Results tagged ‘ Red Sox ’

Yanks trust Nova to kick off pivotal Sox series

Ivan NovaIt’s the beginning of an 11-game obstacle course that could very well determine if the Yankees have a chance at the postseason or not. Is this the most important stretch of the season? Sure feels like it.

Here are the early notes as the Yankees (75-64) and Red Sox (84-57) prepare to meet here at Yankee Stadium, with right-handers Ivan Nova and Jake Peavy matching up for the 7:05 p.m. ET start:

Who would the Yankees rather have on the mound than Nova, the reigning American League Pitcher of the Month? Nova went undefeated in six August starts, going 4-0 with a 2.08 ERA, and now he’ll look to continue that success into September.

“When you’re throwing the baseball like he is, you probably should feel some confidence out there,” Yankees manager Joe Girardi said. “He’s getting his strikeouts when he needs them, he’s getting a lot of ground ball outs, and that’s important in a park like this when you’re playing a team like this.”

Asked to expand on what Nova is doing differently than he was last season, Girardi responded:

“He learned to command his fastball down in the zone. Not worrying so much about hitting corners, but just having it down in the zone with movement. I think that has been really, really important to him. I also think the consistency of his curveball came back when he started throwing it a lot more, and he’s thrown his changeup a little bit as well. Maybe not 20 percent of the time or 30 percent of the time, but he has thrown it and gotten strikes, and it’s just another look when you’re going through a lineup the second, third or fourth time.”

The Yankees have been saying for days that they do not expect there to be any carryover from the last time these two clubs met, when right-hander Ryan Dempster earned a five-game suspension by intentionally throwing at Alex Rodriguez.

Those Sunday night events fired up the Yankees, who have gone 12-5 since the drilling. Yet for those expecting Nova to throw at David Ortiz or something along those lines, there might be disappointment. These games are so important to the Yankees that winning will likely be the main priority.

“No. We’re not looking to [retaliate],” Robinson Cano said. “We’re just going to go out there [tonight], play the game the right way that we have always been, and what’s in the past we’re going to keep in the past.”

OK. OK. What else would you have expected him to say? Stay tuned, but it doesn’t sound like Major League Baseball or the umpires plan on getting involved pre-game.

A few injury updates to pass along: Zoilo Almonte (ankle) is playing seven innings tonight for Double-A Trenton in their playoff game and is the most likely player to rejoin the big league club this month. Travis Hafner has done one simulated game, while Kevin Youkilis is only taking dry swings and is “the least probable” of the aforementioned three players to return in 2013.

Also, David Phelps and Michael Pineda are up to the bullpen stage, but it doesn’t sound like either one is coming back this year. Phelps might be back as a reliever in late September but that’s sounding more like a long shot, and the Yankees have been pretty mum on Pineda’s progress.

One last thought from Girardi:

“The big thing is you have to continue to play well. And as you look at it, we have a chance to control our own destiny, because we’re really three behind them in the loss column, and we have three games with. We have to play well. That’s the bottom line. So I don’t think you can get too caught up in what they’re doing, because there are other teams that are around us as well.”

My Beat The Streak pick tonight: Robinson Cano, who gets the honors for a second straight night after he went 3-for-4 against the White Sox last night. Cano is 3-for-7 vs. Peavy. My streak is at five, halfway to my season-high of 10.

Opening Day 2013: “I don’t think we expected to go 162-0”

Yankees Opening DayThere really is something cool about Opening Day. Even after seven weeks in Tampa, I felt it coming up the subway steps at 161st Street yesterday afternoon — that little jolt of excitement that tells you this is for real, this one is going to count.

By the end of what became an opener that the Yankees would prefer to forget, there was a stiff wind battering the tri-colored bunting hanging from the rafters, cold rain falling from the sky and hot dog wrappers littering the outfield.

It wasn’t exactly the way the Yankees were hoping to begin 2013, but as they — and, I’m sure, someone in every losing clubhouse on Opening Day — said, it is just one game.

“I don’t think we expected to go 162-0,” said outfielder Vernon Wells, one of six Yankees to make his team debut on Monday. “We unfortunately lost the first one, but it’s one game. That’s why you play a lot of them. You learn from the good things, and you learn from the bad things, and move on.”

The Stadium was looking pretty empty when Brett Gardner fouled out at 4:47 p.m., securing an 8-2 victory for the Red Sox, but Yankees catcher Francisco Cervelli said he couldn’t blame the paying crowd for heading for the streets.

“If I was a fan and it started to rain, I would run too,” Cervelli said. “It was cold, man. The weather changed in like one inning. but it’s not disappointing. It’s a long season, they always been really good with us and they support us through the whole season, playoffs, anytime. [They’re] the greatest fans ever.”

The Yankees had their Welcome Home Dinner last night, where Lou Piniella was honored. They’ll enjoy an off-day today and get back to work tomorrow against Boston at 7:05 p.m. ET. Here’s all the Opening Day coverage you need to catch up on yesterday’s action:

  • Game story: CC Sabathia had another rough Opening Day outing and sparked some concerns with his velocity, which mostly sat around 89 mph. He doesn’t sound worried, and neither do the Yankees. The new-look offense went 2-for-9 with runners in scoring position.
  • Alex Rodriguez appeared briefly outside the Yankees clubhouse – the first time I’ve seen him in person since Game 4 of the ALCS – but decided not to take part in the pregame ceremonies. Rodriguez said that he didn’t need to be introduced to feel like he was part of the team. A-Rod said his rehab is going well and is trying to draw inspiration from those counting the Yankees out this year.
  • Mike Bauman writes that the Yankees still believe they can get the job done without their bold-faced names. Bauman also writes that A-Rod didn’t seem to have much to say.
  • One piece of good news: Mark Teixeira was in New York for a doctor’s visit and received clearance to remove the brace from his right wrist. He’s encouraged this means a mid-May return is in play.
  • Kevin Youkilis is a little bit tired of talking about wearing the pinstripes. The transition period is over for him; he’s a Yankee, not a Red Sox, and he wants everyone to accept it.
  • Where was Derek Jeter yesterday? Playing catch on a back field in Tampa, Adam Berry writes. Jeter is essentially starting over after his recent setback, and it’s anyone’s guess when he’ll be able to re-join the big league club. The Yankees won’t activate Jeter until he proves that he can play in back-to-back games at shortstop, so this could take a while.
  • Mariano Rivera shagged fly balls in the outfield yesterday, his first time since you-know-when. Everything went fine, but the Yankees didn’t have a reason to use Rivera on his final Opening Day.
  • Best laugh-out-loud thing I saw all day: Ichiro Suzuki’s Robert DeNiro impression on the centerfield video board. I wish I had a clip to share, but I don’t. Just watch for it this season.
  • Joe Girardi had a little trouble figuring out how his lineup should look against left-hander Jon Lester. Fun note from the Elias Sports Bureau — this was the first Opening Day Yankees lineup without a switch-hitter since 1992.
  • The Yankees and Red Sox paid tribute to the Sandy Hook Elementary School tragedy and those affected in Newtown, Conn. Also, Constantine Maroulis’ rendition of the National Anthem garnered mixed reviews, from what I could see on Twitter (and in the press box). I really didn’t mind it, but then again, I thought he was pretty good when I saw him in ‘Rock of Ages.’

Spring Game 26: Yankees vs. Twins

Robinson Cano returns to the Yankees lineup tonight after his service with the victorious Dominican Republic World Baseball Classic squad, slotting back into his second base position as he resumes preparing for the regular season.

“Hopefully I’ll continue doing the same things I’ve been doing every year,” Cano said. “Just go out there, play hard and help the team to win games. Hopefully the guys that we have help us to just stay in the race until [Curtis] Granderson and [Mark] Teixeira are back.”

Here are the lineups and game information:

7:05 p.m. – George M. Steinbrenner Field, Tampa, Fla. –
TV: YES, Radio: None
RHP David Phelps (2-2, 2.37) vs. Liam Hendriks (1-1, 6.00)

Aaron Hicks CF
Brian Dozier 2B
Jeff Clement DH
Chris Parmelee 1B
Miguel Sano 3B
Darin Mastroianni RF
Joe Benson LF
Drew Butera C
Pedro Florimon SS

Liam Hendriks RHP

Brett Gardner CF
Ichiro Suzuki LF
Robinson Cano 2B
Kevin Youkilis 1B
Travis Hafner DH
Brennan Boesch RF
Eduardo Nunez SS
Jayson Nix 3B
Francisco Cervelli C

RHP David Phelps

Spring Game 25: Yankees vs. Red Sox

The Yankees and the Red Sox are in action this afternoon here at George M. Steinbrenner Field as the days whittle down to the close of Spring Training.

These two teams will meet in the Bronx on April 1st as the regular season gets underway, and believe it or not we’re already into the home stretch of the spring, about to get down to single digits in games remaining.

Derek Jeter, as anticipated, is not in the Yankees’ lineup this afternoon. Jeter had hoped to play today after being scratched from yesterday’s game with ankle soreness, but he should still have enough time to be ready to DH on Opening Day against Boston.

Today is also CC Sabathia’s day to pitch, but he’ll be doing his work across the street against Minor League hitters at the Yankees’ complex, not wanting to give the Sox a free look at his arsenal. Sabathia also bypassed a chance to pitch against the division rival Blue Jays earlier this month.

Here are the lineups and game information:

1:05 p.m. – George M. Steinbrenner Field, Tampa, Fla. –
TV: YES/ESPN, Radio: None
LHP Vidal Nuno (0-1, 1.08) vs. LHP Felix Doubront (1-1, 2.08)

Brock Holt 2B
Daniel Nava 1B
Jackie Bradley Jr. CF
Mauro Gomez DH
Mike Carp LF
David Ross C
Ryan Sweeney RF
Drew Sutton 3B
Jose Iglesias SS

Felix Doubront LHP

Brett Gardner LF
Eduardo Nunez SS
Kevin Youkilis 3B
Juan Rivera 1B
Ben Francisco RF
Jayson Nix 2B
Chris Stewart C
Thomas Neal DH
Melky Mesa CF

Vidal Nuno LHP

Nuno is scheduled to be followed by David Robertson, Mark Montgomery, Josh Spence and Shawn Kelley.

Additional players on the Yankees’ roster today: C Francisco Arcia (87), RHP Zach Arneson (98), RHP Matt Daley (54), LHP Shaeffer Hall (97), OF Mason Williams (92).

Spring Game 10: Yankees at Red Sox

Brett Gardner LF
Eduardo Nunez SS
Jayson Nix 2B
Juan Rivera DH
Dan Johnson 1B
Melky Mesa CF
Zoilo Almonte RF
Corban Joseph 3B
Bobby Wilson C

RHP Adam Warren

RED SOX (5-4)
Jacoby Ellsbury CF
Dustin Pedroia 2B
Stephen Drew SS
Mike Napoli 1B
Daniel Nava LF
Will Middlebrooks 3B
Jarrod Saltalamacchia DH
David Ross C
Jackie Bradley RF

RHP Ryan Dempster

Postgame notes: I wasn’t on the trip, but here are the highlights from Fort Myers… Girardi told reporters that Adam Warren “did a really good job” and Jose Ramirez threw “great,” especially in the fourth inning when Ramirez recovered from two inning-opening hits to retire Mike Napoli, Daniel Nava and Will Middlebrooks in order.

“He’s got first and second, nobody out, gets out of the inning, that’s big for a young kid,” Girardi said. “And you’re facing guys you’re going to see on NESN all year long.”

Girardi said Ramirez’s changeup is “tremendous” and lauded Warren’s breaking ball. Thomas Neal hit a ninth-inning homer for the Yanks, while Brett Gardner had a hit and a walk as he continues his hot start to the spring.

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