Sunday, August 31, 2014

Bronx News Sports: Fordham football opens

Bronx News Sports: Fordham football opens: Fordham Rams Open Gridiron Season with a 52-23 Victory By Howard Goldin Fordham football is hoping to repeat or even better its greatest...

Fordham football opens

Fordham Rams Open Gridiron Season with a 52-23 Victory

By Howard Goldin

Fordham football is hoping to repeat or even better its greatest season in the FCS of 2013. Last year, under the direction of head coach Joe Moorhead, only in his second year at the helm of the squad, the Rams won 12 of its 14 games and went to the second round of the NCAA FCS Championship.

Expectations were high as this season began. In the preseason poll of coaches and SIDs of the Patriot League, 12 of the 14 voters chose Fordham to finish on top of the league’s standings. Eight Rams were selected to qualify as members of this season’s All-League Offensive Team and five others to qualify for the Defensive Team.

Fordham quarterback Mike Nebrich was named the choice as Offensive Player of the Year and Fordham defensive linebacker Stephen Hodge was chosen as Defensive Player of the Year.

The Rams selected 11/12 in the two major FCS polls lived up to expectations in their first contest of the year, easily defeating the Saint Francis Red Flash, 52-23. The game was even more one-sided than the final score exhibited as the Rams led 38-3 at the end of three-quarters.

The Rams have retained a large majority of last year’s starters, who now have an additional year of experience. Their biggest loss is graduate Calvin Koonce, who carried the football for more than 3,000 yards during the last two seasons. A possible replacement at running back, freshman Chase Edmunds, was spectacular in his first college game.

Emunds returned the first kickoff 65 yards to put Fordham deep in its opponent’s territory. Although a later Fordham fumble prevented an early score, Michael Marando kicked a 29-year field goal at 8:51. Marando later missed a field goal, but was successful in all seven attempts for extra points giving him 10 points in the game. His 120 points last season is second in points in a season in Fordham history. He may be successful in achieving the scoring mark in 2014, his senior year.

With 2:01 remaining in the first quarter, Nebrich threw the first of three touchdown passes to give Fordham a 10-0 advantage. On the receiving end was Dan Light.

Nebrich connected on 14 of 16 he threw for 188 yards. His 23-yard touchdown pass to sophomore Robbie Cantelli, in only his second college contest, raised Fordham’s lead to 17-0 at 13:39 in the second quarter. The third Nebrich TD pass came at 11:43 in the final quarter, and was thrown to one of his favorite targets, senior Brian Wetzel for 35 yards.
The success of two young running backs allowed the offense to not become totally reliant on the aerial offensive attack. Edmunds carried the ball 19 times for 181 yards including two touchdowns. In addition to his freshman yardage record in the offensive lineup, Edmunds returned three kickoffs for a total of 119 yards gained. Thud, he gained 400 yards during his first game in college.

Kendall Pearcey, a sophomore who carried the ball 19 times in his freshman season, was given the football 10 times on Saturday and gained 36 yards. The most important of those carries were the two touchdowns he scored. The graduate of Steinbrenner High School in Florida could most appropriately become an athletic hero in the Bronx.

Next Saturday, the Rams travel to Pennsylvania to face Villanova, #12.13, the team ranked directly below the Rams in both important national polls.

Monday, August 25, 2014

Bronx News Sports: Joe Torre Celebrated at Yankee Stadium

Bronx News Sports: Joe Torre Celebrated at Yankee Stadium: Joe Torre Celebrated at Yankee Stadium By Howard Goldin BRONX, NEW YORK, AUGUST 25- On August 23, Joe Torre Day was celebrated at ...

Joe Torre Celebrated at Yankee Stadium

Joe Torre Celebrated at Yankee Stadium
By Howard Goldin
BRONX, NEW YORK, AUGUST 25- On August 23, Joe Torre Day was celebrated at Yankee Stadium. The 2014 Baseball Hall of Fame inductee was given a double honor by the New York Yankees. A plaque in his honor was unveiled that will be placed in the Yankees’ pantheon of heroes, Monument Park, and Torre’s uniform, while manager of the Yankees, #6, was retired. Torre is the 18th Yankee legend whose uniform number will never be worn again.
The baseball lifer compiled an extraordinary record in his 12 seasons at the helm of the Yankees. He led the Yanks to the playoffs in each of the one dozen years. In six of those years, the Yanks were in the World Series and four times they were the World Champions. 
Many of the players he relied upon and encouraged during his Yankee tenure returned to pay tribute to their former manager: David Cone, Hideki Matsui, Paul O’Neill, Tino Martinez, Andy Pettitte and Bernie Williams. Members of Torre’s coaching staff who attended were Willie Randolph, Ron Guidry and Jose Cardenal. Mel Stottlmyre, too ill to attend, recorded a video message and the widow of Torre’s dear friend Don Zimmer came. Yankee skipper Joe Girardi and the retiring icon Derek Jeter were, of course, present also. 
Yogi Berra and Reggie Jackson, two Hall of Fame members of past generations, added the perspective of the Yankees great history by their presence. 
Many members of Torre’s immediate family, sisters, wife, children and grandchildren were present to share in his happiness.
Two contemporaries of Torre in the managerial ranks, Jim Leyland and Tony LaRussa were present to show their respect to Torre.
When giving his gracious response to the honor he received from the Yankees, Torre took time to give special words of praise to each of the individuals who attended. 
Special words were reserved for Gene “Stick” Michael, “He recommended me to George, I’ll be forever grateful.” Of Steinbrenner, he stated, “George gave me the greatest opportunity I ever had in my professional life.”
Girardi, one of Torre’s players, coaches and his successor as manager of the Yankees, expressed his feelings to reporters one day before the ceremony, “I think it’s obviously well deserved. He meant a ton to this organization. He was good at keeping the noise out letting us do our job. He had the ability to make us feel everything would be all right if we just stuck together.”
Torre explained why he chose #6 when he joined the Yankees. He and his wife turned #9, which he wore as a player, around to #6. Of it being retired on the Yankees, he commented, “When you see the neighborhood you’re in, it’s pretty cool.”
The opinion of the native of Brooklyn on his day in the Bronx, “It was every bit as special as I thought it would be.”
It would be remiss on an article on the Torre tribute not to give credit to Debbie Tymon,the vice president of marketing, for her thoughtfulness, intelligence and effort and that of her staff for the successful planning of each special event at Yankee Stadium. In his remarks, Torre said, “Debbie Tymon does amazing work.”

Bronx News Sports: Yankees showing they are not going away

Bronx News Sports: Yankees showing they are not going away: Yankees showing they are not going away By Rich Mancuso BRONX, NEW YORK, AUGUST 25- If the New York Yankees manage to sneak into the pos...

Yankees showing they are not going away

Yankees showing they are not going away

By Rich Mancuso

BRONX, NEW YORK, AUGUST 25- If the New York Yankees manage to sneak into the post season as that second wild card team, they will look at their win in extra innings Sunday afternoon against the Chicago White Sox as one that helped them get to October. This time it was a Brian McCann 10th inning walk-off three-run home run that propelled them to their fourth straight win, 7-4, and a three-game sweep of the series.

Sunday it was McCann who came off the bench and became the hero. The schedule won’t get easier during this stretch run, 22 of their next 31 games against teams with winning records. But the Yankees departed the Bronx as a confident team with momentum, after a 5-2 home stand that got off to a bad start losing their first two against the lowly Houston Astros.

There is this sudden fight that was not evident weeks ago. The Yankees are showing teams in front of them, and their fans, that they are not going away that easy. The next four games they play two of those teams with winning records, a makeup game Monday night at central division leading Kansas City and three at the Detroit Tigers.

After their Thursday afternoon finale in Detroit, perhaps there will be a better perspective regarding this Yankees late season surge for a post-season spot.

“It’s a much better feeling when we are leaving,” manager Joe Girardi said. “Consider who we were facing and were able to come back.” He was referring to the how his team coped with White Sox’ starter Chris Sale who came into the game as one of the premiere pitchers in the game at 10-3 and a 2.12 ERA.

It was to the Yankees another big win of the year, just like the one they had Friday night when newcomer Martin Prado had a walk-off game winning hit in the ninth inning. And it was a huge win to keep pace with those teams in front of them. After opposing the Royals’ James Shield (12-6) Monday night, the task is trying to beat two of the Tigers best.

Rick Porcello and David Price, both with records of 14-8, and with successful win ratios opposing the Yankees, could take  away whatever momentum was gained this week in the Bronx and over the past four games.

But don’t tell the Yankees they can’t do it. They say this is what baseball is all about and that they will be in this until the end.

“It’s what you play for,” McCann said about his sixth career “walk-off” hit, a home run that went over the 314-sign in the right field corner. It was his second dramatic game ending hit of the season that came off a change-up on a full count. The Yankees are playing their best baseball of the season right now, again also taking into the fact that these last four wins have come against two teams that are playing for next year and have nothing to lose.

And as they say in baseball, you need to get the games that are winnable, and beat teams that you are expected to handle. The Yankees have come to realize how true that is.

The enthusiasm is showing in the clubhouse. McCann, who experienced his first award winning moment as a Yankee said “The atmosphere is better, everything is better.” Winning of course will change the environment and the post game clubhouse was distinctly different from what was seen after those two let downs with Houston that started the home stand.

The lineup Girardi put on the field was also different. McCann sat and Francisco Cervelli got the start behind the plate. Derek Jeter was in the leadoff spot for the third time this season and Brett Gardner, who has been the Yankees most consistent hitter, had the day off with a bruised right ankle that was sustained in their win Saturday.

As for what McCann did off the bench, Girardi said, “It just shows you that he had stayed ready all day. Mentally, he was ready.” Girardi did say that taking four of six would be a good home stand, and that’s good enough to keep this run going, realizing that at anytime the Yankees could once again revert to losing games in the late innings as they did so often this season.

But Gardner may have said it best: “A lot of times, the team that wins the World Series isn't the best team all year, but the team that gets hot. We're good enough. We just have to play the way we're capable of playing."

It will have to be a remarkable ending though for the Yankees to be one of those post season teams, but the way schedules are structured with teams they have to bypass, this stretch run could be to their advantage. They have to keep winning and that is always the prevailing question mark with this Yankees team.

And the win was almost questionable in the ninth inning.

Girardi went to his closer David Robertson for the save. He let a curve get away and was charged with his first blown save since June 1. Avisail Garcia led off the inning and on the first pitch hit a home run that cleared the right field stands, thus ending 22 straight save opportunities, second longest in baseball this season.

The manager may be using his closer at the right moment, and has been also seen again, the Yankees bullpen is overused and susceptible to the home run ball. Robertson was used a third consecutive day and gave up the game trying home run, Tuesday night to Chris Carter of the Astros.

Carlos Beltran is feeling better. The cortisone shot to a right elbow has put him back in the lineup and Beltran was a part of that inning before the McCann heroics when he doubled off losing pitcher Jake Peticka (0-3) with two outs.  Girardi said Beltran is feeling good and a healthy and productive Carlos Beltran is what the Yankees need to make this an interesting playoff run.

“We’re playing good baseball,” Beltran said. “Things are going our way.”  Six games out of first place in the division, as the made up some ground with the Orioles who hit a little struggle. That second wild card is in reach, 3.5 games separate them from Seattle and Detroit.

The late additions to this team have also made a difference. Chris Capuano made his sixth start and with the exception of giving up two home run balls, his six innings were effective. Girardi did say, the new additions make a difference because they are healthy and have experience.

But it all comes down to this: The Yankees these past four games have been a better team and this week it could determine if they are going to be playing for something down the stretch and not going away.


Sunday, August 24, 2014

Bronx News Sports: Yanks Defeat White Sox, 5-3

Bronx News Sports: Yanks Defeat White Sox, 5-3: Martin Prado Strikes Again Yanks Defeat White Sox, 5-3 By Howard Goldin BRONX, AUGUST 23- The Yankees added to their effort to reach a ...

Yanks Defeat White Sox, 5-3

Martin Prado Strikes Again
Yanks Defeat White Sox, 5-3

By Howard Goldin

BRONX, AUGUST 23- The Yankees added to their effort to reach a playoff spot this season with a 5-3 victory over the Chicago White Sox on Saturday afternoon. There was some degree of pressure as they were performing in front of a sell-out crowd of 47,594 as well as in front of Yankee heroes who had earned four World Championships in five years under the direction of manager Joe Torre, who was saluted in a pre-game ceremony. In addition, Yankees Managing Partner Hal Steinbrenner was in the ballpark.

Torre threw out the ceremonial first pitch. Torre’s successor, Joe Girardi spoke of the importance of the Yankee win, “It’s nice to win on a day like this. So many [great Yankees] came back. Joe [Torre] meant a lot to a lot of people.”

Yankee pitching was again worthy of praise and worthy of securing a win. Hiroki Kuroda, the only member of the Opening Day starting rotation not to be on the disabled list this year, posted his 16th quality start, his fifth in succession. The 39 year-old yielded only five hits and two runs in his six inning stint.

Two consecutive doubles by Conor Gillespie and Alexi Ramirez to start the second brought in the first Chicago run.

The other White Sox run off Kuroda came in the fifth. Alejandro de Aza led-off by drawing a walk. He moved to second on a wild pitch and was plated on a double by Jose Abreu. The Cuban native is moving to easily capture the Rookie of the Year award. The sensation is batting .307 with 33 home runs and 94 runs batted in. Abreu still has 33 games remaining to add to his already impressive totals.

After the game, the Yankee manager stressed Kuroda’s importance as the season nears its end, “We need him down the stretch. He has the most experience out there.”

As on the previous night, Martin Prado was crucial to the win. On Friday night, Prado hit a two-run homer and a walk-off single in the ninth. He did no less on Saturday afternoon. He singled in the second with two men on base. In the fourth, he doubled in two runs. Two innings later, he again doubled and scored on a sacrifice fly.

Girardi expressed his happiness with obtaining Prado for the Yankees, “He’s a good player. He grinds it out every day. He moves around. He gives us flexibility. He’s been a good acquisition.”

Yankee starter, Brandon McCarthy, who was a teammate of Prado on Arizona expected Prado to do well as a Yankee. Shortly after the versatile player was acquired, McCarthy told reporters, “I think that [coming to the Yankees] is going to bring out the best in him [Prado]. He was discouraged in Arizona.”

Rather than take bows for his accomplishments, Prado credited the entire team, ‘It was a team win and it was a team effort.”

The three game series and the Yankee homestand will conclude with a Sunday matinee.

Saturday, August 23, 2014

Bronx News Sports: Yankees get a walk-off win

Bronx News Sports: Yankees get a walk-off win: Yankees get a walk-off win and for a night things went right By Rich Mancuso BRONX, NEW YORK,AUGUST 23- Not many games have played out t...

Yankees get a walk-off win

Yankees get a walk-off win and for a night things went right

By Rich Mancuso

BRONX, NEW YORK,AUGUST 23- Not many games have played out the way they did for the New York Yankees Friday night, but for a change there was solid pitching out of the bullpen, good defense, and most of all a game winning walk-off single in the ninth inning. And the hero was Martin Prado in the Yankees 4-3 win over the Chicago White Sox.

Brett Gardner said it was “the biggest win of the year.” Prado, who has become a versatile pick-up for the Yankees, said about his walk-off bases loaded single, “I can describe that as one of the biggest moments of my career.”

Maybe a big win for the Yankees Friday night, only because this was another one of those games they needed to win if they have any chance of one or two wild card spots in the American League. Already they lost two of three this week to the lowly Houston Astros. Now they need two more wins Saturday and Sunday afternoons against the White Sox, another team the Yankees are, expected to handle.

But, to reiterate, teams the Yankees are supposed to handle have become a task. It seemed to be going in that direction again, that is until Prado came to bat with the bases loaded in that ninth inning. Until then, once again the Yankees had their chances against Chicago starter John Danks and the awful White Sox bullpen.

The Yankees seemed more aggressive at the plate, and maybe a clubhouse meeting Thursday, still not known what was said, provided some spark, but they were hardly outstanding getting runners home again, 3-for-13.

Prado, a veteran, recorded his fifth career “walk-off” hit. “He’s looked really good,” said manager Joe Girardi.

Important again, as Girardi reiterated because his team is behind in the wild card standings and the only way to catch up is to win games. It also helped that Prado smacked his third home run as a Yankee with one on, in the third inning, that put the Yankees back in the game after Shane Green gave up three runs in the first.

The last two wins for the Yankees it has been the mid-season acquisitions that have done the job. Thursday afternoon it was the complete game shutout pitching of Brandon McCarthy, and this night it was Martin Prado. In a limited amount of time in the Bronx, McCarthy and Prado may have made more of an impact than the off-season and lucrative acquisitions of Brian McCann and Carlos Beltran.

It certainly appears to be that way now, about how these moves of GM Brian Cashman have materialized for the better but the question is, with the Yankees in an uphill battle can they sustain the momentum and make a remarkable run for that post-season spot? That remains to be seen because of the inconsistency and there are doubts the Yankees can go on a vicious streak to make that run.

However, the last two games in the Bronx bring some type of hope. It is the close game the Yankees have not been able to win, and they did it in grand style with that Prado game winning hit. He had a great at bat, working to a full count on seven pitches. The last pitch off losing pitcher Daniel Webb went up the middle, and scored Ichiro Suzuki who opened the inning with a single.

Girardi said Prado made a quick adjustment with his new team. Extra batting practice has also helped his approach at the plate, and for the Yankees overall, extra swings before the game seem to have adjusted their approach a bit.

“It was a great win for this team,” Prado explained. “We all performed as a team and that’s all that matters by now.” The bullpen also came up strong, something that contributed to this first of a three game series win as Dellin Betances and David Robertson had no issues.

Robertson pitched the ninth, got the win and became the fastest Yankee to compile 500 strikeouts in team history. Betances had two strikeouts in 1/2-3 innings, staying consistent again with 113 strikeouts in 83 1/3 innings pitched.  Where would the Yankees be, especially in close games without Betances, especially the way this offense has performed?

“Today was one of our better days,” Robertson said, “nice to get a win that way, especially nine innings.”

 And a game that went the Yankees way for a change. But the reality is one win has to lead to more because the Yankees see that time is not on their side. Three teams are ahead of them and a 3.5 game deficit, though not much will require winning a lot of their remaining 36 games.

Not impossible, but with these Yankees, this season, the odds have not been very good.

Comment Rich Mancuso: Mancuso

Bronx News Sports: Derek Jeter’s Final Press Conference

Bronx News Sports: Derek Jeter’s Final Press Conference: Derek Jeter’s Final Press Conference with the Spanish Language Media By Howard Goldin BRONX, NEW YORK,AUGUST 23- On Friday afternoon at ...

Derek Jeter’s Final Press Conference

Derek Jeter’s Final Press Conference with the Spanish Language Media

By Howard Goldin

BRONX, NEW YORK,AUGUST 23- On Friday afternoon at Yankee Stadium, Derek Jeter, with the help of a translator, held his farewell press conference with the Spanish language media. Two weeks earlier, Jeter said sayonara to the Japanese media at another press conference.

The Yankee captain was asked a variety of questions that he responded to in his usual understated, courteous and non-controversial manner.

Jeter replied to a query of why he chose this season to be his final one as a player, “I just feel like this was the right time. I’ve done enough. I have other things I want to do.”

When asked if he wanted to remain in baseball in a different capacity, he quickly said no to being a coach or manager. He cited travel as one of the obstacles for him in those positions, “Travel is too tough.”

Travel is one aspect of baseball life that is particularly onerous to Jeter. He mentioned it as the one thing he would change in baseball if he had the power, “Our travel schedule is brutal.”

The legendary shortstop spoke of one baseball role that does appeal to him, “I would like to be part of a baseball ownership group. Hopefully, one day I’ll make all of the decisions.”
Jeter was born in New Jersey and raised in Kalamazoo, Michigan, but was a Yankee fan as a child. His favorite team drafted him with the sixth overall pick in the first round of the 1992 MLB Draft. His selection by the Yanks and remaining with the franchise throughout his entire big league career was especially meaningful to the shortstop, “When I started, being a Yankee meant the most to me. I’ve been one of the few to live out his dream.”

The icon is close to concluding one of the most impressive careers in MLB history. The records he has amassed will make him a sure first round Hall of Fame inductee. Jeter replied to the question of whether he had any remaining goals, “I want to win, that’s the mindset I always had and will have until my final game.”

Nearly every questioner prefaced his query with a compliment and/or an expression of gratitude for his career both on and off the field. The press conference subject explained how he appeared to avoid making human errors in his 20 years of scrutiny by the press and public while playing in the Big Apple, “Everyone makes mistakes. I’ve learned from the mistakes of others and from my own. I’ve learned not to make the same mistakes.”

He also credited his parents, “I learned a lot of lessons from my parents growing up.”
Jeter also discussed how he maintains an aura of always being under control emotionally, “I try to keep on an even keel. I’m very good at hiding my emotions.”

During his two decades in the majors Jeter has become both the face of the Yankees and the image of baseball throughout this nation. Jeter his expressed his feeling regarding the reaction of the fans in his final year’s visits to each opposing ballpark, “It’s been overwhelming to me. It’s been above and beyond my greatest expectations.”

Friday, August 22, 2014

Bronx News Sports: Where's this guy been for Yanks?

Bronx News Sports: Where's this guy been for Yanks?: Where's this guy been for Yanks? Brandon McCarthy Throws a Four Hit, Complete Game Shutout of Houston By Howard Goldin BRONX, NEW ...

Where's this guy been for Yanks?

Where's this guy been for Yanks?

Brandon McCarthy Throws a Four Hit, Complete Game Shutout of Houston

By Howard Goldin

BRONX, NEW YORK, AUGUST 22- The Thursday matinee contest at Yankee Stadium was reminiscent of Yankee games of the past. A very large crowd of 41,767 fans attended a fast moving game of two hours and seven minutes in which the Yankee starter pitched a complete game shutout of the visiting team. Both pitchers hurled complete games, which is another similarity to the past.

Time of games is a factor in the popularity of the sport. Thursday’s game was the shortest Yankee nine inning home game since June 18, 1996.

In reality, the Yankees are nine games behind the American League East leading Baltimore Orioles and behind three teams for the second Wild Card position. The Yankee victory on Thursday broke a four home game losing streak and was only the team’s third win in its most recent ten games.

The recent reality has not made the players on the Yankees nor many of their fans ready to throw in the towel for the 2014 season. Chase Headley, a Yankee since July 22, has faith in his current team, “We know we can play a lot better than we have. I like our chances every time we go out there. I expect to win.”

Brandon McCarthy’s outstanding start on Thursday is the latest example of his complete turnaround in success since late June. McCarthy, as a member of the Arizona Diamondbacks, won one game of his first 16 starts. In his last 10 games, the 31 year old has compiled a 7-2 mark.

McCarthy’s control of his pitches has historically been excellent. He is third in the majors in walks per nine innings in the last four seasons. In the last 10 starts, he walked nine batters while fanning 64.

McCarthy, in 6.1 innings in each of his most recent losses, gave up seven hits and two earned runs. The defeats could more factually be attributed to the lack of Yankee hitting rather than defects in McCarthy’s pitching as the Yankees were shut out in both of those games in August.

In seven of his nine innings of pitching, the California native retired all three batters he faced. He gave up two hits in the fourth and two hits in the seventh. Runners were on second and third in both innings, yet McCarthy got out of each jam. Girardi praised the starter for his ability to extricate himself from difficult situations, “He [McCarthy] has the ability to make pitches when you need it.”

The complete game was McCarthy’s ninth in 147 major league starts. The shutout was his fourth in the majors.

He admitted tiredness before the conclusion, “I started to get tired, wobbly through the fifth.” McCarthy gave a great deal of credit to his catcher, Francisco Cervelli, for encouraging him to continue until the game ended by yelling at him.

The catcher praised McCarthy’s pitching and tried to minimize his own efforts as catcher, “He [McCarthy] did an amazing job. He was very consistent. I didn’t want to give up any runs, so I tried to give him a little push. I was just trying to make him believe he was that good today.”

The only runs scored in the game, three, came in the bottom of the second. Mark Teixeira led off with a single. Martin Prado followed with a double. Both scored on a run batted in double by the next batter, Chase Headley. Headley scored the final run on a sacrifice fly by Ichiro Suzuki.

Girardi commented upon the batting in that inning, “We had some really good at bats in the second. It was nice to get him that early lead and just let him work.”

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Bronx News Sports: Time's Running Out for Yankees

Bronx News Sports: Time's Running Out for Yankees: Time's Running Out for Yanks Brass dumbfounded by the way Yankees are playing By Rich Mancuso BRONX, NEW YORK, AUGUST 21- It was Jo...

Time's Running Out for Yankees

Time's Running Out for Yanks
Brass dumbfounded by the way Yankees are playing

By Rich Mancuso

BRONX, NEW YORK, AUGUST 21- It was Joe Girardi bobble head night at Yankee Stadium Wednesday night and the manager got booed when he lifted starter Michael Pineda in the sixth inning. The anguish for the Yankees continued and the displeasure from their fans were heard more when the Houston Astros scored four runs in the seventh inning.

And when any team takes a lead against the Yankees, the lowly Astros or a front runner, there is a good chance they will not score and make the comeback. Such was the case again as the Astros go for a three-game series sweep Thursday afternoon after their 5-2 win in the Bronx.

Now, it is more than panic time for the Yankees who are going backwards instead of forward and seeing their playoff chances dwindle each day. They will try and prevent a sweep of the series in a stretch of seven games this week, also with the Chicago White Sox that could have helped their wild card chances.

But the Yankees wild card chances are fading each day, losing seven of their last nine games. And unless there is a winning streak on the horizon, this could get worse before they arrive in Detroit next week to play the Tigers, a team that leads the Yankees by five games for that second wild card.

Girardi said, after this latest disappointing loss, “We got to score more than two runs. We’re just not getting it done.  The bottom line is, we can’t worry about who is in front of us.  We need to play better. If we don’t play better we won’t get there.”

Truth is, the reality is starting to set in.  The Yankees are not looking like a playoff team, nor have they resembled one with 37 games remaining. In their last nine games they are batting .135 with runners in scoring position, going 1-for-9 Tuesday night, and 1-for-8  Wednesday in trying to get runners to score with men on base.

Again, it has become a mission in futility. And at this juncture of the season, with every game having significant meaning, trying to figure out why and why not is not going to produce an answer. You hear, this is baseball and there is still some time to get it going, those words coming in a very quiet Yankees post-game clubhouse.

Girardi is now baffled. He can’t recall a time, either in his playing or managerial career when a team with such prominent names struggled to this magnitude. The scouts who sit up in the press box offer the same opinion, though with a perspective that perhaps the Yankees, overall as a team are pressing.

It has gone so backwards, enough to a point that Girardi was answering questions to a member of the media in the post game about possibly shifting positions in the lineup. Batting, maybe Jeter at cleanup and moving Jacoby Ellsbury to the third spot, and the manager quickly knocked that down.

He is the manager. And apparently a lineup he has, with experience and numbers to prove, should be and is expected to be producing at a better rate. That continues to not happen for any number of reasons that have the baseball experts perplexed. Either the roster on the field is playing below expectations, or these veteran hitters are past their prime and in their final years. The seventh inning continued to support a dilemma that the Yankees can’t seem to figure for themselves.

This time after Pineda left the game, which prompted fans to boo, the bullpen imploded again as it did the night before. The results was working from behind again and failing to get the big comeback hit.

David Huff and Esmil Rogers combined to give up four runs in relief of Pineda that gave away a one-run lead.

After Pineda walked a batter to start the seventh, Huff got an out and gave up a hit.  Rogers gave up five straight singles and the Yankees were behind 5-2.

A highlight of the night was Brett Gardner making a grab of a foul ball as he fell into the stands making a catch over the cement barrier down the left field foul in the ninth inning. He also tried to ignite something with a single to center with two outs in the Yankees ninth. If anything, he has proved to be the MVP of this team. Jeter followed and worked a walk off Jose Veras.

So the tying runs were on for Ellsbury who came to bat after with two singles and two stolen bases on the night. Of course, the futility continued with a fly ball to right and another loss for the Yankees in this stretch of games that should have been in the win column.

Before that, against starter Scott Feldman, whom the Yankees made into a Cy Young Award look alike, Mark Teixeira struck out the first of two times and Brian McCann popped out to end a rally. Gardner ended an inning with runners on second and third, and in the seventh in was Ellsbury again striking out with runners on second and third.  

Bottom line, the Yankees need to play better but time is not on their side as they continue to go backwards.


Bronx News Sports: Quality Start for Michael Pineda but Yankee Pen Fa...

Bronx News Sports: Quality Start for Michael Pineda but Yankee Pen Fa...: Quality Start for Michael Pineda but Yankee Pen Fails By Howard Goldin BRONX, NEW YORK, AUGUST 21-On Wednesday night, Michael Pineda mad...

Quality Start for Michael Pineda but Yankee Pen Fails

Quality Start for Michael Pineda but Yankee Pen Fails

By Howard Goldin

BRONX, NEW YORK, AUGUST 21-On Wednesday night, Michael Pineda made his second major league start since April 23. On that date, the 25 year old was ejected from the game after 1.2 innings and given a 10-game suspension for possessing a foreign substance.

When his suspension ended, the right-hander was placed on the disabled list with a right shoulder muscle injury. Pineda missed 87 games while on the disabled list.

After two minor league rehab appearances in August, the native of the Dominican Republic was reinstated to the Yankee roster on August 13 to start against the Orioles.

Pineda pitched extremely effectively in Baltimore. He yielded only two hits and one run in five innings. He did not walk a batter, but fanned four. Although he left the game with the Yanks leading, 2-1, the Yankee relievers were unable to save the game for Pineda as the Yanks were defeated by a 5-3 score.

On Wednesday night, Pineda was on the Yankee Stadium mound for the first time since August 16. As in his first three starts of the season in April, Pineda pitched an impressive six innings. He retired the first nine batters he faced in the contest until Robbie Grossman led-off the fourth with a single. With two out, Dexter Fowler doubled to right to knock in the first run of the game.

The only other hits surrendered by the Yankee starter came with two out in the fifth as third sacker Matt Dominguez and left fielder Jake Marisnick singled back-to-back. Grossman was retired on a grounder to end the frame without a score.

Pineda retired all three batters he faced in the sixth.

The only walk he issued was to Jason Castro to lead-off the seventh. Yankee skipper Joe Girardi then removed the starter after he threw his 89th pitch. Unfortunately the move was a mistake that cost the Yankees the victory.

Reliever David Huff struck out Jon Singlerton and then gave up a single to Marwin Gonzalez before Huff departed. The next relief pitcher, Esmil Rogers, yielded four consecutive singles. Before the inning concluded, the Astros scored four runs, which brought the score to 5-2. No further scoring ensued after that half inning. The first run of the frame was charged to Pineda, who thus was not involved in the decision.

Pineda commented about his ability and desire to go further than he was allowed, “I’m feeling good. I had good energy, but I don’t have control for this situation. I want to pitch, but they have control.”

Girardi, while praising Pineda’s performance, explained why he removed the starter, “I thought he was a little tired at the end, but that’s to be expected. We pushed him a little bit, but he gave us a really good performance.”

Pineda has the highest active streak of consecutive starts of giving up six hits or less, 14 games. He has the fourth lowest active career mark of opponents’ batting average with .211. He only trails Jose Fernandez, Matt Harvey and Clayton Kershaw.

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Yanks must win but don't

Yanks must win but don't
First of six games Yankees need goes the wrong way

By Rich Mancuso

BRONX, NEW YORK, AUGUST 20- A six-game home stand for the New York Yankees did not get off to a good start Tuesday night in the Bronx. The first three against a scrappy but bad Houston Astros team and three more with the Chicago White Sox are winnable games. And every game at this point for the Yankees is important.

But, as it has been this entire season, the Yankees could not get a win they needed. There are two more with the Astros, but the bullpen imploded again and the bats were in customary form, silent again as the Yankees went 1-for-9 with runners in scoring position in a 7-4 loss. With the exception of a Brian McCann two-run home run in the fourth inning, the reality is another step back, instead of going forward for the Yankees in this stretch run for a post season wild card.

And once again the manager Joe Girardi, who said these were an important six games, had a recurring statement. “Thought we hit the ball well but not in situations,” he said. This time of year and not scoring five runs in eight straight games, does not help the situation.

It’s been a season problem as the Yankees have been held to four runs or fewer in 80 of their 123 games.

Forget the fact that the Astros are where they are, sitting as one of the two worse teams in the American League to the Texas Rangers. The Yankees have a favorable schedule this week to make some noise in this wild card chase, and it is off to a bad start. When they take the field Wednesday night for game two of this three game series with Houston, the deficit is four games.

Not a good situation. And when the closer, David Robertson issued two walks and gave up a three-run home run to Chris Carter in the ninth inning, that led the Astros to their win, there is no second guessing of the manager. The Yankees bullpen, with the exception of Dellin Betances has also decided to implode at the wrong time.  

“I tried to make a good pitch, down and away," Robertson said, "Instead I put it right in his bat path and he put it 30 rows deep." The ball went deep to left after Carter got the green light on a 3-0 count and went after a cutter that was in the middle of the plate. There are no excuses, except that Robertson is no Mariano Rivera, as much as he has been dependable most of the time in tight situations.

Said Girardi about Robertson, who allowed his first home run since June 1, “He has been really, really good. I think he has been as good as anyone could've expected. I've talked about the pressure that was on him, who he was replacing. He has come in and done a marvelous job."

But these are the games that the Yankees have confronted all season and Robertson is not the great Mariano Rivera, and the Yankees know time is not on their side. Every game, with six weeks remaining has become crucial and they all they have to do is put the blame on themselves.

“When we came together in spring training, we expected to have a little more thunder," Mark Teixeira said in a once again quiet Yankees post game clubhouse. The thunder once again did not come from Carlos Beltran, 0-for-3 and a walk. The only productive night came from Jacoby Ellsbury with three hits.  But he could not come home with the score tied in the eighth when the Yankees played small ball.

Ellsbury opened the inning with a single deep by the bag at second base. He advanced on a steal and went to third on a throwing error. But, he was stranded that led to the Astros big and deciding ninth inning. The Martin Prado one-out double to left in the sixth tied the game at 4-4. That got starter Chris Capuano off the hook after he tossed 5.1 innings on eight hits, and striking out eight.

Not much more to say, except the Yankees know what has to be done this week. They need to win at least two of three from the Astros and White Sox, except that may be asking for the impossible because it has been that type of season.

However, if the hits don’t come the task gets that much more difficult.

Comment Rich Mancuso: Mancuso

Bronx News Sports: Yanks must win but don't

Bronx News Sports: Yanks must win but don't: Yanks must win but don't First of six games Yankees need goes the wrong way By Rich Mancuso BRONX, NEW YORK, AUGUST 20- A six-game ...

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Bronx News Sports: Monroe Football

Bronx News Sports: Monroe Football: Football Phenoms Return Monroe Gears Up for New Season By Gary Axelbank BRONX, NEW YORK, AUGUST 14- Last week, the NJ...

Monroe Football

Football Phenoms Return
Monroe Gears Up for New Season

By Gary Axelbank
BRONX, NEW YORK, AUGUST 14- Last week, the NJCAA recognized three Monroe Mustangs playmakers as top-returners for the upcoming 2014 football season. Quarterback Clayton Turner, running back Robert Jackson, and wide receiver Jaquan Spann were cited for their achievements in Monroe's groundbreaking 2013 season and as important cogs in the future. Also two defensive players, tackle Elijah Young and safety Leonardo Lorenzo, were recognized.
For a team that relied on stellar defense to achieve a a stunning six-game winning streak that resulted in a 7-3 record in just their second varsity season, the NJCAA's notice of offensive playmakers is an excellent sign for 2014, but it might also contain some cautionary warnings.
"The emergence of our offensive weapons, especially in the running game, helped support our strong defense last year," said Coach Terry Karg.  "One of the challenges this season will be to replace many talented players who have moved on to play at NCAA level, but with the return of Turner, Jackson and Spann we hope to become more consistent on offense."
The development of running back Robert Jackson was a key to Monroe's success a year ago. The 5 foot 9 power half-back from Plainfield, NJ had more than 100 yards rushing in each of the Mustangs' last six games, coinciding with the win streak. His best game was the 176 yards he ate up against Thaddeus Stevens in a 26-6 win in late October.
Turner was another revelation on offense last year. The rangy 6 foot 4 signal-caller from Atlanta was injured in the season's regular season opener and he missed a month. But when he returned, he settled down the position, averaging 120 yards/game and throwing for 12 TD passes in the six games of the winning streak.
Spann caught 21 passes in his nine games as a freshman. His 336 yards were second on the team. The native of Newark, NJ had two games where he had five receptions and he hauled in three TD passes.
On defense, Young is a 6 foot, 260 pound sophomore from White Plains, NY. At 5 foot 8, 170, safety Lorenzo, who doubles as return-man extraordinaire, is a lightning-bolt of a player who hails from Miami, FL.
"We are appreciative the NJCAA has recognized these returning players," Coach Karg said. "We are very aware that in order to be competitive in our conference it will take a total team effort on offense, defense and special teams. Last year, we took a positive step with our program and we're working hard through the preseason to prepare for the opponents that are on our 2014 schedule."
Get More Bronx News
Subscribe Today:

Saturday, August 9, 2014

Bronx News Sports: #Yankees hot pitching

Bronx News Sports: #Yankees hot pitching: Yankees continue to get the unexpected on the mound By Rich Mancuso BRONX, NEW YORK, AUGUST 9- If this becomes a continued and successfu...

#Yankees hot pitching

Yankees continue to get the unexpected on the mound

By Rich Mancuso

BRONX, NEW YORK, AUGUST 9- If this becomes a continued and successful stretch run to the post season for the New York Yankees it will be credited to the unexpected who get the ball. With four-fifths of a starting pitching rotation injured, the latest acquisition made by GM Brian Cashman shined Friday night in the Bronx.

Esmil Rogers, acquired days after he was released by the Toronto Blue Jays, was the latest Yankees pitcher who has seemed to fit right in along with the Cashman signees of Brandon McCarthy and Chris Capuano. The 28- year-old, right-hander had a 5.84 ERA when he took the mound against the Cleveland Indians at Yankee Stadium Friday night.

Yet, that ERA must have been in another era. Because similar to the brief success of McCarthy and Capuano, Rogers for the moment looks like a good find. The Blue Jays put him on waivers and the Yankees claimed him the last day of July, though Rogers was not expected to be a starter.

With David Phelps unexpectedly going on the 15-day disabled list, manager Joe Girardi and the powers that be needed another starter. Rogers was available after making two relief appearances.

So in the category of don’t you know with the Yankees, a season of ups and downs, Rogers gave more than was asked for. The 5.0 innings pitched, allowing one run on four hits, and striking out three was more than you can ask for in the Yankees 10-6 win over Cleveland.

A longtime scout sitting up in the Yankee Stadium press box said Rogers had the right velocity on the fastball, and that the curve was locating. After a shaky first inning where he threw over 28 pitches, and yielded a run Rogers settled in.

Girardi had pinpointed 100 pitches for Rogers who threw 45 in a start with Toronto.  He threw 88.

"This is what we have seen from him," Girardi said. "I just wasn't sure how much he would give us. I think we were pretty conscious of watching that his stuff continued to be sharp as his pitch count went up. He did a great job. There was a reason that we went and got these guys.”

Referring to McCarthy and Capuano, and now Rogers, Girardi said, "We felt that they could help us. They have pitched extremely well. I'm not sure any of us knew what to expect, but if you looked at, since the All-Star break, we have had a chance to win every game and that is because of them."

“I didn't have my confidence like I have right now,” Rogers (2-0) commented. He became the 12th pitcher to make a start for the Yankees. McCarthy, Capuano and the rookie Shane Greene all had quality starts against the AL central leading Tigers this week.

Rogers has the confidence, so does McCarthy who has won four straight since joining the Yankees and makes his sixth start Saturday afternoon. Capuano also seems to be comfortable and in the right situation. There is that overall attitude that the Yankees have turned this around and the winning will continue.

This was not supposed to be the makeshift pitching staff in place of CC Sabathia, Ivan Nova, Masahiro Tanaka, Michael Pineda and Phelps.

And all of s sudden the Yankees may have an excess in the pitching department with Pineda expected to return sometime next week after going down with an injury to the right shoulder in early May.

Girardi may have decisions to make, so will Cashman if this unexpected pitching continues to give the Yankees innings and length. That can’t hurt down the stretch as the Yankees are playing their best baseball of the season. They are seven games over .500 for the first time and 14-7 since the all star break.

Rogers was more comfortable with a nice lead. Girardi said again that getting runs makes it easier for the pitchers. Derek Jeter tied Honus Wagner for sixth place on the career list with his 3,430th hit in a five-run first inning and Carlos Beltran drove in five runs and hit a grand slam home run.

“It’s always good that there are players that can make the ballclub offensively and defensively better,” Beltran said.

And for the Yankees, the unexpected that are on this ballclub now are getting it done.


Friday, August 8, 2014

Bronx News Sports: Yanks Blank Tigers, 1-0

Bronx News Sports: Yanks Blank Tigers, 1-0: Yanks Blank Tigers, 1-0 By Howard Goldin BRONX, NEW YORK, AUGUST 8- During the last four games, the Yankees held the highest hitting tea...

Yanks Blank Tigers, 1-0

Yanks Blank Tigers, 1-0

By Howard Goldin

BRONX, NEW YORK, AUGUST 8- During the last four games, the Yankees held the highest hitting team in the American League, the Detroit Tigers, to six runs. They also won three of four games against a starting rotation that included three former Cy Young Award winners.

The finest pitched game occurred in the final game of the series on Thursday afternoon between Rick Porcello of the Tigers, the only non-Cy Young winner who started for Detroit in the series, and rookie Shane Greene, who was making his sixth major league start. The two put zeroes on the scoreboard in every half-inning with only one exception.

The pitchers’ duel between the starters lasted seven innings as Porcello was replaced by reliever Phil Coke at the start of the eighth. The righty yielded nine hits, hit one batter, but issued no walks during his seven inning stint. The only frame in which he was unable to blank the Yanks was the fourth.

In the third and sixth innings the Yankees threatened as two batters singled, but each rally was stopped by a double play. Yankee manager Joe Girardi gave credit to the Detroit starter for quashing the threat, “He has the ability to get the double play. He’s a complete pitcher.”
With two out, three successive Yankee batters, Carlos Beltran, Chase Headley and Stephen Drew, singled. Drew’s hit drove in the only run of the game. The run batted in was the sixth for Drew who only joined the club one week earlier.

Yankee newcomer Headley, who joined the Yanks on July 22, praised the man who became his teammate nine days later, “I’m really proud of the way he’s [Drew] stepped up for us.”
The newest Yankee position player is happy to be wearing pinstripes, “It’s just a lot of fun to be a part of this team. I think things are going to work out well.”

In his post-game press conference, Girardi recognized publicly the improvement in the club’s play thanks to the new additions to the lineup, “The additions have been huge and that’s why we’re winning. It’s definitely been beneficial to us. It’s changed the complexion of the game.”

Another first year Yankee, Greene, pitched the best game of the series and the best in his short career in the majors. He went his deepest in a game, one batter in the ninth inning, without giving up a run. After the game, the Florida native felt great by being allowed to remain that long, “Obviously, I wanted to get the guy out [Ian Kinsler singled to lead-off the ninth], but they gave me an opportunity. It’s awesome.”

The 25 year-old only surrendered five hits and three walks while blanking the Tigers. He felt his best pitch during the contest was his sinker, “I was keeping it down a lot.” Girardi only had positive words regarding his performance, “He did everything he could to beat a very good team. His stuff was excellent all day.”

Rookies have, thus far, taken up the slack for the injured starters. They have started a major league high 50 games and the Yanks have won 31 of the 50.

On Friday night, Esmil Rogers is scheduled to be the 12th different Yankee pitcher to start a game in 2014. Trevor Bauer is set to be the starter for the Cleveland Indians who will begin a three game series in the Bronx.

Thursday, August 7, 2014

Bronx News Sports: Yanks tame Tigers

Bronx News Sports: Yanks tame Tigers: Yankees Tame Tigers (A sixth inning single by Derek Jeter gives the Yankees' captain 3,429 career hits,  one shy of tying Honus W...

Yanks tame Tigers

Yankees Tame Tigers
(A sixth inning single by Derek Jeter gives the Yankees' captain 3,429 career hits,  one shy of tying Honus Wagner (3,430) for sixth place on baseball's all-time hits list. Photo by Gary Quintal)
Yankees win another from the Tigers CY Young trio and then there is Capuano
By Rich Mancuso
BRONX, NEW YORK, AUGUST 7- It was the first time a team has faced the last three CY Young Award winners three straight games. And the New York Yankees were not intimidated in the Bronx this week facing Max Scherzer, David Price and Justin Verlander Wednesday night. It was supposed to be a mismatch and like a good prize fighter the Yankees have prevailed.
Verlander may not be as dominant with the fastball. Chase Headley and Brian McCann hit solo home runs off  the 
2011 Cy Young Award winner, two of his five hits in seven innings. Chris Capuano is the other story for the Yankees, their acquisition before the non-waiver trading deadline who has quickly adapted to being in Yankees pinstripes.
Yet, Capuano was not supposed to be the better pitcher Wednesday night in the Yankees 5-1 win over the Tigers. He is one of 11 pitchers to make at least one start for the Yankees this season and has become an unexpected boost to a pitching staff that has been decimated with injuries.
With a series finale Thursday afternoon, the Yankees have a chance to take the four-game series. Forget the Cy Young Award Trio theme of this series, because if the Yankees win the finale they definitely are serious contenders to make this an interesting stretch run for a spot in the post season. Again they will be the underdogs, opposing Rick Porcello who is tied for the league lead in wins with 13.
Yankees manager Joe Girardi was not surprised. He has seen the Capuano fastball get better, even as the left-hander struggled last year with the Dodgers, and earlier this season before he was released by the Red Sox.
 "I’ve seen him do this before,” Girardi said. "And that was one of the reasons we went and got him. If I'm not mistaken, he did it to us last year here. So I mean, he does know how to pitch, and he gave us a great performance tonight. He knows how to change speeds. He knows how to move the ball in and out.”
Capuano had a better curveball than Verlander, and his changeup was just as effective. It has been the fastball that was losing some momentum, though it has been a pitch that has improved in the last year.
The fastball had a velocity and location that confused reigning two-time AL Most Valuable Player Miguel Cabrera, swinging at a third strike leading off the Tigers sixth inning. Capuano would strike out four of the next seven he faced. After two consecutive strikeouts in the seventh, Capuano yielded two singles and his night was over with the score tied so he did not get the decision.
He tossed 7-0 innings and struck out eight in his third start as a Yankee, and the eight strikeouts were his most since August 17, 2012 against the Braves when he was with the Dodgers.  To say the least, with Michael Pineda almost ready to return from another long stint on the disabled list, Capuano is surely going to be in the mix to get more starts.
Why not? He is a veteran and the Yankees took their chances. He has proved to be that worthy commodity and as the Yankees know, you never have enough pitching. He gave up an unearned run and five hits in 6 2/3 innings and walked one.
The 35-year-old Capuano was picked up from Colorado this past month, after his brief stint with the Red Sox. He got a standing ovation when he left the mound.
“Kind of have to reset the button and go back to basics but to get a chance to be here and play for these guys, it’s great,” Capuano said about putting on the pinstripes. “I was scheduled to be on a plane to go to Denver, I get the call and two days later I was pitching at Yankee Stadium.”
He added, “It’s been exciting. Having the fastball and having the command makes a difference.” It helps that he is on the right team. Boston and Colorado are rebuilding for next year and the Yankees are in the thick of a wild card race, and the division crown is still within reach.
He faced Verlander who has been struggling with an ERA over 4.00. This was supposed to be a mismatch and Capuano had the better command. "Justin maybe didn't have quite the velocity on his fastball, but he was really pitching tonight,” Capuano said. “He was making great pitches all night. It was big to win that game and have a chance to win the series tomorrow."
It also helps that Capuano now has an all star commanding center field. Jacoby Ellsbury preserved a 1-1 tie in the sixth inning taking away an extra base hit from J.D. Martinez with a leaping catch in front of the Yankees bullpen in right that ended the sixth inning.
“Pure joy,” Capuano said with a smile. On this night, the newest Yankees pitcher looked like the Cy Young Award winner.  

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Bronx News Sports: Yanks lose in 12 innings

Bronx News Sports: Yanks lose in 12 innings: Yanks lose in 12 innings David Price the Tiger saw a different Yankees team this time in the Bronx By Rich Mancuso BRONX, NEW Y...

Yanks lose in 12 innings

Yanks lose in 12 innings
David Price the Tiger saw a different Yankees team this time in the Bronx

By Rich Mancuso

BRONX, NEW YORK, AUGUST 6- David Price, the former Tampa Bay left-hander, was in the Bronx facing the Yankees again Tuesday night. This time he made his debut on the mound with the AL Central leading Detroit Tigers and nothing changed but the uniform. Same results, as the Yankees got to Price early and he settled down striking out ten leaving after 8 2/3 innings with a 3-3 tie.

The win did not go to Price who had won his last four decisions at Yankee Stadium, the last one on July 1 when he 

pitched seven innings in a Tampa Bay 2-1 win. Detroit on a solo home run from Alex Avila in the 12th inning defeated the Yankees 4-3.

It’s a part of baseball. Players come and go all the time, even at the trading deadline. Price, last Thursday was the story of the non-waiver deadline period when the Tigers got another CY Young Award winner to join a pitching staff that already has two, Max Scherzer and Justin Verlander in a three-team deal.

“A little weird, probably helped that I faced them multiple times,” Price said about getting a start against the Yankees in a Tigers’ uniform. Last time, Alfonso Soriano was in the Yankees lineup, always a tough out and Yangervis Solarte was at third. This time there were the trading deadline acquisitions for the Yankees, Martin Prado and Chase Headley.

Just like the Tigers, Yankees GM Brian Cashman went to work at the deadline and made some minor acquisitions that have become major in making the Yankees an improved team in their pursuit of becoming one of two wild card teams, or making a run at the divisional crown.

"Happy it's over, and happy we won," Price said. "Finally feel part of the team. The mound is still sixty feet away from home plate.” Prado got to Price in the fifth inning, a long home run to left field off a 2-0 fastball. It was the first Yankees home run for Prado, playing in the outfield where Soriano once was.

To the Yankees, Price was no different. He had a nasty changeup and for the exception of another home run, a solo shot to right in the second inning from Brian McCann, the Tigers are now aware they have what they want, another ace that will hopefully propel them to go far in the post season come October. It was the third home run McCann has hit off Price this year.

"He really looked exactly like he did in Tampa, except he had the Tiger uniform," Tigers manager Brad Ausmus said.

With Price now a Tiger, the Yankees are the first team according to the Elias Sports Bureau facing the last three Cy Young Award winners in three straight games.  And, Price became the first Tigers’ pitcher to strike out at least ten hitters in his debut without a walk.

“The changeup has come a long way for me the past year and a half and has opened doors for me and getting better,” Price said.  It was his 84th appearance and 83rd start against a team from the American League east where he has posted a 43-16 record with a 3.00 ERA.  So Detroit, with post season ambitions, went out and got a pitcher they needed, one that fairs well against the division when and if they face a team from the east in October.

For now though, Price, in the few days he has been with the Tigers, is enjoying the adjustment of being with new teammates, and in a new uniform.  It is a part of baseball.

“Go have fun every single day,” said Price. “You lose fun then it becomes a job.”  Well said, because Tuesday night it was a job for Price, but you can tell he was having fun.  It will become more fun, indeed if Price becomes that major cog in a pitching rotation that may be the best three in baseball.

Yankees manager Joe Girardi said, “Price pounds away.” For the Yankees, who lost a tough one in extra innings, they may have to face Price one more time this season when they visit Detroit for three games later this month.

And that won’t be fun as they are now in a competitive race for that wild card.


Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Bronx News Sports: Yanks Defeat Reigning A.L. Cy Young Winner

Bronx News Sports: Yanks Defeat Reigning A.L. Cy Young Winner: Yanks Defeat Reigning A.L. Cy Young Winner Max Scerzer at #Yankee Stadium By Howard Goldin BRONX, NEW YORK, AUGUST 5- Although the Detro...

Yanks Defeat Reigning A.L. Cy Young Winner

Yanks Defeat Reigning A.L. Cy Young Winner Max Scerzer at #Yankee Stadium

By Howard Goldin

BRONX, NEW YORK, AUGUST 5- Although the Detroit tigers are comfortably ensconced in first place in the American League Central, they have only won 8 of 18 games after the All-Star break. During that same period, the Yankees are 11-6.

Max Scherzer, the Detroit starter, threw the 11th quality start (at least 6 innings with 3 or less runs scored) in the team’s last 15 games. Despite pitching this fine a game, the first American League pitcher to win 13 games this season could not record his 14th victory on Monday. The loss broke his five game winning streak.

The reigning Cy Young winner gave up four singles in the third inning which accounted for the only two Yankee runs of the contest. Ichiro Suzuki led off with a single. The next two batters, Brett Gardner and Derek Jeter, also singled to fill the bases. Jacoby Ellsbury drove in the first run of the game with a sacrifice fly to center. A one base hit by Brian McCann brought the second Yankee run in.

Scherzer left the contest after the seventh inning having yielded nine hits, the two runs and three walks. Yankee skipper Joe Girardi commented, “They’re [great pitchers] not always going to be perfect. I thought our guys just put good at bats, had a good approach and made him work.”

By fanning four in the game, Scherzer reached his 1,000 strikeout as a Tiger, tying Joe Coleman for 15th place in Tiger history.

Yankee starter Brandon McCarthy kept his perfect record in pinstripes intact, moving to 4-0 by earning the win. He has won his last six decisions in his last seven starts with an ERA of 2.09. His current streak is an amazing contrast with his performances during the early part of the season when he won only one of his first 16 starts. Of the change in teams, McCarthy remarked, “It’s been exciting {playing in a pennant race]. It’s like going to a new high school. It’s [the transition] been very smooth.”

McCarthy only gave up one unearned run in the fifth. Eugenio Suarez was safe on an error by third sacker Martin Prado. He stole second, but suffered a left knee strain that caused his removal from the contest. The pinch runner, Andrew Romine, scored on a single by Ian Kinsler.

McCarthy only yielded five hits and two walks while fanning eight in 5.2 innings. He said his only disappointment was “not getting into the seventh. I didn’t realize I threw so many pitches [116]”.

The Yankee bullpen held the Tigers scoreless for 3.1 innings. David Robertson recorded his 30th save. He has been successful in his most recent 18 save opportunities.

The one run victory increased to 15 the number of consecutive games in which the Yankees have played that have been decided by two runs or less. According to the Elias Sports Bureau, that is the longest number of such close games played in succession by the New York franchise.