Results tagged ‘ Jorge Cantu ’

MLB To Determine If Yankees Let Fish Get Away

MARLINS 6, YANKEES 5 (Under Protest)

The New York Yankees lost their ace starting pitcher, later they lost their 3-1 lead in the game, then their furious ninth inning rally fell short on Sunday but they may have not lost to the Florida Marlins 6-5 — not just yet anyway.

A bizarre late afternoon game got even stranger in the top of the eighth inning and opened the door for a Yankees protest. Manager Fredi Gonzalez had just used pinch-hitter Alejandro De Aza in the bottom of the seventh inning for reliever Ranyel Pinto. On his lineup card he put De Aza in left field to replace Chris Coghlan and wanted his new relief pitcher Leo Nunez to bat in Coghlan’s leadoff spot.
After Nunez threw a strike to leadoff batter Derek Jeter, Yankees manager Joe Girardi went to plate umpire Tim Timmons to alert him that Coghlan was still in leftfield.
Oops!
Gonzalez immediately realized his mistake and he dispatched De Aza out to leftfield to replace Coghlan. However, Girardi claimed that was not the proper remedy. He argued the Marlins should lose both De Aza and Nunez and that the game should resume with a 0-0 count on Jeter.
The umpiring crew, after a long discussion, sent De Aza to the bench in favor of outfielder Jeremy Hermida but allowed Nunez to stay in the game with the 0-1 count on Jeter.
Girardi, still claiming the pitch should not count, advised Timmons the Yankees would play the remainder of the game under protest. 

“We’re going to file an incident report, and all that,” umpire Jeff Kellogg told MLB.com. “The protest is over the pitcher should have been removed from the game, or the pitch should not have counted. That’s the protest. Either or. One or the other should have happened.

“It goes to the league, and they will review everything. They will make a determination after that.”

The Yankees started the game with ace lefty CC Sabathia. However, after a shaky first inning when he surrendered a run, catcher Jorge Posada insisted to Girardi and trainer Gene Monaghan that something was wrong with Sabathia.

On a second visit to the mound, after Sabathia had surrendered a one-out double to Brett Carroll, he finally admitted to Girardi that he had some tightness in his left bicep. After the game, Sabathia said it was not serious and he intended to make his next start. The Yankees said he will be reevaluated on Tuesday.

The early call to the bullpen, however, forced Girardi to play a game of musical relievers to make up for the loss of Sabathia and the innings he had been giving the Yankees. Fortunately, Alfredo Aceves was up to the task. He kept the Marlins bats quiet for 2 2/3 innings. He gave up only a harmless single and struck out two.

That allowed the Yankees offense to get cooking in the 95-degree, 104 heat index day at Land Shark Stadium. 

After two outs in the third inning, Jeter singled off 22-year-old righty Chris Volstad. A wild pitch got him to second and Volstad then walked Nick Swisher. Jeter then stole third. Mark Teixeira then pounded a high ground ball over the head of first baseman Jorge Cantu for a double that scored Jeter easily.

Alex Rodriguez, back in the starting Yankee lineup after being given two days to overcome what he called “fatigue,” then fought off an inside fastball for a bloop single to left that scored Swisher and Teixeira to give the Yankees a 3-1 lead.

But Girardi elected to replace Aceves with Brett Tomko in the fifth inning and Tomko promptly coughed up the lead by giving up a one-out single to Coghlan and two-out home run to All-Star shortstop Hanley Ramirez, his ninth homer of the season.

Tomko then surrendered another run in the sixth inning on a two-out home run by Cody Ross, his 12th of the season, making the score 4-3 Marlins.

“I’ve been a bit of a wreck the last three or four times out,” Tomko said to MLB.com. “It just seems like when I make a mistake, it’s getting hit. It’s a frustrating thing.”

The Yankees, meanwhile, allowed Volstad to recover. After Brett Gardner’s single in the fourth inning, the Yankees did not get a hit or put a runner on base until their were two out in the ninth inning — a run of 15 consecutive outs and only two balls even left the infield.

The Marlins added to their lead in the seventh inning on a single by Jorge Cantu that brought in Coghlan. Ramirez scored from first on the same play when Melky Cabrera’s throw from left field skipped past Posada for an error. The Marlins now lead 6-3.

But, just when it seemed the Yankees would become Fish food for the second game in a row, Posada sent a 1-1 pitch off closer Matt Lindstrom just past a diving Cantu into rightfield for a single. Cabrera followed with a single up the middle that just eluded second baseman Dan Uggla. 

Gardner then brought the Yankees to within one run on a single swing — a ringing triple to deep center to score Posada and Cabrera. Lindstrom, obviously laboring and having control problems, then walked pinch-hitter Johnny Damon.

But Lindtsrom induced Derek Jeter into hitting a weak grounder to short on the first pitch and Yankees threat was quashed. 

Volstad (5-7), yet another young starter the Yankees have never faced in a regular season game, got the victory. Tomko (0-2) very much earned the loss. Lindstrom picked up his 14th save, though he did put some doubt into the contest.

Will the victory hold up, however? If Major League Baseball sides with Girardi’s protest, the Yankees would have to return to Miami at a date to be determined and the game would resume in the top of the eighth inning with the Marlins leading 6-3.

“I’d like to keep the two runs I got in the ninth and just play the eighth over,” Giradi said to MLB.com.

The Yankees have today to lick their wounds in Atlanta awaiting their three-game series with the Braves. The Yankees will send Chien-Ming Wang (0-5, 12.30 ERA) to the mound and the Braves will counter with rookie phenom Tommy Hanson (2-0, 4.08 ERA), yet another pitcher the Yankees have not faced.

The Yankees have now lost six of the past eight games in which they have faced a starter they have never seen during the regular season.  That hardly inspires much confidence for the Yankees on Tuesday.

In the meantime, the Yankees have fallen to four games back of the Boston Red Sox in the American League East standings. Toronto is just one game back of the Yankees and the Rays have climbed to within two games.

So a win Tuesday may be a necessity. Gametime is 7:05 p.m. EDT.


Yankees Find Out Marlins Aren’t “Joshing”

MARLINS 2, YANKEES 1


The New York Yankees never faced Josh Johnson. Judging by what they saw Saturday night they came away very impressed.
Johnson stymied the Yankees for seven innings as the Marlins beat the team from the Bronx 2-1 at Land Shark Stadium in Miami.
Johnson kept Yankee batters off balance all night with his mix of two-seam fastballs and changeups, forcing them to hit into 14 ground-ball outs of the 21 outs he recorded. Five others struck out, usually on changeups.
“I think he’s one of the best pitchers in the league,” Johnny Damon told MLB.com. “I usually put him up top five in the league right now. Probably on his best day, he could be the best out there.”

Johnson’s mound opponent, A.J. Burnett, was nearly as dominating in his first return to Miami since he left the Marlins after the 2005 season. Burnett allowed only one earned run over 6 1/3 innings, gave up six hits and struck out eight batters. But it was not enough to beat Johnson (7-1) and the Marlins.
Burnett’s lone mistake came in the second inning. Facing feast or famine second baseman Dan Uggla, who came into the game with 12 home runs but a batting average of .216, Burnett fell behind in the count 1-0 and decided to try a high inside fastball.
Uggla, who was looking for it, deposited it in the centerfield stands to give the Marlins an early 1-0 lead. Johnson took care of the rest by pitching five consecutive innings in which he faced the minimum three batters. He also showed an economy of pitches with three straight innings of 11 pitches or less.
The Yankees hopes of a rally off Johnson or the Marlins bullpen took a major hit in the sixth inning. Burnett opened the frame by walking speedy third baseman Emilio Bonifacio. However, while pitching to All-Star shortstop Hanley Ramirez, Jorge Posada gunned down Bonifacio trying to steal second base. It was the second time in the game Posada had gunned down a Marlins baserunner.
Burnett, however, walked Ramirez. Then the game took an ugly turn in the field. Jorge Cantu lined a 1-2 pitch into leftfield towards Damon in what looked to be a routine out. But the ball ticked off Damon’s glove and rolled past him, allowing Ramirez to score from first base.
The additional run would prove to be fortuitous for the Marlins and deadly to the Yankees. For his part, Damon made no excuses to MLB.com: “That’s totally unacceptable,” he said. “It’s amazing. There have been a lot of plays that I’ve messed up this year. I’m definitely a much better defender than that.”

The Yankees did manage to get to Johnson in the top of the seventh inning after two were out. Posada reached first base on a fielder’s choice groundout for the second out but Robinson Cano followed with a ground single up the middle. Posada made it to third base on the hit.
Nick Swisher then plated Posada with a single to rightfield. Johnson then bore down and struck out Melky Cabrera on three pitches.
The Marlins had to go to their bullpen in the eighth inning with Johnson having thrown 103 pitches. Yankee batters were very happy they did. Marlins Manager Freddi Gonzalez summoned Leo Nunez to open the frame.
He immediately was greeted by a line-drive single to rightfield by Hideki Matsui, the Yankees DH who has been relegated to pinch-hit duty in this series at a National League park. Speedy Brett Gardner came off he bench to pinch-run for Matsui.
Manager Joe Girardi then called on All-Star third baseman Alex Rodriguez to pinch-hit for relief pitcher Phil Coke. A-Rod has not started either game of this series because of what he termed “fatigue” following arthroscopic hip surgery in March. He also has been mired in a 3 for his last 34 slump.
With Rodriguez at the plate, Gardner stole second base off Nunez and catcher John Baker. A-Rod then managed to coax a walk, giving the Yankees their best scoring threat of the evening.
Derek Jeter came to the plate with  a chance to score the runners with a hit or move them up with a bunt. However, with one strike on him Jeter popped a bunt attempt foul. Forced to swing away, Jeter hit a weak grounder right to second base. Uggla scooped up the ball, tapped the second base bag to retire Rodriguez and fired to first to double up Jeter.
Rally effectively killed. 

“I didn’t execute, that’s the bottom line,” Jeter told MLB.com later. “It was a big part of the game, and I didn’t get the bunt down.”

The Marlins then called lefty Dan Meyer out of bullpen to pitch to Damon. He struck Damon out and the Yankees stranded Gardner at third and were left to ponder what might have been if only Jeter had got the bunt down.

Marlins closer Matt Lindstrom preserved Johnson’s victory with a ninth inning that ended on yet a another double play off the bat of Robinson Cano.

The Yankees have now lost four out their past six games against pitchers they have not faced before dating back to June 13. It also saddled Burnett (5-4) with a loss he really did not deserve.

“Both guys were really good,”  Joe Girardi said. “Our guy, A.J., I thought he threw the ball great. It’s unfortunate that Josh Johnson was really good, too.”

The “other guy” was better is becoming a familiar Yankee theme in June.

CC Sabathia (6-4, 3.47 ERA) will try to slow that trend Sunday afternoon when he faces Chris Volstad (4-7, 4.75 ERA). One thing in the Yankees favor is that Volstad is coming off his worst two major-league starts. He yielded 8 runs to the Red Sox last Tuesday after being tagged for 6 runs by the Cardinals in his previous start.

But the 22-year-old righthander also is the sixth consecutive pitcher the Yankees have not faced before. So Volstad has that in his favor.  Sabathia will have to again be good and the Yankees will just have to hope that Volstad is not better.

Gametime is 5:10 p.m. EDT.

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