Saturday, September 20, 2014

Fordham News: Yanks Win Third Straight

Fordham News: Yanks Win Third Straight: Streaks Continue; Yanks Win Third Straight;  Blue Jays Lose Sixth Straight By Howard Goldin BRONX, NEW YORK, SEPTEMB...

Yanks Win Third Straight

Streaks Continue; Yanks Win Third Straight; 
Blue Jays Lose Sixth Straight

By Howard Goldin
BRONX, NEW YORK, SEPTEMBER 20- Although the door is almost closed to the Yankees walking into the post-season, winning the last three contests has technically kept their chances alive. They are 4.5 games out of the second Wild Card spot with nine games remaining.
Most fans believe the 2014 season of the Yankees will end on September 28 and their interest is centered on watching Derek Jeter play his last few games prior to his retirement.
The only season opening starter on the Yankees not to visit the disabled list this year, Hiroki Kuroda, made his 31st start of the season on Friday night against the Toronto Blue Jays. He yielded two hits including a two-run home run by Edwin EncarnaciĆ³n before even retiring a second batter. The home run tied his teammate Jose Bautista with 33.
After the game, Kuroda commented through his translator, “The first inning I thought he [EncarnaciĆ³n] was looking for that pitch. Then I settled down.”
The veteran right-hander gave up only five more hits and one run before being removed from the contest after 6.2 innings. The Japanese native fanned seven but did not walk a batter for the fourth start game. He has faced 108 batters since he last walked a batter. It was his 11th start of the season in which he didn’t issue one walk. His strikeout/walk ration in 2014 is 137/35. He earned his 11th win of the year for the fourth straight year.
The Yankee captain commented, “Hiro knows how to pitch. If we scored any kind of runs for him, he’d have 17-18 wins.” The 39-year-old starting pitcher gave credit to his teammates for scoring five runs, “I had great support from our offense.” Kuroda is tied with Cole Hamels for the most losses in quality starts since 2008 with 30 since his offensive support is so lacking.
When asked by a reporter if he is considering returning next year, Kuroda stated, “I’m not thinking of that. This season is not over. Maybe my next start will be my last one.”
The five runs were the most scored by the Yankees since September 11. Jacoby Ellsbury led the offensive output with two hits, a double and a home run and three runs batted inUnfortunately for Ellsbury and his team, Ellsbury left the game with hamstring pain. Yankee skipper Joe Girardi said of the centerfielder, “There’s nothing that this kid can’t do.” He remarked that it’s possible Ellsbury may not play again this season.
Jeter, who refrains from praising himself, spoke highly of Ellsbury, “When he gets hot, he’s capable of doing a lot of things. He’s fun to play with.”
What Jeter did not wish to discusss was that Friday’s contest was his second straight multi-hit game. There are six more home games for Jeter and the Yankees.
Yankee records-Yankee hurlers have fanned 1,279 batters this season. They need 40 strikeouts to break the record set in 2012. Ellsbury’s home run was the 14,998 of the Yankees. They now need only two to reach 15,000. Who do you think will hit #15,000.

Friday, September 19, 2014

Fordham News: Final Week for Jeter

Fordham News: Final Week for Jeter: Final week for Jeter Final week for Jeter in the Bronx begins with a home run By Rich Mancuso BRONX, NEW YORK, SEPTEMBER 19- There was...

Final Week for Jeter

Final week for Jeter

Final week for Jeter in the Bronx begins with a home run

By Rich Mancuso

BRONX, NEW YORK, SEPTEMBER 19- There was that moment in the sixth inning Thursday night at Yankee Stadium for Derek Jeter. He hit his first home run in the Bronx this season, in his last year as an active player. Yet we have always seen these moments from him over the years,

This home run, which gave the Yankees a 2-0 advantage over the Toronto Blue Jays, was not a milestone. But it was special because this was the beginning of the final week of baseball for Derek Jeter in the Bronx. The stadium crowd was waiting for a big hit and it came off a 3-1 pitch, from an R.A. Dickey fastball that went deep into the leftfield stands.

“First home run, final homestand, typical Jeter,” commented Yankees manager Joe Girardi after their 4-3 walk-off win over the Blue Jays. “He got his 3,000th hit here with the game on the line.”

That was a Jeter moment as there have been so many others over the years in the Bronx. And though this win does not mean the Yankees will be postseason bound in a few weeks, at least Jeter was able to hit another long ball at home, and he gets six more opportunities to hit another one in the Bronx before his farewell game next Thursday evening.

You know Girardi is starting to realize that a special player is no longer going to be in Yankees pinstripes next year.

“He just has the ability to do that," Girardi said about another Jeter moment. "I've always said, he’s the guy you want up with the game on the line, in big situations. He’s always had that ability."  

So there was Jeter again leading off the eighth inning in a 2-2 game. The enthusiasm of what was left of 34,279, many of course who came to see Jeter one final time, returned a bit when he made contact but flied out to center on a pitch from Brandon Morrow. It did not matter to the fans as they cheered for the captain, because this week it is all about Derek Jeter in the Bronx.

“Hey, it’s another game," Jeter said. "I’m trying not to think about it being the last homestand. We still have a week left. We’re trying to win games and I’m going to go out there and play hard like I’ve always done my entire career until we’re out of games."

“This is not an easy game to play,” he commented. “You’re going to have good stretches you’re going to have bad stretches, you’re going to have good years, you’re going to have bad years. Obviously this year up to this point hasn’t turned out the way you liked. Like I said I’m going to play hard til we’re out of games.”

Jeter was happy that they won the game. He is enjoying his last days in the Bronx and had a laugh or two when he got back in the dugout after the home run. We have not seen an emotional side of this Yankees icon as the final games approach, and perhaps it will be seen in seven days. And it did not matter that Jeter was caught in a first inning double play.

It would have been humiliating for a rookie when he broke for second on a 3-2 pitch, thinking that it was ball four, but the fans did not care. It was a Derek Jeter mistake, and after all of the great moments he has provided them in the Bronx, Jeter can be excused for making a mistake on the base paths.

When a reporter pointed out to Jeter that this was the first home run he hit in the Bronx there was a response: “Thank you,” he said in typical Jeter style, not sarcastic but living up the moment of his final days of playing baseball in the Bronx.

Jeter’s average dipped below .250 with an 0-for-28 drought, the second longest of his career. He still cares in the final days because baseball and wearing the Yankees uniform the past 20-years have always been something special.

Said Girardi, "I'm sure he's trying to soak this up as much as he can. It's really difficult to take your uniform off. When you're used to doing something for such a long time, it's difficult. He understands what's coming.”

And we all know that day is coming. But for another night it was a Derek Jeter moment that will be remembered like all the others.

Comment Rich Mancuso: Ring786@aol.com  Facebook.com/Rich Mancuso www.newyorksportsexaminer.com

Fordham News: Yanks Walk Off with a Win

Fordham News: Yanks Walk Off with a Win: Yanks Walk Off with a Win 8th Walk-Off Win of 2014 for Yankees, Jeter and Bautista homer By Howard Goldin BRONX, NEW YORK, SEPTEMBER 19...

Yanks Walk Off with a Win

Yanks Walk Off with a Win
8th Walk-Off Win of 2014 for Yankees, Jeter and Bautista homer

By Howard Goldin

BRONX, NEW YORK, SEPTEMBER 19- For the eighth consecutive game, the Yankees on Wednesday night did not score more than three runs. Their much discussed lack of hitting did not prevent them from defeating the Toronto Blue Jays in the first game of the Yankees final homestand of the 2014 season.

The win was an exciting surprise for the 34,729 fans present. With the score knotted at 2, the Yankees came to bat in the bottom of the ninth frame. Chris Young, who joined the Yanks on September 2 continued his impressive hitting as a Yankee with a single to center to lead-off. Young, who barely batted above .200 as a Met this year, is batting .316 (12 for 38) in pinstripes.

Antoan Richardson, who was called up to the Yanks on the same date that Young began his service with the team, entered the game to pinch run for Young. The speedster promptly stole second, his fifth steal in five attempts. Although the 30 year-old has been given few at bats, his batting average is .444 (4 for 9).

The next batter, Brett Gardner, bunted with two strikes to advance Richardson to third. After the contest, Yankee skipper Joe Girardi was asked if he gave the sign to Gardner. He replied, “No, it was his call.”

The following batter, Chase Headley, hit a hard ground ball that went through the hands and legs of the Blue Jay first baseman, Adam Lind, to end the contest in favor of the Yankees, 3-2. The walk-off win was the eighth this season for the Yanks and third that was engineered with Headley at bat.

Girardi had words of praise for both Richardson and Headley. Of the rookie on base, he credited, “He puts a lot of pressure on the defense.” When told this by a reporter, Richardson spoke of the work done by Young, Gardner and Headley. After many years in the minors, he is gratified to have an opportunity with the Yankees, “Anytime you contribute it feels good. You feel a part of the team once you contribute.”

Headley has been making contributions since being traded from San Diego on July 22. Girardi expounded a litany of praise directed toward Headley, “He has a grind it out approach. He is a very tough kid who wants to win, [and] a great fielder. He’s been a great addition.” Those words make it sound as Headley will be with the Yankees again next year.
Rookie Shawn Greene held the Blue Jays scoreless for 6.2 innings before being removed for reliever Dellin Betances. He allowed only three scattered singles and walked two batters in his high quality start. Yankee captain Derek Jeter remarked of the youngster, “He gets more and more confidence and more and more relaxed.”

Girardi explained a reason for that confidence, “He has four pitches that he can go to and he has the ability to throw strikes.”

The Yankees scored two runs off veteran knuckleball pitcher R. A. Dickey in his six inning stint. In the fifth, a two-out walk to Headley that was followed by a Stephen Drew double scored the first run of the game.

To the delight of everyone in the park, Jeter hit his first Yankee Stadium home run of the year in the sixth. He had not homered in his last 158 at bats. Jeter was reluctant to speak of the home run or his feelings toward the end of his career. He said, “I’m happy because we won a game.”

A two-run homer by Jose Bautista off Shawn Kelley with two out and an 0-2 count tied the score in the eighth. The slugger has homered in his last four games against the Yankees.

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Fordham News: Lehman Center continues top notch shows

Fordham News: Lehman Center continues top notch shows: Lehman Center continues top notch shows Eva Bornstein, Lehman Center Executive Director Speaks of its Past, Present and Future ...