Showing posts with label Seattle Mariners. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Seattle Mariners. Show all posts

Friday, May 2, 2014

Yanks Shut Down

Yanks Shut Down

Rookie pitcher from Cuba leads Mariners to sweep over Yankees

By Rich Mancuso

BRONX, NEW YORK, MAY 2- Roenis Elias was not supposed to get the start for the Seattle Mariners in their three-game series against the Yankees in the Bronx. Felix Hernandez was supposed to close the three-game series the night before, but rain forced a postponement. The 25-year old left-hander got his opportunity Thursday night.

Perhaps, the Yankees would have preferred Hernandez because Elias, a defector from Cuba, in his sixth professional start gave the Yankees more than they were looking for as the Mariners swept the abbreviated two-game series, 4-2. After giving up a first inning home run to Jacoby Ellsbury, the first for the Yankees center fielder, he used a curve and fastball that were impressive.

He tossed seven-innings, struck out a career-high 10, allowing two runs and six hits. And only one run was earned due to a Mariners error in the third inning. Elias was impressive and the spotlight of pitching at Yankee Stadium added no added pressure. Of the 110 pitches he threw, 73 went for strikes.

The Mariners won their fourth straight at Yankee Stadium going back to last season. But the story was Elias who made an impression on Yankees manager Joe Girardi. The Yankees could not deal with the fastball and curve. After the sixth inning, they did not get a hit until pinch hitter Ichiro Suzuki got a two-out single in the ninth off closer Fernando Rodney.

"He was hitting his spots. He was getting ahead. He pitched a good game. He's got a good arm,” said the Yankees Derek Jeter about the rookie pitcher. "Sometimes pitchers are going to be better than you. He threw really well. He's not a typical lefty who tries to trick you. He gets it up there pretty good.”

Said Girardi: “He used his fastball and curve effectively…pretty good stuff.” After the Ellsbury home run, Elias, who spent last year pitching for Double- A Jackson with 14 of 22 quality starts, limited the Yankees to five hits.

“The adrenaline comes from the spotlight," Elias said through a translator. "I've never been to the stadium so it was good to come here and beat the Yankees. I've seen it on TV but never been here." Elias became the third rookie pitcher at Yankee Stadium to strike out 10 or more batters at Yankee Stadium.

The manager, Lloyd McClendon had Elias slated to pitch this weekend. The rain-out moved Hernandez to another day and Elias got his chance. He got the call Wednesday night from pitching Coach Rick Waits Wednesday night that he would get the ball.

“The young man threw a tremendous game,” commented McClendon. “We thought he'd be OK in this environment. The young man is tough."

Facing Derek Jeter and the Yankees, especially for the first time is a challenge. The fastball was clocked over 90 and the curve had the Yankees hitters fooled. Throw in the fact that the Yankees are having issues getting the timely hit and again they had to come from behind. Elias made sure to keep his composure.

All of the first 28 batters he faced saw strikes.

“You have to get ready mentally,” said Elias who uses the fastball as his number one pitch. “After a couple of innings I felt more comfortable and took control.

Girardi did not seem concerned that his offense went cold. “It’s early in the season,” he said. “Obviously consistency is important. It will come.” He has to be more concerned about the state of his starting pitching. Hiroki Kuroda (2-3) gave up four runs, three earned on seven hits in six innings. In his previous start, Friday night against the Angels, he gave up a career- high eight runs in 4.21 innings, in a Yankees 13-1 loss.

"I think it's a step in the right direction," Girardi said. "A lot of nights that's going to be good enough to win.”

But it was not good enough for the Yankees who welcome division rival Tampa Bay to the Bronx for the next three games. The rotation is struggling also with Ivan Nova disabled for the season and Michael Pineda serving a suspension and headed to the disabled list.

As for Robinson Cano, his return to the Bronx was met with boos from the Yankee Stadium crowd. And in two games, he went 2-for-9 with three runs batted in. His double and two RBI were the difference Thursday night.

“Both days felt good because both days we won, so it has to feel good," Cano said. "There weren't any expectations from the crowd today. I just wanted to go out and take care of business. You have to understand the fans, but it is not going to be a distraction for me."

But Cano and the Yankees were not the story this night. A kid from Cuba, named Elias, may have turned himself into a pitching sensation at Yankee Stadium.

Comment Rich Mancuso: Mancuso

Wednesday, April 30, 2014

From Hero to Zero

From Hero to Zero
Ca$h is King #Cano gets Bronx Cheer from Fan Faithful
By Howard Goldin
BRONX, NEW YORK, APRIL 30- Robinson Cano, one of the premier players in MLB, was the center of attention at Yankee Stadium on Tuesday. For the first time he made his debut with the New York Yankees in 2005, Cano dressed in the visitor’s clubhouse and wore the uniform of the visiting club, the Seattle Mariners.
Several days earlier, Cano prophesied his feelings on the day of his return, “It’s going to be weird. It’s going to feel a lot different being on the other side.” 
Cano was on the Yankee side since he signed as a non-drafted free agent at the age of 17 on January 5, 2001. Interestingly, Cano’s father, Jose, was also drafted and signed by the Yankees. After several minor league seasons, he made his big league debut on May 3, 2005.
The native of the baseball hotbed of San Pedro de Macoris in the Dominican Republic compiled outstanding statistics and received many honors during his nine seasons with the Yanks. 
The five-time American League All-Star, the last four as the starting second sacker, was a winner of the Silver Slugger five times and the Gold Glove twice. 
He has been especially effective in the last five years averaging 99 runs scored, 103 runs batted in, a batting average of .314, a slugging average of .530 and an on-base percentage of .369 per season. Cano was the winner of the 2012 Home Run Derby, and was named the MVP of the 2013 World Baseball Classic (WBC), leading his nation, the Dominican Republic to the championship with a batting average of .469.
Not surprisingly, his recent performances increased the interest by teams other than the Yankees to obtain the services of Cano for the future. To the shock of many and the disappointment and anger of Yankee rooters, Cano signed a 10-year contract worth $240 million with the Mariners on December 12, 2013. 
In a pre-game press conference in Yankee Stadium on Tuesday afternoon, Cano refused to be trapped by questions in English or Spanish that attempted to get him to discuss his contract negotiations or to criticize the Yankees, “I just want to move on and not talk about the past. I’m just happy to be back and see those guts again that I played with.”
Prior to the game, the new Mariner expressed hope that the New York fans would remember his nine years and react well to him “Hopefully, I’ll be treated nice by the fans.” In spite of his high hopes, he did show understanding of the psyche of partisan sports fans, “I know I’m not a Yankee anymore. I have to understand the reaction of the fans.”
Loud boos were heard after the mention of his name in the pre-game introductions. Those jeers paled in comparison to the negative reception he received when he walked to the plate for his first at bat. The booing did not cease until Cano took a third strike which was cheered. 
The Seattle second baseman struck out again in the eighth, but drove in a run in the fifth with a ground ball out. He got an infield single, stole a base and scored in the seventh. 
The game is now behind him, so hopefully the fans can concentrate on rooting for the success of their team rather than for someone’s failure.