later added his fourth home run of the season and the first grand slam of his career off stunned Blue Jays left-hand starter Ricky Romero (6-5).
Alex Rodriguez later added a gift three-run double, which was actually a fly ball lost in the sun by left-fielder John McDonald, to cap a day in which he drove four runs.
Pettitte (10-2) gave up three runs on a two-run home run by American League home run leader Jose Bautista and a solo shot by Alex Gonzalez. The other Blue Jays settled for no runs on three hits and a walk in six innings as Pettitte became the Yankees’ third starting pitcher with 10 victories this season.
With the win the Yankees maintained a half-game lead over the Boston Red Sox in the AL East. The Tampa Bay Rays are two games back. The Blue Jays, meanwhile, fell to 41-41 and they are nine games behind the Yankees in fourth place.
YANKEE POSITIVES

  • Before Mark Teixeira’s two-run double in the third inning that tied the score at 2-2 the Yankees went through a stretch in which they were 0-for-25 with runners in scoring position. In the third inning alone they were 4-for-6. The 11 runs scored were two more runs than the Yankees scored during their first four games of the home stand. 
  • Despite the two home runs he surrendered, Pettitte was masterful in shutting down the Jays. Until Gonazalez connected for a solo home to start the sixth, Pettitte had retired 14 batters in a row going back to the first inning.  It was the 239th victory of his career and he tied for 54th place on the all-time wins list.
  • A-Rod’s four RBIs give him 61 on the season, which puts him in third place in the AL. Cano added an RBI and now has 55 on the season and Teixeira’s two RBIs give him 51.
  • Gardner said his grand slam was likely the first of his life.  He told reporters after the game that he could not recall doing it in Little League, high school or college.  For a mostly a No. 9 hitter this season, Gardner has four home runs and 27 RBIs and he is sporting a .316 batting average.
THE NEGATIVES

  • The 11 runs scored in the third inning were the most runs the Yankees have scored since June 8. It also was the first time since their miracle four-run ninth inning rally against the Dodgers on Sunday they scored more than three runs in an inning. One bad sign: After the third inning the Yankees only had one hit (a Teixeira double in the sixth inning).
  • Chad Huffman, who started the game in right field while Nick Swisher was the DH, was 0-for-3 with three strikeouts. He is hitting .167. Either Huffman, Colin Curtis or Kevin Russo could be sent down when Marcus Thames is activated from the disabled list.
  • Both times that the Yankees had a runner at second and less than two outs they failed to even move them a base. In the first inning, Derek Jeter reached second with one out and Teixiera popped out and Rodriguez struck out. In the sixth, Teixeira lead off with a double but Rodriguez flied out, Cano popped out in foul territory and Jorge Posada flied out. Can we be sure this run drought is really over?
DIAMOND NOTES

Thames is expected to be activated before Sunday’s game. He has been on the disabled list since June 13 with a strained right hamstring. For the last two days Thames has been playing the outfield for Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre as part of a rehab assignment. The Yankees still have Sergio Mitre (strained left oblique), Alfredo Aceves (lower back strain) and Nick Johnson (inflamed right wrist tendon) on the disabled list.  . . .  Pettitte’s 10th victory marks the first time three teammates have registered 10 wins in the first 80 games of a season. Pettitte, CC Sabathia and Phil Hughes become the first trio since the 1999 Astros trio of Jose Lima, Shane Reynolds and Mike Hampton did it.  . . .  The Yankees will display all seven world championship trophies they have won since 1973 as a tribute to George M. Steinbrenner on his 80th birthday on Sunday.  The trophies will be on the 200 level concourse outside the Yankee Museum near the right-field corner of the stadium.
THE NEXT GAME

The Yankees will celebrate the Fourth of July and their owner’s birthday with Phil Hughes scheduled to take the mound in the rubber game of the three-game series with the Blue Jays.
Hughes (10-2, 3.58 ERA) is coming off his worst start of the season after having his spot in the rotation skipped. He gave up seven runs (six earned) in 5 2/3 innings against the Mariners. Hughes has a 6.29 ERA in his last four starts. He is 1-1 with a 3.44 ERA against the Blue Jays in his career.
The Blue Jays will counter with right-hander Brandon Morrow (5-6, 4.50 ERA). He gave up five runs  (three earned) on seven hits and two walks and eight strikeouts over six innings in a loss to Cleveland. He is 0-5 with a 6.69 ERA in eight road starts.  He is 1-0 with a 3.13 ERA against the Yankees in his career. 
Game-time will be 1:05 p.m. and the game will be broadcast nationally by TBS and locally by the YES Network.

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