Game 5 Recap: Ibanez’ 12th inning double lifts Yankees

It sure wasn’t easy, and it was at times unwatchable, but somehow the Yankees knocked off the Orioles, 5-4 in twelve innings. The offense was putrid, two for eighteen with runners in scoring position. The team stranded twelve on base. Eventually, the new Yankee Raul Ibanez, who earlier pinch-hit for Andruw Jones, came through in the twelfth, hitting a booming double that platted Robinson Cano.

Derek Jeter led off the game with a solo home run off Taiwanese rookie left-hander Wei-Yin Chen. The Yankees were ready to add more until Mark Teixeira flew out on a three ball count with two on and one out.

Freddy Garcia at times could not find the strikezone, throwing a ridiculous five wild pitches, two of which led to runs. He was not helped by a stupid mistake by Jeter and Russell Martin. Rather than take a second out of a potential double play while conceding a run in the fourth, Jeter fired to home, and Martin dropped the ball, being credited with an error.

The bullpen, as advertised, was stellar. Rookie David Phelps came in for Garcia and tossed two and a third innings of perfect baseball, striking out four. David Robertson threw his usual scoreless eighth. In the ninth, things got scary as Boone Logan and Cory Wade got into a bases loaded jam, but Wade got J.J. Hardy to pop out to end the threat and pitched into the eleventh. Clay Rapada got two more outs to end the eleventh. Mariano for now ended any early doubts and threw a 1-2-3 inning to end the game and seal the victory.

Yankees and O’s wrap up the series tomorrow at seven, CC Sabathia vs. Jake Arrieta. The Yanks have an off day Thursday before the home opener Friday afternoon against the Angels

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Game 4 Recap: Nova’s gem leads Yankees to first victory of 2012

Any doubt surrounding Ivan Nova following a poor Spring Training were erased after Monday night, as he tossed seven innings of two run ball as the Yankees collected their first win of the season, 6-2 over Baltimore.

Nova gave up ten hits, but many of them were on weak contact, one probably should have been an error by Eduardo Nunez. He struck out seven Orioles and walked none, with 71% of his pitches being strikes.

The offense was solid, racking up eleven hits and six runs. They were able to knock starter Brian Matusz out after four innings, as he gave up six of those hits and walked four. Derek Jeter led the parade with a four for four performance, including a two out RBI double. Six different Yankees had an RBI. Andruw Jones homered off a righty before being replaced by Gardner, who also had an RBI.

Yankees and O’s go at it again tomorrow, with Freddy Garcia going up against Taiwanese lefty Wei-Yin Chen, who will be making his MLB debut

Game 4: New York Yankees @ Baltimore Orioles

7:05 PM, Monday, April 9th, 2012. Oriole Park at Camden Yards, Baltimore, Maryland

Starters:

New York: Ivan Nova, RHP (0-0, 0.00 ERA)

Baltimore: Brian Matusz, LHP (0-0, 0.00 ERA)

Lineups:

SS Derek Jeter

RF Nick Swisher

2B Robinson Cano

DH Alex Rodriguez

1B Mark Teixeira

CF Curtis Granderson

LF Andruw Jones

C Russell Martin

3B Eduardo Nunez

Baltimore

LF Nolan Reimold

SS J.J. Hardy

RF Nick Markakis

CF Adam Jones

C Matt Wieters

3B Mark Reynolds

DH Wilson Betemit

1B Chris Davis

2B Robert Andino

Nova begins his season after struggling in Spring Training, posting an 8.06 ERA in twenty-two and third innings pitched. For some reason, Girardi again shifts the lineup against the lefty, swapping Swisher and Granderson in the order, and putting in Nunez in the field. Matusz is 2-4 in his career against the Yankees with 4.70 ERA. Nova is 2-0 in his career against the Orioles with a 3.55 ERA.

Sunday Recap: Mets sweep, Yankees swept, Knicks stun Bulls.

Very strange Easter Sunday in New York sports. The Mets were able to hold off a late comeback to sweep the Braves and begin the season 3-0. The Yankees again could solve the Rays as they fell 3-0, completing a season opening sweep by Tampa Bay. The main event, however, was the Knicks exciting victory over the NBA’s best Chicago Bulls. 

Led by newly-extended Jon Niese, who took a no-hitter into the seventh, the Mets built a 7-0 lead and did not look back, holding off a furious comeback by the Braves and completed the sweep, 7-5. Niese finished with six plus innings, allowing just two earned on two hits, walking four and striking out seven. 

Across the river, things took a turn for the epic at the Garden, as the Knicks came back from nine down late in the fourth, forcing overtime after Carmelo Anthony drained a dramatic game-tying three-pointer. Then, down by two in the closing seconds of overtime, Anthony hit another three after three Knick offensive rebounds, putting New York up by one with eight seconds left. The MVP would twice miss the potential winner badly, giving the Bockers the victory. Anthony finished with forty-three on 16-31 shooting, a Knick career high. Rose would have twenty-nine but on 8-26 shooting. 

Unfortunately, for the Yankees, they would not see similar good fortune on this Resurrection Day, as they were completely shutdown by the brilliant Jeremy Hellickson, who nearly finished a three-hit shutout. Phil Hughes was decent but was not helped by Raul Ibanez’ brilliant play in right that gave Matt Joyce an “RBI triple”. He also allowed a home run by the perennial Yankee Killer Carlos Pena. Girardi made yet another foolish move in the sixth, allowing Boone Logan to face Jeff Keppinger, who would homer off him. 

The Mets take on the Nationals this week, the Knicks finish their home-and-home set with the Bulls in Chicago on Tuesday, and the Yankees begin a three game series in Baltimore, against the first place Orioles! 

Game 3: New York Yankees @ Tampa Bay Rays

1:40 PM, Sunday, April 8th, 2012. Tropicana Field, St. Petersburg, Florida

Starters:

New York: Phil Hughes, RHP (0-0, 0.00 ERA)

Tampa Bay: Jeremy Hellickson, RHP (0-0, 0.00 ERA)

Lineups:

New York:

SS Derek Jeter

CF Curtis Granderson

2B Robinson Cano

3B Alex Rodriguez

1B Mark Teixeira

DH Nick Swisher

RF Raul Ibanez

LF Brett Gardner

C Chris Stuart

Tampa Bay:

CF Desmond Jennings

1B Carlos Pena

3B Evan Longoria

LF Matt Joyce

RF Ben Zobrist

DH Luke Scott

2B Jeff Keppinger

C Jose Lobaton

SS Reid Brignac

Hughes has a lot to prove this season, and the Yankees are desperate for a victory. Hellickson was the AL’s rookie of the year last season, but the Yankees were one of the few teams to have success against him, as Hellickson was 1-1 with a 4.07 ERA against New York. Today’s starters previously met last August as Hughes when six, allowing just two runs on four hits and struck out six. Hellickson could not get out of the fifth in a 9-2 New York rout

Game 56: Chicago Bulls @ New York Knicks

Chicago Bulls (43-13) @ New York Knicks (28-27)

1:00 PM, Sunday, April 8th, 2012. Madison Square Garden, New York, New York

Starters:

Chicago

PG Derrick Rose

SG Ronnie Brewer

SF Luol Deng

PF Carlos Boozer

C Joakim Noah

New York:

PG Baron Davis

SG Iman Shumpert

SF Landry Fields

PF Carmelo Anthony

C Tyson Chandler

The 2010-11 MVP returns to face the red-hot New York Knicks, who are 10-3 under interim head coach Mike Woodson. Both teams are playing their first game since Thursday, a rare bridge between games in this compressed post lockout schedule. The Knicks defeated the soap opera Magic by sixteen, and the Bulls defeated the Atlantic division-leading Boston Celtics.

The key for the Knicks is for Chandler to counter Noah and Boozer and for the backcourt, particularly Shumpert to keep Rose off his game. The Knicks need to win the rebounding game to have a chance. They were able to push the Bulls hard in their first two matchups this season, but expect more of the same for the Bulls.

Game 2 Recap: Kuroda struggles in debut, Yankee comeback falls short in the ninth

In his Yankee debut, right-hander Hiroki Kuroda could not escape the sixth inning, allowing six runs, two of which were unearned thanks to a first inning error by Eduardo Nunez. He allowed eight hits, four for extra bases. Normally a consistent strike thrower, he walked four and only threw 58% of his pitches for strikes.

On the offensive side of the ball, the Yankees spent the whole night stubbornly hitting right into the teeth of Maddon’s shifts, most notably with Teixeira scorching the ball to the second baseman playing in the outfield, resulting in Cano getting doubled off at second. David Price was solid, going 6.1 innings, allowing just two runs on five hits. He walked four but struck out five.

Joe Girardi made yet another questionable move, allowing left-hander Clay Rapada to pitch to Longoria after walking Pena. Longo made him pay, ending up with a double once the umpires overturned a home run due to fan interference. The Rays still ended up tacking on those two runs and ended up with an 8-2 lead.

Girardi’s and Nunez’s mistakes would come back to bite them in the end yet again, as the Yankees rallied for four runs in the night, three on a home run by Swisher. They would bring the tying run to the plate, but A-Rod grounded out on the first pitch he saw from Fernando Rodney to end the game.

Yankees look to avoid the sweep on Easter Sunday on YES and TBS at 1:40 PM. Phil Hughes faces off the 2011 Rookie of the Year Jeremy Hellickson. It is likely that Girardi will use the same lineup as Friday’s game