Tag: Vernon Wells

Yankees' Ryan, Cano and Reynolds wait for new pitcher after the Rays scored four runs in MLB game in New York

Yankees eliminated with Indians’ victory


It’s official: the Yankees’ season is over after 162 games for just the second time in the wild card era.

The Bombers were eliminated from contention when the Indians topped the White Sox 7-2 on Wednesday evening. Just a few minutes later, they wrapped up an 8-3 loss to the Rays, leaving them with an 82-76 record.

Regardless of what happens in their final four games, the Yankees will finish with a winning record for the 21st straight year. However, they are going to miss the postseason for the first time since 2008 and the second time since 1994, when the strike eliminated the postseason. The Yankees were in first place when play ended after 113 games that year. They failed to make the postseason at 88-74 the year before in 1993. The last time they finished under .500 was 1992 (76-86).

Even if the Yankees do win out and finish at 86-76 (.531), it will be their worst record since that sub-.500 season. Their next lowest winning percentage was .540 in 2000, but they still finished in first place (and won the World Series) that year.

It’s a disappointing send off for Mariano Rivera and Andy Pettitte, but still an impressive record giving the myriad injuries dealt with by Joe Girardi’s crew. Consider this: Chris Stewart has the sixth most at-bats this year on the Yankees roster. Robinson Cano, Brett Gardner and Ichiro Suzuki will be the only three to finish with 500. Fourth and fifth on the list are Lyle Overbay and Vernon Wells.

As they head into what surely will be a busy and probably controversial offseason, the Yankees have question marks everywhere. Robinson Cano, Hiroki Kuroda and Curtis Granderson are free agents. Alex Rodriguez has a 213-game suspension hanging over his head. Derek Jeter, who has a player option, isn’t likely to be a full-time shortstop going forward. Plus, the Yankees, who are expected to try to get under the $189 million luxury-tax figure, won’t know how much money they have to spend until the A-Rod saga is resolved.

Practically certain to depart in free agency are longtime Yankees Phil Hughes and Joba Chamberlain. David Robertson could replace Rivera in the closer’s role, but then the Yankees would have to sign someone to pitch the eighth. There are only two locks for the rotation in CC Sabathia and Ivan Nova, but there’s some hope that Michael Pineda will return from his shoulder woes to contribute. The lineup will have Gardner, Alfonso Soriano and the rehabbing Mark Teixeira at first base, plus Suzuki and Wells hopefully in lesser roles.

About the only positive thing the Yankees can take from this season as they head into 2014 is Nova’s rebound campaign that has him looking like a legitimate No. 3 starter. Even though he’s been typically working with two pitches (fastball and curve), he’s notched two complete-game shutouts in his last five starts, leaving him with a 3.13 ERA in 19 starts and three relief appearances this season.

And That Happened: Wednesday’s scores and highlights

Chris Davis

Orioles 5, Red Sox 3: Chris Davis with a two-run single in the 12th to win the game. Wei-Yin Chen gave up 11 hits but someone only three runs in five and two-thirds. Baltimore remains one back in the wild card. The Sox’ magic number for the division remains at three.

Braves 5, Nationals 2: They’re pretty much all must-win for Washington right now and they didn’t win, even with home plate umpire C.B. Bucknor gifting them runs. Homers from Justin Uggla and Dan Uggla.

Twins 4, White Sox 3: Minnesota avoids the sweep with a good outing from Scott Diamond. His first win in three months.

Marlins 4, Phillies 3: Ed Lucas hit a homer in the 10th to give the Marlins the lead and almost helped woof it away with an error in the bottom of the inning. It ended up being cool, though.

Angels 5, Athletics 4: Josh Hamilton continues to build hope for 2014. He homered to tie it up in the eighth inning and then drove in the go-ahead run in extras. Mike Trout homered too and the Angels have won four of five. A’s starter A.J. Griffin on Trout’s homer: “He’s good at baseball. I was trying to get him to miss hit, but he got it.” That quite accurately sums up a great deal of baseball I suppose.

Padres 3, Pirates 2: Three straight losses to San Diego puts the Pirates two back in the NL Central.  Mark Melancon have up two in the ninth to blow a 2-1 lead. “What a game,” San Diego manager Bud Black said afterward. I bet Clint Hurdle was a bit more colorful in his description.

Rays 4, Rangers 3: One of five extra innings games, here the Rays got a walkoff single from Desmond Jennings in the 12th. The Rangers can get a 2-2 split today. If they do these two teams will have effectively angered all of the other AL wild card contenders who would have benefitted from one team sweeping the other or at least winning the series.

Mets 5, Giants 4: The Giants had a 4-0 lead entering the eighth and still had a 4-1 lead heading into the bottom of the ninth, but Josh Satin raised some eyebrows with a walkoff two-run single to cap a Mets four-run rally. Three RBI for Satin overall.

Yankees 4, Blue Jays 3: This must have been a New York thing, because like the Mets the Yankees were down three late and rallied for four. Vernon Wells had a go-ahead two-run double which, according to all the game stories, “kept the Yankees alive.” Which I suppose it technically true, but it would be cool to actually see a decent nine innings of baseball from them and maybe a couple of good games in a row before truly declaring them among the playoff living.

Brewers 7, Cubs 0: Sean Halton hit a grand slam. Tyler Thornburg allowed only two hits over six innings. I had half a mind to watch this one in its entirety in order to get a last dose of relatively meaningless baseball before the playoff season started but couldn’t bring myself to. Maybe I’ll do that with a game or two next week.

Mariners 8, Tigers 0: For whatever else has happened this season for the Mariners, Hisashi Iwakuma has been fantastic. Eight shutout innings on four hits here. He is 13-6 with a 2.76 ERA and a 1.02 WHIP for a bad Seattle team.

Cardinals 4, Rockies 3: St. Louis pads its lead. Adam Wainwright won his 17th. Edward Mujica struck out Todd Helton with the bases loaded to end the game.

Diamondbacks 9, Dodgers 4: One of many late rallies last night, here the Snakes had a five-run eighth. Paul Goldschmidt homered. He leads the NL with 34, which feels like a 1980s league-leading total. I feel like 39 was always what you needed to lead the league back when Daryl Strawberry roamed the Earth.

Royals 7, Indians 2: A must-win for Kansas City and they won, depriving the Indians once again of moving into a wild card tie. The Royals now get a head-to-head series against the Rangers this weekend, also full of must-win games.

Reds 6, Astros 5: Texas native Jay Bruce with a two-run double in the 13th. Oh, and Billy Hamilton: Four steals. He reached base in all five of his plate appearances, collecting three hits and scoring two runs including the go ahead run. The Reds are probably a wild card team but they’re only a half-game behind the Pirates for the top seed. I bet they’d rather play at Great American Ballpark in a one-and-done than at PNC.

Mariano Rivera blows seventh save, but Yankees win on walk-off wild pitch

Chicago White Sox v New York Yankees

The four-game series against the Red Sox has been a nightmare for the Yankees, but it has mercifully ended on a good note for the Bronx Bombers. With his team leading 3-2 in the ninth inning, Yankees closer Mariano Rivera surrendered a lead-off game-tying solo home run to Will Middlebrooks, his seventh save of the season. Rivera had blown seven or more saves just twice previously in his career: seven in 2001, and nine in 1997.

Fortunately for Rivera, the Yankees were able to manufacture a walk-off victory against Red Sox reliever Brandon Workman. With one out, Ichiro Suzuki singled to center, then promptly stole second base. Vernon Wells flied out to right for the second out of the inning, but Suzuki tagged and went to third base. On the first pitch to Alfonso Soriano, Workman threw a 94 MPH fastball neck-high over the plate to Alfonso Soriano. Catcher Jarrod Saltalamacchia, positioned to catch the pitch low and away, couldn’t grab it and the ball sailed to the backstop and caromed towards the first base side, allowing Suzuki to saunter home for the walk-off victory.

The Yankees were on the verge of suffering a four-game series sweep at the hands of their bitter rival. Despite scoring eight runs or more in each of the past three games, the Yankees’ pitching could not get the job done. Rivera blew his sixth save on Thursday, the entire bullpen imploded on Friday, and starter David Huff was tagged for nine runs yesterday.

With the Rays in progress, the Red Sox temporarily drop to eight games ahead in first place in the AL East, and the Yankees move to two games behind them for the second Wild Card.

Watch Alfonso Soriano get his 400th career home run

alfonso soriano getty

Alfonso Soriano has been a tremendous source of power for the Yankees since they acquired him from the Cubs in a July 26 trade and that same trend has continued on Tuesday at Toronto’s Rogers Centre.

Soriano slugged a three-run shot in the top of the first inning —  the 399th home run of his career — and a solo bomb to lead off the top of the fourth — No. 400.

MLB.com has the replay of the milestone blast:

Soriano has been with New York for just a little over four weeks and has already moved into a tie with fellow outfielder Vernon Wells for the most home runs (11) among the club’s right-handed hitters.

Report: Torii Hunter and Albert Pujols nearly came to blows last summer

hunter getty

It seems that any Angels-related news that doesn’t involve Mike Trout is bad news, these days. We learned earlier that general manager Jerry DiPoto and manager Mike Scioscia will not be able to coexist in the Angels organization after the season. Now, via Scott Miller of CBS Sports, it appears that outfielder Torii Hunter had to be restrained from fighting with first baseman Albert Pujols last August.

Pujols called out [Jered] Weaver for showing up a teammate the night before. Then he turned his attention on Hunter, blaming him for the dugout altercation with [C. J.] Wilson.

What Pujols did not know at the time was that Wilson and Hunter already had made amends, with the pitcher apologizing to the outfielder for overstepping his bounds in the dugout immediately following the game.

“Albert, you’d better get your facts straight,” a seething Hunter told Pujols.

Pujols said something back, and Hunter jumped him for being a bad teammate and pouting all season whenever he failed to get hits in a game, even in games the Angels won … and now he was going to call others out?

“Shut up, Torii,” Pujols snapped.

It was then that Hunter, from across the clubhouse, lost it and charged Pujols. [LaTroy] Hawkins and outfielder Vernon Wells had to restrain him.

The meeting proceeded from there, and when it was over, tempers still heated, Hunter had to be physically held back a second time from going after Pujols, who is described as wanting no part of the fight.

Miller mentions that Hunter had previously been involved in another clubhouse argument with Twins first baseman Justin Morneau. The outfielder punched Morneau in the jaw, but the two ended up settling their differences and accepting each other as teammates.

(Note: For what it’s worth, a Minnesota writer’s account of the event slightly differs from Miller’s, saying that Hunter threw a punch at Morneau but missed and hit Nick Punto instead.)

Last season, Pujols was in the first year of a ten-year, $240 million contract. He finished with the worst single-season offensive numbers of his career to that point, and he has continued to trend in the wrong direction in 2013 while the Angels have been sitting in fourth place in the AL West for most of the season. Hunter, meanwhile, signed a two-year, $26 million contract with the Tigers in the off-season. His team is holding onto a five-game lead in the AL Central.