Monday, July 27, 2015

Bronx News Sports: A Rare #Yankee Stadium Victory for NYCFC

Bronx News Sports: A Rare #Yankee Stadium Victory for NYCFC: A Rare #Yankee Stadium Victory for NYCFC  By Howard Goldin BRONX, NEW YORK (BRONX NEWS)-  The two MLS freshman clubs of the 2015 se...

A Rare #Yankee Stadium Victory for NYCFC

A Rare #Yankee Stadium Victory for NYCFC 

By Howard Goldin

BRONX, NEW YORK (BRONX NEWS)- The two MLS freshman clubs of the 2015 season, NYC FC (6‐9‐6) and Orlando City SC (6‐9‐6), met for the second time this year on Sunday afternoon at Yankee Stadium. Their first meeting was their first match of the season, a 1‐1 draw, before a huge crowd of more than 62,000 at the Citrus Bowl in Orlando.

Judging by the play earlier in the season, it appeared Orlando would be the favorite. The visitors have the second best record on the road while NYC has the worst home mark.

A large crowd of 32,041 were present for Latin American day celebration. Latino students were honored. The very talented City Beats, a 15-piece band that entertains fans across the street before all contests and during the matches in the Stadium, played a medley of Latin music during the halftime intermission. New York Yankees fans received a thrill of again seeing Yankees icon Bernie Williams on the field as he performed the National Anthem. The talented musician exhibited his skill on the guitar by his excellent rendition.

The soccer fans had a wonderful opportunity to see several world renowned superstars during the contest. Kak√° of Orlando was the FIFA Player of the Year in 2007, Andrea Pirlo of NYC, in his first match with them, was on the 2006 World Cup Champs and David Villa was on the 2010 World Cup winners.
The first goal came in the closing minute of the first half on a shot by Viila, his 11th of the season. Goals came much more quickly in the second half. Cyle Larin, a Canadian, scored the first of his three goals to tie the game in the 50th minute. The score was knotted again in the 61st minute after both teams scored. After two more NYC goals in the following 10 minutes, the home victory was ensured. Although Villa scored twice and Kwadwo Poku had three assists, the post‐game attention was given to Italian international Piro in his first contest for NYC.

NYC coach Jason Kreis said of Pirlo, “He’s a special player. He can really open up the game. He made a big difference for us today after only four days of practice.”

His new teammate, Villa, also was fulsome in praise, “It was fantastic to play with him today. There are very few players at that level. He will give a lot of confidence to the young players.”
Another new international addition, Frank Lampard, may soon the club.

The 5‐3 victory was very important to NYC as the three points tie them with Orlando for 6th place. Six teams in each division qualify for the playoffs.

#Soccer #NYCFC #YankeeStadium

Friday, July 24, 2015

Bronx News Sports: #DonnieBaseball Returns to New York City with Dodg...

Bronx News Sports: #DonnieBaseball Returns to New York City with Dodg...: #DonnieBaseball Returns to New York City with Dodgers By Howard Goldin Don Mattingly, one of the most popular Yankees in the past 20 ye...

#DonnieBaseball Returns to New York City with Dodgers

#DonnieBaseball Returns to New York City with Dodgers
By Howard Goldin
Don Mattingly, one of the most popular Yankees in the past 20 years, brought the Los Angeles Dodgers into New York City for a four-game series at Citi Field. 
A very large crowd of 34,222 came on Thursday to see Mattingly and also starting pitcher Clayton Kershaw. Mattingly was on the Yankee roster from 1982-1995. He coached during Spring training for the Yanks from 1997-2003 and was a Yankee coach during the 2004-2007 regular seasons in the Bronx.
The phenomenal left-hander had not yielded a run in his previous 220 innings before the game began. The 27 year old retired the first 18 batters he faced. Kershaw previously threw a non-hitter 13 months ago, June 18, 2014, against Colorado.
Curtis Granderson led off the seventh with a single off a slider from Kershaw. The pitcher described the pitch, “There’s a lot of luck in a perfect game. It was a pretty good pitch and a pretty good swing. You have to tip your cap. Any guy can get a hot off you. If you don’t do it [no hitter], so what? If you do, it’s exciting” 
Kershaw gave up two more singles, to Wlimer Flores and Lucas Duda, but he pitched a superlative complete game shutout. Kershaw fanned 11, but did not issue a walk. He raised his scoreless streak to 29 straight innings. 
Kershaw has been outstanding during the past several seasons. He won the Cy Young Award in 2011, 2013 and 2014 and the National League MVP Award in 2014. 
His 8-6 mark this year will probably not qualify him for the Cy Young this season. His Dodger teammate Zack Greinke, with a 9-2 record and a 1.30 ERA will probably receive the award. 
The Dodgers skipper spoke about the benefit of the two great in the same rotation, “I think it’s good for both of them.  I think it’s really healthy. Kershaw disagreed with the manager’s opinion, “I don’t compete with my teammates.
The combination of the success of the two hurlers is keeping the Dodgers in first place in the National League West, 13 games above .500.

Thursday, July 23, 2015

#Yankees Sweep Birds

#Yankees Sweep Birds
By Howard Goldin
BRONX, NEW YORK, JULY 23- Thursday afternoon’s 9-3 victory over the Orioles gave the Yanks a sweep of the three-game series. 
They ended their latest homestand with a mark of 5-1, and raised their record at home to 21-7 (.750) in their last 28 games at Yankee Stadium. The Yanks are a season high 12 games above .500 (53-41) and are increasing the distance between themselves and the other four clubs in the American League East. They have been in sole possession of first place in the division for the past three weeks.
The result of Thursday’s contest was decided in the bottom of the first frame when the Yankees put four runs on the board off Ubaldo Jimenez in four hits and two walks. Jacoby Ellsbury led off the second with a home run to right. Yankees batters have taken advantage of their home park by belting 76 homers in 47 games for the highest average of homers per game in the majors. The home run was the 14th in their last 13 games.
Three hits in the third and three in the fifth netted two additional runs in each of those innings. The offensive onslaught of 13 hits and 9 runs was coupled with an outstanding performance on the mound by Yankees starter Masahiro Tanaka. 
The Japanese native tied his season high of pitching with 7.2 innings. He yielded only four hits, but three were solo home runs that accounted for the three runs he surrendered. Chris Davis led off the second with his 21st dinger of the year; J.J. Hardy (5) and many Machado (21) each homered in the eighth. 
Yankee skipper Joe Girardi was very pleased with Tanaka’s third straight win, “I thought he used his slider and his split extremely well. He kept ahead of the hitters and made them hit his pitches.” Cather John Ryan Murphy also spoke favorably of Tanaka’s control, “Unbelievable. All day long he was strike one.”
Tanaka also was in agreement of his pitching, “I think I had good command of the pitches. I could throw strikes with both pitches (slider and split).” He felt he was “gradually getting better, but you can always get much better."
The Yankees now begin a 10 game road trip and will return to the Bronx on August 4 to play three games each with division rivals, Boston Red Sox and Toronto Blue Jays.

#Yankees are doing it all

Offense, Defense and Pitching: #Yankees are doing it all  

By Rich Mancuso

BRONX, NEW YORK, JULY 23- Can the pitching, offense and at times defense continue for the New York Yankees that has propelled them to a six game advantage in the Al East? The Baltimore Orioles, just days ago came to the Bronx within reach of the division lead but they have quickly faded off the map after their second loss in two nights to the sizzling Yankees in the Bronx.

Tuesday night it was the pitching and the offense, plus an occasional sparkling play on the field that put the Orioles away. Wednesday night it was the same formula and two of the veterans again, Alex Rodriguez and Mark Teixeira, supplied the long ball in the Yankees 4-3 win.

Ivan Nova (2-3) got the win. His 6.0 innings and two earned runs, with a sinker that started bad and ended good, snapped a career high three-game losing streak. The way the Yankees have been hitting the home runs, distinctly different from the last two years, the effort from Nova was sufficient.

And the way the Yankees bullpen has been finishing off games, another one-run game was good for a win, though Andrew Miller made it interesting giving up a two-out home run in the ninth to Chris Davis in earning his 22nd save.

“We felt pretty good that some guys could have bounce back years and be productive for us,” the manager Joe Girardi said about the MVP seasons that Rodriguez and Teixeira have displayed.  

Girardi said, if they stayed healthy this type of production would be expected. The soon to be 40-year old Rodriguez is showing no signs of the declining player that was expected after hitting his 20th home run and knocking in his 54th run in the fifth inning.  The home run perhaps to many added another milestone to his controversial career, and it was the longest one hit at Yankee Stadium this season that went deep into the left center field bleachers. 

And it was the first time since 2010 that A-Rod hit the 20 home run mark.Teixeira had his fourth straight multi-hit game and his  two-run homer to deep right in the first, his 24th, added to his team RBI lead with 66. That opened a Yankees 3-0 lead and with these numbers is headed to a 45 home run and 120 RBI season.

MVP numbers for both players, more importantly production coming from two players that have a combined 44 home runs, and a reason the Yankees are number two in baseball with the home run.

“Knock on wood,’ Girardi said, adding they are healthy and there is no doubt that the remaining two months of the season they need to remain healthy. Girardi is also not shy to say what Rodriguez has done with a comment, “ more than expected.”

Teixeira, on the other hand was quick to remind everyone that he saw the production coming from Rodriguez, and knew that his health was always an issue that reduced his production the past two years. So the Yankees are getting what they need from two key players that were not there last year.

“He’s showing that I’m the smartest guy in baseball,” Teixeira commented about the production he said would come from Rodriguez. That got a laugh from media members, and by all standards it has been surprising production from someone who sat out all of last year, and supposedly gets his at bats with two bad hips as the regular designated hitter.

Once again Rodriguez said “Joe is a good leader,” and that goes back to spring training when it was best decided by Girardi that A-Rod would be more productive and of better use being inserted in the DH spot. 

Teixeira added, about how the Yankees are starting to take command of their division: “ You get starting pitching the way we have the past few days it’s easier to do  The starting pitching sets the tone.  It allows us to play our game and keeps us in every game too.”

Nathan Eovaldi gave the Yankees almost six good innings the night before and Masahiro Tanaka, showing no signs of elbow issues, gets the ball for the series final Thursday afternoon and he has won his last two starts.

And as Teixeira said, the one run games because of the pitching and the dominant bullpen, have put the Yankees where they are. New York has played five straight one-run games since the all-star break and won four.   

“It’s as good as anyone in baseball,” he said about the Yankees’ pen. “In close games a lot of it is, whose bullpen is better.”  And it is huge when the starters can rely on the pen that has quickly become a tbird best in baseball.

But more importantly, the defense is helping to keep runs from coming across. Teixeira prevented the Orioles from possibly scoring two runs in the fifth inning by grabbing a one-hop throw from Chase Headley at third. If not, the ball could have went down the right field line.    

“Our defensive play has won us some games this year,” Girardi said. But it is well known, a healthy and productive offense from Rodriguez and Teixeira are a huge factor that sees the Yankees 11-games over .500 and widening that gap in their division.

Still a lot of baseball left to play and Girardi keeps reminding everyone about that factor. But for the moment the Yankees are comfortable and there is every reason to be talking with confidence.

Comment Rich Mancuso:  Twitter@Ring786 Mancuso

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Bronx News Sports: #Yankees Evolve with Eovaldi

Bronx News Sports: #Yankees Evolve with Eovaldi: #Yankees Evolve with  Eovaldi By Rich Mancuso BRONX, NEW YORK, JULY 22- Nathan Eovaldi has seen the progress as does his manager J...

#Yankees Evolve with Eovaldi

#Yankees Evolve with Eovaldi

By Rich Mancuso

BRONX, NEW YORK, JULY 22- Nathan Eovaldi has seen the progress as does his manager Joe Girardi. Tuesday night in the Bronx, Eovaldi did not get the win for the New York Yankees but his splitter and fastball continued to improve and the 5/2-3 innings, two runs earned gave his team another quality start.

The pieces for Eovaldi continue to come together, as do other important elements of the puzzle for the Yankees. The bullpen and bottom of the batting order were instrumental in the 3-2 win over the Baltimore Orioles as they widened the gap a bit with a five game lead over Baltimore in the AL East.

Yes, the pieces are coming together for the 51-41 Yankees. Who would have envisioned leading the division and reaching their high water mark, ten game over .500? Four games into their second half of the season and with 70 games remaining, the Yankees are feeling good about themselves.
Good teams win games like the Yankees did Tuesday night. A two out go ahead double from Brendan Ryan in the sixth inning was the difference, and the run was scored because Didi Gregorius set it up with the two-out base hit.

Two key hits from the eighth and ninth men in the order. Yes, that is how good teams manage to win. And because Eovaldi gave the Yankees another quality start, and the bullpen duo of Delllin Betances and Andrew Miller once again closed the door in the late innings, the Yankees are continuing to evolve.

“He did another outstanding job and continues to evolve,” said Manager Joe Girardi about his starter who struck out four and walked three. But it is the splitter and a fastball that continues to improve that have cut down the amount of hits that Eovaldi is known to give up. 

It worked again against the Orioles, and the right-hander is becoming a valuable part of a Yankees’ pitching rotation that is getting stronger with the signs also that CC Sabathia is turning it around, and that also decreases the need for GM Brian Cashman to seek help for more pitching before the July 31 trading deadline.

And with a pitch count of 99, Girardi had no hesitation of pulling his starter and having a strong presence out of the pen made the decision easier. Eovaldi said the bullpen is outstanding but the goal is to go deeper into games.

“It takes one pitch,” he said.  That one pitch was a splitter that did not locate and Matt Weiters got a single through the hole at second in the sixth that tied the score at two. Overall, with the exception of that hit, there was that confidence of Eovaldi continuing his progression.

After walking Manny Machado to lead off the game, he retired the next ten Orioles before Adam Jones got a two-out single in the fourth. And not allowing a home run over his last seven starts also shows how far Eovaldi has progressed.

“The 0-2 pitches,” said Girardi. Earlier this season those were the situations that tested Eovaldi and now that the splitter is hitting both sides of the plate he has been able to get the needed outs that show the progression and he uses the pitch when behind in the count.

“My split has been the pitch for me,”  Eovaldi said.  “It’s one of my out pitches that’s helped me pitch a lot.”

And for the Yankees, who feel more confident about their chances, the improvement has come at the right time with a difficult stretch of games ahead in the next few weeks.  it helps also that Betances continues to excel in his set up role, and that Miller is the premiere closer after another perfect ninth inning that notched his 21st save.

Yes, it’s coming together for the Yankees. And an improved Nathan Eovaldi only makes their chances that much better to secure a spot in the postseason.
Comment:  Twitter@Ring786 Mancuso

Sunday, July 19, 2015

Bronx News Sports: Pitchers’ Duel Ends with Home Run by #Yankees Mark...

Bronx News Sports: Pitchers’ Duel Ends with Home Run by #Yankees Mark...: Pitchers’ Duel Ends with Home Run by #Yankees Mark Teixeira By Howard Goldin BRONX, NEW YORK, JULY 19-  T he rubber game of the weekend...

Pitchers’ Duel Ends with Home Run by #Yankees Mark Teixeira in the #Bronx

Pitchers’ Duel Ends with Home Run by #Yankees Mark Teixeira
By Howard Goldin
BRONX, NEW YORK, JULY 19- The rubber game of the weekend series between the Yankees and the Mariners on Sunday afternoon at Yankee Stadium was an interesting pitchers’ duel. 
Both starting pitchers, C.C. Sabathia of the Yankees and Felix Hernandez of the Mariners, lasted six innings in the brutally hot and humid weather in the Bronx. Neither was involved in the decision as the score was knotted at 1 when each departed.
Sabathia yielded one run for only the second time in his 18 starts this season. The run was scored in the fifth frame on three singles. The RBI was by Austin Jackson, who was a highly rated Yankee prospect from 2005-2009. Other than the three hits in the fifth, Sabathia only yielded two hits in the game. Of Jackson, he joked, “I’ve got to figure out what to throw Jackson. Whatever I’m throwing isn’t working.”
Sabathia’s last start was on July 8, 11 days earlier. The veteran hurler found reasons for his success on Sunday, “I felt great. At this stage, I think I’m better with time off. I like it like this [temperature in the 90’s].”
Both Sabathia and his manager Joe Girardi fell he will improve and help his teammates during the latter stages of the pennant race. Griardi commented, “He understands this time of the year. He’s been here a long time. We need him to lead the guys. We need him to be big for us. We believe in him.”
The veteran hurler was in accord with his skipper in assuming a leadership role, “I’m trying to help this team. I believe I can. It’s not hard to help them in the second half.”
In his 10th career start in the Bronx, Hernandez was, as usual, effective and impressive. He has compiled a 1.38 ERA in his last eight starts at Yankee Stadium.
The 29 year old only surrendered five hits and a single run in his six inning stint. The run was scored in his final inning on a single by veteran Carlos Beltran on his first day back after 15 days on the disabled list. Despite his success against the Venezuelan born hurler, Beltran remarked, “He’s [Hernandez] as good as they come.”
The hero of the game, Yankee first sacker Mark Teixeira, who had two singles off the Mariners starter concurred with Beltran, “It’s tough to beat “King Felix”. He throws four pitches for strikes and only on the corners.” 
The game was decided in the eighth inning with two out as Teixeira took a 1-2 pitch in the stands in right to give the Yankees a 2-1 lead. The 2015 All-Star commented on the swing, “I was trying to drive the ball. A lot of hard work is paying off.” Teixeira now has 23 home runs and 63 RBI.
The Yankees continue to build on their lead in the American League East. 

Saturday, July 18, 2015

Bronx News Sports: #Yankees hook Mariners

Bronx News Sports: #Yankees hook Mariners: Yanks Edge Mariners, 4-3, after Home Run by A-Rod By Howard Goldin BRONX, NEW YORK, JULY 18- A seventh inning opposite field home r...

#Yankees hook Mariners

Yanks Edge Mariners, 4-3, after Home Run by A-Rod

By Howard Goldin

BRONX, NEW YORK, JULY 18- A seventh inning opposite field home run by Alex Rodriguez off an 86 mph fastball by reliever Joe Beimel gave the Yanks their fourth straight win at home. It was the fourth consecutive game in which A-Rod had a go-ahead RBI, the 2015 Yankees record. 

The homer was the 19th of the season and the 673 of Rodriguez’s career. 

The victory at home raised the club’s mark at Yankee Stadium to 17-6 in their last 23 games. Their success in the Bronx gives comfort to the team as the Yankees will play 40 of their 74 post All-Star break contests at the Stadium. They ended the first half of the current season in first place in the American League East by 3.5 games. They have stood on top of the standings alone for the past two weeks.

The first Yankee run of the game was scored on a solo homer by Chris Young in the second frame. The four baggers have come regularly at Yankee Stadium this year. The Yanks have homered in 33 of the 42 home contests, and have has multi-homer games in 22 of the 42. 

Young, who had two extra-base hits in the game, praised manager Joe Girardi, “he’s been giving me opportunities.” For someone who had been scheduled to only be a part-time player, Young has seen action in 82 of the team’s 89 games.

Young was fulsome in his praise of Rodriguez, “That’s just what Al does. He’s a great clutch hitter.” Girardi also commented positively of A-Rod, “He’s held up great in the first half, and I expect he’ll hold up in the second half.” 

Yankee starter Masahiro Tanaka improved his record to 6-3 with the 4-3 victory. He reached seven innings for the sixth time in his 12 starts in 2015. He gave up only five hits and three runs by all three were driven in by Kyle Seager, who homered twice. Tanaka is only the eighth pitcher in the last 100 years in the majors who has 19 wins in his first 32 contests. 
Relievers Dellin betances and Andrew Miller each pitched a scoreless inning in relief. Miller earned his 19th save in 19 opportunities.

#Yankees #mariners #ARod #Bronx

Monday, July 13, 2015

Bronx News Sports: #Soccer NYCFC draw

Bronx News Sports: #Soccer NYCFC draw: NYC FC Toronto FC Draw By Howard Goldin BRONX, NEW YORK, JULY 13 - The Sunday contest between NYC FC an...

#Soccer NYCFC draw

NYC FC Toronto FC Draw

By Howard Goldin

- The Sunday contest between NYC FC and Toronto FC at Yankee Stadium was an opportunity for NYC, with a victory, to tie Toronto and the Red bulls for 5th, 6th and 7th place in the Eastern Conference standings with 23 points. The first six clubs in each of the two conferences qualify for the MLS playoffs.

Experienced NYC goalkeeper Joshua Saunders described the result in a balanced manner, “We didn’t widen the gap, but we didn’t take advantage of the opportunity.” The clubs drew at 4, which gave each one point.

Having won four of its last five matches, NYC was hoping to continue its move upward. The recent success of the club encouraged fans to flock to Yankee Stadium for its latest game.  27,533 fans filled all the available seats. Many of the fans may have come because it was expected that the English superstar Frank Lampard would play in his first MLS match for NYC, but a recent injury caused his absence.

After missing an earlier shot, NYC Captain David Villa booted in the first goal of the match in the 17th minute to excite the fans. Twelve minutes later, NYC was awarded a second goal as Damian Perquis of Toronto kicked in an own goal.

The optimistic feeling of the NYC supporters quickly dissipated as Italian international Sebastian Giovinco began an offensive assault with three goals in less than 10 minutes. The “Atomic Ant”, whose diminutive size of 5 foot 4 and 130 pounds has not prevented him from becoming one of the top scorers in the league in his debut season.

His first goal was on a penalty kick in the 33rd minute. His next two goals were scored in the 40th and 43rd minutes. NYC coach Jason Kreis spoke with mixed feelings regarding his performance, “I think Giovinco is a fantastic player, but for him to get that much space and time is incomprehensible.” The 28-year-old veteran of nine years in the Italian league, most recently with championship club Juventus has as adapted easily to play in the MLS and the United States. He was chosen MLS Player of the Week in the 13th and 14th weeks of the current season.

The other superstar on the pitch, Villa, knotted the score at 3 with a penalty kick. Both he and Giovinco have reached double figures in goals this season.

The game ended in a draw as each club scored one again before the second half reached its conclusion.

Kreis called the contest, “It’s the type of game that fans love and coaches hate, a lot of loose play.”

#Soccer #NYCFC #YankeeStadium #Bronxnews

Friday, July 10, 2015

Bronx News Sports: Gardner Becomes an All Star

Bronx News Sports: Gardner Becomes an All Star: Gardner Becomes an All Star By Howard  Goldin BRONX, NEW YORK, JULY 10- At the end  of the fourth inning of the game between the Ya...

Gardner Becomes an All Star

Gardner Becomes an All Star

By Howard Goldin

BRONX, NEW YORK, JULY 10- At the end of the fourth inning of the game between the Yankees and the Oakland Athletics, an announcement on the Public Address system of Yankee Stadium was made that Brett Gardner was selected to the American League All-Star team. 

Gardner was chosen to the 34 man roster by American league manager Ned Yost to replace them injured Alex Gordon. Previous to his selection on Thursday, Gardner was one of five players on the “Final Vote’ ballot for the final spot on the roster of the 2015 A.L. team.

Gardner will join teammates Mark Teixeira and DillenBetances on the American League squad for Tuesday’s game at the great American ballpark in Cincinnati. The announcement was followed  by the chanting of Gardner’s name throughout the ballpark, which the outfielder responded to with a wave of his hand. He called the reaction of the fans “awesome”.

Gardner expressed surprise by his selection, “I was surprised. It caught me off guard. I had no idea. There’s a lot of great outfielders in the American League.”

In addition to being surprised, he was very excited by what he stated could be his final opportunity to receive this honor, ‘I’m sure next week will be a lot of fun. I’m really excited about it. I’ll be 32 years old next month. I don’t know how many opportunities I’ll get. I’m very grateful.” 

Asked if he’s looking forward to wearing the All-Star uniform, Gardner joked, “I never had a jersey with my name on the back. I’m not saying the Yankees should change.”

Gardner’s play in recent weeks earned him serious consideration by the fans voting and by the American League manager. During the month of June, Gardner batted a superlative .351 (39 for 111) and 18 of his hits were for extra bases. His 27 runs scored in that month led the majors. 
His best performance of the six game homestand that ended on Wednesday afternoon came in the final game against Oakland. He blasted his 10th home run of the season on the first pitch of his at bat in the first inning. The homer accounted for the first run of the contest. The run was the 76th scored by the Yankees in the first inning of a game in 2015, the highest run total by any team in a single inning this season. The Yankees have compiled a mark of 25-9 when scoring in the first.

Gardner singled in the third and fourth frames, the only other innings in which they scored on Thursday; the game ended the homestand on a high note with a 6-2 win. His fine hitting has raised Gardner’s season batting average to .303.

Yankee manager Joe Girardi was very pleased by what he believes was a very well-deserved choice, “He’s [Gardner] so important to our team. I believe he deserved to go and now he’s going.”

#BrettGardner #AllStarGame #Yankees #Bronxnews

Thursday, July 9, 2015

Bronx News Sports: Tex is real MVP

Bronx News Sports: Tex is real MVP: Out if the way #A-Rod! Tex is the Real MVP By Rich Mancuso BRONX, NEW YORK, JULY 9- You can make a valid statement t...

Tex is real MVP

Out if the way #A-Rod!

Tex is the Real MVP

By Rich Mancuso

BRONX, NEW YORK, JULY 9- You can make a valid statement that Alex Rodriguez is having a comeback year for the New York Yankees with 16 home runs, 47 runs batted in, and a .276 average at the plate. But, Rodriguez went 0-for-4, with two strikeouts Wednesday night in the Bronx in a Yankees 5-4 win over the Oakland Athletics.

It seems for the first time this season, that Rodriguez has hit a bump in the road with one hit in his last 14- at bats, and any talk that he is the first half Most Valuable Player of the Yankees does deserve some recognition.

Mark Teixeira, on the other hand, with two more home runs in the Yankees win, and with outstanding plays at first base, deserves that MVP recognition. And with four games to go before the all-star break and mid point of the season, Teixeira has the numbers to be considered a first half MVP of the American League and Comeback Player of the Year.

Consider at this juncture last season, Teixeira was struggling with a bad wrist that limited his ability to hit for power. The perennial home run hitter signed an eight-year contract with the Yankees in 2009, a deal that extends until the end of next season.

And with the two home runs that went to right-center, the first helping the Yankees tie the score in the fourth inning, and the second in the sixth that gave his team a 4-2 advantage, Teixeira matched his season total of last year at 22, and has a league leading 61 runs batted in.

So there is no doubt that “Tex” has been instrumental in the Yankees offense and resurgence of being that home run team made for Yankee Stadium. The manager, Joe Girardi has said that and more importantly when Teixeira and Rodriguez are locked in, the Yankees are a threat to hit the long ball and drive in runs.

And we all recall, last season, the Yankees were miserable when it came to scoring runs, next to last in the league which eventually caused them to miss the postseason for a second straight year.  

But the power has returned, and so has the defense at first base for Teixeira who made an unassisted double play in the first inning, leaned over the rail over the Yankees dugout in the seventh, and also stopped a double down the line off the bat of Josh Reddick in the eighth inning that could have put runs on the board for Oakland.

So the home runs and the defensive gems of Teixeira, who is headed to the All-Star Game next Tuesday in Cincinnati, were instrumental in the Yankees win and it sets up the rubber game of the three-game series Thursday afternoon before New York heads to Boston for three before the break.

Said Girardi, and the obvious reference about the home runs of Teixeira, “It’s a big part of our game. That’s how we are going to win games. We are designed to do that here. Last year we did not have the success of doing that.”

And because Teixeira could not get a grip on the bat, and with constant pain that requires stints on the disabled list, that power and home run ball had the Yankees as a team sitting in the lower third of the league when it came to the home run ball.

If Teixeira keeps up this pace, it is conceivable that 45 home runs and over 120 RBI would make him a league and team MVP. But he has to remain healthy.

It has changed because Teixeira is healthy, and he had his 18th career multi home run game as a Yankee. It was good enough again to get the Yankees another win that keep their first place lead in the tight Al East division race. 

And it further made it easier to understand why Teixeira is the first half MVP of his team and maybe in the American League.

“Two home runs are nice,” Teixeira said, “But the win is better.” And for the Yankees, a healthy Teixeira in the second half will not hurt their chances and their quest to play October baseball again in the Bronx.   

Comment Rich Mancuso:   Twitter@ Ring786 Mancuso

#Yankees #Teixeira #Arod #Bronxnews