Posts Tagged ‘New York Yankees’
Monday, June 3rd, 2013
For a few days there, as Yankee fans pondered an unthinkable four game sweep of the recently concluded Subway Series at the hands of their crosstown rivals, the New York Mets were on top of the world: they were “the Dukes of New York, A #1.”
Of course, Mets’ skipper Terry Collins issued his own Crash Davis judgment: “Does it mean any more that it’s against the Yankees? Had we been playing better, yeah, it would have been huge,” Collins said. “But right now we’ve just got to win some games, and it didn’t matter who it was.”
Okay, we get it: Collins has to say that, but the rest of New York doesn’t — and they didn’t. The New York Times (for instance) headlined their sweep coverage with a large type surprise (“Where No Mets Have Gone Before“), that reminded readers that the Mets’ sweep of the Yankees marked the first time that that had happened.
“In 16 previous years of interleague play,” the Times intoned, “no Mets team had ever earned a season-series sweep against the Yankees.” That includes, for the record, the 1997 Bobby Valentine Mets, the 2000 Mets (which won the N.L. Pennant), and the plucky 2006 Mets.
So what happened? Well, for the first time this season, everything that has plagued the 2013 Madoffs was set aright. The Mets won the close ones (two one run games, on Monday and Tuesday of last week), and two more by a combined score of 13-5. In truth, the overachieving Yankees were never in it.
That seemed not to matter to Mets’ third sacker David Wright, the core of the Mets’ line-up and the face of the Madoff franchise. In the wake of the Mets’ second 2-1 victory over the Bombers, Wright admitted that he was envious of the Yankees success, while adding that he was committed to helping the Orange and Blue build a contender.
“Of course I’m envious of guys that win championships; that’s why you play the game,” Wright told New York reporters. “But it would be ultimately a lot more special for me — having gone through what I’ve gone through — to be part of the reason we turn things around and maybe get to a point where we’re like the Yankees, a perennial playoff team.”
Wright, it seems, might have to wait awhile, though perhaps not as long as many Mets fans believe. Ryan Zimmerman (Wright’s inter-divisional buddy), was once in the same position as the Mets’ best player: waiting for the front office to put together the talent to vault his team into contention.
Wednesday, May 29th, 2013
While the debut of Double-A pitcher Nathan Karns will not go down in the scorebooks as a “W” for the young righty, the Texas Tech product threw a strike-filled impressive 4.1 innings — and the Nationals, behind two home runs from Adam LaRoche, drubbed the Orioles on Tuesday night, 9-3.
Washington’s interleague victory may mark the moment when the Nationals finally got their offense back on track. In addition to the two home runs from LaRoche, super-subs Roger Bernadina and Tyler Moore also went long, as the home towners cracked thirteen hits against a surprisingly ineffective Baltimore pitching staff.
“It was great to see [the offense come back to life],” Nationals manager Davey Johnson said. “Some guys usually take two or three strikes, and they went up there and hit line drives. We jumped all over a 97 mile-an-hour fastball, and that made my whole night.”
Johnson also praised his young starter, appearing on the mound in the place of injured Ross Detwiler. “I thought [Nathan] handled himself well, first start against a good hitting ballclub,” Johnson said. “I know he was nervous, but I like the way he went after the hitters. He is in for another start.”
In an up-and-down season, Tuesday’s game showed Nationals’ fans what their team can do. Their starting pitching was effective, the team hit with runners in scoring position — and the bullpen was lights-out. After Karns left in the fifth, Zach Duke needed just one pitch, inducing a double play, to save the Nationals from a potential Baltimore rally.
Duke was followed to the mound by Drew Storen, Tyler Clippard and Fernando Abad, all of whom kept the Orioles off the scoreboard. Storen was as effective as he’s been all year, giving up a single hit in a single inning of work. Tyler Clippard gave up two hits, but then induced three successive fly balls — and Fernando Abad authored a 1-2-3 9th inning.
Tuesday, May 21st, 2013
The Nationals’ hitting woes not only continued on Monday night in San Francisco, they might have actually gotten worse. Washington’s anemic line-up was able to muster only three hits against Ryan Vogelsong, a starter with the worst ERA in the National League, and the Giants defeated the hometowners, 8-0.
For the first time this year, Vogelsong looked like the starter that notched a 14-9 record last year. The righty kept the Nats off balance through five innings and struck out two. “That’s the best I’ve felt in a long time,” Vogelsong said of his outing. “From a mental aspect, physical aspect, everything felt good.”
“That was a tough one,” Nationals’ manager Davey Johnson said of the loss. “Been in a lot of funny games, but going into that one being a couple of pitchers short was tough.” The Nationals have now lost three in a row, and stand at 3-5 on their current road trip.
The Nationals were hoping that spot starter Zach Duke would be able to hold the Giants at least through five innings, but the southpaw threw only 57 pitches before being lifted in the fourth inning for reliever Craig Stammen. The Giants, meanwhile, victimized Duke for seven hits and four runs.
The Giants looked fully recovered from their recent 1-5 road trip against Toronto and Colorado — where they looked like the punchless Nationals. On Monday night, the Giants pounded out seventeen hits against Washington pitching, the most at AT&T Park since August of 2010, with first sacker Brandon Belt going 4-5 with a home run, his sixth of the year.
Tuesday, April 30th, 2013
Stephen Strasburg outpitched Atlanta’s Julio Teheran and the Nats’ lineup outhit the Braves (ten hits to seven), but Washington couldn’t find a way to win — and went down to defeat at Turner Field 3-2 on Monday night. The Atlanta victory snapped their four game losing streak, while Washington has yet to find a way to consistently defeat their divisional rival.
While Strasburg was once again not at his best, he kept Washington in the game, throwing six innings of six hit baseball while striking out eight. Strasburg is now 1-4 with a 3.13 ERA, and has not won since opening day. Worse yet, the Washington ace reported that he’s some forearm stiffness.
Davey Johnson noticed that “something was off” in the way that Strasburg was pitching, and in post-game remarks told the press that “I’m sure they’re going to put him on some medication.” No matter: Strasburg is obviously anxious to keep throwing. “I’m not missing my next start,” he said after the game. “I’ll tell you that right now.”
The difference in the game came in the bottom of the 7th inning. Tyler Clippard was brought on in relief of Strasburg and walked the first batter, Gerald Laird, who was then sacrificed to second. Jordan Shafer then punched a single to right field and stole second. Atlanta’s third run then crossed the plate on a sacrifice fly by Andrelton Simmons.
Washington’s hitters, meanwhile, had a good bead on Teheran, but couldn’t push across the runs to give the Nats a victory. The Nationals were 2-9 with runners in scoring position. Strasburg got a no-decision in the game, with Tyler Clippard taking the loss.
The Nationals continue their series in Atlanta tomorrow night, with Gio Gonzalez on the mound for the home towners. He will face off against savvy righty, Tim Hudson.
Those Are The Details, Now For The Headlines: The Nationals know they have to find a way to beat the Braves, but we’re stumped as to how they’ll do it. Nats’ hitters beat up Teheran tonight, just as they did in his last outing, but it didn’t seem to matter. Atlanta has now won eight in a row against Washington, dating back to last year . . .
Back on April 12, the Nationals forced Teheranto the pine after six innings, plating four earned runs and six hits in two innings — but ended up losing the game in extra innings, 6-4. You have to wonder if maybe the Nationals are snake-bit against the Bravos, despite finishing last season four games ahead of them . . .
Saturday, September 29th, 2012
“It wasn’t happening tonight,” Nats’ manager Davey Johnson said, after the Nationals were upended by the St. Louis Cardinals at Busch Stadium, 12-2 on Friday night. But the stunningly lopsided score, the worst of the season for the D.C. Nine, still left the team just two games away from the N.L. East title, as the Braves lost to the Mets in Atlanta, 3-1.
This wasn’t much of a contest from the very beginning, as Nats’ starter Edwin Jackson struggled against a potent playoff bound Redbird line-up. Jackson was pulled after notching just a single out in the second inning, while giving up eight runs on six hits and walking four. The otherwise steady righty is now 9-11 on the season.
“Short-term memory, man. It’s not the first game. Just shake it off,” Jackson said of his outing. “I’m not dead from this game. It just definitely leaves a bitter taste in my mouth. But I’m not going to go jump off a bridge or anything because of the game.”
Jackson’s short sprint forced the Nationals to respond to St. Louis with four relievers: Tom Gorzelanny, Christian Garcia, Zach Duke and Michael Gonzalez. All pitched well, except for Gonzalez, who gave up another three runs to the Cardinals in the bottom of the eighth.
Thursday, September 20th, 2012
An improbable and heroic comeback from the hometown nine — a six run 8th inning that tied the game at six apiece — was undone in the 9th inning by a Matt Kemp home run off of Nationals’ reliever Tyler Clippard, and the Los Angeles Dodgers took the second game of a doubleheader at Nationals Park, 7-6.
The loss kept the Nationals from clinching a playoff spot, but brought the crowd at the Half Street stadium to their feet to cheer their team on in one of the more exciting rallies of the season. The comeback followed two three run sets scored off of Nationals starter John Lannan in the third and the fourth innings. But, as it turned out, the rally fell short of providing a needed victory.
The six run eighth inning started with a Michael Morse home run, followed by an Ian Desmond single. Steve Lombardozzi followed, with his third home run of the season, and suddenly the Nationals were back in the game, having cut L.A.’s lead in half.
After Jesus Flores grounded out and Corey Brown reached on an error by first sacker Adrian Gonzalez, L.A. manager Don Mattingly did what he should have done to start the inning — he pulled starter Josh Beckett, who had tamed the Nationals through seven complete.
But the Nationals had only begun their rally. With reliever Randy Choate on the mound, pinch hitter Mark DeRosa singled, pushing Brown to third. Bryce Harper then followed, with the fifth hit of the inning, plating the inning’s fourth run. Danny Espinosa then came to the plate, singled — and suddenly the bases were loaded.
Friday, September 7th, 2012
There probably aren’t many people alive who remember this, but once upon a time the Baltimore Orioles were the St. Louis Browns. The Browns were once the class of St. Louis, believing they could chase the lousy Cardinals out of town and claim the city for themselves. Fat chance.
It was the Cardinals who became the class of St. Louis, not least because the Browns gave the Cards oxygen in 1920, when they rented Sportsman’s Park to them. It was the beginning of the end: the Cards started winning in the mid-20s and into the ’30s, accumulating pennants and world championships. And if the Cards hadn’t gotten to play in Sportsman’s Park? Well . . .
A last gasp anti-Cardinals blitz was started by Browns owner Bill Veeck in 1951. Veeck signed Satchel Paige to pitch, and put three-foot seven inch Eddie Gaedel into the line-up. People came to see the Browns play alright, but the team was more of a circus act than a baseball club.
When the Busch family purchased the Cardinals in 1953, Veeck was nudged aside and replaced by big deal Baltimore lawyer Clarence Miles and beer brewer Jerold Hoffberger, whose “National Bohemian” beer was the blue collar city’s beverage of choice.
Miles and Hoffberger moved the team to Baltimore, with Miles announcing the new franchise would now be known as the Orioles and would play in Memorial Stadium, the home of football’s Baltimore Colts. Those decisions were considered a little unusual: most MLB teams were planning to head west, keeping their names and their distinctive colors.