Results tagged ‘ Scott Baker ’

Nova Burns Bright, Bullpen Says Goodnight As Twins Fall

The Yankees followed the script perfectly on Monday night: Take the lead, hold the lead through six innings and let its superior bullpen do the rest.
The result was another victory for New York over Minnesota at Yankee Stadium.
Alex Rodriguez connected for a two-out, two-run home run off losing pitcher Scott Baker (0-1) in the first inning and Jorge Posada added his third two-run home run in two games in the second inning to give the Yankees a 4-0 lead.
Ivan Nova (1-0) kept the Twins hitless through the first 3 2/3 innings before giving up a two-out two-run double to Jim Thome in the fourth and a two-out RBI double to Tsuyoshi Nishioka in the fifth. But he settled down to complete six innings and earn his first victory of the season. Nova gave up six hits, walked one and struck out three in an 83-pitch outing.
Mariano Rivera followed Joba Chamberlain and Rafael Soriano to the mound and pitched a scoreless ninth to earn his third save in as many chances.
The Yankees improved their season record to 3-1 and the Twins fell to 1-3.
  • Rodriguez’s home run in the first was his second of the season and the 616th home run of his career. With his two RBIs he also surpassed former Yankee great Dave Winfield on the all-time RBI list and tied Rafael Palmiero at 1,837.
  • Posada’s three two-run home runs in the past two games give him three home runs and six RBIs and a .286 average after four games as the DH. Posada’s home run into right-center followed a Baker walk to Nick Swisher to begin the inning.
  • Nova looked excellent in the first 3 2/3 innings until he allowed a Justin Morneau double, an infield single by Delmon Young and Thome’s two-run double. But he recovered and held the lead after Nishioka’s RBI double in the fifth. He threw 50 strikes in 83 pitches and benefitted by two double plays. In fact, of the 18 outs he recorded, 11 were retired on groundouts.
  • The Chamberlain, Soriano and Rivera combination in the seventh, eighth and ninth innings combined for no runs on two hits, no walks and two strikeouts. Out of 42 pitches they threw 30 were strikes.
  • Brett Gardner is struggling at the plate. He is 2-for-15 (.133) with seven strikeouts, including two on Monday in an 0-for-4 night. Gardner is likely to be rested on Tuesday with a left-hander pitching for the Twins.
  • Derek Jeter is also struggling in the early going. He was 0-for-4 with a strikeout and is 2-for-14 (.143).
  • Despite the victory the team was 0-for-3 with runners in scoring position and Rodriguez did not help by grounding into two double plays. Russell Martin also hit into a double play as the Twins turned three on the night.
Pedro Felciano said he was “hurt” by comments of Mets pitching coach Dan Warthen that the Mets did not want to re-sign Feliciano because of the amount of games he had pitched for them. Feliciano, who is nursing a strained left rotator cuff, said the reason he is not pitching for the Mets is because they offered him one-year contract and the Yankees offered a two-year deal worth $8 million. Feliciano said he would have something to prove to Warthen and the Mets when they the Yankees face them in the Subway Series this summer.  . . .  Manager Joe Girardi said he will start fourth outfielder Andruw Jones on Tuesday with the Yankees facing their first left-hander of the season. That means either Gardner or Curtis Granderson will rest and Jeter will move up to the leadoff spot in the batting order.
With their victory on Monday the Yankees have now won 10 of 11 games against the Twins in the new Yankee Stadium. They will try to extend that dominance on Tuesday.
The Twins will start left-hander Brain Duensing (10-3, 2.62 ERA). He is 0-1 with a 8.10 ERA against the Twins in his career.
The Yankees are countering with their ace left-hander CC Sabathia, who had a no-decision in his season debut against the Tigers on Thursday but pitched six solid innings. He is 13-8 with a 3.05 ERA against the Twins lifetime.
Game-time will be 7:05 p.m. EDT and the game will be telecast by the YES Network.

Jeter’s Dropped Popup Sets Tone As Twins Dump Yanks


TAMPA – You ever get the feeling that what you are watching is not real? Everything is just a hallucination or a mirage. That is the way Yankee fans felt on Sunday.
Derek Jeter dropped a routine popup with two out in the fourth inning to allow one run to score and Brian Dinkelman of the Twins followed with a three-run home run as a Minnesota split squad embarrassed New York at Steinbrenner Field.
Scott Baker (1-2) pitched four solid innings to pick up the easy victory. Freddy Garcia (1-1), was hammered for four runs in 2 2/3 innings to take the loss.
The Yankees have now lost five straight games by a combined score of 38-12. They are 6-10-2 this spring. The Twins are 8-7.
  • By far the highlight of the day for Yankee fans was the spring debut of Mariano Rivera in the sixth inning. Rivera shook off the winter rust to strike out all three batters he faced on only 12 pitches. Two strikeouts were called and the other was swinging. 
  • Rafael Soriano and David Robertson also looked sharp in their one-inning relief stints. Soriano needed just eight pitches to retire four batters and Robertson needed only 12 to retire three. It looks like the bullpen, indeed, will be the team’s strength heading into the 2011 season.
  • Alex Rodriguez singled and hit his second home run of the spring, a solo shot off Baker in the second inning that briefly tied the score.
  • We have been assured that no Yankees were harmed in the making of this horrible display of a game. That is a good thing.
  • It was just one of those days for Garcia, 34. He gave up four runs on six hits and two walks and he struck three in 2 2/3 innings. He threw 68 pitches in that span and his main problem was an inability to put away hitters when he was ahead in the count. Garcia was previously unscored upon in five innings and was an early favorite for a rotation spot. Manager Joe Girardi said he was not focused on the results but he did say he will be interested in seeing how Garcia bounces back in his next start.
  • The hitting drought continues for the Yankees. Against the Twins they managed only six hits. They have scored just 12 runs in the past five games and they have a total of 28 hits in those games. It is spring training but it seems clear Girardi would like his players to get more hits, get those runners in scoring position and score them.
  • Errors have become a problem the past two games. Jeter’s error cost the Yankees four runs and in the ninth inning Daniel Brewer dropped a routine fly ball to allow a fifth unearned run to score. Yesterday Eduardo Nunez’s two-base throwing error in the bottom of the ninth inning cost the Yankees a 6-5 loss to the Nationals.
The Yankees cut 11 players from their roster on Sunday. Rule 5 pickup right-hander Daniel Turpen (7.36 ERA) was offered back to the Red Sox and they accepted him. Left-hander Robert Fish (9.64 ERA) was placed on waivers and claimed by the Kansas City Royals. Right-hander Hector Noesi (4.00 ERA) was optioned back the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre. In addition, right-handers Adam Warren, David Phelps, Bran Anderson and Buddy Carlyle and left-hander Andy Sisco, infielder Bradley Suttle and outfielders Austin Krum and Brewer were assigned to minor-league camp. The Yankees have 53 players on the roster including 24 pitchers.
The Red Sox sent no starters to Tampa when the Red Sox faced the Yankees on March 4. The Yankees are essentially doing the same thing. On Monday, only the regular outfield of Nick Swisher, Curtis Granderson and Brett Gardner will be making the trip to Fort Myers, FL. Sergio Mitre will start the game for the Yankees. The Red Sox will start former Yankee Alfredo Aceves. 
Game-time will be at 7:05 p.m. EDT and the game will be broadcast nationally by ESPN2. 

A-Rod’s Slam Sends Twins To Another Yankee Defeat


It is a good thing for the Yankees that Twins manager Ron Gardenhire disregarded what looked to be a bad pitching matchup and Alex Rodriguez said “Thank you very much.”
After Gardenhire ordered lefty reliever Brian Duensing to walk Mark Teixiera to load the bases with one out in the seventh inning, he summoned Mark Guerrier from the bullpen to pitch to Rodriguez, despite the fact Rodriguez was 4-for-6 with three home runs in his career against the right-hander.
On Guerrier’s second offering, Rodriguez drilled a grand-slam homer into left that turned a 4-3 deficit into a 7-4 lead as the Yankees came from behind to beat the Twins on Friday for the ninth straight regular season game.
Gardenhire’s record as manager at Yankee Stadium also dropped to 3-24.
Joba Chamberlain (1-1), who came into the eighth inning breathing smoke, struck out the side the eighth and earned the victory. Twins starter Scott Baker (4-3), who started the seventh by giving up an infield single and a double off his left knee to Derek Jeter, was saddled with the loss.
The Yankees improved to 23-12 this season and they also moved within one game of first place in the A.L. East. The Central Division-leading Twins dropped to 22-13.

  • A-Rod’s dramatic home run was the 19th grand slam of his career and the home run also moved him past Frank Robinson into seventh place on the all-time home run list with 587.
  • Francisco Cervelli continues to shine both behind and at the plate. In the sixth inning he cut down Alexi Casilla attempting to steal. In the bottom of the seventh it was his infield single that ignited the Yankees’ four-run rally. Cervelli then added an RBI triple in the eighth to give the Yankees an insurance run. Cervelli is batting .415 on the season.
  • Brett Gardner hammered hi
    s second home run of the season to lead off the fourth inning that tied the game at one. He also singled and later scored a run in the fifth inning on Teixeira’s double that gave the Yankees a 3-2 lead. Gardner was 2-for-5 on the night and now is hitting .333.
  • Robinson Cano, who has been slumping all this month, collected a pair of doubles and he drove in a run. The 2-for-4 night raised his average back to .338.
  • Starter A.J. Burnett deserved a better fate. He did not have command of his fastball most of the night and still held the Twins to just two runs on seven hits and four walks over 6 2/3 innings.

  • Burnett actually was charged with giving up three runs because Damaso Marte continues to show that he has no earthly idea where his pitches are going. Marte was called into the game to replace Burnett with two outs and Denard Span at second and lefty-swinging Joe Mauer up. He gave up a single to Mauer that tied it up and then he allowed lefty-swinging Justin Morneau to double in Mauer to give the Twins a 4-3 lead.
  • Recent injuries to Curtis Granderson, Nick Johnson and Nick Swisher have exposed a “black hole” in the bottom of the Yankees lineup. Randy Winn entered the game in the fourth inning batting sixth for Swisher, followed by Marcus Thames and rookie DH Juan Miranda. Twins starter Scott Baker took advantage of them in the fourth inning with the Yankees leading 2-1 with no outs and Rodriguez at third and Cano at second. All the No. 6 and No. 7 hitters needed to do was make good contact to get one or both runners in. Instead, Baker struck out Winn, Thames and Miranda in succession.
  • Winn, Thames and Miranda also failed in the sixth inning after Cano led off the inning with a double. Winn flew out to shallow left, Thames struck out on a pitch that bounced up to the plate and Miranda popped up to the infield.

There is some concern about Nick Swisher, who was forced to leave the game in the fourth inning with a recurrence of pain in his left biceps.  Swisher left Wednesday night’s game at Detroit with the same problem and sat out Thursday’s game against the Tigers. However, in his first at-bat in the second inning he winced in pain as he struck out. He was allowed to remain in the game but manager Joe Girardi decided to take him out before the start of the fourth inning. Swisher had an MRI at Columbia-Presbyterian Hospital that was negative. Swisher is listed as day-to-day with a slight strain of the left biceps.  . . .  Granderson took some light batting practice Friday but he will not be coming off the disabled list when he is eligible on Monday. Granderson might begin some light jogging on Saturday, Girardi told reporters. But the center fielder, who is nursing a strained left groin, hopes to be back by the end of the month.  . . .  Girardi named Sergio Mitre as the starter for the Yankees’ series finale with the Twins on Sunday. Mitre, who subbed for Andy Pettitte in a start on Monday, will have to be used again because Tuesday’s rainout in Detroit meant that both Phil Hughes and Javier Vazquez would not have enough time between starts because both pitched on Wednesday.

The Yankees will send veteran left-hander Andy Pettitte (4-0, 2.08 ERA) to the mound for the second of the series. Pettitte left his last start after five innings with soreness in his left elbow and the Yankees, as a precaution, skipped his last start. Pettitte won his only regular season start against the Twins last year, pitching 6 2/3 innings and giving up four runs. He is 9-5 with a 3.70 ERA in 19 career starts against the Twins.
Pettitte will be opposed by fellow left-hander Francisco Liriano (4-1, 2.36 ERA). Liriano lost in his last outing against Baltimore. He gave up 10 hits and five runs in six innings. It was his first loss since September of last season and the 10 hits were most hits he has given up since May of last season.
Game-time will be 1:05 p.m. EDT and the game will be broadcast locally by the YES Network.

Sabathia, Yankees Inflict Dome Damage


If there is ever anything wrong with CC Sabathia just send him to the mound at The Metrodome. It will be like tonic to the ace lefty.
Sabathia (8-5) gave up just one run and three hits in seven innings of dominant work as the New York Yankees throughly embarrassed the Minnesota Twins on Tuesday night 10-2.
Sabathia, coming off a poor start in a loss at home to the Seattle Mariners, took it out on the Twins. In his last seven starts in The Metrodome, Sabathia is 6-1 with a 1.70 ERA. The Twins certainly had no answer for him because of their three hits, two were infield dribblers.
The sole solid hit and run came off the bat of Michael Cuddyer, who guessed on a 2-0 fastball and got it for a solo home run to leftfield in the fifth inning.
The Yankees supported Sabathia with 10 runs and 16 hits but it was not the usual suspects that were driving the offense. The bottom three spots in the batting order, Robinson Cano, Brett Gardner and Francisco Cervelli, combined to go 7 for 14 (.500), scored five runs and drove in six.
Scott Baker (6-7) was roughed early and often. In three-plus innings Baker was pounded for nine hits, two walks and five runs. But it actually took a five-run sixth inning off two Twins relievers to put the Twins away for the evening. Cano, Gardner and Cervellii were the driving forces in the attack. 
After reliever Brian Duensing struck out Johnny Damon, Mark Teixeira singled to left-center. Duesing then issued Alex Rodriguez a walk. One out later, Duensing walked Nick Swisher to load the bases. Cano then broke an 0 for 22 skid with runners in scoring position with a broken bat single to right-center to drive in two runs.

“I was checking the computer what I was doing wrong when I had men on base,” Cano told “As long as I don’t swing at bad pitches and I don’t have bad at-bats, I’m OK.”

Gardner then greeted reliever R.A. Dickey with a long triple to right-center that scored two more runs. Cervelli then completed the Yankees barrage with a single to left to score Gardner and give Sabathia a huge nine-run lead.
“I don’t mind long innings,” Sabathia said to “Especially when we score runs.”
“They got up so early,” Twins outfielder Denard Span told “It was almost like snatching your heart out. So many runs, you could tell [Sabathia] just got confident. I think he knew we were taking strike one. He’d get ahead of us. Once he got ahead of us, it was kind of hard to put aggressive swings on it.”

The Twins had been looking forward to this series ever since the Yankees swept the Twins in a four-game series at Yankee Stadium by a total of four runs. The Yankees rallied to win the last three games in their final at-bat. But the Yankees offensive barrage off Baker pretty much took the starch out of the Twins revenge game plan.
“All goes with starting pitching,” Twins manager Ron Gardenhire told reporters. “He (Baker) didn’t make any adjustments out there tonight and you have to do that. He didn’t throw it over. He didn’t do too much. He’s got to be better than that and he knows that.” 
Other than Cuddyer’s home run, the only real Twins highlight came in the fourth inning when centerfielder Carlos Gomez robbed Alex Rodriguez of a grand slam home run. Gomez went to the base of the plastic barrier, leaped and took the ball just as it was about to clear it. It ended up as a long sacrifice fly that made it 4-0.
The victory was the Yankees sixth straight on the road and they now have won 12 of their last 14 games. However, the Boston Red Sox defeated the Oakland Athletics 5-2 and the Yankees remain one game out of first place in the American League East.
But manager Joe Girardi has to be pleased with the start of this six-game road trip to Minneapolis and Anaheim.
“That’s what you want to do,” Girardi told “You want to win the first game and just get off on the right foot, because these are tough places to play, Minnesota and Anaheim. To have a game like that and start the road trip like that, it’s very nice.”

The Yankees will try to build on the good start with their hottest pitcher taking the mound on Wednesday night. Righthander A.J. Burnett (7-4, 3.86 ERA) has given up just three earned runs in his last four starts. In his last start on Friday against his former team, the Toronto Blue Jays, he gave up two runs and fanned seven in seven innings of a 4-2 victory.
His opponent will be lefty Glen Perkins (4-4, 4.38 ERA). In his last start, Perkins had his sinker working and got 16 of 21 outs via the ground ball as he gave up just one run in seven innings and defeated the Kansas City Royals. However, he is 1-3 with a 7.71 ERA against the Yankees in his career.
Gametime is 8:05 p.m. EDT.
NOTES . . . As expected, the Yankees have selected Alfredo Aceves to take Chien-Ming Wang’s start Thursday afternoon against the Minnesota Twins. Girardi cited the fact that Aceves commands four pitches and he succeeded as a starter last season as reasons he was chosen over Sergio Mitre, who had been pitching very well at Triple A Scranton-Wilkes Barre. Aceves leads all Yankees relievers with a 2.03 ERA. Girardi said he will be on a pitch count of 65. Wang had to be placed on the 15-day disabled list with a right shoulder starin and bursitis . . .  Either Jeter did not hear all that umpire Marty Foster said to him Monday or Foster lied to crew chief John Hirschbeck on Tuesday. Jeter was called out by Foster in the first inning Monday afternoon — though replays showed Blue Jays third baseman Scott Rolen never tagged him. Jeter said that Foster told him the ball beat Jeter to the bag and it did not matter if he was not tagged. However, Hirschbeck told reporters on Tuesday that Foster told Jeter  “The ball beat you and I had him tagging you.” Considering the Yankee captain rarely argues umpire calls and the fact he has been a class
act ever since he was a rookie in 1996, it is pretty good bet that Foster lied to Hirschbeck to cover his hindquarters. Hirschbeck said on Monday that umpires must look to confirm tags are made and not just assume the runner is always out when the ball beats the runner to the bag. Hirschbeck said Girardi was ejected from the game for arguing a call from Sunday’s game. He did not allow Foster to speak the media on Monday or Tuesday., the Associated Press said . . . Cervelli’s good night at the plate Monday may be his last with the Yankees for a while. Jose Molina is ready to rejoin the team after a long rehab of his strained left quad and could be activated in time for Wednesday night’s game. Cervelli was 2 for 4 with 2 RBIs on Tuesday. Though he was hitting just .190 with Double A Trenton when he was called up to replace Molina, the Venezuelan rookie is hitting .287 with the Yankees and has impressed the coaches and the pitching staff with his defensive work behind the plate and his strong throwing arm . . . The Yankees unconditionally released infielder Angel Berroa. Berroa, who was called up from Triple A Scranton-Wilkes Barre to replace infielder Cody Ransom when Ransom pulled a quad muscle, was designated for assignment when Ransom was reactivated from the disabled list. Berroa, the American League Rookie of the Year in 2003, hit .136 in 21 games with the Yankees.

Umpires Calls Help Blue Jays Win


Third base umpire Marty Foster kind of summed up the New York Yankees day on Monday when he said something startling to Derek Jeter.
Foster had just called Jeter out in his attempted steal of third base in the first inning of the Yankees game against the Toronto Blue Jays. When Jeter told Foster that he was not tagged by Jays third baseman Scott Rolen, Foster told Jeter that it did not matter if he slid around the tag because the ball had beaten him on the play.
“I was baffled by the explanation,” Jeter said after the game, “I was told I was out because the ball beat me. I was unaware of the change in rules.”
That play, which led to the ejection of manager Joe Girardi, was just typical of the struggle the Yankees had to overcome both the Blue Jays and the bad calls of the men in blue.
Girardi said, “I am not a big believer in perception is reality. You’re either out or you’re safe.”
The Yankees did manage to rally from a 7-1 deficit to have a chance to win the game in the ninth inning but fell just short in a 7-6 defeat. That is what called into question all those close plays on Monday that went against the Yankees when replays showed the umpires were wrong.
Jeter had drawn a walk from a very shaky Ricky Romero to open the game. Romero then committed a balk and Jeter was sent to second base. With Nick Swisher batting, Jeter took off for third and, though the ball arrived first, Jeter fooled Rolen by pulling back his left hand and putting his right hand on the bag as Rolen held the glove toward the left hand.
Foster called Jeter out much to the dismay of the Yankee Stadium crowd who had the benefit of replays that showed Jeter clearly was never tagged. Yankees manager Joe Girardi, coming to the defense of his player, was ejected from the game.
Swisher followed with a single to left that would have scored Jeter standing up. Ring up one run the umpires cost the Yankees.
Foster also declined to discuss the call with reporters after the game. Instead he sent crew chief John Hirschbeck to cover his backside. Hirschbeck said he would talk over the call with Foster on Monday or Tuesday.
“You have to make sure that you have a tag,” Hirschbeck said. “It used to be if the ball beat you, you were out. It isn’t that way anymore. It’s not a reason to call someone out. You have to have a clean tag.”

Hirschbeck added that if Jeter’s account of what Foster said is true, Jeter would have a right to be confused.
“In my 27 years in the big leagues, he’s probably the classiest person I’ve been around,” Hirschbeck said. “It would make his actions seem appropriate if that’s what he was told.”

Of course, that call overshadowed an even more blatant error the umpiring crew made in the bottom of the seventh inning,
Melky Cabrera opened the inning with a single to centerfield. Newly acquired reserve Eric Hinske followed with a lined single to right and the Yankees were down 7-2 at the time. Brett Gardner then sent a slow grounder to second baseman Aaron Hill.
Hill fielded the ball, turned and fired to shortstop Marco Scutaro. However, Scutaro mistimed his footwork around the bag and actually came off the bag well before the ball hit his glove. Hinske stopped to prevent being tagged out but second-base umpire Wally Bell called him out before Hinske could do anything.
For decades it has been common practice to give middle infielders the benefit of the doubt around the second-base bag. It has been called “the neighborhood play.” In other words, the umpires will give you the out if you are in the neighborhood.
However, this play — as replays clearly showed — was not even within the same zip code or even the same county. 
Perhaps Hinske would have had a chance to get to second. We will never know. But if he had the Yankees would have the bases loaded and nobody out instead of runners at first and third and one out. 
This is perhaps a another run the umpires cost the Yankees.
In the third inning, Bell blew another call. Scutaro led off the inning by drawing a walk from Yankees starter Andy Pettitte. Hill then grounded into a fielder’s choice that erased Scutaro. 
Vernon Wells then followed by hitting a grounder to Jeter’s right. Jeter cut the ball off, leapt and threw across his body to Robinson Cano to get Hill at second. But Hill was ruled safe by Bell. Television replays showed the ball had beaten Hill by a half-step.
After that play, Scott Rolen struck out and it would have been the third out of the inning. However, because of Bell’s bad call Alex Rios batted and hit a three-run homer to make it 4-1. 
There were even two bang-bang calls at first base by Hirschbeck that went against the Yankees. But it seemed as if the umpires rallying cry on Monday was not “With all our might get it right” but “When in doubt the Yankees are out.”
Ricky Romero (7-3) got the dubious victory. He pitched 6 1/3 innings, gave up seven hits, three walks, threw a wild pitch, hit a batter and balked. But the umpires helped him hold his run total down to just three. He entered the game with 20 straight scoreless innings.
Andy Pettitte (8-4) took the loss. Though he seemed to throw the ball well he could not overcome the bad calls. He went six innings, gave up just five hits but walked five and was tagged with six runs. It would have been three if Bell had made the correct call before Rios hit his home run, which barely landed in the first row of the bleachers in leftfield.
Jason Frasor picked up a save, his third, he did not really deserve. Hinske struck out with the tying run at first base just after Frasor had given up a two-run single to pinch-hitter Hideki Matsui.
Despite the loss, the Yankees remain 1 game behind the Boston Red Sox in the American League East. The Red Sox and 42-year-old John Smoltz lost to the Oakland Athletics 6-0.
The Yankees are in Minneapolis for game against the Twins tonight. CC Sabathia (7-5, 3.85 ERA) will start for the Yankees. Scott Baker (6-6, 4.99 ERA) gets the nod for the Twins.
Gametime is 8:10 p.m. EDT.

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.