Saturday, July 26, 2014

Bronx News Sports: Yanks win again

Bronx News Sports: Yanks win again: Yankees Win Again; Yanks 6-Jose Bautista 4 By Howard Goldin Bronx, NY---The Yankees are moving upward in the standings during their curr...

Yanks win again

Yankees Win Again; Yanks 6-Jose Bautista 4

By Howard Goldin

Bronx, NY---The Yankees are moving upward in the standings during their current homestand. They have won seven of the last eight games. The 6-4 win over the Toronto Blue Jays on Friday night put them in second place in the American League East, one game in front of Toronto. The Yankees have come from behind in their last five wins.

Many in the ballpark expected to witness a pitchers’ duel with Mark Buehrle starting for Toronto and Hiroki Kuroda for New York. Those expectations were not met by the starters as the Yankees were leading 6-4 at the end of three innings. Both teams’ relief staffs were outstanding. Not a run was scored against any of the relievers.

In six innings of relief, the Toronto pen gave up only two hits, no walks and fanned six. The Yankee relievers, in 3.1 innings, also yielded only two hits, no walks and struck out three. David Robertson earned his 26th save.

Veteran Carlos Beltran praised both the starter and the relievers, “He’s [Kuroda] a veteran. Even when he doesn’t have his stuff, he’s able to compete. I attribute where we are to Betances and guys like that.”

Buehrle has been one of the best pitchers in MLB during the past 15 seasons. He has 19 victories, 10 in 2014. He entered the game on Friday with an ERA of 2.86, 8th best in the league. He set a MLB record by retiring 45 consecutive batters in 2009.

He has been a very different pitcher when facing the Yankees. He has compiled a 1-12 mark in 19 starts against New York. He has yet to win a game in Yankee Stadium, but lost his sixth game there on Friday. His three inning stint was the only one of his 21 starts this year in which he pitched less than five innings.

Derek Jeter, to the delight of the large crowd of 44,237, got the first Yankee hit of the game in the first frame.

Two Yankee runners crossed the plate in the second. Brian McCann led off with a single. Chase Headley followed with a single. A walk to Ichiro Suzuki loaded the sacks. The first Yankee run scored on an infield single by Brian Roberts and the second on a sacrifice fly by Brett Gardner.

Two long balls drove in four Yankee runs in the third. With one out, Carlos Beltran hit his 11th home run of the season on a 2-1 pitch. McCann and Headley each singled again and Ichiro followed with a home run to right. It was his first of the season and followed 294 homerless at bats.

Ichiro was greeted in the dugout by a silent Jeter. After the game, the Japanese native joked, “He always does something special. I thought he would do something like that.”

Of the two homers, Yankee skipper Joe Gorardi remarked, “They just got good pitches to hit, right there in the zone.”  When told that Ichiro has a .431 batting average against Buerhle, he stated, “He sees him well.”

Headley, only a Yankee since July22, had three hits on Friday. He again remarked of his joy being a member of the Yankees, “It’s a privilege putting on the pinstripes. When you walk in this stadium there’s energy.”

Toronto’s four runs were all driven in by Jose Bautista with two home runs, his 19th and 20th of this season. Interestingly, all four of Bautista’s hits off Kuroda have been home runs.

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Bronx News Sports: Tarp Gate

Bronx News Sports: Tarp Gate: Tarp Gate Who's to blame when Mother Nature was the story in #Yankees rain-shortened win over Texas By Rich Mancuso BRONX, NEW YOR...

Tarp Gate

Tarp Gate

Who's to blame when Mother Nature was the story in #Yankees rain-shortened win over Texas

By Rich Mancuso

BRONX, NEW YORK, JULY 24- Brett Gardner was ready to take his turn at bat in the New York Yankees fifth inning. And then Mother Nature went to work. But the umpires were fooled as the deluge and winds had a field day with the tarp and Yankees grounds crew in the Bronx. From there it was a bizarre hour and 49 minutes of good theatre at Yankee Stadium Wednesday night.

The umpires could not play with Mother Nature, and in the end there is no telling as to who made the bad call about not getting a tarp on the field in time. There was the ugly forecast of heavy storms approaching. The umpires and grounds crew have sophisticated radar in place, as good as the pitching coaches have radars on opposing hitters.

And for 13 minutes, the grounds crew could not keep up with the winds and torrential rains that resulted in an infield that resembled “Noah’s Arch.” No way, the game could be resumed with the Yankees leading the Texas Rangers 2-1 in the bottom of the fifth inning.

The Yankee Stadium infield was not a “Field of Dreams.” The warning track areas, as good as the drainage system is, not playable. So, what do you do?

This is where it got interesting, and in the end, who is to blame for a rain shortened Yankees win? Yankees manager Joe Girardi and Rangers’ manager Ron Washington had more concern about the infield track and how unplayable it was. The worst case scenario was seeing one of their players go down with a hamstring injury because the infield was still not playable.

After all, this is not sandlot baseball that is played daily across the street at Legends Field. This is Major League Baseball, and with advanced technology to prepare on time for an upcoming storm, the tarp should have been on the field and the issue here would be about the game and not who was to blame.

And the Yankees grounds crew, they get the accolades for battling a stubborn tarp. They deserve the applause trying to get the infield back to playing shape, earning their money and spending over 45-minutes using every ounce of that sophisticated drying agent to make the field playable.

However, all the manicuring and water absorbing was not good enough. The managers huddled around home plate, up the first base line, and so did the umpires.

"Ron Washington said he thought a hamstring would be blown and I said ‘I question if this is safe for our players. Is there anything you could do to firm it up?'," Girardi said. "There were spots in the infield that you could see this much dirt would come up very easily."

They waited, and most of the 37,585 had more common sense and left the ballpark. There may have been that proverbial “Window”they talk about in baseball, the rain letting up and the game will resume. But the radar showed more rain was on the way as they played the waiting game with hopes the drying agent would sink in and dry the field.

The umpires called headquarters in New York for a decision. The Yankees have more to play for as the Rangers are looking at next year, but every game as Major League Baseball mandates, should try to be completed. The areas where turns are made were unplayable and the tarp was on the field again as light rain resumed.

With the tarp covering an infield needing attention, it became that more difficult to be a playable field that turned into mud.

Dale Scott the umpire crew chief had this to say:"Both managers had concerns about injuries, hamstrings, that kind of stuff. It would be really bad if we started playing and somebody blew out a knee or a hamstring or whatever because of that."

“Been through a lot of crazy things over the years,” Washington said. He did not put the blame on the umpire’s possible late call for the tarp. And certainly the grounds crew could not be faulted because too much water on the tarp made it impossible to move..

Alex Rios, who got one of five Rangers’ hits off Yankees starter and winner David Phelps said it was one of the most unusual rain delays he has encountered in his career, but the decision to no longer play was the right move. When the tarp was first removed, and as the grounds crew did their best, Rios and most of his teammates huddled by the dugout as starting pitcher Yu Darvish took some warm up tosses and hoped for the best.

The outfielder commented, “When I went through the infield it was very wet, guess the outfield was just as wet. You don’t want to get the players injured.”

In the end though, Mother Nature helped the Yankees this time. The last game before the all-star break at Baltimore, the Yankees waited two hours as the game was called in the fifth inning because of rain and they got a loss.

“Always if it’s a win," Girardi said about the rain helloing his team this time. But, as always he was logical about a bizarre evening in the Bronx. "Neither one of us can really afford anyone else to go on the DL because of conditions that players shouldn’t be on.”

THE GAME: Gardner hit a fastball off Darvich into the right-field seats in the third inning, his 10th of the season that gave the Yankees a 2-1 lead… Chase Headley acquired Tuesday from San Diego got one of four Yankees hits with a two-out double to the right-center gap in the second inning, his second hit in five at bats as a Yankee…

Phelps (5-4) recorded his first complete game of the year and Yankees starters have allowed four or fewer runs in each of their last nine games…. The Rangers have lost 15 of their last 18 road games…. Yankees trail first place Orioles by three games in the Al east with the finale of the four-game series Thursday afternoon and looking to take the series.

Comment Rich Mancuso: Mancuso

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Bronx News Sports: Fordham alum

Bronx News Sports: Fordham alum: Former Fordham Ram Martinez returned to the pitching mound in the Bronx By Rich Mancuso BRONX, NEW YORK, JULY 23- Three ...

Fordham alum

Former Fordham Ram Martinez returned to the pitching mound in the Bronx

By Rich Mancuso

BRONX, NEW YORK, JULY 23- Three years ago Nick Martinez was spending time as a second baseman and came out of the bullpen up at Rose Hill for Fordham University. Then the Texas Rangers gave him a call as their 18th round pick in the June amateur draft. Tuesday night he was on the mound at Yankee Stadium getting the start for the Texas Rangers.

It was a homecoming of sorts. The 23-year old right-hander from Hialeah Florida visited the new Yankee Stadium in his senior year at Fordham. Scouts said he could fit in the plans for the Rangers, and at the time the organization was loaded with good pitching.

So, a little past 7:20pm, and three years after coming out of the pen up at Rose Hill, Martinez threw his first pitch as a professional in the Bronx. It was low sinker and outside to Brett Gardner that went for a single to left. Derek Jeter followed hitting into a ground ball double-play and Jacoby Ellsbury lashed a 92-mile fastball to left for a single.

Then the curveball was thrown, one that helped Martinez get to this point, and Carlos Beltran ended the inning with a force that went second to short. After that hit to Ellsbury, Martinez retired 12 consecutive Yankees, and that was impressive being this was his first start coming off the 15-day disabled list because of discomfort on his left side.

“Going out and sat on the bench a little bit it just sank it in,” Martinez said, hours after he was lifted from a game that almost lasted five hours and went 14-innings in a game the Yankees won 2-1.

Martinez, 1-6, with a 5.10 ERA, held the Yankees for 5 1/3 innings on three hits and a walk. Manager Ron Washington made the pitching change after a walk to Gardner and after throwing 68 pitches, and of course he did not fair in the decision.

“His mechanics started to break down,” was the explanation from Washington about removing Martinez with a low pitch count. But, there was more of a concern that his pitches did not further aggravate his left side.

Martinez has a future and that was the reason the Rangers grabbed him after a successful scholastic and playing career at Fordham. He had allowed 10 earned runs in his previous 7 1/3 innings over two starts and retired 14 of the last 16 Yankees he faced in the game.

It resulted in his first career start without allowing an earned run, and the first by a Texas pitcher this season not allowing an earned run since Yu Darvich against the Twins on June 28th.   

He said, “I thought my fastball was elevated a bit. I got away with that….things to expect first time out in three weeks. I understand. I did have to tighten up and focus. I didn’t feel tired and exhausted. Again, I haven’t pitched in three weeks so you have to play it safe.”

Comment Rich Mancuso:

Bronx News Sports: New Guy Wins it for Yankees

Bronx News Sports: New Guy Wins it for Yankees: New Guy Wins it for Yankees Walk-Off Single by Chase Headley in First Game as a Yankee By Howard Goldin BRONX, N...

New Guy Wins it for Yankees

New Guy Wins it for Yankees
Walk-Off Single by Chase Headley in First Game as a Yankee

By Howard Goldin
BRONX, NEW YORK, JULY 23- A beautiful pitching duel between two rookie starters, Nick Martinez of the Texas Rangers and Chase Whitley of the New York Yankees and continued by a phalanx of relief pitchers by both teams kept runs off the board for 12 innings.
After the pitchers stifled every rally before a run could be scored, a run for each club was scored in the 13th frame. There was no rally in the top of the inning. One swing by first sacker J. P. Arencibia lifted the ball into the left-centerfield stands to put the first run on the board and emotionally deflate the excited fans still in their seats.
The base hit by Arencibia was the first by the Rangers since Adrian Beltre’s lead-off single in the seventh inning.
Brett Gardner led off the bottom of the inning with a double. With one out, the man who can do no wrong, Jacoby Ellsbury, drove in the run that tied the score. The run batted in was Ellsbury’s fifth in the first five games of the current home stand.
Two newcomers who were appearing in their first games as Yankees were the heroes.
In the 14th, Jeff Francis, the seventh and final reliever of the game for the Yankees, entered the contest. Francis had been acquired Oakland on July 11. The veteran of 11 major league seasons was appearing in his first game in pinstripes. He had last pitched in a game on July 2. Twenty days later, he kept the Rangers scoreless for the inning and earned the win. Despite the 20 days between games, Francis told reporters he felt in shape to play, “I did what I needed to do to stay sharp. I don’t feel I’m behind.”
The Yankees bullpen did everything possible to give the Yanks an opportunity to obtain the victory. The seven relievers pitched eight innings and gave up only one run and four hits.
The Yankees put together their final and winning rally after the second seven inning stretch of the conterst. Brian Roberts hit a grounds rule double into the stands in right. Francisco Cervelli singled, moving Roberts to third. Chase Headley, who had been acquired earlier in the day from the San Diego Padres for fellow third sacker Yangervis Solarte, singled to end the game and put the Yankees in the winning column.
Yankee skipper Joe Girardi described Headley’s arrival during the game, “Chase came into the dugout at 7:30 or 7:40 and introduced himself.”
Headley’s first game as a Yankee was his 909th as  major leaguer. He explained his emotions, “I’m just trying to do my job and become a part of this franchise. It’s great to be a part of a pennant race.”
The game that seemed it would never end, saw 37 players used and took 4:51 until it was over.

Monday, July 21, 2014

Bronx News Sports: Yanks Sweep Series

Bronx News Sports: Yanks Sweep Series: Yanks Sweep Series with a Walk-Off Win on Sunday over Reds By Howard Goldin BRONX, NEW YORK, JULY 21- The Yanks won their third straig...

Yanks Sweep Series

Yanks Sweep Series with a Walk-Off Win on Sunday over Reds

By Howard Goldin

BRONX, NEW YORK, JULY 21- The Yanks won their third straight over the Cincinnati Reds in an exciting manner as they obtained a walk-off win on Sunday.

Hiroki Kuroda, the only original starting pitcher of this season to still be in the rotation, picked up the slack of those missing by going deep into the game and only yielding one unearned run.

For his second straight start, the veteran hurler only gave up three hits. He walked two while fanning six in 6.2 innings.

Zack Cozart, who was safe on an error by second sacker Brain Roberts to start the fifth, scored the only run off Kuroda when he was plated by a grounds-rule double by Skip Schumaker.

The Yankee skipper Joe Girardi was obviously pleased by the performance of the 39-year-old pitcher, “He did a wonderful job today. He’s been extremely consistent.”

The score was 2-1 in favor the Yankees when he was removed from the game. He was denied a chance to get the winning decision when Todd Frazier hit a solo home run off reliever Dellin Betances in the eighth to tie the score at 2.

The Japanese pitcher viewed the experience with a very mature attitude, “As a pitcher, you always want to get a win yourself, [but] the biggest thing, obviously, is for the team to get a win.”

Betances, a rookie, accepted the blame for the home run, “The pitch to Frazier was up and in. It was a bad pitch for me. I think he just guessed and took a good swing. He’s a good hitter. I felt bad not to help us get a win. I was definitely frustrated.”

The Yankees gained the victory in the bottom of the ninth in surprising fashion as fireballer Aroldis Chapman threw nearly every one of his 18 pitches for at least 100 miles per hour.
In the ninth, Jacoby Ellsbury capped off a perfect day in which he was 4 for 4 with a walk at the plate, stole two bases and made a spectacular catch in center off Frazier in the third.
He led off with a single to left. He then stole second. A wild pitch moved him to third. With one out McCann popped the ball up but three Cincinnati fielders led it drop and Ellsbury scored for the win.

Girardi explained why the opposing fielders had a problem with the ball, “It [the sun] can be very difficult if you’ve never played here.”

McCann, who had his fifth career walk-off hit, gave full credit to Ellsbury, “He runs the table. He can do anything on a baseball field. He showed all his tools today.”

The homestand for the Yankees continues as the Texas Rangers visit for games from Monday through Thursday.”

Friday, July 11, 2014

Bronx News Sports: She’s Getting Ready to Sing for Yanks

Bronx News Sports: She’s Getting Ready to Sing for Yanks: She’s Getting Ready to Sing for Yanks Tanaka on DL, CC Out Spells Trouble for Playoff Hopes Masahiro Tanaka to be on Disabled L...

She’s Getting Ready to Sing for Yanks

She’s Getting Ready to Sing for Yanks
Tanaka on DL, CC Out Spells Trouble for Playoff Hopes
Masahiro Tanaka to be on Disabled List for a Minimum of Six Weeks
By Howard Goldin
BRONX, NEW YORK, JULY 11- Less than a week before the All-Star Game was to be played, the Yankees received their worst news of the 2014 season. It was announced that Yankee ace Masahiro Tanaka would be out of action for at least six weeks with a partial tear in his ulner collateral ligament (UCL) in his right elbow.
The first indication occurred last Tuesday when the rookie complained of soreness after being removed from his start after 6.2 innings. He was then placed on the 15 day DL. 
The problem was diagnosed after Tanaka underwent an MRI and flew to Seattle to confer with the Yankees physician, Dr. Christopher Ahmed, and other doctors. It was determined that the tear was small and Tanaka would undergo a six-week period of rehabilitation. He is to have a platelet-rich plasma injection next week. No surgery was proposed. 
If the rehab is not successful, he will likely have to have Tommy John surgery, which will put him out of action until the 2016 season.
The loss was huge as Tanaka joined three of the starters of the season beginning, C.C. Sabathia, Ivan Nova and Michael Pineda, on the disabled list. Only Hiroki Kuroda, 39, currently remains in the starting rotation. 
The importance of the loss of the rookie from Japan can easily be determined by his place in the individual pitching rankings in the American League this season. He ranks first in wins (12), and complete games (3), second in ERA (2.27) and fewest walks per 9 innings (1.3), fifth in winning percentage (.800) and innings pitched (122.2) and sixth in strikeouts (130) and opponents’ batting average against (.224). 
The amazing newcomer to MLB was a favorite to win the as the American League Rookie-of-the-Year Award and the Cy Young Award. He was also a rare rookie pitcher being seriously considered to be the American League starting pitcher in the All-Star Game. 
The two men, Joe Girardi and Brian Cashman, who have the prime responsibility for the success of the Yankees this year commented upon the loss of Tanaka. Yankee skipper Girardi tried, as always, to be optimistic, “We’ll keep our fingers crossed. It is what it is. It’ll be at least six weeks. I’m optimistic we’ll have him back.” When asked about how the rotation will now be devised, he responded, “We’ll figure it out.”
General Manager Brian Cashman spoke of his efforts to obtain a starting pitcher through a trade, “We’ve been aggressive because now we’ve got four starters that we were planning to use out. We are in a division fight, and we want to stay in the fight.”

Thursday, July 3, 2014

Season Slipping Away for #Yankees?

Season Slipping Away for #Yankees?

Yanks Drop Fifth Straight

By Howard Goldin

BRONX, NEW YORK, JULY 3- Unless the fortunes of the New York Yankees improve rapidly, the team’s brass will be under increasing pressure to make serious roster changes through the trade route prior to July 31.

The 6-3 loss to the Rays in Thursday’s matinee, the final game of the most recent homestand, was the team’s season-high fifth straight. The last such debacle occurred in June of 2013. It was also the fifth consecutive home defeat of the Yankees, a Bronx losing streak that last took place in May 2011. The 2014 record of the Yanks dropped to 41-42, their first time below .500 since April 11, when their record was 5-6.

The Rays came back from single run deficits three times to knot the score before scoring two in the top of the fifth to assume their first lead of the contest, which they maintained.

The winning blow, a two-run homer, was delivered by Sean Rodriguez in his first game at short since July 11, 2013. The awesome blast went more than 440 feet, Rays manager Joe Maddon commented, “How about Sean’s homer? That could have been out of the old stadium.” 

Rodriguez explained the home run was not his goal, “I was just trying to hit it hard. I just wanted to find a way to contribute to help us win.”

Although Rodriguez is only batting .215, 15 of his 26 hits have been for extra bases, a percentage second in the majors. He remarked with a degree of surprise, “It [power hitting] has become a bigger part of my game than people thought despite my record in the minors.”

Pitching was again part of the Tampa victory. Rookie Jake Odorizzi, the Tampa starter went 5.2 innings, yielding three runs, eight hits and one walk. Two of the hits were solo home runs, Brett Gardner in the first and Brian McCann in the third.

The winning pitcher fanned only four Yankees, but said, “I have the ability to throw strikes.” This was no understatement as Odorizzi’s mark for strikeouts per nine innings (10.56) is currently the fourth highest in major league history for a rookie pitcher.

The Tampa bullpen kept the Yankees scoreless with only two hits in 3.1 innings. After the game ther Tampa skipper stated, “They [relievers] all looked really good. [They’re] getting their confidence.”

The Rays, at the half-way point of the 2014 season, are moving in the opposite direction of the Yankees. Their win was a season-high fifth straight. The surging Rays have now won seven of their last eight games.

Manager Maddon explained, “We’re getting a different bus driver on a daily basis, that’s what we’re built for.” To continue winning in the future, he said, “We’ve been waiting for things to happen. We have to make things happen.”

The winning pitcher explained their recent success thusly, “Our pitching, our hitting, and our defense are all coming together at the same time.”

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Bronx News Sports: Fans Boo Flat #Yankees

Bronx News Sports: Fans Boo Flat #Yankees: Fans Boo Flat Yanks Yankees at the mediocre .500 mark By Rich Mancuso BRONX, NEW YORK, JULY 2- The night before, Tampa Bay pitc...

Fans Boo Flat #Yankees

Fans Boo Flat Yanks

Yankees at the mediocre .500 mark

By Rich Mancuso

BRONX, NEW YORK, JULY 2- The night before, Tampa Bay pitcher Chris Archer put the New York Yankees a game closer to the mediocre .500 mark. David Price, rumored to be on the trade market, was on the mound Tuesday night in the Bronx for the Rays. He helped make it official, because the Yankees at the halfway point are 41-41 after a 2-1 loss, and second straight to the resurgent Rays.

The anemic hitting of the Yankees continued. Four hits and only one that went for an extra base says a lot, though Price was a primary reason why the Yankees failed once again to spark a rally. The left-hander, (7-7) through seven innings held the Yankees. He gave up one run and struck out nine.

Yankees manager Joe Girardi can’t find the answer, though he knows a veteran lineup has the capability to be more aggressive at the plate. “These guys have proven track records,”
he said without mentioning names. “These guys have to get it done. They have to grind it out. It’s not just a couple of guys going… it’s a number of guys.”

Struggling, that describes the Yankees who have matched a season high four-game losing streak and losing eight of their last 10 games.

Last year, it was the injuries that reduced the hits and run production. But a spending spree in the off-season and bringing in some power hitters supposedly was to be the answer. At the halfway point, more so in the month of June, the Yankees were near the bottom in the American League from an offensive standpoint.

That does not stand well with a fan base. They could be heard booing the Yankees in the ninth inning, their last at bat attempt to come from behind. Price was dominant, and the Ray’s bullpen finished the job with two scoreless innings and did not allow a hit.

“I don’t know,” Girardi said when asked again about the struggle to get hits and produce runs. “I don’t think you forget to hit in a year.” He was obviously referring to Carlos Beltran and Brian McCann, two of the high priced players on a team with a $200 million payroll who had productive years in the National league last year with the Cardinals and Braves.

The only high priced acquisition that has been respectable, but not incredible, has been Jacoby Ellsbury.

Archer, who has success against the Yankees, was dominant Monday night. And Price, who is on the radar of many teams as the trading deadline looms, was just as dominant. Good pitching will stop good hitting, but the Yankees have not been able to come up with the big hit indicated by a team hitting .249 with runners in scoring position.

Price almost reached 10-strikeouts for a sixth straight start. Had he accomplished that, he would have joined Pedro Martinez, Randy Johnson and Nolan Ryan as an elite group to achieve that accomplishment, and he has been one of the reasons why Tampa Bay is 13-7 since June 11th.

“That would have been cool,” Price commented. It was his 23rd career start against the Yankees and he has never reached double digits against them. The Yankees could use another reliable starter but Price may not be going nowhere the way he has been pounding the strike zone.  

Pitching has not been the Yankees issue. They may get CC Sabathia back from the disabled list a few weeks after the all-star break. Hiroki Kuroda pitched eight good innings and he became the second pitcher to go eight or more this season, next to Masahiro Tanaka. James Loney hit his fifth home run in the sixth inning that was the decisive run.

The Yankees only highlight at the plate were the two hits from Derek Jeter, a leadoff double in the fourth inning, their first hit off Price. And for Jeter it was another milestone, his 534th career double tying him with Lou Gehrig for first place on the Yankees’ all-time doubles list.

“The guys we have- have to get it done. That’s the bottom line," Girardi said. And the Yankees better get it done soon, because at the halfway point it does not look promising for a happy summer ahead in the Bronx.    

Comment Rich Mancuso: Mancuso

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Bronx News Sports: #Yanks lose

Bronx News Sports: #Yanks lose: Rays Have Their Way with Yankees Archer did not get the decision but handled Yankees again By Rich Mancuso BRONX, NEW YORK, JULY 1- Again at...

Throggs Neck News: #Yanks lose

Throggs Neck News: #Yanks lose: Rays Have Their Way with Yankees Archer did not get the decision but handled Yankees again By Rich Mancuso BRONX, NEW YORK, JULY 1- Again at...

Bronx News Sports: #Yanks lose

Bronx News Sports: #Yanks lose: Rays Have Their Way with Yankees Archer did not get the decision but handled Yankees again By Rich Mancuso BRONX, NEW YORK, JULY 1- Again at...

#Yanks lose

Rays Have Their Way with Yankees
Archer did not get the decision but handled Yankees again

By Rich Mancuso

BRONX, NEW YORK, JULY 1- Again at Yankee Stadium Monday night Chris Archer of the Tampa Bay Rays had his way with a team that can’t figure him out. The Yankees knew what they were up against when Archer got on the mound. His last start in the Bronx was July 27 of last season, a 2-0 shutout. Though he did not figure in the decision of the Rays 4-3 win 12-innings, a win for his team was more important.

Archer is a catalyst towards getting Tampa Bay back into contention. The first half is over, and the Rays are sitting last in the AL east with the second worst record in baseball. They need him, and David Price, if he is not traded, to get some wins for a second half run.

And when he is on the mound against the Yankees, Archer seems to almost make it appear it is a guarantee win. He was 4-0 coming into the game against New York, and left with a 3-2 lead but did not figure in the decision. Regardless a 1.51 ERA in five career starts against the Yankees is impressive.

“I don’t know what it is,” he said about pitching in the Bronx and the Yankees. Archer pitched seven innings and was that close to another win. But the Yankees’ Brian Roberts tied the game with one-out in the ninth inning.

Had he won, Archer would have been the first pitcher to go 5-0 starting a career against the Yankees. The last one to do that was Hall of Famer Walter Johnson of the Washington Senators, from 1907-08, when the Yankees were known as the Highlanders.
Archer smiled when he was told that he would have been in great company.

 “I just have success against this team and it’s cool because it’s a little different team from last year,” said Archer. “When I have good catcher and good defense behind me it lifts our spirits. We’ve been playing really well as of late.”

It was that type of game for the Yankees, again failing to get the runners home and capitalizing on that home run by Roberts to right field. They lost for the seventh time in nine games but only trail first place Toronto by 2-1/2 games in a mediocre division. 
Mediocre enough that if the Rays go on any type of winning streak they could make a run in the second half, as they have won eight of their last 12-games. 

 Archer knows that significance of not getting a win on his record. A win for the team is more important. The Rays are looking to narrow their 9-1/2 game deficit in the division.

 It may look impossible, but mediocrity and good pitching can make it interesting by September.

“He is still learning for a young pitcher and getting better,” Rays’ manager Joe Maddon commented about his starter. “My theory, to win a road game in extra innings is good for nay teams moral.”

Said Archer, “We can come out and win a game like that is special for us. Knowing we can accomplish that it’s special for us. We are not looking at the standings. We know what team we are.”

On the contrary, the Yankees may still be trying to find out who they are. Because two key off-season acquisitions, Carlos Beltran and Brian McCann, part of a $450 million spending spree, continue to disappoint and are not driving in runs. They went a combined 2-for-10, in the four hour and thirty-five minute marathon.  

"I think every team in this division probably feels that they are somewhat fortunate to be where they are with the records that have," Yankees manager Joe Girardi said. "Being 41-40, you wouldn't necessarily think you would be right in the thick of it."

One thing is certain. The Yankees won’t face Archer again in this three-game series as they get David Price Tuesday night. 

Comment Rich Mancuso: Mancuso