Showing posts with label Carlos Beltran. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Carlos Beltran. Show all posts

Monday, April 14, 2014

Yankees Sock it to Boston

Yankees Sock it to Boston

Yanks Put to Rest Some Questions with Dominance of Red Sox, Ejection of Manager John Farrell

By Rich Mancuso

BRONX, NEW YORK, APRIL 14- The rivalry changed a bit when the New York Yankees and Boston Red Sox met for the first time in the Bronx the past three days. The Yankees, a team with questions will take what they accomplished after their 3-2 win Sunday night taking three of four games from their rivals.

This early in the season, and with questions about a Yankees bullpen that is being tested, they conquered. Matt Thornton, David Phelps and Shawn Kelley closed the door with David Robertson on the disabled list. It was intense baseball in the Bronx and from the looks of these first four of 19-games that will be played between these division rivals, there will be more intensity.

And count on a little of everything, including spectacular defense that came from the Yankees outfield. With a decimated infield, plagued by injuries, Carlos Beltran was shifted from right-field to first base in the top of the fifth because of an injury to Francisco Cervelli.

Cervelli, will likely go on the disabled list. Sunday night, Beltran went 3-for-4 including a home run, single and a double He has been everything the Yankees wanted in their lineup, perhaps something they did not have last year when the Red Sox dominated New York.

"I didn't have a whole lot of choices tonight," said manager Joe Girardi about putting Beltran in at first for the injured Cervelli. "Just tells you the type of player he is. Willing to do anything you ask him to do.”

He added, “Very, very unselfish."

Beltran is that type of player. He was one of the four players the Yankees purchased for over $450 million to get them back to October. But, with the Yankees decimated with injuries in the infield, Beltran was pressed into service and was put in the infield for the first time in his career.

It was another dimension to this rivalry, a new one that has developed. The Red Sox don’t resemble the team that went on to win a World Series last October. And the Yankees, without Derek Jeter this night ,were pressed to do something and Beltran did not say no.

"Thank God nobody hit the baseball to me," said Beltran. He made three putouts and without Mark Teixeira, on the disabled list with a right hamstring pull, Girardi may not hesitate to put Beltran at first again.

“We have to do what it takes," Beltran said. I hope I don't have to do it again." The Yankees are doing what they have to do, 13-games into a young season. He has homered in consecutive games since May 28-29 of last season against Kansas City when he was with the Cardinals.

The Yankees scored their third run in the fourth inning. The new instant replay rule went to their benefit and caused the ejection of Boston Manager John Farrell. Cervelli was ruled safe on a bang-bang play at first. Girardi challenged.

Farrell contested the change of a call that enabled the Yankees to get what was a decisive run in what could have been an inning ending double-play. Under the new rule a play overturned is not supposed to be argued by a manager, hence the ejection. More, so the Yankees got the benefit and the rivalry got more intense.

So much of what transpired renewed a rivalry that seemed to disappear last season. Ichiro Suzuki, replacing Beltran in right, crashed into the outfield wall and made a spectacular catch that took an extra base hit away from David Ortiz in the eighth inning.

And by the eighth inning, with Mike Napoli on second, after a double to left that the Yankees’ Brett Gardner did his best to get, the Yankee Stadium crowd could be heard again, as it was when this rivalry was so intense.

Phelps, part of the mix and match late combination out of the Yankees pen walked Daniel Nava on a pitch that was low. A.J. Pierzynski got hit by a pitch that loaded the bases. Mike Carp off the bench after going behind 2-0 on the count went after a breaking ball and swung at strike three.

Then Kelley, in a role as one of the closers, sent the Red Sox packing in the ninth. It is only April, but these games are so important in a division that will be contested also with Tampa Bay.

“You know the division and wild card come down to one run,” said Girardi who always said these games are important now. However, if the Yankees want to be there in late September, they need to stay healthy. And they need good pitching as Ivan Nova got his second win in 7.1 innings. He struck out four on eight-hits and one of the Boston runs off Napoli’s third home run in the sixth.

“I thought he had a better command of his curveball tonight and that was a difference,” commented Girardi. In his last outing, Nova gave up seven runs and 10-hits in 3-2/3 innings to Baltimore.

The type of game on Sunday night that revived a rivalry in the Bronx and the Yankees, with an off Monday have a day to recuperate before welcoming the Chicago Cubs for a two-game interleague series.

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Yanks Blast Sox Off

Yanks Blast Sox Off

Homers Give Yankees a 7-4 Victory over the Red Sox

By Howard Goldin

BRONX, NEW YORK APRIL 13- In a reversal of the circumstances of the previous night’s contest at Yankee Stadium, five Yankee four baggers drove in each of their seven runs and ensured them a Saturday matinee victory over the Boston Red Sox.

The good feeling of sitting under blue skies and mild temperatures in the 60’s was increased for the Yankee rooters in the ballpark by the success at the plate of the Yankee batters. The combination provided a pleasant Saturday afternoon outing for the 48.572 fans in the Stadium, the largest crowd of the season.

In the first frame, a two-out single by the hot hitting former star of the Red Sox, Jacoby Ellsbury, was followed by Carlos Beltran’s second home run of the 2014 campaign, which gave New York a two run lead.

A lead-off base hit by Xander Bogarts in the second led to a tied score of two as the next batter, AJ Pierzynski blasted the first pitch into the seats in right to drive in two runs.
Two innings later, Brian McCann and Alfonso Soriano connected for back-to-back homers to give New York a 4-2 advantage. The Yankees had last hit homers back-to-back on June 6, 2013 in Seattle.

Two additional Yankee runners crossed the plate in the bottom of the sixth. McCann with his second home run of the game also drove in Beltran, who had doubled to begin the inning. This was McCann’s tenth multi-homer game in his career in the majors. It was the first Yankee multi-home run game since Soriano blasted two round trippers on September 10, 2013.

Despite entering the contest with a batting average of .162, the Yankee skipper was not surprised by McCann’s home runs, “I know he’s going to hit; he’s too good a hitter not to hit.”

Yankee starter Hiroki Kuroda was removed from the game after 6.1 innings after walking two batters in the seventh. A hit batsman and a single by Mike Carp off reliever Matt Thornton allowed the last two baserunners of Kuroda’s outing to score.

Kuroda gave up six hits and four earned runs in his 6.1 inning performance. He earned his second win of the young season, but was critical of his pitching, “Overall, I wasn’t sharp. My command and precise control wasn’t there.”

Kelly Johnson began the eighth frame with a crushing blow that landed in the center field seats. Saturday’s game was the third straight in which Johnson homered. The two rookies, Yangervis Solarte and Dean Anna, followed with a single and a double respectively. They were stranded on second and third when the inning concluded after the next two batters could not move them.

The offensive onslaught was quite pleasing to the Yankee manager, “It definitely helps if you can score runs quickly. I think our offense is much more balanced than last year. I think it is much more explosive too.”

The final game of the series will be played on Sunday night. Ivan Nova will start for New York and Felix Doubront will start for Boston.

Saturday, December 21, 2013

Carlos Beltran Officially Introduced by New York Yankees

By Howard Goldin

BRONX, NEW YORK, DECEMBER 21- For the third time in the past three weeks, the New York Yankees officially introduced one of their free agent signees. These brief meetings with the press and media are wise ways for an organization to publicize its franchise in a positive manner and demonstrate to its fan base its efforts to improve the performance of the team in the coming season.

Catcher Brian McCann, center fielder Jacoby Ellsbury and on Friday, Carlos Beltran were the subjects of these public events. The player least needing an introduction to New York fans is Beltran.

The 36 year-old outfielder has been in the majors since 1998 and was a star on the New York Mets from 2005-2011. During that time, he has compiled very creditable on the field statistics and conducted himself humbly and gentlemanly off the field.  

After playing 14 games for the Kansas City Royals in 1998, Beltran earned the American League Rookie-of-the Year Award in 1999. After a trade to Houston during the 2004 season, Beltran became a free agent and was hopeful of signing with the Yankees in 2005.

Beltran recalled this experience, “I grew up being a Yankee fan, a Bernie Williams fan. I used to look up to this organization. They always did what it takes to put good teams out there and win championships. Eight-nine years ago, they [Yankees] couldn’t commit to the years I wanted. They were having problems with the salary cap. They got Randy Johnson and I signed with the Mets.”

Although he still retains the hurtful memories of having been unfairly spoken of negatively by Mets brass, Beltran put the entire Mets experience in a positive light, “I have good memories of Queens. As a person, I met so many good people. In my career, my best numbers were with the Mets.”

Beltran responded with total honesty when asked how playing for the Yanks will be different than playing for the Mets, “I don’t know. I have to experience it.”

New York Yankees President Randy Levine explained one of the reasons the Yankees desired to sign Beltran, “We know he can play in New York. A lot of great players can’t.” Beltran later explained the meaning of Levine’s words from his own playing experience, “Playing here [New York] is different than playing anywhere else. The attention here is more; that’s pressure.”

Despite the pressure, he talked of his happiness of being in New York, a feeling that was not always realized by the public, “People misunderstood that I didn’t like New York. I really did enjoy it. My wife loves it here.”

As a Latino born in Puerto Rico, the veteran major leaguer expressed happiness of being in the Bronx, “I’m proud that on this side of town we have a lot of Puerto Ricans. I have a double responsibility, representing the Yankees and representing my country. We’re going to have some fun.”

The socially conscious individual also spoke of his responsibility of giving back to the community, “My opportunity as a player is to give back. We are going to do something positive.”

As a veteran player who at the end of his current three year contact will have played in the majors for 18 seasons, Beltran is thinking of the future. He said although he never gave thought to the Hall of Fame, people have told him it could be in his future. Because of this possibility, he felt a strong preference for a three year rather than two year contract, “The third year, to me, is important. It allows me to play longer and get better numbers.”

The statistics and honors earned by Beltran are already quite impressive. The eight time All-Star, three time Gold Glove winner and recipient of the Silver Slugger twice is worthy of being considered. His .333 batting average in 51 post-season games also adds to his high reputation.

He responded to a query of when he will retire, “It depends on how I feel. Right now, I consider it my last contract.”

Perhaps, the comment by Levine of why this contract between Beltran and the Yankees was signed was most appropriate, “The stars were aligned.”